Kevin Long was fired as hitting coach of the Yankees yesterday after eight seasons on the job, but he might not have to look very far for his next opportunity.
The Mets fired hitting coach Dave Hudgens back in May and let go of Lamar Johnson, his replacement, and assistant hitting coach Luis Natera following the season. Upgrading the roster would be the best elixir for the offense, but Long is an interesting candidate given his history with Curtis Granderson, who hit just .227/.326/.388 with 20 home runs and 66 RBI during his first season with the Mets. Even putting that relationship aside, he’s obviously beyond qualified. It’s just a matter of whether he sees eye-to-eye with Sandy Alderson’s philosophy. There are also plenty of hitting coach gigs available at the moment.
The Pittsburgh Pirates have hired Ben Cherington as the team’s new general manager. They do so after the general manager meetings ended, but better late than never.
Cherington served as GM of the Boston Red Sox for four years, winning the World Series in 2013, but resigned during the 2015 season after Dave Dombrowski was named Boston’s new president of baseball operations. Which was a defacto demotionn for Cherington who, until then, had the final say in baseball decisions. Dombrowski, of course, was fired late in the season this year. Cherington went on to work for the Toronto Blue Jays as a vice president, but was seen as biding his time for another GM position. Now he has one.
Cherington takes over in Pittsburgh for executive vice president and general manager Neal Huntington, who was fired after a 12 years at the helm. Also fired was team president Frank Coonelly. Travis Williams replaced Coonelly recently. While the Pirates experienced a few years of contention under Huntington and Coonelly, they have slid out of contention in recent years as the club has traded away promising players for little return, all while cutting payroll. There’s a very big rebuilding job ahead of Cherington.
The first move he’ll have to make: hire a manager, as the team still hasn’t replaced Clint Hurdle since he was dismissed in the final weekend of the regular season.