It’s about the guys holding the bats, not the coaches

miniMCavatarMatthew Cerrone: Kevin Long is a good addition. He’s a respected, smart and creative hitting coach. I’m glad he was hired by the Mets. However, while awesome hitting coaches are great, awesome hitters are better.

It’s about the guys at the plate holding the bat, not the guy running tee-and-toss drills, David Lennon wrote this morning (Newsday, Oct. 24).

“Long is not going to drive in any runs for the Mets,” he writes. “That’s the job of David Wright, Lucas Duda, Curtis Granderson and whoever else Sandy Alderson can drum up this offseason.”

LongOf course, this will not be Alderson’s only move to improve his offensive production in 2015. He’ll acquire better talent. How much talent and how much better remains to be seen, but I’m sure his priority list expands beyond signing Long and bringing in the fences. That said, my initial point, and Lennon’s point, still stands. In the end, it’s about the guys on the field…

Long, Alderson and his former hitting coach, Dave Hudgens, all adhere to the same hitting philosophy, which is essentially about being patient and selective until you’re not.

“Sounds like solid advice,” says Lennon. “But, the Mets evidently got tired of hearing it from Hudgens, then must have tuned out his replacement, Lamar Johnson. Sometimes a new voice helps. That’s what the Mets are banking on with Long.”

In this case, I think the change is less about strategy and more about tactics and communication. I got the impression that players were confused by Hudgens, understanding his concepts, but distracted by his style. I never knew what to make of Johnson. Long, on the other hand, is known for his unique and customized drills, and everyone from Derek Jeter to Alex Rodriguez to Robinson Cano have been on record praising his work ethic and hands-on style. So, maybe Long helps Alderson’s Mets. The difference, though, is that the Mets don’t have Long’s version of A-Rod, Cano and Jeter.

Adam Lind

Teams have interest in Adam Lind, who does not fit with Duda

Blue Jays 1B-DH Adam Lind has drawn interest from three or four teams, including National League clubs (Elliot, Oct. 24).

Lind has played 224 games in the outfield during his nine-year career. However, he has not played the position since 2010.

Similar to Lucas Duda, Lind has struggled against left-handed pitching during his career, batting .212, while hitting .292 against righties.

He hit .321 with a .381 OBP and 24 doubles, but just six home runs, in 318 sporadic plate appearances likely impacted by a fractured right foot that was misdiagnosed earlier in the season.

The Blue Jays must pick up his $7.5 million option for 2015, otherwise he can be a free agent.

8 things to know about Kevin Long

arod-360x540The Mets announced Thursday that they have hired Kevin Long to be their new hitting coach >> Read More.

Here are eight things worth knowing about Long…

1. Long was drafted by the Royals in 1989. He got as high as Triple-A before retiring as a player early in 1997. Long was a second-team All-American at the University of Arizona where he still holds the school record for extra-base hits and total bases.

2. He was a Class-A manager for the Royals, where he was named co-Manager of the Year in 1997. He later transitioned to an upper-level hitting coach, moved to the Yankees, was their Triple-A hitting coach before being promoted to the big-league team in 2007.

3. He spent eight seasons as hitting coach for the Yankees, during which they lead the league in runs three times and twice finished second.

4. He has a good reputation for working well with rookies and veterans, whether Robinson Cano or Brett Gardner, Derek Jeter or Alex Rodriguez.

5. Long helped Curtis Granderson retool his swing for Yankee Stadium, resulting in two 40-plus home run seasons (Carig, Aug. 2010).

6. Long preaches the same hitting principles as Sandy Alderson, specifically pitch selection in the strike zone and working counts.

7. He is still being paid by the Yankees, who will pay him $750,000 in 2015 (Boston Globe, Oct. 23).

8. Long has a DVD instructional series, Pro Hitter’s Workout, which reveals techniques and strategies for becoming a successful hitter.

Daily News: Wheelchair no handicap for Mets fan calendar model Amanda Perla

25-year-old Mets fan, Amanda Perla, who broke her neck in a car accident seven years ago, was the top vote getter among the 100 or so entries to appear in ‘The 7 Line’ calendar, an annual promotional pinup featuring attractive young women wearing Mets-inspired clothing >> Read more in the Daily News.

MLB: New York Mets at Cincinnati Reds

In case you missed it on MetsBlog…

The Mets named Kevin Long their new hitting coach >> Read more at MetsBlog

In addition to hiring Long, the Mets named Dustin Clarke the major league Strength and Conditioning coach.

The Mets may have interest in pending free agent OF Michael Cuddyer >> Read more at MetsBlog

Juan Lagares was named a finalist for the National League Gold Glove award for center field. The other finalists are Billy Hamilton of Cincinnati and Denard Span of Washington. The voting results will be announced on November 4.


Mets hire Kevin Long as hitting coach

The Mets announced Thursday that they have hired Kevin Long to be their new hitting coach.

Long, 47, who the Mets interviewed on Wednesday, was fired by the Yankees after the season after spending eight years as the hitting coach in the Bronx.

In a press release, GM Sandy Alderson called the hiring of Long a “positive step,” while saying that Long’s “experience, success and wealth of knowledge make him the perfect fit.”

Mets manager Terry Collins said that there the Mets were talking with other candidates, but the team had to move quickly on Long because he had a lot of teams pursuing him (Puma, Oct.23).

“I’m excited to get the opportunity to work with a team that I think is on the rise,” Long said Thursday. “I had a great meeting with Sandy and Terry yesterday and I can’t wait to get started and help in any way I can.”

Prior to hiring Long, other hitting coach candidates the Mets had been linked to included Bobby Abreu, Edgardo Alfonzo, Dave Magadan, and Val Pascucci.

The team started last season season with Dave Hudgens as their hitting coach, fired him in May and replaced him with Lamar Johnson, who was later dismissed and offered a different position in the organization.

Thursday’s Arizona Fall League recap…

It was a big day for Mets SS prospect Matt Reynolds, who led off the game Thursday with his second AFL homer and later singled.

The Tulsa, Oklahoma native is batting .242 in nine games in Arizona, with five extra base hits.

Read more at SNY’s Mets Minors…