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Mets Accountability Police Must Continue Strict Enforcement: H is for Horrible

No Matter How Mediocre, Mets Brass Must Stay Vigilant

Earlier in the year, Rule 5 pick-up Brad Emaus, our second baseman of the future (or maybe just 2011) was jettisoned after 42 plate appearances and a .162 average. Eight appearances were enough to deem D.J. Carrasco deserving of demotion. The Mets are a 13-18 ball club, and nobody is under any illusions they will be anything but mediocre or worse this year. However, one thing that gives me some solace is that Mr. Alderson, and by extension Mr. Collins, have shown that they will not hesitate to pull the trigger on failures and give others a shot. Now, I only ask that they continue to put that philosophy into practice.

Specifically, the Mets need to cut bait on a few players whose names will come as no surprise to Flushing Faithful. The Mets of recent memory have made a habit of populating their bench with sh*t. Piles of it. Steaming, stinking crap. Last year was bad. And, somehow, spring training played its clever tricks on me again and convinced me 2011 would be different — even if only for a moment. Reality reared its head though rather quickly. I am speaking of the horrid triple H club: Hairston, Harris and Hu.

For those unfamiliar with this threatening trio, that would be Scott Hairston, the always-dangerous Willie Harris and the “slick-fielding” Chin-Lung Hu. Here’s the problem with these three. They are not very good at hitting the baseball. And when I say “not very good,” I mean freaking awful. Now, if this was simply a bad start for these gentlemen one might preach patience. The scary thing is, this is sort of par for their careers.

Now, each of these men can make a nice case for expulsion. Here are my preferred departures in order of urgency:

Scott Hairston: Hairston is a 31 year-old outfielder how has somehow played more than 100 games in a season four times in his career. He’s only had 39 at bats in a Mets uniform, but it’s getting to be more than enough for me. Scotty is hitting .176 with 13 K’s and 1 HR. Last year, in 104 games in San Diego he hit .210. A lifetime .243 hitter, I’d sign up for that in a heartbeat. If I’m Sandy and Terry, the Scott Hairston experiment has another 25 at-bats max. One could argue that’s more-than-gratuitous. But if under .200 with 50+ at bats, I think we can (and should?) declare this endeavor over.

Chin-Lung Hu: Now, it’s a bit unfair to put Hu here for a few reasons. First off, he’s essentially a defensive replacement and was not expected to be a big bat off the bench. Second, he’s only stepped to the plate 16 times. The other argument might be that Hu is IN THE MAJOR LEAGUES and someone on an MLB roster should have the ability to hit. Hu has gone down on strikes in half of his plate appearances. He’s batting .071 with a single. One. Single. How long do you keep that on your bench?

Willie Harris: You could nominate Harris as public enemy one or two, but I’ve always liked the guy. Willie! The Mets killer! Now that we’ve got him, he can never hurt us again! Thing is, he can’t help us a whole lot either…or at least he hasn’t. People looked at Harris’s .183 batting average over a 132 games for the Nats last year and called it an abberation. The reality is a .238 career batting average. Willie’s torrid start when every other Met was suckier than suck during most of April is the one reason it’s possible to give him a slight pardon on his current .212.

Still, roll them all up and think about it. Three “bats” that have accrued more than 100 plate appearances and combined for 2 home runs, 12 RBI and 41 strikeouts. Oh yes, and they’re collectively hovering right around the Mendoza line.

I know. I know. Bench players are bench players for a reason. There aren’t many .300 hitters or 20 home run role guys. But this bench is pretty bad, and the horrible H’s are a big reason why. I hope they come out of their respective funks and find some decent consistency. However, I’m just as hopeful that if they don’t Sandy and Terry won’t hesitate to the pull the plug and give someone else a chance. We sure as hell aren’t going to be very good. So, at least let’s be accountable. What’s the worst that could happen?


  1. Anonymous

    May 11, 2011 at 12:22 pm

    Injuries have been the main reason why Harris and Hairston have remained with the team despite their struggles. First there was Bay, now Pagan. I suspect that Willie Harris will be jettisoned in favor of Jason Pridie when Pagan returns. Hairston has always hit left-handed pitching well (.818 lifetime OPS against LHP) and I believe that he will resume his lefty-mashing if he is given enough time to bust out of his funk. As for Hu, his likely replacement would be Luis Hernandez. He can't be any worse, but he's not much better, either.

  2. Anonymous

    May 11, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    Hairston should definitely remain on board. He provides a nice option against lefties (and still solid against righties) and can play all outfield positions. If you will recall, he just went 2-for-3 on Sunday (his last start). With more consistent opportunities he will perform. Tough to bust out of a "slump" when you get 3 AB's per week. What about accountability for the regulars (Bay isn't exactly tearing the cover off the ball). My point is- the Mets aren't struggling because of their bench. They've got plenty of other issues to tackle, as well.

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