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Mets hire Kevin Long as hitting coach

Former Yankees batting coach Kevin Long during batting

Former Yankees batting coach Kevin Long during batting practice on June 6, 2011. Photo Credit: Christopher Pasatieri

The Mets' original plan had been to conduct an extensive search for their next hitting coach. Then the Yankees made things a bit easier.

Less than two weeks after he was fired by the Yankees, Kevin Long landed with the Mets as their new hitting coach.

In a statement announcing the hiring Thursday, general manager Sandy Alderson called Long's hiring "a very positive step."

"Kevin's experience, success and wealth of knowledge make him the perfect fit as our hitting instructor," said Alderson, who, along with manager Terry Collins, interviewed Long on Wednesday.

Long, 47, has long been a proponent of the disciplined hitting approach that Alderson has tried to implement with the Mets. Long also drew rave reviews for his work with Curtis Granderson while both were with the Yankees.

Granderson, coming off a wildly inconsistent first season with the Mets, now will be reunited with his old hitting coach, who helped bring out his power potential with the Yankees.

"I'm excited to get the opportunity to work with a team that I think is on the rise," Long said in a statement. "I had a great meeting with Sandy and Terry yesterday and I can't wait to get started and help in any way I can."

Long spent eight mostly successful seasons with the Yankees beginning in 2007. He worked with All-Star-caliber players through most of his tenure, and the Yankees led the American League in runs three times. But when the Yankees' offense tailed off this season, it cost Long his job.

He will be the Mets' third hitting coach since Memorial Day, when Dave Hudgens was fired. He was replaced by Lamar Johnson, who was reassigned to the minor leagues at the end of the season.

Hudgens eventually landed with the Astros. The Mets also expressed interest in Dave Magadan, though he will remain with the Rangers as their hitting coach.

The Mets also announced that Dustin Clarke has been promoted to strength and conditioning coach.

Clarke worked in the same capacity with Triple-A Las Vegas this past season after two years with Double-A Binghamton.


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