Just minutes after announcing a three-year contract extension with general manager Brian Cashman the Yankees have fired hitting coach Kevin Long, according to Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News.
Long has been New York’s hitting coach since 2007, during which time the Yankees lineup scored the second-most runs in all of baseball. However, they ranked 13th in runs among AL teams this season after ranking 10th last year.
It’s hard to blame Long for guys like Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira, Carlos Beltran, and Ichiro Suzuki getting old/hurt, but big-money free agent pickups Brian McCann and Jacoby Ellsbury also underwhelmed this season.
Mostly this just seems like the Yankees wanted to find a scapegoat while not wanting to part ways with Cashman or manager Joe Girardi, in which case it’s easiest to cut the hitting coach who presided over a terrible offense regardless of how much blame he deserved.
It’s not every day you get a chance to overtake Babe Ruth.
Most Postseason Home Runs (via Baseball-reference)
1. Manny Ramirez – 29 HR in 493 PA
2. Bernie Williams – 22 HR in 545 PA
3. Derek Jeter – 20 HR in 734 PA
4. Albert Pujols – 19 HR in 333 PA
5. Reggie Jackson – 18 HR in 318 PA
5. Mickey Mantle – 18 HR in 273 PA
7. David Ortiz – 17 HR in 357 PA
7. Jim Thome – 17 HR in 267 PA
9. Nelson Cruz – 16 HR in 149 PA
9. Carlos Beltran – 16 HR in 219 PA
11. Babe Ruth – 15 HR in 167 PA
The Pujols total is also up to the minute, following his homer Sunday.
That’s pretty good company Cruz is keeping, especially since this is just his third extended postseason. He hit six homers in the Rangers’ World Series run in 2010 and then eight the following year, including six in the ALCS alone. He also played in the wild card game in 2012, which the Rangers lost to the Orioles. Technically, that was his third postseason, making this one his fourth. But one game isn’t much of a postseason.
Cruz’s two-run homer off David Price today accounted for the Orioles’ only runs as they completed their three-game sweep of the Tigers. He had two homers and five RBI in the series. Cruz is a .297 hitter with 32 RBI in 37 career postseason games. In the regular season, he’s a lifetime .268 hitter. He’s averaged eight homers and 23 RBI per 37 regular-season games.
This is rich. After 20 years of deifying Derek Jeter, Mike Lupica now decides it’s time to to rip him. And today he rips him good. Why? Because Jeter is daring (in Lupica’s mind anyway) to invade his turf. Seriously: he says Jeter’s got some nerve to try to put out a publication for athletes:
Derek Jeter prided himself, for 20 years, on saying as little as possible. Suddenly, though, you can’t shut the guy up. Here was Jeter even taking questions on Twitter Wednesday, even revealing in one thrilling exchange that he was afraid of cats . . . We always knew the guy had nerve when it came to big moments in baseball. Now it turns out that he just has nerve, period.
You think a joke is coming. But one isn’t. Lupica is legitimately annoyed that Jeter is daring to move into media and maybe share something of himself after not giving Lupica and his buddies good copy during his career. He then offers up some words about Jeter “becoming something you hate,” meaning a reporter. Which gets right to the nut of this. Lupica infers, probably correctly, that Jeter doesn’t think too much of the press. And that drives him nuts.
Never have I seen a guy who convinced of his importance and significance and so sputteringly angry at . . . whatever it is he’s angry about here.