Rickey steals a base.Reports surfaced late last night via Newsday’s website that the Mets, whose offense thus far in 2007 has fallen a bit short of expectations, has replaced Rick Down as their hitting coach… with Rickey Henderson.  

You heard me. Coach Rickey.

The man who leads the MLB in career runs scored (2295), stolen bases (1406), and caught stealing (335). The man who compiled 3055 hits and 510 doubles. The man who stole 100 bases in a single season three times, “topping out” at 130 SBs in 1982. The Man (that’s right, capital “M”) currently holds a career OBP of .401, having reached base 5343 times (4th most). The Man who hasn’t played in a MLB game in 3 1/2 years and is yet to retire because he is convinced that he can still hang.

And another one.The New Hitting Coach of the New York Mets. I am thrilled. Absolutely thrilled. And no, I’m not joking.

Rickey has been a special instructor to the Mets since 2006, joining the team in that capacity in Spring Training and at other arranged times throughout the season. Many have credited Rickey with the unfathomable growth of Jose Reyes, teaching him not only the art of the stolen base, but also of raising the OBP.

But first and foremost, in my mind, Rickey is the most entertaining man in baseball.

  • He has been known to stand naked in front of a mirror for several minutes prior to games muttering to himself “Rickey is the best”.  
  • In 1999, as a player of the Mets, Rickey was asked to comment on the firing of then-Mets hitting coach Tom Robson. Henderson replied, “Who’s that?”
  • He once left a message on (Padres GM) Kevin Towers’s voicemail, saying “”This is Rickey calling on behalf of Rickey. Rickey wants to play baseball.”

There is no doubt that some of the many Rickey stories such as these are fabricated (the John Olerud helmet story is definitely untrue), but there certainly is something about Rickey that makes them absolutely believable. It’s Rickey’s world. And now the Mets just live in it.

I cannot wait.

8 Responses to “Coach Rickey”

  1. that looks like bill mueller – not Youk…

  2. Paul Moro says:

    So it is. Thanks for catching it!

  3. Danny O says:

    With all due respect to my Georgia-born hometown hero Brian McCann, how do you put him on the roster while leaving Bengie Molina off? Yes, I know, McCann is one of the smartest young hitters in the game, but he’s been hurt this year and his average is way off. Molina is at or above most of McCann’s numbers. Head scratcher, especially since Molina would be playing in front of his hometown fans.

    Another one that I thought should make it is Tim Hudson. He’s got great numbers, and he turns in a good start almost every time out.

    Renteria and Hanley Ramirez being left off is ridiculous. However, where are you gonna put them? The slots are being taken up by the rule of every team getting representation. There are four first basemen because two of them are the only all star-worthy members of their teams. And the two backup second basemen are also the sole representatives of their teams. Happens every year.

    Kudos to LaRussa for not giving free rides to some of the underachievers on the Cardinals.

  4. Paul Moro says:

    Good call, Danny. I was looking at the NL catching corps and I probably should’ve mentioned Molina over McCann.

    As for Hanley and Renteria, I don’t think that even in an ideal situation could you have four shortstops. But again, Freddy Sanchez does not belong. Ian Snell, and maybe even Tom Gorzelanny deserved the Pirates spot, knocking either Hamels or Fuentes out.

  5. yeah Youk got snubbed because of ortiz. we didnt even have a cahnce to vote for him because ortiz was on the balloting for 1b. i think they both would of made it if both were listed.

  6. Paul, that really is tremendous news. On a scale of one to impossible, how likely do you think it is that Ricky finds his way into the lineup by the end of the season?

  7. A certain chain of events must happen before Rickey finds himself on the official lineup:

    1) Moises Alou never returns from the DL. Ever. Black hole. Could happen.

    2) L-Millz’s music career goes platinum. Realizes that the music world is far more accepting of degrading women than the world of baseball – even if the baseball world features Keith Hernandez.

    3) Shawn Green’s car stalls 500 yards away from the Shea parking lot. Shawn decides to run full sprint the rest of the way. Still takes him four hours to complete the journey. Misses the game.

    4) Mets discover that Carlos Gomez and Fernando Martinez are actually the same person.

    5) Tired of being asked about “The Catch”, Endy Chavez decides to live out the days of his life as a monk in Tibet. Mets still capitalize on the deal by offering “Dalai Chavez Bobblehead Day” brought to you by Oscar Meyer.

    6) Carlos Beltran actually buys a personality for $76 million. NY media labels him a loudmouth and wishes he’d shut up and just play the game. Beltran demands and receives a trade back to Kansas City because the only sane sports journalist is Joe Posnanski.

    Then and only then will the Mets actually play Rickey Henderson. ANd David Newham would still belong on the bench.

    This is a very long-winded way of saying “it’s unlikely”.

  8. Nick Kapur says:


    Paul, that last comment was inspired!

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