Results tagged ‘ don long ’
After meeting with the media and being formally announced as Pirates new skipper, Cint Hurdle sat down with General Manager Neal Huntington to discuss the coaching staff for next season.
John Russell’s staff –Third base coach Tony Beasley, Bullpen coach Luis Dorante and hitting coach Don Long were all told after the 2010 season to explore other opportunities. It is not yet been determined if any will stay or go as Clint Hurdle has a huge part in who he wants to be with him for the 2011 season.
Ray Searge (who took over as pitching coach for Joe Kerrigan) and Jeff Banister (who took over as bench coach for Gary Varsho) are said to be considered by Hurdle.
“It’s a huge part for me to make sure that there are people internally that are available that we keep in place or that we promote from within,” Hurdle said. “I think it sends a huge message to our player development program. There is some familiarity there that I don’t have.
“There are some very qualified people. None of them do I know very well. That being said, that doesn’t back me off of them whatsoever. We’re going to make decisions that are going to show our belief in our player development people.”
Jeff Banister was interviewed by the Bucs for the managerial position and has spent 25 years in the Pirates organization.
“Jeff has done some unbelievable things for this organization,” Huntington said. “He has made an impact, and it’s certainly our hope that he will make an impact for us going forward.”
Shortly after it was announced that John Russell would be dismissed as Manager, hitting coach Don Long, third base coach Tony Beasley and bench coach Jeff Banister told MLB.com that they would welcome the opportunity to return as the major league’s coaching staff.
General Manager Neal Huntington said he would be evaluating the coaching staff individually, leaving a possibility that they may be back for 2011.
Huntington also told the staff they are welcome to peruse other opportunities.
Beasley has been with the Pirates organization for 18 years –three as third base coach.
“I would definitely love to be back, especially with where we are with the young kids,” Beasley said. “I’d definitely love to be a part of that and a part of the growth. The process that we talked about is kind of coming to an end. I see that in the near future, and hopefully I can be a part of that. I know it’s out of my hands, but until I’m told otherwise, I hope to stay.”
Don Long was hired in 2007 (the same year with John Russell) but his future with the team could be in jeopardy. The Pirates finished the season with a .225 avg –the lowest in the National League.
“The competitive side of me says we started that process and we’ve been through major overhaul on the roster,” Long said. “We’ve gotten to the point that guys who you thought would have the chance to come up here did, and they showed big signs of what they’re capable of doing. I would want to see through.
“For the people on the outside looking in, the most dominant stat is the record,” he added. “But to watch a group of players — where there is a lot of youth and not a lot of experience — go from where they started to where they finished, it’s definitely a step in the right direction. People on the outside looking in can scoff at that. But for me, as a coach, the most important thing is you take care of the things you can take care of and one of those is how you prepare and how you show up.”
Banister took over as bench coach when Gary Varsho was fired earlier this season. Jeff has been with the Pirates organization for 25 years, eight as the Pirates’ minor league field coordinator.
Asked if he would like to continue working with the organization, Banister said: “That’s an obvious yes. There’s a lot of guys I know very well who’ve come up through our system that are there. They’ve developed, they continue to develop. They’re not finished by any stretch of the imagination. I’d love to continue that if Neal, [president] Frank [Coonelly] and [owner] Bob [Nutting] allow that to happen.
“My passion is for this organization and where I think we can go, and where I think we are going. It’s unfinished for me. Until somebody tells me they don’t need my services anymore, I’ll always feel that way. I grew up in this uniform and there are a lot of things I think we can and will do. I’m sure some people think we are a ways away. I see it every day, and I know we’re not that far away. There’s a really strong nucleus of talented athletes that take the field every day. There is some finishing that needs to go along with their Major League experience before they truly know what it takes to win on an every-day basis. Hopefully, I’m part of that, in whatever capacity that is.”
After having a disastrous month of August (.144/.196/.327) Garrett Jones is back on track after making some adjustments to his swing with hitting coach Don Long.
“My hands were getting real high, and I had some extra movement in there, which was causing my timing to be off,” Jones said. “I’ve lowered my hands to try and be more direct to the ball. It’s helping. I’m just trying to finish strong and end on a positive note.”
The month of September, Jones is batting .276 and in his past seven games he is hitting .370 with four doubles and nine RBI.