Former Mets hitting coach Dave Hudgens appeared on WFAN 660 AM with Mike Francesa on Tuesday afternoon.
Feb 21, 2013; Port St Lucie, FL, USA; New York Mets batting coach Dave Hudgens (51) poses for a picture during photo day at Tradition Field. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports
Coming on the heels of his pointed comments about the fans and the SNY booth, Hudgens’ chat with Francesa was surprisingly mild.
The highlights are below…
On the Mets hitting philosophy:
"I don’t think it’s any magic formula…go up there and get a good pitch and hit it"
On his reaction to what Keith Hernandez said in the SNY booth:
"I don’t have a problem with Keith…it’s just more of the negativity…you just get tired of hearing the negativity of it, that’s all…guys taking pitches down the middle, that’s not what we’re about…the fans hear it and they get real negative…I don’t even know what Keith believes as far as that [hitting philosophy]…I just try to be positive with the guys, that’s all."
Do the Mets try to indoctrinate hitters to have all the same style?
"No…not at all…a hitting coach is more of a facilitator."
Why has the situational hitting been so poor in 2014?
"If you look at the inside numbers from what went on on the road and at home…when the guys get home, they try too hard…a lot of times if you try too hard, you do too much. It takes you off your game."
On if fan negativity and/or booing is an issue:
"Booing isn’t a big deal, it’s not the booing. It’s what it does to the players…my point was it just doesn’t help…subconsciously, consciously, whatever it is…I’m just making a point that when that happens, guys are gonna have a tendency to try harder."
Hudgens backtracked somewhat regarding his comments that booing is partially to blame for the Mets offensive woes at home, but continued to suggest that it can have an impact.
More important than that, was the fact that Hudgens confirmed what’s been known about him (that he’s largely hands-off when it comes to his approach), and the fact that Hudgens suggested that the results of the team should’ve been largely inconsequential as far as analyzing his job performance was concerned.
What Hudgens didn’t go into – he dodged the question – was whether it’s smart or right to have every player on the team use the same exact hitting philosophy.
During an appearance on ESPN Radio (after his WFAN appearance), Hudgens suggested what pretty much everyone knows – that Sandy Alderson has been limited financially.