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New York Yankees: Kevin Long Getting Too Much Blame?

June 9th, 2014 at 6:23 AM
By Michael Moraitis

A Major League Baseball team can't hit, there are no answers and it seems the only thing left to do is to fire the hitting coach, right?

Well that seems to be the wave of sentiment in the New York Yankees Universe these days because a team filled with high-priced bats "coached" by Kevin Long is failing miserably in the batter's box.

The age-old argument only runs us around in circles.

A hitting coach like Long can't go up to the plate and swing for his players, although even if he could it's doubtful he'd do any better. That means once the players are out of his hands and in a game, he has zero control over that player's physical and mental approach to an at-bat despite what has been taught.

However, that would mean a hitting coach would never get fired. No matter how bad the team is at the plate, he can't control it so therefore it wouldn't be fair to fire him.

Or at least that's what former New York Mets hitting coach Dave Hudgens thought when he recently got fired, as he disagreed with the decision and thought he had done a relatively good job.

The Mets are ranked No. 28 in the MLB in average and No. 20 in runs scored this season. Hudgens' lessons consisted of Mets hitters being patient at the plate, yet the team ranked in the top five in both walks and strikeouts.

Clearly the Mets aren't hitting and that's because they simply don't have many good bats in their lineup. Granted, they weren't getting any better under Hudgens' tutelage, but it still takes good players to score runs since not everyone is born with the talent to hit a baseball consistently.

It's certainly a double-edge sword when discussing this subject.

The hitting coach isn't always fairly blamed as long as he has a logical approach to hitting a baseball, yet who do you hold accountable when a team can't hit? And what should you base the job performance of a hitting coach on if it isn't the performance of the lineup itself?

In Long's case, New York has a roster stacked with veteran hitters who have each had their own share of success during their careers and not a bunch of rookies who he can influence easier.

The Yankees' brass must know this team has the ability to correct itself and there's not much a career minor leaguer like Long (or any hitting coach) can do to change that. If you're hoping for Long to be fired, don't hold your breath.

 

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Tags: Baseball, dave hudgens, Kevin Long, MLB, New York, New York Mets, New York Yankees

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