As you may have heard by now, hitting coach Rick Down has gotten the axe, to be replaced by none other than Rickey Henderson. No offense to Down, who seems like an affable guy, but I couldn't be more delighted that Rickey will be in the dugout. I know many Mets fans will balk at the notion that the guy who played cards with Bobby Bonilla in the dugout while Rome burned, who got released after a spectacular failure to hustle, and (ironically, given his new job title) who didn't now who hitting coach Tom Robson was until Robson got fired (all three events neatly recounted by Faith and Fear this morning) is coming back to the Mets as a coach, but I love it. First of all, this isn't really his return to the Mets. He's worked with Jose Reyes and others on base-stealing skills in spring training, and he might even have been offered a coaching job sooner but for his Quixotic mission to catch on somewhere as a player.
As for his checkered Mets past, yeah, that was him, but that was the past. And I'm not here to talk about the past. I don't have any idea whether Rickey will make a good hitting coach or not. I don't even know what makes for a good hitting coach. But I do know that Rickey will talk a lot about himself in the third person, and I know that he'll be arriving around the same time as Lastings Milledge makes his return, and the thought of Rickey mentoring Milledge makes me positively giddy. Rickey Henderson mentoring Lastings Milledge! Just imagine that! Never mind hitting coach, I can't think of a better life coach than Rickey. "You have to keep running. I always believed I was going to be safe." That's not just base-stealing advice, that's fucking poetry. That's a blueprint for living. I'm pretty sure I'm not even kidding anymore.
Anyway, welcome back to New York, Rickey. And by the way, we're hitting .268 as a team, which is 6th in the league, and I guess sort of respectable, but I'm pretty sure we haven't gotten a hit with a runner in scoring position since like May, and if we fail to score a runner at third with less than two outs one more time I'm going to burn the stadium down. So, uh, I guess you should try to do something about that.
And to the Mets brass: This is cool and everything, just please don't try to hire Bobby Bonilla.