Long working with Nick Johnson


Position players still have some time before they report, but most of them have been getting their work in over the past few weeks. That includes new Yankees DH Nick Johnson, who recently worked on his swing with hitting instructor Kevin Long. The focus was on Johnson’s footwork, specifically, according to Long, “trying to keep [Johnson's back foot] from flying back.” Long says that when it moves “he collapses the inside right away.” This isn’t to make Johnson into a dead pull hitter, but rather to give him more balance at the plate. Plus, the ability to pull the ball at Yankee Stadium can be a valuable skill.

Categories : Asides


  1. Carl says:

    K-long is the man

  2. Bronx Ralphie says:

    how much does K-Long make? I know he just got a new deal, probably a one year deal. This guy deserves a raise.

    • Beamish says:

      Actually I think he is in the second year of two-year deal. A multi-year coaching deal is almost unheard of.

      • Steve H says:

        Yeah, and I’m not so sure he deserves a raise. I don’t think there is a great way to quantify how good a hitting coach is. Maybe with years and years of anecdotal evidence, and successes of many, many players (Jamarillo) we can consider a hitting coach to be good. Kevin Long has a lineup with 4 potential HOF’s, and several other guys who were well above average before they ever knew Kevin Long’s name. Not that I’d say he’s bad at his job, but remember how much of a genius Leo Mazzone was when he had Maddux, Smoltz and Glavine, and how that all went away once handed the slop pitching staff in Baltimore?

    • Beamish says:

      Found it. He is in the 3rd year of a reported 3-year $1 million.


  3. If Nicky J can pull an SLG of around 480, he’ll be a 900 OPS hitter. That’d be some sick business.

  4. Nick Johnson has a large, girth-y penis. He’ll also smack balls into peoples’ faces this year. Oh yeah, I almost forgot—his OBP will be Bondsian.

    /Am I doing it right???

  5. W.W.J.M.D. says:

    Is Mr.Long one of the best hitting coaches out there? Is he the hitting equivalent of pitching coach Dave Duncan?

    • Steve H says:

      There’s really no way to know who is a good and bad hitting (or pitching) coach.

      • W.W.J.M.D. says:

        so when hitting coaches are fired, it’s just so the team looks like its doing something when the players aren’t hitting?

        • Steve H says:

          Pretty much. You can say the same for managers.

          • I honestly don’t know about this. I agreed with your sentiments above that none of us are qualified to say whether someone deserves a raise, but there’s clearly a level of quality when it comes to pitching coaches. Guidry was a shitty pitching coach. Eiland, by all accounts, is not. Dave Duncan is a good pitching coach. Nardi Contreras seems to have the skills too. Different coaches are going to bring different approaches, different skill sets, different things to impart to players. Even though we can’t measure the WAR of hitting and pitching coaches, there’s certainly good reason to believe that some are better than others.

  6. Steve H says:

    After reading (and contributing) to this post, I am no longer concerned about losing Wang. And since Johnson will bring it every day, Johnson should bring a lot more pleasure than the Wang did, who only was up to playing every 5 days.

    • scooter says:

      The Natinals’ GM has much fortitude.
      Takes a tough man to tender Wang

      Will NL hitters pull Wang? Will the Natinals hire Dick Pole for bullpen coach? Only time will tell

      But I doubt Wang can beat a Long-Johnson pairing

  7. Mike HC says:

    Johnson always had such a sweet swing to begin with. If this helps can help it, I can only imagine how smooth it is going to look now.

    I always like Nick Johnson, and happy to have him back.

  8. Megatron says:

    Am I the only one who loves these kind of stories, while realizing they’re basically fluff?

  9. RollingWave says:

    I’d think NJ needs fitness / health instructors more than hitting

  10. Joseph M says:


    Nick is an accident waiting to happen and even under the best of circumstances represents a major downgrade from Matsui and Damon.

  11. Dave M says:

    He needs an armored suit like the Lucky for Life guy.

Leave a Reply

You may use <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong> in your comment.

If this is your first time commenting on River Ave. Blues, please review the RAB Commenter Guidelines. Login for commenting features. Register for RAB.