Rickey Returns

Back in 1999, when he was with the Mets, Rickey Henderson wondered why reporters were rushing around the Shea clubhouse. A teammate informed him that hitting coach Tom Robson had been canned. Rickey’s response: “Who’s he?” Mets fans, meet your new hitting coach.

It’s good to have him back. Our guess: He’ll be starting in left by August.

Update: Overheard at the Shea batting cage this morning:

Jose: So, Rickey, can you help me with my swing?
[Silence]
Jose: Rickey?
[Silence]
Jose: RICKEY!
Rickey: Hey man don’t disturb Rickey when he’s resting.
Jose: Can’t you help me with my stroke?
Rickey: Rickey’s busy.
Jose: You’re just sitting there in a lawn chair.
Rickey: I’m busy resting.
Jose: Come on. You’re the hitting coach.
Rickey: Yeah, Rickey is the hitting coach. Who the heck are you?
Jose: Jose Reyes.
Rickey: ?
Jose: The shortstop.
Rickey: ?
Jose: Of the Mets.
Rickey: Alright. Show Rickey what you can do.
[Jose turns on the pitching machine, takes a few swings]
Jose: Okay. Thoughts.
Rickey: Rickey’s right-handed. Try that.
Jose: Huh? I’m a lefty.
Rickey: Rickey’s hits right.
Jose: Um, alright.
[Jose switches sides, nubs a few]
Rickey: No, man. Let Rickey show you.
[Rickey takes bat, hits a few]
Jose: Okay. I think I see.
Rickey: Don’t disturb Rickey when he’s batting.
[Ten minutes later]
Jose: Um, can I hit?
Rickey: Rickey’s hitting. I told you don’t disturb Rickey when he’s batting.
[ten minutes later]
Jose: [leaving] Maybe you can help with my baserunning later….
Rickey: Who are you?

[PS: Yeah, I know Reyes is a switch. Whatever. Roll with it. Substitute Delgado if you’re a sticker for accuracy]

12 comments… add one
  • “It’s good to have him back. Our guess: He’ll be starting in left by August.”
    YF I almost peed my pants. I was thinking the same exact thing. What is Willie thinking this guy is the LAST guy you want as the example for your young players….I love when the Mets do things that the old Yankees would do! Zambrano for Kazmir, signing Alou, etc….This is going to be awesome!

    Anonymous July 12, 2007, 9:56 am
  • That was me, sorry.

    John - YF (Trisk) July 12, 2007, 10:02 am
  • I thought Rickey was viewed a very good teammated throughout his career, who probably worked harder than anyone else, and knew a lot about maximizing his talent. He was definitely a smart player. I would think the young Mets players will learn a lot from him.

    Nick-YF July 12, 2007, 10:07 am
  • I have a close friend who worked in the clubhouse while Rickey was with the Mets, and from the stories he has he is anything but a role model. He is probably the greatest lead off hitter of all time, he has the talent and work ethic, I won’t debate that. I remember being at a Yankee game at a young age and seeing Rickey on the dugout steps doing bicep curls with a dumbell. But his personality is not one you would want your players to model after, nor do I think it will lend itself well to being a coach/teacher.

    John - YF (Trisk) July 12, 2007, 10:34 am
  • That does seem a bit odd- I’d think he would be better suited to be first base coach.

    Justin July 12, 2007, 10:43 am
  • Rickey Henderson is a good guy, and Rickey is going to make a damn fine hitting coach.

    Rickey Henderson July 12, 2007, 10:50 am
  • My favorite Rickey moment is a fly ball he caught during his cup of coffee with the Red Sox, I think in 2002. He races toward the left-field line, makes a nice running catch cans his momentum takes hima gainst the railing. So he sits on the ledge and starts chatting up a fan in the first row. It’s replayed on Walk-Off Sox once in a while. That gave me a different view of him than I’d always heard before.

    Paul SF July 12, 2007, 11:16 am
  • You gotta love Rickey Henderson as the new Met hitting coach.
    If nothing else, he will improve the Mets’ card-playing skills by leaps and bounds.

    yf2k July 12, 2007, 5:34 pm
  • My reaction to this was that this means he finally (maybe?) gave up playing. I mean, he’s been playing in lesser leagues the last few years trying to break back in. In that light it’s kind of sad.. ah well.

    Lar July 13, 2007, 12:12 pm
  • The good news is that his hall-of-fame speech will no longer be put off. It will be the best one of its kind ever. I can’t wait.

    Nick-YF July 13, 2007, 12:22 pm
  • Hey, turns out Rickey is going to be the first base coach and HoJo is going to be the hitting coach…maybe I do know what I’m talking about!

    Justin July 14, 2007, 12:44 pm
  • looks like jeff pearlman over at pg2 is a yfsf reader!

    YF July 16, 2007, 12:26 am

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