Mets fire hitting coach Chili Davis and assistant Tom Slater

After a Monday night loss to the Cardinals, the Mets fired hitting coach Chili Davis and assistant hitting coach Tom Slater.
Through the early weeks of the season the Mets bats have fallen remarkably short of high expectations, as New York entered the season with one of their best lineups in recent years.
The most obvious issue in the lineup is the bat of the Mets’ most expensive player. Through the first weeks of the season, Francisco Lindor’s production at the plate has been abysmal.
The star SS has shown off his immense defensive ability, but at the plate fans are still waiting to see results as he hits under .170 with one HR and three RBI.
The fans aren’t the only ones waiting, as Lindor is well aware of his struggles at the dish, even with premature boos coming down from a handful of reactive fans.
“They expect results, I expect results and I get it,” said Lindor. “I just hope they cheer and jump on the field when I start hitting home runs and help the team on a daily basis”
Those home runs and big results can’t come sooner for Lindor, who extended his hitless streak to 21 at bats on Monday. It’s the second-worst streak in his career and it’s tough to see New York’s newest star struggling so badly in his first season.
The struggles are in no way limited to Lindor, as a familiar issue is again plaguing the Mets offense. Just like in the past few years, the Mets have shown absolutely no ability to hit with runners on base.
Situational hitting has seemingly been an afterthought in the early season, as the Mets again rank near the bottom of the league in batting average with runners in scoring position.
The lack of hitting with runners on is translating to other team stats like runs per game. New York also ranks second-worst in the league at just 3.3, a disturbing sight for a team who can barely provide run support for dominant pitchers like Jacob deGrom and Marcus Stroman.
With 10 of their first 23 games settled by 1 run, the Mets may only need a few small tweaks to win more close games. If the Mets come up big just one or two more times per game, the close losses can easily turn into close wins.
Following a 2-1 loss in Philadelphia last Friday, the Mets averaged 6 runs over their next three games. A 5-4 win evened the series before New York took the rubber game 8-7. In their first game in St Louis, the Mets put up a solid five runs in a 6-5 loss.
With the Mets finally scoring runs, the next couple of weeks will be huge if the Mets want to take advantage of the underperforming NL East, with no teams able to stay over .500 so far.
Now is the time for the Mets to get going, as there is no clear frontrunner for the division. The bats are heating up and pitching has remained relatively strong, so if New York can keep positive momentum, they should be able to leave this team-wide slump behind them.
Taking over as hitting coach is Hugh Quattlebaum, with Kevin Howard taking over as assistant. Quattlebaum was hired by the Mariners in 2018 and the front office change may be the spark that reignites the Mets offense.

Capitals’ Tom Wilson avoids suspension for hits on Rangers

Capitals winger Tom Wilson avoided a hefty punishment for his dirty hits to Pavel Buchnevich and Artemi Panarin in a scrap with the Rangers.
In the second period with New York up 3-2, a play at Washington’s net led to a scrap between the two teams. With Buchnevich lying on the ice defenseless, Wilson gave the Rangers forward a few cheap shots to the head.
The scrum continued with Ryan Strome pulling Wilson off of Buchnevich, before Panarin jumped in to pull the two apart.
Wilson turned to Panarin, wrestling the Rangers’ star’s helmet off before throwing him down to the ice head-first.
Video seemed to show Wilson grabbing Panarin’s hair as he pulled him down, though upon review the NHL Department of Player Safety said they found no definitive evidence.
After the chaos, Wilson was assessed a 10-minute misconduct, though Panarin and were also penalized for two minutes each.
“We all saw it,” said Rangers head coach David Quinn following the game. “There are lines that can’t be crossed in this game. There’s just zero respect for the game in general.”
Quinn was not the only member of the Rangers to speak up after the game. Star center Mika Zibanejad also had words for Wilson.
“I figure you should have more respect for the game and for the players. It’s just horrible,” he remarked.
On Tuesday, the announcment came regarding Wilson’s punishment. While many expected a heft suspension as the incident is far from Wilson’s first, he walked away with a single $5,000 fine for the cheap shot on Buchnevich.
The decision is strange given the severity of the hits, though given the NHL’s track record regarding suspensions and discipline, it’s not the first time it’s happened.
Wilson is no stranger to suspensions, picking up four over the span of just over 100 games played. Wilson was also given a 7-game suspension earlier this year after a brual hit on Boston’s Brandon Carlo that sent the Bruins defenseman to the hospital for a night.
It seems despite Wilson’s constant dangerous play and refusal to clean up his game, the NHL is prioritizing money over player safety and the integrity of the game.
With the Rangers and Capitals facing off again Wednesday night on national TV and Washington poised for another deep postseason run, Wilson is sure to make plenty more appearances on primetime television.
To rub salt in the wound, the Rangers were officially eliminated from postseason contention as Washington came back to win 6-3.
Monday’s game was also the last of the year for Panarin, who left with a lower body injury after serving his penalty. Jacob Trouba and Ryan Lindgren are also out for the final games of the year.
Even with a handful of players out for New York, the final games of the year can give young stars a change to keep improving before next year.
The Rangers rebuild seems to be over, though this young team still needs more experience, and possibly a bit more fight and grit as they look to fine tune their roster with a big offseason ahead.

QBFC names Adam Schneider as club president

Queensboro FC announced construction of a new stadium in Queens last week, and the incoming USL club is continuing to take strides as they prepare for their inaugural season next year. In an announcement Monday, Queensboro announced the appointment of Adam Schneider as the club’s president.
Schneider is an experienced sports and entertainment executive with a hearty resume including work with the Detroit Pistons and Lollapalooza Music Festival, and now the Queens native is bringing his talents to his home borough’s next big project.
Schneider spent six and a half years as the head of entertainment at Palace Sports & Entertainment, which operated the Pistons’ home arena and a few Detroit amphitheaters.
Over his time in Michigan, Schneider and Palace Sports & Entertainment helped orchestrate the Pistons’ return to downtown Detroit, a big project to help revitalize the heart of the city.
Palace Sports & Entertainment orchestrated over 150 events annually between the Pistons home games and various events at the arena and amphitheaters. Well over one million people attended events each year.
With Lollapalooza, Schneider played an instrumental role in laying the groundwork for the music festival. Schneider set up the blueprints for the event, which are still used today and have been replicated by other music festivals and similar events.
Over these two career stops, Schneider helped generate over $1 billion in total revenue, showcasing his talent as a sports and business executive.
Given his track record, it’s clear that Schneider is a perfect candidate to help Queensboro FC’s big first projects. With a 7,500-seat stadium to be built over this year and the next, having a seasoned executive on board like Schneider will put this project in safe hands.
“We are delighted to have Adam join the Queensboro FC family, and we welcome him back to the world’s borough,” said QBFC owner Jonathan Krane. “Adam’s track record of success, business acumen, and commitment to building diverse teams and partnerships will greatly benefit the development of an innovative sporting organization, and breakthrough fan experiences.”
“I look forward to helping Queensboro FC become a benchmark sports and entertainment organization in Queens and New York City, both on and off the field,” said Schneider. “The shared live sports experience is priceless and irreplaceable, and we are dedicated to bringing people together to celebrate culture and community through Queensboro FC.”
For the incoming club, things did not start smoothly. The COVID pandemic derailed the initial plans to start the club in 2021, pushing their pro debut back one year.
Still, the club moved ahead with other big projects. Their early involvement with the community has led to strong bonds before the team even kicks off in Queens.
The long-awaited project to bring pro soccer to Queens is finally in motion, and with the right additions to the club’s growing front office, Queensboro FC is taking strides in the right direction.

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