Should Kevin Long be fired? Long answers

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- With the New York Yankees' offense awful this season, a popular game for many Bombers fans on Twitter and the rest of the Internet is to demand for hitting coach Kevin Long to be fired. With this in mind, I spoke with Long to get his thoughts on what happened this year and what might happen before next season.

I think it is more likely Long returns; he has just one year remaining on his contract that pays him around $600,000 per season.

Q: What has happened this year?

A: I've tried to figure that out myself. I can tell you I have never been through anything like this. It's been tough. It's been tough on everybody involved. It just doesn't seem like there are positive returns for the effort, the diligence to the process, the approaches, just everything that you put into it. The returns are not there. That is the frustrating part. You try to put your finger on it. You try to make adjustments. You try to do this, that, it just doesn't seem like anything has clicked or anything is remotely how we expected it.

I'm surprised that, as positive as I am right now, I do feel like it will get better. Obviously, this year it is what it is. I know that [Brian] McCann is in a much better spot than he was earlier in the year. I know [Brett] Gardner has had a good year. I think [Jacoby] Ellsbury could have easily hit .320. That's how he has swung the bat all year. I think [Martin] Prado is a nice pickup and addition that I think is going to help us. This year isn't over, but I expect this thing to get back on track and to be a lot better next year.

Q: How should a hitting coach be judged?

A: To judge a hitting coach whether we are scoring 960 runs, the way we did, or we are going to end up ... I haven't looked at everything lately because it is just not worth looking at.

Is the hitting coach doing everything he needs to do to help his players and help the organization? In this case, I would answer, yes, eight years ago, and I would answer, yes, today. We have tried to make adjustments to what we do. We have tried to alter what we do. We have exhausted every ounce of energy to get this thing right. Unfortunately, the positive returns and the dividends that should be rewarded are not there.

Q: Are you concerned about your job?

A: I never think about that. I just think about the day at hand and just helping the organization and the players prepare. This is my 17th year as a hitting coach. I have learned a lot in 17 years. Is there something this year that has been drastically different or any different than those other years? Nothing. So, again, I feel comfortable about myself and what I do as a hitting coach.