To hear today’s Meet The Matts Radio segment with deposed Mets Hitting Coach Dave Hudgens and defensive GM Sandy Alderson, scroll down… But not before you read Fake Sandy Alderon/Big Al Sternberg’s account!
NEW YORK, NY – I insisted I wasn’t hungry, but my host was relentless. He had lost his job the day before and was apparently distraught and relieved simultaneously. And gracious about offering up some grub while we chatted, and so there we sat in his Mom’s basement preparing to discuss his dismissal while staring at wood paneled walls, shag carpeting beneath us, Peter Frampton posters, and a sign that read, “Gas, grass, or ass…no one rides for free.” That was his favorite, and told me so in between shouts for his Mom way upstairs.
“Ma!!! The Meatloaf!! Ma!”
And so my exclusive conversation with deposed New York Mets hitting coach Dave Hudgens began. He couldn’t have been more excited to show his visitor his old Commodore 64 that still whirred in the corner, running Strat-O-Matic algorithms non stop. Hudgens was let go by the Mets because you can’t fire 25 players, the GM won’t fire himself, and it’s a short term interim step before the inevitable demise of the Manager. And above all, because the owner’s son, Jeffy Wilpon insisted on change. Even Jeffy, the helmet-headed scion of one New York’s 6 crime families, could see that if the Mets were scoring 2 runs a game-every game-then clearly the guy who was supposed to be “teaching” hitting had to be the Fall guy. Made perfect sense to Jeffy. So he ordered the “hit” on the “hitting” coach and his Daddy told him to tell Sandy Alderson that he thought Hudgens was a very good-but not great-hitting coach.
There were old IBM printers straight out of the Wonder Years that spit out rolls and rolls of paper and it gave this place a strange vibe. On Friday evenings, it seems, Hudgens’ mom goes out to the A&P and DePo, Ricciardi, and Sandy come over for marathon Dungeons & Dragons nights.” Hudgens pointed out that the noise from the archaic printers had to do with his running of an application called “Don’t Swing the Fuc*^**n bat!” and was printing out his results to discuss later. But we finally sat down and began, but not before Hudgens put on a batting helmet. I pressed on undeterred. He explained that he owed his career to Sandy Alderson, and that being let go by Sandy was kind of like being let go by his own Dad. In fact, Hudgens went on, he had been calling Sandy “Daddy” since the late 70s. He talked about how the guys in the SNY booth were constantly working against him-undermining his work and his philosophies.
These nattering nabobs of negativity threatened to undermine all of the work and dismiss the progress that he had made with Ruben Tejada and Travis d’Arnauld. I pointed out that both players were planted firmly on the “Interstate” at the moment, but he ferociously snapped at me and screamed that I was both too negative and an infidel. I could tell he was emotional, and he had been particularly upset with the negative climate around the team. Daddy Alderson told him that the team’s broadcasters and the beat writers were conspiring against him-just like they had when they served together in the War. I asked Hudgens which war Sandy had been referencing, but he started regurgitating Wins Above Replacement results since the early 1920s. Nevertheless, the enemy to him was clear. It was a doubting press, and negative fans who had the audacity to boo his hitters thereby sabotaging his efforts.
On the way out, he was gracious-even offering me a copy of his Manifesto for me to read on the train back to Flushing. And by the way…the meatloaf did arrive while we chatted and it was glorious.
By the way… RANGERS WIN! RANGERS WIN! MATTEAU! MATTEAU! MATTEAU! One more mountain to climb, baby!
Now have a listen to this – or download it and listen later. But listen, for Chrissake.
Tune in tomorrow for MTM’s Dave Hudgens, Junoir Blaber.