From Newsday -
Cano, who turned 24 Sunday, had praise for Kevin Long, the Yankees’ Triple-A hitting coach, who will be introduced as Don Mattingly’s replacement next week. Mattingly, who returned to the Yankees in 2004 as hitting coach, will replace Lee Mazzilli as Joe Torre’s bench coach.
“He’s one of the best guys,” Cano said of Long. “In Triple-A, I remember I was struggling a little. I went down to the cage and worked with him, and after that, I started doing good. The next season, I hit .333.”
Cano added: “He motivates you. He works hard. He always arrives early and he doesn’t just concentrate on one or two players. He works with everyone.”
This is nice to hear…but, there’s a difference between getting Triple-A players to listen to you and getting major league All-Stars to listen to you.
I recall, years and years ago, reading something – somewhere – that talked to getting the attention of major league players. The study said there are two types of managers/coaches who can usually get a big league player’s attention.
The first type is the former player who had success. This is guys like Torre, Mattingly, Piniella, Guidry, etc. The theory goes that players synch up with the fact that they played the game at the highest level and had success – so, they know what they’re talking about when they speak.
The second type is the person who just scares you. Whether it’s a tough guy like Billy Martin or a hulking presence like Dallas Green, it’s the intimidation factor that gets the players to pay attention.
Of course, a guy like Charlie Lau or Leo Mazzone flies in the face of this entire theory. I hope that Kevin Long does as well.