an interesting playing career. He served eight years on the Royals plantation, three times making it to the bright lights of Triple A Omaha. He never made it to The Show.
Long's best year was his first. He batted .312 for Eugene in the Northwest League. He never again hit above .300. His career average stands at .273. Overall, he clubbed a total of 14 home runs. Yes, over eight years... 14 HR.
I don't say this to mock a decent fellow who just lost his job. Maybe Long was a great hitting coach. Maybe he took a course in it. Maybe he got his Master's degree in batting coachery. I say this because Long never seemed to have juice with the Yankee superstar lineups that were more interested in their hedge funds than on-base percentages. For the last three years, Yankeee hitters have steadily declined in production due to defensive overshifts. We saw Curtis Granderson arrive as a five-tool future superstar and leave as Richie Hebner with a hernia. We' watched Mark Teixeira turn into Lyle Overbay. Last year, we watched Stephen Drew - barely hitting .150 - STILL trying to drive the ball through overshifts.
When you're hitting .150, and you're not willing to lay down a bunt, is there a batting coach in creation - aside from Your One Personal God and Savior, Randy Levine - who can make a difference? What guy who hit 14 HRs in his career can get Carlos Beltran's attention?
Well, there is a guy who can do it.
Al "A-Rod" Rodriguez needs to be the Yankee batting coach in 2015.
Think about it. Why have a batting coach who once hit .312 at Eugene? Why not have the best hitter of his generation? A head case who has lived and breathed hitting for 20 years? Why not a guy who is on his last chance to do something meaningful in life, and who has a great recipe for milk shakes?
I'm speaking metaphorically, of course. Install A-Rod as batting coach. We're already paying too much for him. He can be DH/Coach. We'll save money. When A-Rod sits down next to Austin Romine, you think Austin Romine will be listening to Sheer Mag - (coolest band out there, BTW) - on his earbuds? Hell no.
Save money. Save the team.
Make A-Rod batting coach.