New Ducks pitching coach and former Mets pitcher Ed Lynch may be a bit old-school when it comes to the art of pitching, but he got his new job in the most new-school way possible — Facebook.
Lynch was scrolling through the social networking site in December when he saw a shared post from the Ducks’ page announcing the hiring of Lynch’s former teammate, Wally Backman, as the team’s new manager. Lynch called Backman with congratulations and quickly had a new job.
“I just said, off the top of my head, who’s on your staff? And he said, ‘You want to be my pitching coach?’ ” said Lynch, 62. “I’ve been kind of semi-retired the last two years. I’ve been getting a little itchy to get back into it and I thought it was a great opportunity. I mean, everybody that’s in baseball has heard of the Long Island Ducks. They are the premier independent team and the Atlantic League is the premier independent league in professional baseball.”
The next day, Ducks president and general manager Michael Pfaff called Lynch and made the official pitch.
“He didn’t really have to sell me on the job,” Lynch said. “The team speaks for itself in the quality of the players they have, the quality of the stadium and the fact that they draw so well . . . I’m honored and I feel privileged to have this opportunity.”
Lynch pitched eight seasons in the big leagues, mostly with the Mets and then the Cubs. He was the Cubs’ general manager from 1994-2000, director of player development with the Padres, special assistant to the GM for the Mets and Cubs, and, most recently, a scout for the Blue Jays from 2010-15.
He’s never been a pitching coach at the professional level, though. He will make his debut when the Ducks open the season April 26 in York, Pennsylvania.
“The concepts have not changed over the years,” Lynch said. “You have to be able to locate your pitches and I’m going to try and help them with their delivery to the point where they can locate their pitches and then just have some game plan that they could put into effect. I’m going to keep it very simple, make sure they’re in physical condition and make sure they pitch to situations within the game.”
Lynch said he was attracted to the Ducks’ winning culture and the ability to work with Backman, who, by Lynch’s count, was one of his longest-tenured teammates.
“He’s going to bring an intensity,” Lynch said. “I mean, I was a very intense player when I was on that mound and Wally was the same way. I know Wally will stress a winning attitude and doing the little things it takes to win games.”