Mets hitting coach Kevin Long unlikely to return

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Marc Carig of Newsday reports that Mets hitting coach Kevin Long is unlikely to return in 2018.

Long was a candidate to replace Terry Collins as manager but was bypassed for Mickey Callaway. The club had said that Long would still have a job in 2018 even if he didn’t get Collins’ job, but his contract has expired and he’s expected to move on. Carig’s story doesn’t explicitly say that it’s Long’s decision to leave, but it seems that way, as the Mets reportedly wanted him to stay.

Long had a good reputation among Mets hitters since being hired in 2015 and was well thought of when he held the same post with the Yankees between 2007 and 2014. That, combined with the fact that he was a managerial candidate, both in New York and with the Nationals, with whom he interviewed, suggests that he’ll probably not have a hard time finding a new gig.

 

Royals fire manager Mike Matheny after 65-97 end to season

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Manager Mike Matheny and pitching coach Cal Eldred were fired by the Kansas Cty Royals on Wednesday night, shortly after the struggling franchise finished the season 65-97 with a listless 9-2 loss to the Cleveland Guardians.

The Royals had exercised their option on Matheny’s contract for 2023 during spring training, when the club hoped it was turning the corner from also-ran to contender again. But plagued by poor pitching, struggles from young position players and failed experiments with veterans, the Royals were largely out of playoff contention by the middle of summer.

The disappointing product led owner John Sherman last month to fire longtime front office executive Dayton Moore, the architect of back-to-back American League champions and the 2015 World Series title team. Moore was replaced by one of his longtime understudies, J.J. Picollo, who made the decision to fire Matheny hours after the season ended.

Matheny became the fifth big league manager to be fired this year.

Philadelphia’s Joe Girardi was replaced on June 3 by Rob Thomson, who engineered a miraculous turnaround to get the Phillies into the playoffs as a wild-card team. The Angels replaced Joe Maddon with Phil Nevin four days later, Toronto’s Charlie Montoyo was succeeded by John Schneider on July 13 and the Rangers’ Chris Woodward by Tony Beasley on Aug. 15.

In addition, Miami’s Don Mattingly said late last month that he will not return next season.