The New York Mets’ hitting coach plans to be with the team in-person for the 2021 season.
Much as everything else in life, the coronavirus pandemic altered everything and eliminated the “normal” that we’ve become accustomed to. That included MLB, who shortened the 2020 season to 60-games and allowed players and coaches to opt-out if they didn’t feel comfortable playing during a global pandemic.
For the New York Mets, they spent the entirety of this past campaign without hitting coach Chili Davis in the dugout because he was considered high-risk to contract COVID-19. Instead, David worked remotely throughout the season. As for 2021, Davis plans to be with the team, in-person, for Spring Training due to the emergence of a COVID-19 vaccine.
“With everything going the way it is with the vaccine, it becomes a little less risky to be out there,” Davis told the New York Post. “I am planning on being there, and hopefully when we get there, we can all get vaccinated. I’m definitely one of those people who is going to take the vaccine because my options are take it and reduce the risk or don’t take it and maintain the high risk that I have right now.”
Davis to return to Mets team with high expectations
Davis mentioned to the New York Post that his friend contracted COVID-19 and needed five weeks to recover, which included a “pneumonia-like” condition that lasted for approximately a month. He urged those who don’t take the virus seriously to “wake up.”
Even with Davis working remotely, the Mets were still the best hitting team in the league. In the truncated season, the Mets ranked first in batting average (.272), second in on-base percentage (.348) and fourth in slugging-percentage (.459).
Davis will return to a new-look Mets team, as the organization was purchased by billionaire Steve Cohen and former general manager Sandy Alderson has returned as president. The hitting coach will have his usual squad of Pete Alonso, Jeff McNeill and Dominic Smith, but he’ll have some new faces. The team signed James McCann, formerly of the Chicago White Sox, to be their everyday catcher and pulled off the blockbuster trade to acquire star shortstop Francisco Lindor from the Cleveland Indians, and they don’t appear to be done yet.
Either way, Davis fully intends to be in the Mets dugout at the start of Spring Training.