• Examining Twins Managerial Candidates

    There is less than a week left in the regular season and the Twins don't have a manager under contract for 2014. With Minnesota on their way to a third straight 90-loss season, there are questions about whether Ron Gardenhire deserves another opportunity at the helm. He won the 2010 AL Manager-of-the-Year award but things have been ugly since that year.

    Since Tom Kelly was hired in 1987, the Twins have employed two managers so change has been far from commonplace. Terry Ryan cleared out most of Gardenhire's coaching staff last season in an attempt to bring some new voices to the clubhouse. Even with the coaching changes, there wasn't much improvement on the field.

    Gardenhire might not be out the door but the team doesn't have to bring him back. The Twins will have to make a managerial decision and there are reasons for and against each in-house candidate.

    Ron Gardenhire
    Reasons For: He's a very well respected manager and he's been with the organization in some capacity through multiple decades. The Twins front office hasn't given him much in the starting pitching department. He knows the Twins way of doing things and the Pohlads have avoided managerial changes during their ownership.

    Reason Against: It's been a rough three seasons and it might be time for a new voice. Most of the veteran players on the roster have left for greener pastures and this could mean a youth movement. It might help to bring in a manager who has more recently worked with a younger core of players in the minor leagues. Fans have called for a change and it might be time.

    Paul Molitor
    Reasons For: The Twins like to stick with organizational guys and Molitor has held a few different jobs within the organization. He worked as the bench coach under Kelly and more recently he has served as a roving minor league instructor. His experience with some of the younger players could play to his advantage.

    Reasons Against: Molitor doesn't have any managerial experience and this is likely be one of the biggest strikes against him. There have probably been chances for him to enter the managerial ranks in the Twins farm system but the schedule of a minor league instructor has better fit his needs. The experience of the other men could make it tough to pick Molitor as the man for the Twins.

    Jake Mauer
    Reasons For: The elder Mauer has built a strong reputation during his time as a manager in the Twins minor league system. In his first year with the Cedar Rapids Kernels, he guided the team to what might have been the best minor league regular season in 2013. There were plenty of changes to the roster and the team kept winning games. He knows how to work with a young roster and to get the best out of up-and-coming players.

    Reasons Against: He lacks any experience at the big league level as a player or coach. This could mean a tough adjustment as he looks to figure out life as a major league manager. His younger brother is also the best player on the team and that could lead to an interesting family dynamic. He has done some good things in the minor leagues but it might not be enough to earn him the job.

    Gene Glynn
    Reasons For: The Rochester Red Wings rallied under Glynn this season and earned a wild card playoff spot on the season's final day. Coaches from his staff were brought up to Minnesota this season and this could make for an easy transition. He also has spent multiple years in different coaching roles at the big league level to give him the experience he would need.

    Reasons Against: He isn't exactly a flashy name and many Twins fans might not have ever heard of him. At 57-years old, he isn't exactly a spring chicken. In fact, he is two years older than Gardenhire. If the Twins want to find someone to work a young roster, Glenn might not fit the bill, as most of the Rochester 2013 line-up was older minor league veterans. Experience is great but he might not be the best choice for the long-term.
    This article was originally published in blog: Examining Twins Managerial Candidates started by Cody Christie
    Comments 68 Comments
    1. John Bonnes's Avatar
      John Bonnes -
      I wonder if Mientkiewicz's actions in High-A - specifically, getting into a fight with another manager - might cost him any realistic consideration.
    1. pierre75275's Avatar
      pierre75275 -
      I was just going to say...what about dougie baseball or mayb a charlie manuel...he also has ties to the twins organization
    1. John Bonnes's Avatar
      John Bonnes -
      Or Mike Scioscia, if he's available. Or Ozzie. :-)

      This might be a good place of people to list some of their favorite candidates. I'd love to hear some additional names besides the most common ones.
    1. ThePuck's Avatar
      ThePuck -
      The guy I was hoping we'd get after canning Gardy last offseason (which didn't happen) was Francona. Then I wanted Ryne Sandberg. Francona could be going to the playoffs with a not extremely talented Indians team and Ryno just had interim taken off his manager title.

