Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Yankee Hitting Seems to Be Long Gone

This is Kevin Long.  He's 44 years old, from Phoenix, Arizona.  He lives in that area, is married, and has 3 children.  For 8 seasons, he played in the Kansas City Royals' minor league system, but an injury cut short his playing career.

He's been a coach since 1997, and in 1999 he led the Spokane Indians to the Northwest League Pennant.  (That's Class A, although a team by that name has been as high as Triple-A, in the Pacific Coast League.) In 2004, he became the hitting coach for the Yankees' Triple-A team, at the time the Columbus Clippers.  In 2007, he was promoted to the big club.  Since then, the Yankees have hit well in the regular season, but not in the postseason (except in 2009).

But last year, down the stretch and in the postseason, the Yankees' hitting was not up to snuff.  And, since this past June began, it has pretty much been snuffed out.

Kevin Long has been a failure as Yankee hitting instructor.  He needs to go.

Whether manager Joe Girardi or general manager Brian Cashman needs to go as well, is another debate.  Or two.  I'd like to see what Girardi can do with a hitting instructor whose instruction actually works.


Because, last night, the Yankees again faced Long's old team, the Royals, and again wasted a good pitching performance.

Brett Gardner opened the batting for the Yankees with a bunt single.  Ichiro Suzuki made it 2 straight singles.  Robinson Cano made it 3 straight singles, scoring Gardner to give the Yankees a 1-0 lead.

After that, the Yankees sent 30 men to the plate, and none drove a run home.  In that 1st inning, after Travis Hafner struck out, Zoilo Almonte singled to load the bases, but the Yankees stranded them when Lyle Overbay struck out, and The Worst Player In The Major Leagues, Eduardo Nunez, flew out.

Chris Stewart singled with 1 out in the 2nd, but Gardner grounded into a double play.  Cano and Hafner had back-to-back walks with 1 out in the 3rd, but Almonte, who's human after all, grounded into a double play.  Gardner singled with 1 out in the 8th, but Ichiro grounded out and Cano struck out.

CC Sabathia pitched very well.  He went the distance: A complete game.  But he allowed single runs in the 6th, 7th and 8th to take a 3-1 loss.  (He's now 9-7.) James Shields got the win for the Royals (4-6), and Greg Holland the save (his 22nd).

The series concludes tonight, with Ivan Nova going against Wade Davis.  And we'd better get some runs.

Because Kevin Long is not doing his job.  He should be Long Gone.

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