PITTSBURGH (AP) -Don Long was hired by the Pittsburgh Pirates on Tuesday to be their hitting coach, his first job in the big leagues.
Long was Philadelphia's minor league hitting coordinator for the past nine seasons. He worked with new Pirates manager John Russell, who managed the Phillies' Triple-A team.
The 45-year-old Long also spent 12 seasons as a manager in the Angels' farm system, winning manager of the year awards in the Pacific Coast League, Texas League and Midwest League.
The Pirates also released their spring training schedule, which includes the first two night games at McKechnie Field in Bradenton, Fla. The ballpark opened in 1923 and, even after being rebuilt in 1993, never had lights until a $1 million lighting system was installed this year.
The night games will be March 7 against Cincinnati and March 17 against the New York Yankees.
Bradenton officials wanted to install the lights to attract more events - and, possibly, a minor league team - to the ballpark, which often sits empty for most of the 11 months each year the Pirates don't occupy it.
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