When I was a young lad there were three CF’ers in New York and they were all great ballplayers.
The Yankees had Mickey Mantle, the Giants had Willie Mays, and the Dodgers had Duke Snider.
Fan delighted in arguing which of the three was best although Dodger fans tended to admit that their guy was probably #3.
And now in the next millenium a new trio is sparking a somewhat different argument. The question now being debated is “Who is the worst player on the Mets’ bench?”
You know them. They’ve been called the “Horrible H’s” and other things that don’t belong in a family blog.
Let’s make the case for each and then we’ll let you, the loyal reader, decide who truly is the worst bench player of the three.
THE CASE FOR SCOTT HAIRSTON
Hairston is a 31 year old journeyman outfielder with dubious defensive skills. He came into the season a lifetime .245 batter with an OPS of 738 which is actually not too horrific. His claim to notoriety is his whiffability, fanning 390 times in 1688 lifetime Abs. That’s a ratio of one K for every 4.3 Abs. To give that figure some perspective keep in mind that David Wright who holds the striking out franchise on the team strikes out about one K for every 4.7 at bats. So with Hairston you get the bad D and more K’s than Wright but without the nice HRs and stolen bases that David provides.
As of Saturday night Hairston was batting .162 with a 549 OPS having struck out 13 times in 37 official at bats.
THE CASE FOR WILLIE HARRIS
Willie is a 33 year old utility player. He came to the team with a decent defensive reputation which has been belied by his constant misjudging of flyballs and losing them in the sun, lights, and general ether of CitiField’s outfield. He came into the season with a .239 lifetime BA and 679 OPS. It would have been better save for the .183 average he put up in 2010 over the course of 224 at bats.
He is hitting a robust .209 for the Mets with an OPS of 631. In 67 at bats he has fanned 21 times and has been particularly useless in his role of pinch-hitter where he is still looking for his first hit of the season.
THE CASE FOR CHIN-LUNG HU
Ah youth. The 27 year old Hu came to the Mets as a dependable middle infield glove. Anyone who saw his silly throwing error last Thursday would tend to doubt it but – hey anyone came make an error – it’s probable that he can field a decent 2B or SS. It’s at bat where Hu really shines. He came to the Mets with a lifetime BA of .191 and an even more discouraging OPS of 524. Let’s put that OPS into perspective: the lifetime OPS for arguably the worst hitting Met of all time, Rey Ordonez, was 600 even. So Hu is well below that. As for this year Hu has one lone single in 17 at bats. I suppose his one walk should be mentioned. That’s an .059 batting average for those of you not doing the math at home.
So now head over to our poll and tell us who indeed is the most Horrible of the Horrible H’s.
Here’s the link: http://tinyurl.com/mets-bench
In about a week we’ll post the results.
Follow Larry Smith on twitter @dr4sight