Results for tag: Kevin Long
Posted by: Jack Curry on Sep 5, 2012 at 06:41:27 PM

The Yankees have tip-toed around the obvious for a few weeks, tip-toed around the notion that they were struggling and allowing the Orioles and the Rays to rumble back into the race in the American League East. As long as the Yankees had a lead, even if it was a dwindling, they could still talk about how they were alone in first place and they were fine. But that changed on Tuesday night.

Once it changed and once the Yankees fell into a first-place tie with the Orioles, Kevin Long, the batting coach, offered a candid assessment of how this free fall has impacted the batters. While hitters are taught to focus on the next pitch or the next at bat, it is natural for them to also wonder about how a once-sturdy lead has disintegrated.

“There’s some pressure, obviously,” Long

Posted by: Jack Curry on Jul 17, 2012 at 10:12:16 AM

Raul Ibanez was a searcher in his first few weeks with the Yankees. He searched for his swing, searched for his timing and searched for a groove, that blissful place where hitters always want to live. Ibanez also searched for some hits. In his first 37 at-bats in Spring Training he managed two hits.

So, on a warm night in Fort Myers, Fla., last March, I asked Kevin Long, the Yankees’ hitting coach, if he was concerned about Ibanez’s awful start. At the time, Ibanez was batting .059. I realized those were only spring statistics, which can be meaningless. But .059 was an ugly number for a hitter.

“I know Raul is going to hit for us,” Long said.

Long explained how he wasn’t bothered by Ibanez’s unsightly average because he saw some other encouraging signs.

Posted by: Jack Curry on May 18, 2011 at 11:56:35 AM

The detailed conversations took place a few times every day. The words were exchanged in the batting cage, in the dugout, in the clubhouse and in front of a computer. Again and again, the two men discussed how to eradicate a problem that has been bothering both of them.

Alex Rodriguez and Kevin Long were the two Yankees who have had these talks and who have shared concern for Rodriguez’s vanishing act as a hitter. After Rodriguez dominated pitchers during the first three weeks of the season, he plummeted into a deep drought. How, Long wondered, could he help get Rodriguez back to being a prolific hitter?

Long determined the cause of Rodriguez’s struggles, detecting that the third baseman hadn’t been using the lower half of his body to ignite his swing. Rodriguez called

Posted by: Jack Curry on May 10, 2011 at 12:49:28 PM

Nine days ago, Derek Jeter was hitting .250. He had 23 hits in his first 92 at-bats, about half of them infield hits. As Jeter got ready for a Sunday game with the Blue Jays, I asked him a few questions by his locker. I was curious to know if Jeter felt better about his much-dissected swing, if he had made any adjustments, and how quickly he expected that .250 beside his name to turn into a thicker number.

When I mentioned Jeter’s career average of .314 during one of my questions, Jeter offered an interesting response. He didn’t answer the question. Instead, he honed in on the shiny statistic that I had cited and supplied his perspective.

"If I go 4-for-4 in the next two games, I’ll be there,” Jeter said. He was basically correct; if he went 8-for-8, he would

Posted by: Jack Curry on Apr 1, 2011 at 01:20:14 PM

Curtis Granderson’s overhauled swing didn’t automatically surface the first day that he swung a bat in Spring Training. It took time. It took work. The magical swing Granderson used from the middle of August until the end of the season had to be discovered again, nurtured again.

Granderson began the process by doing the same drills that Kevin Long, the batting coach, had used to help him rebuild his swing. He hit baseballs that were softly tossed to him, he hit baseballs off a tee and he hit baseballs inside a netted cage, dutifully working to feel the same way that he felt several months ago.

“You have to find it again,” Granderson said.

On Opening Day, it was obvious that Granderson had found it. For at least one memorable day, Granderson found his swing and