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Rick Down Out, Rickey Henderson In as Hitting Coach

According to Newsday via MetsBlog, Rick Down has been fired as hitting coach of the Mets, replaced by Rickey "Rickey" Henderson. Henderson has a myriad of personality disorders, but his approach at the plate was rivaled by few. He has been given much credit for Jose Reyes's improvement at the plate over the past two seasons, and the Mets obviously hope he can impart some of that wisdom on some of the other young players (Lastings Milledge, anyone?).

I'm shocked by the move, but not *that* shocked. The Mets' offense has been their biggest problem over the first eighty-some-odd games of the season, and when you can't fire the hitters you punt the hitting coach instead.

For his career, Henderson drew one walk for every five at-bats and was the all-time walk leader before Barry Bonds shattered it a few years back.

UPDATE [12:26am]: The Associated Press has confirmed it.

UPDATE [9:19am]: According to The New York Times, Henderson has been hired on to the coaching staff but it's not yet clear if it's as the hitting coach. They are said to be considering both Henderson and Howard Johnson for that job.