Mets Scapegoats: 1 who deserved his fate, 1 who didn't, 1 person we should blame more

Who was most singularly responsible for the Mets' failures in 2023?
Cincinnati Reds v New York Mets
Cincinnati Reds v New York Mets / Jim McIsaac/GettyImages
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Jeremy Barnes shouldn’t have returned as a co-hitting coach alongside Eric Chavez

Maybe it’s because he didn’t have a lucrative MLB career that helps Jeremy Barnes get more of a free pass publicly. As simple as it is to point the finger and scapegoat the manager, nobody gets lashed more than the hitting coach. It seems like they, even more so than pitching coaches, are the ones fired whenever a team goes through a slump.

Barnes won’t be the only hitting coach for the Mets in 2024. Eric Chavez, the team’s bench coach last season and hitting coach from 2022, has been reassigned to become the co-hitting coach with Barnes. It’s a bit of a strange situation. Is it just because they don’t want to pay someone for doing zero work? Are they protecting themselves from the possibility of Chavez leaving for a promotion elsewhere?

Whatever the Mets have in mind, the devolved offensive production in 2023 falls on the players who struggled, but also the man whose job it is to find holes in their swings. None of the players who were on the roster in 2022 and 2023 had a better year in the latter. Why is it? A change at hitting coach is the simplest explanation albeit just the scapegoat solution.

Barnes didn’t get results in 2023 from the Mets hitters. At least it didn’t lead to the return of Donnie Stevenson. Some horrors need to stay buried.