      So now my choice is Dave Martinez, TB bench coach.
    1. pierre75275's Avatar
      pierre75275 -
      Soscia would be my favorite I think. Then dougie baseball and charlie manuel. It would be awesome if there was another coaching overhaul and all three were coaching at the big league level next yr
    1. USAFChief's Avatar
      USAFChief -
      My choice would be Dave Martinez. Comes from another organization (a forward thinking one), youngish, and seems to be a smart guy.
    1. Oldgoat_MN's Avatar
      Oldgoat_MN -
      I would be up for hiring Ray Searage, and here's why:

      He has done a great job as the pitching coach for the Pirates. Neither AJ Burnett nor Liriano could have been projected to do as well as they're doing since going to the Pirates and hanging out with Searage. For that matter, I don't know if Locke was projected to be as effective as he has been.

      I don't really know if Searage has ever managed. I'd just offer him any title he wanted.
      I feel pretty much the same about Mike Maddux, the Rangers pitching coach.
      (I wonder if Greg Maddux comes along with Mike and retains the title of Special Assistant?)

      Basically, I'd look for someone who seems to have some recent success developing pitchers.
    1. Winston Smith's Avatar
      Winston Smith -
      I've been thinking about Mike Maddox for a while. The pitching has to be fixed system wide and he has a good record. Of course, will he be a good manager? Likely he would be good with good players just like gardy has been and not so good with bad players.
    1. gunnarthor's Avatar
      gunnarthor -
      I had thought that Dougie Baseball would eventually be the new manager. But one year of managing in the minors? Maybe. I think Ryan would like to stay within the org or get someone who would fit in with org thinking - Ozzie, for instance. My guess is Ryan wants to bring back Gardy but might not be able to for a variety of reasons. If Sciosia or Ron Washington were fired, they'd both be considered but I don't think we'd hire either of them.


      I guess I don't really have a guess. I don't think the final pick will be that exciting - Ryan picked Gardy over more noticeable names like Molitor before and that worked out. Ryan strikes me as the type of guy who follows his plan and doesn't overly worry about outside pressure and the Pohlads seem to give him all the time/respect he needs. (I don'[t think Molitor will be manager but I have to admit that Ryan seemed to have gone out of his way to mention Molitor publicly several times this year. So maybe he has more of a shot than I think).
    1. gunnarthor's Avatar
      gunnarthor -
      Quote Originally Posted by Oldgoat_MN View Post
      I would be up for hiring Ray Searage, and here's why:

      He has done a great job as the pitching coach for the Pirates. Neither AJ Burnett nor Liriano could have been projected to do as well as they're doing since going to the Pirates and hanging out with Searage. For that matter, I don't know if Locke was projected to be as effective as he has been.

      I don't really know if Searage has ever managed. I'd just offer him any title he wanted.
      I feel pretty much the same about Mike Maddux, the Rangers pitching coach.
      (I wonder if Greg Maddux comes along with Mike and retains the title of Special Assistant?)

      Basically, I'd look for someone who seems to have some recent success developing pitchers.
      I don't think either are bad ideas but, for whatever reason, pitching coaches rarely become managers. There seems to be some industry bias against it.

      BP had an article about it a few years ago: Baseball Prospectus | Overthinking It: Ex-Pitching Coach Managers
    1. JB_Iowa's Avatar
      JB_Iowa -
      I also have questions about a pitching coach managing. Plus, so many of the concerns that many of us have discussed about pitching have been organization-wide not just a question at the major league level. Perhaps what is needed on that front is a new position -- one with more prestige than either manager or pitching coach -- to take on the entire pitching mess system-wide.

      As for the manager, I would prefer someone from outside the organization. I like what I know about Dave Martinez but I'm sure there are others out there who might also be forward-thinking and who offer a new perspective and style of leadership.
    1. Willihammer's Avatar
      Willihammer -
      Nice writeup. I think this is a very realistic list. Many of us would like outside blood but those guys, esp. if they aren't currently managing, might end up with Twins staff coaching around them anyway so pitching and hitting probably wouldn't be affected much.

