A little over a week ago, the Phillies canned Joe Dillion as the hitting coach. Not even 10 days later, the Phillies have made a decision.
Kevin Long first became a hitting coach in the big leagues in 2007 for the New York Yankees where he remained until 2014. Most recently, he was the hitting coach for the Washington Nationals from 2018-2021.
There are several weird things to mention with this hire. The first of which is Joe Dillon was the assistant hitting coach with the Nationals UNDER Kevin Long. So the Phillies fired the protege and hired the mentor.
Secondly from 2008-2014, Kevin Long served as the hitting coach of the Yankees UNDER Joe Girardi. So, not only is the hire somewhat redundant, but it’s also treading back Joe Girardi’s greatest hits.
Third, and yes there’s a third, Joe Girardi and Keving Long ALMOST WENT AT IT THIS SEASON.
Everything about this hire feels weird for the Phillies. This season saw what new ideas executed correctly can do for a team. Just look at Gabe Kapler’s NL West Champion Giants and their postseason run. Now, the Phillies are doubling up on leaning on the old guard of baseball.
To give credit where credit is due, Kevin Long has won World Series rings with the Yankees and Nationals (2009 and 2019, respectfully). That should put the Phillies on track to win the World Series in 2029.
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