Phillies hire Kevin Long as new hitting coach

Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports
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PHILADELPHIA- The Philadelphia Phillies hired Kevin Long as their hitting coach on Wednesday, reuniting him with both manager Joe Girardi and star slugger Bryce Harper.

Long spent the past four seasons as the hitting coach for the Washington Nationals, where he worked with Harper, and was part of the staff in 2019 when they won the World Series.

Before joining Washington, the 54-year-old Long spent three seasons as hitting coach with the New York Mets and he served as hitting coach for eight seasons with the New York Yankees. He worked under Phillies manager Joe Girardi for seven years (2008-14) when they were with the Yankees and won the World Series in 2009.

“I have had a long-standing relationship with Kevin and have seen his work up close and in person for years,” Girardi said. “I truly believe he is the best in the business and will have a huge impact on our offense.”

Girardi and Long weren’t quite so cordial during a game at Citizens Bank Park in late June. After then-Nationals star Max Scherzer was checked by umpires for sticky substances, Girardi and Long got into a shouting match.

The Phillies fired hitting coach Joe Dillon on the final day of the regular season. Philadelphia finished second in the NL East at 82-80 and ranked seventh in the NL in runs and ninth in batting average.

Clayton Kershaw returning to Dodgers on 1-year, $20M deal

Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports
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LOS ANGELES — Clayton Kershaw will pitch for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 2023 after signing a one-year, $20 million deal.

For the second straight year, the Dodgers didn’t extend a qualifying offer to the three-time Cy Young Award winner. Instead, they gave him additional time to mull his future, and he once again decided to stay with the only franchise he’s ever played for during his 15-year major league career.

The 34-year-old left-hander was 12-3 with 2.28 ERA in 22 starts last season. He struck out 137 and walked 23. Kershaw made his ninth All-Star team and started the Midsummer Classic for the first time in his career at Dodger Stadium.

Last April, he became the franchise’s all-time strikeout leader with 2,697. He reached 2,800 strikeouts in his last start of the regular season on Oct. 5 against Colorado. Kershaw ranks 24th all-time with 2,807.

Kershaw has a career record of 197-87 with a 2.48 ERA. He won his only World Series title in 2020, when the Dodgers beat Tampa Bay during the pandemic-shortened season.