Posts Tagged ‘Kevin Long’

Hirings and Firings

Sunday, October 12th, 2014


I liked Mick Kelleher. Not just because he lives in the Santa Barbara area in the off-season and is a good friend of my neighbor. But because the players seemed to like him and his work with infielders (I’m especially thinking of Cano) was said to be exemplary. So I was sorry to read that he’d been let go earlier this week along with Kevin Long, who was not as big a loss for me; Long was the expected fall guy for the lack of offense.

The re-signing of Brian Cashman wasn’t a surprise, but it does boggle my mind how cozy he’s become with the current generation of Steinbrenners. Would George have kept Cash around for another three years? Or would he have made a change by now? I’m guessing the latter. Not that getting Headley, Prado and McCarthy weren’t clever moves, and the trade for Pineda a couple of years ago is looking like a big win for our side. I was just hoping for a fresh perspective.

I’ve been watching the Royals through their Wild Card playoff game, the ALDS and now the ALCS and marveling at what a superbly crafted team they are. So many ways to beat the opposition. They can do it all: steal bases, play Web Gem-type defense, excel at situational hitting, even go deep. And then there’s the pitching; they’ve got starters and relievers galore. And they’re young! What a joy not to see some overpaid, overfed, past-his-prime player lumber around the bases or take a giant hack at the ball when just a poke through the shift would do! Obviously, I’m rooting for them to go all the way because they’re so much fun to watch, but I’m also envious. What I wouldn’t give for a Yankees team that had so many weapons in their arsenal.

In the end, winning is about personnel, not coaches, and the guy in charge of personnel is the GM. I rest my case.



Backs To The Wall

Tuesday, October 16th, 2012


I’m not a cat person, but even I feel sorry for the kitty in that pic. He/she looks freaked out, which is how the Yankees look. They’ve been backed into a corner and their only escape is….Well, I have no idea how they’ll escape. CC could pitch the best game of his career tomorrow night, but they’d still have to hit.

And, as we know, they just aren’t hitting. The ninth inning was a bit of a tease after Nunez had that great at bat and then homered and then another run looked like it might be possible to tie the score against Coke. But Ibanez didn’t have the magic tonight and there was no happy ending. It wasn’t exactly a good omen when Hughes left with a stiff back. Sheesh.

The loss was such a shame for so many reasons. The pitching was sensational yet again and deserved better. Verlander looked more hittable than usual but he managed to get outs anyway. Cano actually got a hit and might finally be emerging from his slump. Chavez, in for A-Rod, didn’t help the cause at all.

So here we are, facing not only an elimination but a sweep. Two months ago I wouldn’t have thought it possible. I wouldn’t want to be Kevin Long right now.



Making New Friends At Camp

Saturday, February 12th, 2011


Every year when the Yankees start showing up in Tampa, I wonder what it’s like for the players. I’m not talking about whether Hughes intends to focus on his changeup or if Jeter is spending extra time in the batting cage with Kevin Long. I’m talking about who makes friends with whom. We already know Jeter and Posada are tight and that Swisher talks to anybody who’s breathing. But what about the new guys or even the new-ish guys? Inquiring minds want to know about the following…

Which player will Grandy hang out with this year? Last year he had Thames, his Tigers buddy.

Who will be Soriano’s interpreter? Cano used to fill the role for Melky, but he might be too cool for that now.

Who will look after Justin Maxwell? We don’t have any other former Nats, do we?

Will anybody be nice to Colon and Garcia? Or will the players assume the two pitchers will be gone by March and figure they’re not worth getting to know?

Ditto: Mark Prior.

Will Posada extend a warm welcome to Russell Martin or view him as a rival?

I guess I shouldn’t worry; I’m not their mother, for God’s sake. Still, I like when everybody gets along with everybody. I just do. And hopefully Girardi will plan another one of his “bonding” adventures for the players.

(Photo: Brown W. Cannon III)


About Kevin Long, The Yankees “Hitting Whisperer”

Saturday, January 29th, 2011

Today’s New York Times article about Kevin Long’s work with Jeter got me thinking: Long must be really good at his job. I know. Duh. That’s why he’s getting the big bucks. But I mean he must be seriously good, because look at some of the results of his one-on-one coaching sessions:





All have benefited from Long’s tutelage in a major way – and quickly too. Jeter finally started to work with Long at the end of last season and you could really see him coming around – too little too late, but still.

So here’s what I’m trying to figure out. If Long is that effective in helping guys perform better at the plate – from fixing flaws in their swings to altering their leg kicks or other timing mechanisms – then why don’t ALL the players work with him?

Like for instance.

(Photo: Rich Kane/US Presswire)

Jorge’s one of the best hitting catchers ever. We know that. But he’s expressed concern about his ability to be a full-time DH. Why not work with Long?

Like for instance.


Gardy has come a long way, but he still pulls off the ball instead of slapping it around as often as he should. Now that he appears to be healed from his injury, why not work with Long?

Like for instance.

Photo: Sabo/NY Daily News

Obviously, Tex knows how to hit – and from both sides of the plate. But also obvious are his slow starts every season.  So….why not work with Long? I’m sure he already does, but it seems to me that this slow start business could be eliminated once and for all with more time in the cage with the hitting whisperer. I mean, why not?