By Mike Steffanos
Not really, but I'm sure that Rickey believes he will, and that's all that counts.
Look, I've always hated firing a hitting coach or a pitching coach as a way of motivating a ballclub. I think there are literally a handful of hitting and pitching coaches that have more than a passing effect on their charges, and the rest are almost virtually interchangeable. I like Rick Down, but to me he clearly is in the second category, unlike a Rick Peterson, who is clearly a difference maker. While I don't blame Down for the poor approach at the plate that actually started rearing its ugly head last September, I can't fault the Mets for taking a shot at getting a different voice in there. Although Hojo seems to be most likely to take over most of Down's duties, Rickey Henderson brings about as different of a voice that you can bring to a coaching staff. I'm not sure if this move smacks of some desperation, but it clearly reflects a sense that things needed to be changed sooner rather than later, and I agree with that.
The impatient offensive approach that has made for some virtually unwatchable games has been around all season, even when the club was winning. I honestly worry that this flawed approach, as much as anything, could cost the Mets an October run. You had to change the dynamic, and the Mets are trying to do that. Newsday is now reporting that Julio Franco's tenure with this club is coming to an end, at least as a player. For those Mets fans out there who somehow worked themselves up into believing that the club isn't committed to making the changes necessary to turn things around, I think that shows that they are.
Good people like Rick Down are often sacrificed in the pro sports world because there is nothing that supersedes doing everything possible to win. I hope Down catches on somewhere soon, and I hope the fans of that club enjoy his off-beat sense of humor as much as I have.
MetsBlog Blogger Beat Appearance
For the few of you that aren't already sick of me from this site (Hi Mom), my words of dubious wisdom appear in a Blogger Beat discussion on MetsBlog on Moises Alou and Pedro Martinez.
For a period of several hours on this site, we were bombarded with hundreds of spam comments. Usually these contain links to sites of dubious merit, but these random comments contained no links at all. Because of this they evaded all of the filters and I had to spend precious time deleting them manually. Since I only have a finite amount of time to put into this blog, this precluded me from finishing my look at the Mets at the Break. We'll try to get that done this weekend, even if the Break will already be over. I think if I experience another attack like this at some point soon, I will thwart it by turning off the comments for a while. I'll put up a note to that effect, but just be aware that if you see comments turned off it's not because I don't enjoy the real ones -- even from those who disagree with me.