The New York Mets look woefully bad at the plate with runners in scoring position.
Is it Kevin Long’s fault? Absolutely not. However, he needs to be fired anyway.
It’s fair to say that it is unfair to criticize or blame the coach, but in this case, a change must be made for the sake of change and to change the negative discourse surrounding the team.
Although it is arguable whether this Mets’ lineup was ever going to be a top of the league type of offense, it is not arguable that this lineup as constituted should be able to be at least league average.
In a league where a “quality start” is 6 innings and 3 runs, or a 4.50 ERA, scoring 4 runs a game in a Major League Baseball game should not be a tough ask. However, for Terry Collins’ New York Mets – it has been a historically tough ask.
While coaches shouldn’t impact a team much, it is possible for coaches to impact negatively.
If this team is pressing because they are uncomfortable with Long’s approach, or feeling undue pressure because he is asking them to look at too much tape, not enough tape, being too mechanical, or not mechanical enough – whatever it may be; the Mets should try a new direction in terms of their hitting coach.
Although yes, Kevin Long doesn’t swing a bat, nor step in the batters’ box, and while firing him may be harsh, a change there would also leave a proverbial bullet left in the chamber for Terry Collins (should the Mets’ hitting not improve), and provide a different reference point – a restart if you will.
Right now, the conversation surrounding the New York Mets is a “team that has struggled with runners in scoring position all year. With Long fired, it has the chance to become “the team has done XYZ since Long was let go”. In short, the Mets and their players need “an excuse” for the pitiful performance, and something to lessen the pressure – having a “fall guy” helps.
And yes, the focus by everyone is on batting average with RISP, this team ranks in the bottom five in the league in just about every offensive metric save home runs.
So, if it really isn’t Kevin Long who is the problem nor solution, what is the big deal about letting him go? It is a low risk, potentially high reward move. And if you are one of those who believe coaches have little impact, what difference is it who’s occupying the position? It may as well be someone else.