Kevin Long knows a thing or two about Derek Jeter from his eight years as hitting coach in the Bronx. And he sees some of No. 2 in the Mets’ captain.
Long is entering his first season with the Amazin’s, and one player in particular reminds him of the future Hall of Famer. No, not David Wright. Try newcomer Michael Cuddyer.
The early reviews from some of the Mets’ top batters have been positive. “It’s been a pretty easy adjustment for me,” said Long, who was fired by the Yankees last October.
Late in his career, Cuddyer is coming east after stints in Minnesota and Colorado. He’s coming closer to home because he believes the Mets can win this year.
The Yankees struggled at the plate last season, but Brian Cashman still hasn’t found anyone to teach them different.
The 55-year-old Roessler was director of player development for the New York Yankees for the last 11 years.
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.