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?
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About the Author: Cecilio's Scribe is the founder of The Legend of Cecilio Guante and a generally pessimistic fan of the Mets, Jets, Knicks and Rangers. A fine NYC-based gentlemen who hones his marketing skills as his primary trade by day. Husband, chef, father of a newborn and after-hours blogger by night. Proud alum of the mighty Big Red of Cornell. University. Hot sauce devotee. Staunch protester of the continued wussifcation of American sports. Sometimes I rhyme slow, sometimes I rhyme quick.