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Thread: Don Long Hired As Hitting Coach

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    Don Long Hired As Hitting Coach

    He was most recently the Braves Minor League hitting coordinator.

    http://cincinnati.com/blogs/reds/201...-prices-staff/


    Here is a Q&A from BP with Long from 2010:

    http://www.baseballprospectus.com/ar...rticleid=10527


    Here is an interview he did during his year in between coaching the Pirates, and getting the Braves job.

    http://www.heraldnet.com/article/201...ORTS/701259943

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    Re: Don Long Hired As Hitting Coach

    From the BP Q&A:


    DL: Do most hitters have similar zones that they handle well?

    Long: No, I think it varies. It depends on the type of hitter. It depends on different physical attributes, different things they do in their approach to hit and what position they put themselves in to hit. Some guys cover the outer half of the plate better than they do the inner half. Whatever your strength is, until you have to hit the whole zone—with two strikes on all of his pitches—the key is to expect the ball where you want it and be ready to attack it and be able to consistently put it in play hard.

    DL: With so little time to react, how does a hitter learn to take a strike away when he prefers something on the inner half, or vice versa?

    Long: We practice it every day. We’ll have rounds that we call "Zone your strength," which is basically knowing what part of the zone you like the ball in and expecting it there before it’s thrown. Don’t wait until it’s thrown and then say, "There it is," or you’ll be too late. Expect it there and start to make your move to hit it in that zone and trust your eyes to tell you, "No, that’s not it," and lay off it. Too many hitters—I don’t like the word "struggle"—but when they’re more challenged than in other times, that is what they’re doing. They’re trying from the first pitch of the at-bat—they think they have to swing at everything that surrounds the zone. Sometimes, they start to expand the zone and make the pitcher’s job easier. So, it’s something we practice every day in our regular rounds of BP, our early hitting on the field, or it might be just taking a guy in the cage and doing it there as well.

    DL: When you get a new player, what is your initial approach with him?

    Long: My approach is to have spent time watching film of him before I ever meet him so that I have an idea of what I think his strengths are. I really give him the first voice. What has worked for you? What hasn’t worked for you? Kind of feed off of him and not try to jump in too quick, because if I do that, just based on what I’ve seen on film, then I’m not necessarily getting to know him first, and I think it’s important to try to develop trust and a relationship with a guy that you don’t know. It’s important to give him the first voice and kind of work off of him. I’ve been in that situation a lot in the three years I’ve been here and I think it has worked. The player, once he has reached this level, like probably any player—there are certain things they’ve done well. That’s the reason why they’re here. That’s the reason they got signed, and if you jump in too quick with certain guys, you can kind of chip away their confidence. They come here believing in what they’re doing, and the first day in, you’re having them make changes. It’s putting them—and you—in a position to be really frustrated.

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    Re: Don Long Hired As Hitting Coach

    Donald Thomas "Don" Long (born in 1962) is a former hitting coach for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

    Prior to joining the Pirates, Long worked eight years as the minor league hitting coordinator with the Philadelphia Phillies. He spent the 1999 season as the Phillies roving hitting instructor. Long spent 12 years as a manager in the California/Anaheim Angels minor league system before joining Philadelphia. He made his managerial debut with the Quad Cities River Bandits in the Midwest League in 1987 before spending two seasons with the Bend Bucks. Don returned to Quad City and was named Midwest League Manager-of-the-Year after leading his squad to the 1990 league title. A year later he captured Manager-of-the-Year accolades again after guiding the Midland Rockhounds to a 37-30 second-half record and into the Texas League playoffs.

    After two more seasons with Midland (1992–93), Long managed in the Pacific Coast League for three years, leading the Vancouver Canadians to a pair of first-place finishes. He advanced to the league championship in 1994 and was named the league's Manager-of-the-Year in 1995 after guiding the club to an 81-60 regular-season record and an appearance in the post season. In his 12 seasons as a minor league skipper, Long produced a 745-788 record. A former switch-hitting infielder, Long was originally selected by the San Francisco Giants in the third round of the 1983 MLB draft. He played three years in the Giants farm system (1983–85) where he compiled a .251 batting average, 12 home runs and 76 RBI in 198 games. Before becoming a manager in the minor leagues, Long served as the head coach at Seattle University in 1986. Long is a 1980 graduate of Meadowdale High School in Lynnwood, Washington. He attended Washington State University and earned All-Pac-10 honors as a shortstop in 1983.[1]

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    Re: Don Long Hired As Hitting Coach

    What Google would lead you to believe Don Long looks like:



    What Don Long actually looks like:

    "Since I've been with the Reds in 1989, we've never had a farm system this loaded," Bowden said. "If we were the New York Yankees and had unlimited dollars, we could have traded for Colon, (Jeff) Weaver, Rolen, (Cliff) Floyd, (Kenny) Rogers and Finley and gotten them all -- and still held onto our top five prospects. That's an amazing statement."

