There is nothing wrong with a little clubhouse humor, of course, and Scott and the team president, Sandy Alderson, had been long evaluating Davis and Slater, whom they did not hire. But acting just as the players were hailing a fake hitting guru was another palm-to-the-forehead bit of Mets slapstick.
“You’d have to ask the players about Donnie,” Scott said. “I guess the one thing I’ll comment on is, obviously we had a lot of hits the last couple of nights, scored some runs. I think that should highlight that this isn’t about recent results. This is about the process behind the scenes.”
If the Mets had been first in the N.L. in runs scored, instead of last, it is a safe bet they would not have fired Davis and Slater. Then again, if they had been scoring more runs, the process — whatever that means — would have most likely been better.
Alonso said he cried at his locker Monday night after hearing the news from a teammate, who got a smartphone alert from the M.L.B. app. By Tuesday afternoon, even after hearing twice from Scott, Alonso still did not understand.
“Things just aren’t clear to me right now, and I don’t know what the exact explanation is,” Alonso said. “I’m still trying to find that. I talked to Zack last night, I slept on it, and we had a meeting today — and it still isn’t clear to me. But I’m hoping that three, four months from now, the answer is there and it’s easy to see.”
The hitting coach job now falls to Hugh Quattlebaum with Kevin Howard as his assistant; Alonso pledged to work with them and emphasized his respect for both. Quattlebaum, 42, had been the director of minor league hitting development, and Howard, 39, had been the director of player development. Both are younger than the coaches they replaced: Davis is 61, Slater 53.