For the second straight year the Yankees have fired their hitting coach. This time around it was Jeff Pentland, who was let go despite the lineup scoring the second-most runs in the league during his lone season.
Last year it was Kevin Long, who was fired by the Yankees after eight seasons on the job despite the lineup scoring the second-most runs in baseball during that span. Long quickly found a new home as the Mets’ hitting coach and they’re currently two wins away from the World Series, but he was asked for his reaction to the Yankees firing Pentland after just one season and had some interesting thoughts.
Long noted that he’s “good friends” with Pentland and then told Wallace Matthews of ESPN New York:
There’s times where there’s got to be somebody to take the fall. Somebody takes the blame. … It’s easy to point fingers at hitting coaches or pitching coaches or managers. Baseball is such a streaky game. You’re going to go through ups and downs. There’s always going to be a time where you can point to the offense or point to the pitching or point to the manager for maybe not pushing the right buttons. So, yeah, there’s some volatility involved in this game and you just kind of have to fight through it.
In contrast Long noted that the Mets went through some major struggles offensively earlier this season, but “we just kind of hung in there and stayed at it.”
Living well is the best revenge, too:
I don’t have any hard feelings for the Yankees and what happened there. I’m just pleased that we’re playing right now and there’s only four teams left. That’s the satisfaction I get.
And now the Yankees are in the market for another hitting coach, who could be taking the fall this time next year.