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    Re: Don Long Hired As Hitting Coach

    From the second article.


    “When they’re oh-for-four or one for their last 20, you (the coach) don’t have the luxury of saying ‘next.’ You have to plant your feet with them and say, ’Look, I’m here with you. We’ll figure this out. You’ll be all right.’ You have to find ways to build their hope. So it’s a challenge every day. A good challenge.”

    The first thing Long tried to do with his hitters, whether a veteran or a rookie, was build trust. And he let them initiate the discussion. “You have to give them the first opportunity to say, ‘Here’s what I think.’ Having said that, some guys won’t give you a whole lot to begin with. They’re going to be a little bit standoffish. So time has to go by. I’ve just seen too many situations where you try to force the process and it backfires.”

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    Re: Don Long Hired As Hitting Coach

    The former 12 year old boy in me hopes the Reds will bring Dick Pole back as pitching coach.

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    Re: Don Long Hired As Hitting Coach

    Glad to hear they are not going with the status quo on the staff

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    Re: Don Long Hired As Hitting Coach

    Holy crap, our new pitching coach is Chet Steadman!


    "Since I've been with the Reds in 1989, we've never had a farm system this loaded," Bowden said. "If we were the New York Yankees and had unlimited dollars, we could have traded for Colon, (Jeff) Weaver, Rolen, (Cliff) Floyd, (Kenny) Rogers and Finley and gotten them all -- and still held onto our top five prospects. That's an amazing statement."

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    Re: Don Long Hired As Hitting Coach

    https://twitter.com/jluckhaupt


    Don Long was once drafted by the #Reds (June-Secondary Draft in 1981) but didn't sign. He had a 13% BB rate in the minors!

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    Re: Don Long Hired As Hitting Coach

    Don Long was once drafted by the #Reds (June-Secondary Draft in 1981) but didn't sign. He had a 13% BB rate in the minors!


    That's good!
    Quote Originally Posted by Larry Schuler View Post
    He has also taught me that even when the Reds win it is important to focus on the fact that they could have lost.
    Quote Originally Posted by Raisor View Post
    Game update:

    Jason Marquis

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    Re: Don Long Hired As Hitting Coach

    Thanks for the stuff from the BP article, that was some thoughtful answers. I am encouraged.

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    Re: Don Long Hired As Hitting Coach

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Servo View Post
    Holy crap, our new pitching coach is Chet Steadman!


    Yeah, but here's what Pico looks like now.

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    Re: Don Long Hired As Hitting Coach

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Servo View Post
    Holy crap, our new pitching coach is Chet Steadman!
    Should've brought in Phil Brickma is hitting coach. Let the big dog eat!

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    Re: Don Long Hired As Hitting Coach

    Pleased the Reds are adding coaches from outside the organization who can take a fresh look at the talent, particularly in the hitting department.

    Bell and Long seem like accomplished coaches. Just saw Pico was added, sounds good as well.
    Last edited by Kc61; 11-12-2013 at 08:04 PM.

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    Re: Don Long Hired As Hitting Coach

    Quote Originally Posted by westofyou View Post
    Donald Thomas "Don" Long (born in 1962) is a former hitting coach for the Pittsburgh Pirates.

    Prior to joining the Pirates, Long worked eight years as the minor league hitting coordinator with the Philadelphia Phillies. He spent the 1999 season as the Phillies roving hitting instructor. Long spent 12 years as a manager in the California/Anaheim Angels minor league system before joining Philadelphia. He made his managerial debut with the Quad Cities River Bandits in the Midwest League in 1987 before spending two seasons with the Bend Bucks. Don returned to Quad City and was named Midwest League Manager-of-the-Year after leading his squad to the 1990 league title. A year later he captured Manager-of-the-Year accolades again after guiding the Midland Rockhounds to a 37-30 second-half record and into the Texas League playoffs.

    After two more seasons with Midland (1992–93), Long managed in the Pacific Coast League for three years, leading the Vancouver Canadians to a pair of first-place finishes. He advanced to the league championship in 1994 and was named the league's Manager-of-the-Year in 1995 after guiding the club to an 81-60 regular-season record and an appearance in the post season. In his 12 seasons as a minor league skipper, Long produced a 745-788 record. A former switch-hitting infielder, Long was originally selected by the San Francisco Giants in the third round of the 1983 MLB draft. He played three years in the Giants farm system (1983–85) where he compiled a .251 batting average, 12 home runs and 76 RBI in 198 games. Before becoming a manager in the minor leagues, Long served as the head coach at Seattle University in 1986. Long is a 1980 graduate of Meadowdale High School in Lynnwood, Washington. He attended Washington State University and earned All-Pac-10 honors as a shortstop in 1983.[1]
    Baseball-reference has Bend, OR as his first stop, starting in 1988, then Quad Cities in 1990. I went looking since it amazed me he would be managing at age 25. At that, he did start at age 26.

    http://www.baseball-reference.com/mi...d=long--001don
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