Thursday, September 11, 2014

Fire Kevin Long

Earlier in the day I was feeling a little “rant-ish” when I asked for the job of Rob Thompson and I’m not done, I want to reiterate my wishes for Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long. Long has been donned the “Hitting Guru” by some, and when I say some I mean himself,  and has far from lived up to the name and the hype in recent seasons. Long has always been given the credit for “fixing” players swings, i.e. Curtis Granderson who went from an average home run hitter to a 40 home run hitter with absolutely no help from Yankee Stadium (hint, there may be some sarcasm there), but never seems to get the blame when a player is struggling.

Long was praised for “fixing” Brian McCann’s swing and eliminating a toe tap which raised the Yankees catcher’s average all the way up to .240, happy dance. Long has not received any flack for Carlos Beltran hitting well below his career norms and his instead hidden behind an old bone spur causing all the problems. No word is ever mentioned about how Mark Teixeira was a perennial .300 or right at it type hitter all the way through 2009 and miraculously has seen his average drop every single season since. We won’t even mention how Long tried to alter the swing of Derek Jeter and almost cost him his career after a down season at the plate. Jeter ditched the new mechanics and went back to doing things his own way and amazingly led the league in hitting the next year. Coincidence?

The Yankees love to take care of their own and bring back one of their own and they have a few options to replace Long with that are only a phone call away. Paul O’Neill and Tino Martinez were both honored this season at Yankee Stadium and would both be welcomed back with open arms to the club. Tino’s class and charisma or O’Neill’s fire and will for perfection would both be welcomed additions to the Yankee coaching staff and would garner immediate respect from the players they would be coaching.

The time has come to make a move as it’s never been more painstakingly obvious and it’s time for the organization to move on from Kevin Long. His “throw crap at the wall and see what sticks” approach and mentality that he has all but admitted to using this season does not sit well with me and should not sit well with Hal Steinbrenner and the Yankees organization. Fire Kevin Long and bring back Tino or the Warrior. 

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