Long working with Nick Johnson

Talking 'bout my generational talent
100 Names You Need To Know

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.

Talking 'bout my generational talent
100 Names You Need To Know
  • Carl

    K-long is the man

  • Bronx Ralphie

    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

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

      • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

        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?

        • http://twitter.com/tafkasic the artist formerly known as (sic)

          I don’t think anyone here is really qualified to determine whether he is or isn’t deserving of a raise.

          • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

            Agreed. I should have worded the 1st part differently. I wasn’t necessarily saying he doesn’t deserve one, but I don’t think we can look at good hitters hitting well and say that means he does deserve one.

        • Don W

          I think the Ballpark in Arlington, the warm springs and hot summers had as much or more to do with Jamarillo’s reputation as his actual coaching ability.

          • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

            Good point. For some reason I thought he’d been elsewhere before the Rangers. And it also helped him that half of his guys were juicing.

            • bexarama

              Mazzone > Jamarillo ;)

    • Beamish
  • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

    Long. Johnson.

    • radnom

      Yeah, the headline of this post was a missed opportunity. There was a joke in there somewhere.

      But thats ok, I really liked Joe’s post on Frank Thomas.

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

        The Long Johnson Connection

    • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak


    • http://mystiqueandaura.com/ JMK the Overshare’s Mystique and Aura

      Adjective? Proper noun?


    • ROBTEN

      “Long-Johnson workout means more pulled balls in 2010”


      “More pulled balls is goal of Long, Johnson”

      • king of fruitless hypotheticals

        Long/Johnson pulling his balls? Nothing expected from flat Wang slider.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Archimedes Torquemada

        “Long, Johnson to hone power stroke”

  • http://twitter.com/tafkasic the artist formerly known as (sic)

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

    • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

      If he can play 140 games, I’m sure the OPS will fall in line. I’m expecting a big Johnson year in 2010.

      • Joe

        Johnson’s huge this year for the Yankees

        • pete

          Yanks’ Johnson comes up huge in postseason

          • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

            Yanks’ Johnson cannot be stopped.

  • http://mystiqueandaura.com/ JMK the Overshare’s Mystique and Aura

    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???

  • W.W.J.M.D.

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

    • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

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

      • W.W.J.M.D.

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

        • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

          Pretty much. You can say the same for managers.

          • http://twitter.com/tafkasic the artist formerly known as (sic)

            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.

  • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

    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

      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

  • Mike HC

    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.

  • Megatron

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

  • http://deleted RollingWave

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

  • Joseph M


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

  • Dave M

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