I'm not all that different from most Mets fans.
A bit more positive, perhaps, and maybe that makes me more optimistic than average.
I'm not one to jump straight to worst-case scenarios.
Which makes it very hard to watch the team right now.
I'm not one to look to point fingers all that often.
But with the Mets struggling the way they've been, allow me to nominate a candidate for finger-pointing:
Hitting coach Dave Hudgens.
Not unlike manager Terry Collins, Hudgens' hands are tied by the players he is given. And while many of those guys played over their heads in the first part of the year, most of them just aren't all that accomplished hitters.
And I suppose where there's blame there's also credit to be given - because if I'm blaming Hudgens for some of the problems I'm about to list, I should give him some credit for the likes of Ruben Tejada and Daniel Murphy.
But from where I'm sitting the positives are outweighed by the negatives.
The number one most painful thing for me to watch right now while watching the Mets is the thing that was so pleasurable to watch in the first part of the year: David Wright's hitting. He looks awful at the plate, and I want Hudgens to fix him.
And that's the worst part - it's not like David Wright came into the year talking about what a difference Hudgens made in his life and how he was to be thanked for the amazing start to the year Wright had. No - Wright worked in the off-season with a coach from his youth, who recognized some bad habits Wright had been developing and helped him correct them. Why isn't Hudgens able to correct those problems now? (And, furthermore, why isn't Wright on the phone with that coach from his past right now?)
There have been reports that Hudgens has been working recently to try and figure things out with Wright (which is his job, so I guess that's not really news)...but the results haven't been showing on the field.
It's not just Wright, though. Ike Davis looked clueless at the plate for more than two months to start this season. (And has had long stretches recently where he still does.)
The Mets needed contributions from young players like Lucas Duda and Kirk Nieuwenhuis this year, and after solid-enough starts pitchers figured those guys out and they struck out more often than not. The pitchers adjusted. Duda and Nieuwenhuis (and by extension, Hudgens) could not make their own adjustments.
Dare we even mention Jason Bay?
Again: Maybe time will tell that these players are all just not very good, and it wasn't Howard Johnson's fault. It's not Dave Hudgen's fault. Maybe it's lucky we got any production out of those guys at all.
But it seems like good teams have coaches who are able to bring the best out of their players - especially someone with proven talent like David Wright.
Maybe the Mets aren't a good team.
But maybe they could use a better hitting coach.