With Howard Johnson being made to feel uneasy as the Mets hitting instructor, realize that the job comes with unpredictable results.
In 2009, the Cubs gave hitting coach Rudy Jaramillo an unheard of three-year contract worth $2.42 million. Jaramillo had spent 15 years with the Texas Rangers, where he reached guru status. At the end, as averages slipped, the Rangers offered Jaramillo a one-year deal and he declined.
Today, his new team, the Cubs rank 21st in the majors with a team batting average of .261. The Rangers, with Clint Hurdle the batting instructor, are third at .278. The Mets are 23rd (.253).
What does it all mean? Good hitters make for good batting instructors.