It’s been a whirlwind 48 hours for former Mets hitting coach Dave Hudgens, who went from “is he Vanessa’s dad?” status to internet laughing stock in rapid succession (kudos, however. to that team player, Dino Costa, for taking the heat off Dave). And while it’s hard not to scoff at Hudgen blaming the Amazins’ offensive woes on a) SNY broadcasters, b) the few remaining fans who could stomach the collection of contact-phobic hitters Hudgens allegedly coached, it is equally difficult not to take pause at the prospect of Jeff Wilpon being the club’s real general manager.
The younger Wilpon (above), whose glittering baseball resume includes supervision of the construction of the very baseball venue that has so horribly perplexed and intimidated Hudgens’ former chargers (most prominently, David Wright, whom the club are paying more money than God to hit singles, play an above-average 3rd base and smile thru 90 loss seasons) is said by Capital New York’s Howard Megdal to have demanded the firing of Hudgens.. Writes Megdal, “it’s one thing for ownership to decline to give Alderson money it doesn’t have. It’s quite another, autonomy-wise, to force Alderson to fire baseball personnel.”
During Monday’s disappointing 5-3 loss at home to the Pirates, Jeff Wilpon sent Alderson an angry text, and followed it up with an angry call. Then, after the game, they had an angry meeting.
But at that meeting, according to a knowledgeable source, Wilpon did something new: He overruled his general manager on a baseball matter, ordering him to fire hitting coach Dave Hudgens, a longtime Alderson friend and colleague.
This incursion into baseball decisions by Wilpon would seem to indicate that Alderson will have limited latitude as he tries to improve the team despite severe payroll constraints.
If Alderson he couldn’t overcome Jeff Wilpon’s bright ideas and Fred Wilpon’s wallet when he had the discretion to make his own baseball decisions, what chance does he have now?