NEW YORK (WFAN) — Following the Mets’ disastrous loss on Monday, general manager Sandy Alderson fired hitting coach Dave Hudgens.
“I think the fans are really tough on the guys at home,” Hudgens told Anthony DiComo of MLB.com. “How can you boo Curtis Granderson? They have no idea how hard this guy works and how he goes about doing his business, doing his job. He gets off to a slow start and they’re booing him? Come on. It’s tougher at home to play than it is on the road, there’s no doubt about it.”
The longtime coach also admitted that he has issues with the organization’s television broadcast team, and he didn’t hold back.
“The naysayers — the guys who disapprove of us, the guys who I listen to on TV all the time, those guys that know everything about the game — I’m just amazed at it,” Hudgens told Newsday’s Marc Carig. “What’s wrong with getting a good pitch to hit? Somebody, please punch a hole in that for me. I just shake my head at the old-school guys that have it all figured out. Go up there and swing the bat.
“Well, what do you want to swing at? It just confounds me. It’s just hilarious, really. That’s one thing. I’m glad I don’t have to listen to those guys anymore.”
WFAN host Mike Francesa chatted with Hudgens on Tuesday about his comments and his tenure with the Mets. Below are some of the highlights from the interview.
Francesa: Were you surprised by this, Dave?
Hudgens: I was a little surprised, but I’m never surprised when something happens in baseball … I’ve seen most everything. A team is struggling a little bit, you know there might be some changes. You never know who it’s gonna be. We always joke around that we’re on multi-daily contracts. So my day was up yesterday.
Francesa: Where did you have a problem with what was being said in the booth?
Hudgens: I don’t have a problem with Keith. We talked from time to time. It’s just more of the negativity. I’m always in the video room when we’re on defense, so the TV is on, the game’s on. And you just get tired of hearing the negativity of it, that’s all. Talking about the philosophy, you know, guys are taking pitches down the middle — that’s not what we’re about.
Francesa: Do you think the fans are a big issue? Do you think (booing) is an issue with this team? Do you think that’s been an issue on your hitters?
Hudgens: I’ve managed the last several years in Venezuela with 30,000 people booing me every time I went to the freaking mound. The booing isn’t a big deal. It’s not the booing. It’s what it does to the players. The fans have a right to boo. They come to the ballpark, they pay good money. The Mets have very loyal fans. In fact they’re great fans, I think. And they’re passionate. My point was it just doesn’t help … I’m not saying they don’t have the right to, I don’t say they’re not great fans. I was just making a point that when that happens, guys are gonna have a tendency to try harder. And we see it in the statistics when they go home.
Francesa: You said, which puzzled me, that you were doing a good job. How could you do a good job if the team’s not hitting? You’re a hitting coach.
Hudgens: There’s nothing I can do with the results we’re getting. I don’t really judge it on that. I judge it on what I can control … But all I can do is look in the mirror. What kind of job did I do? Did I work? Was I prepared? Were the guys prepared? Did I do everything I was capable of doing as a coach? I’m not Houdini. I’m not a miracle worker.
The Mets have really struggled to score runs in 2014, especially at home. Entering Tuesday’s game against the Pirates, the Amazin’s are 12th in the National League with a .237 batting average, tied for ninth in runs with 195 and second-to-last in homers with 34.
New York (22-28) is in last place in the National League East, six games behind the first-place Braves.
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