Get Him Outta Here: New York Mets Hitting Coach Howard Johnson Needs To Go

Dave DoyleCorrespondent IMay 18, 2010

NEW YORK - JUNE 27: Hitting coach Howard Johnson #20 and Manager Jerry Manuel #53 of the New York Mets look on from the dugout during a game against the New York Yankees at Shea Stadium on June 27, 2008 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Michael Heiman/Getty Images)
Michael Heiman/Getty Images

With his team struggling, embattled New York Mets manager Jerry Manuel is on the hot seat, and rightfully so.

Manuel and Mets management had a 90-minute meeting before Monday’s game at Atlanta. And while Manuel’s job insecurity is one that can be expected given its nature, one thing that hasn’t been looked at is the team's hitting coach position.

Thus, Howard Johnson should also be on the hot seat, as many of the Mets' recent struggles can be placed on him.

The offense as a whole has struggled mightily, especially with runners in scoring position.

Entering last Thursday’s game against the Florida Marlins, the Mets were batting a dismal .247 as a team, which ranks 23rd in the majors.

Over the offseason they brought in Jason Bay, who is hitting a whopping .277 with one home run, and just 16 RBI so far.

It seems for the last few seasons the Mets have been lacking the “big hit.”

The fans and the media have been quick to blame the players, yet I think the philosophy at the plate with RISP (Runners in Scoring Position) is the problem.

And that problem is placed squarely on Johnson's shoulders. Has Johnson worn out his welcome as hitting coach?

I understand Johnson was an outstanding player in his heyday, and general manager Omar Minaya has stated that having Johnson around is a link to Mets history.

Yet the offense has been down this season, so it's time to replace Johnson as the hitting coach. I think it’s a legitimate argument.