Mets Hire Eric Chavez as Hitting Coach

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    Although the lockout in Major League Baseball continues deep into the off-season, the Mets have been busy.

    On Thursday, the Mets pulled off a rare coup by hiring Eric Chavez, a former slugger and star infielder, as their hitting coach, just a few weeks after the Yankees had named him as their assistant hitting coach. The move, along with the rest of Mets Manager Buck Showalter’s coaching staff, has yet to be announced by the team.

    The Yankees had high hopes for Chavez, a six-time Gold Glove third baseman who smashed 260 home runs over 17 seasons, including 13 seasons with the Oakland Athletics and two in the Bronx. The team announced Chavez’s hiring late last month as part of a revamped coaching staff under Yankees Manager Aaron Boone.

    Chavez, 44, and Casey Dykes were expected to serve as assistants to the Yankees’ new hitting coach, Dillon Lawson, who had been promoted from the team’s minor league system. Boone had said that Chavez “blew him away” in interviews and that he valued Chavez’s perspective on the game and his open mind.

    “I view him a little as a Swiss Army” knife, Boone said then. “He’s going to have a lot of different responsibilities. His role is going to evolve as he allows it to.”

    But weeks later, the Mets lured Chavez, who is close with the team’s new general manager, Billy Eppler. After his playing days, Chavez worked as a special assistant under Yankees General Manager Brian Cashman and Eppler, who was an assistant general manager with the club. When Eppler became the Los Angeles Angels’ general manager, he took Chavez with him as a special assistant.

    Zack Scott, formerly the acting general manager of the Mets, was acquitted of criminal drunken-driving charges on Thursday in a court in White Plains, N.Y.

    At the time of Scott’s arrest, the police said they found him asleep at the wheel of a car in White Plains on Aug. 31 at 4:17 a.m. He was charged with driving while intoxicated. Earlier, Scott had been at the Greenwich, Conn., home of the Mets owner Steven A. Cohen, who was hosting a fund-raiser for the team’s charity. Players and team officials were in attendance.

    The event was finished by 9 p.m. While Scott pleaded not guilty, the Mets placed him on administrative leave after learning of the arrest. In November, they dismissed him even though Sandy Alderson, the team’s president, had commended Scott for the job he had done with the team.

    In explaining the dismissal, Alderson cited the “general uncertainty around the situation” as a reason for the decision.

    Scott, 44, had been promoted to acting general manager when the Mets fired the team’s full-time general manager, Jared Porter, last January after the revelation of Porter’s lewd harassment of a female reporter four and a half years earlier while he was with the Chicago Cubs. Porter’s firing came just a month after he was hired away from the Arizona Diamondbacks.

    While Scott was acquitted of the more serious drunken-driving charges, he was found guilty on Thursday of two lesser transgressions: traffic violations that came with fines.

    “I am thankful for today’s verdict,” Scott said in an emailed statement. “Nonetheless, I regret choices I made on Aug. 31, resulting in circumstances that led to my arrest.”

    He added later: “Professionally, I’m grateful to Sandy Alderson for the opportunity to lead baseball operations for the Mets and wish my former teammates nothing but the best going forward. I believe this humbling experience will make me a better husband, father, son, friend and leader, and I look forward to what the future holds.”



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