One day after unveiling the new dimensions in the outfield at Citi Field, the Mets rolled out their new hitting instructor, Kevin Long, to talk turkey a week before Thanksgiving.
He played only one season in the Bronx, but it would be difficult for anyone to say Raul Ibanez didn’t earn his pinstripes. Now at the end of his playing career, it appears the Yankees haven’t forgotten about him.
“I’m excited to get the opportunity to work with a team that I think is on the rise,” Long said in a statement on Thursday.
Long spent the previous eight seasons with the Yankees. He won a World Series ring in 2009 and under his tutelage the Bombers led the majors in runs scored three times and finished second twice.
Long, who won a World Series with the Bombers in 2009, was fired by the Yankees earlier this month.
The hitting coach, who was fired by the Yankees last week, might be considered for the same position on the Mets’ staff, according to Newsday.
Cashman has been New York’s GM since 1998, when the Yankees won the World Series in his first season. He has built three more championship teams, most recently in 2009.
Could hitting coach Kevin Long take the fall for the Yankees’ worst offensive season in more than 20 years? I sat down with Long last weekend in Boston and got some answers about what went wrong with the 2014 Yankees and specifically his role.
In 1998, 31-year-old Kevin Long was a Class-A hitting coach in the Royals farm system. His center fielder was 21-year-old Carlos Beltran. Sixteen years later, they are together again with the Yankees.
“I’m not going to get into a media war with Lloyd McClendon,” Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long said. “He’ll probably win that, anyway.”
“Last time I checked, I didn’t know that Kevin Long was the spokesman for the New York Yankees,” McClendon said. “That was a little surprising. I was a little p—– off, and I’m sure Joe (Girardi) feels the same way.”
Cano is no longer a Yankee, yet we’re still talking about his giddy-up — or lack thereof — to first base. “If somebody told me I was a dog, I’d have to fix that,” Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long told the Daily News.
With New York unlikely to re-sign Granderson, general manager Brian Cashman has set his sights on star-studded outfielders Shin-Soo Choo and Carlos Beltran, according to Heyman.
While the team may look a whole lot different in 2014, the New York Yankees coaching staff will remain the same.
David Robertson hasn’t yet been handed the keys to Mariano Rivera’s kingdom. He may not be anointed the Yankees’ closer for awhile. Or ever. Either way, he’s ready to contribute.