Sunday, December 12, 2010

Dave Hudgens on Clutch hitting..

There are numerous reports that Dave Hudgens is the front runner to become the Mets hitting coach, nothing will be official until Monday or Tuesday but there would have to be a lot of people wrong for Hudgens not to be on the coaching.

The former infielder became a minor league coach in the Oakland system and was twice the major league hitting coach ( 1999, 2003-2005) and then he moved on to become the Cleveland Field coordinator where he's been the past five seasons. 

This could be the biggest acquisition of the off-season, now I don't mean Hudgens specifically I mean the hitting coaches position. 

In 2009 the Mets were picked by SI to be the NL representative in the World Series, most of us were surprised by that selection not because we thought they were that bad more that it seemed too lofty, none of would have been surprised by a playoff appearances. 

Two disappointing seasons later and many consider us the bums of the league, I still think that same core from 2009 is intact and has the potential to achieve much more then they're being given credit for.  What has underachieved the last two years, setting aside the injuries it's consistently been the offense. 

Every team has a weak position and the Mets are no different it's second base, otherwise there are no scubs on the field.  Many teams would love to have Wright, Reyes, Bay, Pagan, Beltran and Davis, Thole are young developing players with promise. 

What has happened is this team as a whole has struggled in clutch situations, Hudgens who has his own blog;
Swing Away Blog had this to say about clutch situations...

What is a pressure situation? In baseball a pressure situation can be any possible turning point in a game, or perhaps any time a player feels an urgency or a necessity to perform in the “right now” as if the game was on the line. Pressure situations rarely announce themselves. Pressure situations can be the bottom of the 9th in the final game of the World Series, or a clutch at bat in the first inning of a Little League game.

Nobody wants to choke in a pressure situation, but the greatest athletes an the greatest competitors have all choked at some point in their lives and/or careers. When athletes choke, people say they have no guts, no courage, and they view the “chokers” as not mentally tough. But, atletes who choke deserve a pat on the back because of their GREAT DESIRE. Desire creates pressure. No desire = no pressure; it is that simple.

Choking-up is trying too hard; it has nothing to do with guts. Athletes who are said to be chokers compete as hard as they can… to the point of self-destruction; they go “over the edge” to the point of losing their emotional control and self-discipline. Great desire and competitiveness are attributes that every elite athlete must have, but strong emotions can easily take control, which is when choking occurs.