      That said, there is plenty I believe a manager can control in-game. The drum that I have banged for a while is defensive shifting, and one of the more innovative guys I've seen this year is the Pirates' Jeff banister (who is actually the Bench coach). Manager and Coaches | pirates.com: Team

      edit: COnflicting reports who is in charge of the shifting on the Pirates. According to this article, 3rd Base coach Nick Leyva is the man arranging infield shifts.

      http://triblive.com/sports/pirates/4...#axzz2fpJAslD9
    1. Hosken Bombo Disco's Avatar
      Hosken Bombo Disco -
      Gladden would do great, he can outmanage the current manager any night he wishes.
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      I thought I posted this already. I think the list starts and stops: 1. Terry Steinbach. 2. Gene Glynn

      One of those two will be the next manager.
    1. Rosterman's Avatar
      Rosterman -
      The manager is either as good as the coaches he surrounds himself with, and you now have up to six or more coaches on your staff, or he is totally take-charge and runs everything on the field and the coaches do things totally his way.

      The Twins, going forth, need people who work well with youngsters, especially some of the out-of-country youth. It is a big step that the minor league process has to battle -- new towns, more money, a nomad lifestyle, responsibility off and on the field, working well with others.

      It's also have a player or two who step forward as captains and speak to or for the group.

      It also needs a front office in sync with what is happening to the baseball world in general.

      It is also nice to have someone who can and will interact with the media, with fans (season ticket holders) and who offers a shoulder and good advice when necessary.

      It will be an interesting off-season.

      I could see Terry Steinbach getting the job, and adding Jake Mauer and Gene Glynn to the coaching staff (amongst others) at this time. I do see Jake being groomed, so maybe he does need another year at Rochester or New Brit (or even Cedar Rapids)...but who knows.

      But, better yet, who can general manage the Twins into the next decade!
    1. Winston Smith's Avatar
      Winston Smith -
      Based on uninformed speculation, Steinbach or Moliter will be named. The old gaurd coaches will be gone, Cuellar will be pitching coach, Bruno likely stays and a few new names.
      I don't see them going out of the org. not the Twins Way.

      If they were going to bring Gardy back why wouldn't they have already done it? Why would he want to comeback? 4-5 good jobs likely open, Angels, Rangers, Yankees (that would be fun) Nationals and maybe another couple. Better jobs imo.
    1. nicksaviking's Avatar
      nicksaviking -
      Let's go outside the organization with a former hispanic catcher. Sandy Alomar Jr. or Pudge Rodriguez. Let's get some Latin leaders with the current group of young international players coming up.
    1. Jim Crikket's Avatar
      Jim Crikket -
      Despite the general wailing and gnashing of teeth it will cause, Gardy will be getting a new 2-year contract, but Jake Mauer will be added to the Major League coaching staff, probably as a base coach, and will be the odds-on favorite to be the next Twins manager.

      I wouldn't be at all surprised to see Molitor managing a Twins affiliate next year.

      The combination will make for an interesting dynamic to watch as the Twins likely go through another tough year in 2014. Gardy could be Dead Man Walking by mid summer, with the Twins being willing to eat a year of his pay to replace him if the team tanks again.

      There's absolutely no way Terry Ryan goes outside the Twins organization for his next manager. Simply can't see that happening.

      Also can't see him replacing Gardy with someone even older, to lead a youthful rebuild. That leaves Glynn out.

      Dougie is, as I recall, in Florida because that's where he wants to be due to family issues. Unless those have been resolved, I don't see him being anywhere but with the Miracle in 2014. Of course, by 2015 or 2016, if Gardy survives that long, he could be a consideration if he keeps the number of meltdowns in check and the family issues aren't still a factor.
    1. YourHouseIsMyHouse's Avatar
      YourHouseIsMyHouse -
      Dougie said he wants Pierzynski as his bench coach (when he retires). I'm not sure a lot of us would be ok with that.
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      Is that other guy, Jeff Smith (NB), just there . . . I mean he isn't talked about at any level here. Long-term plans for him?

      I don't think that the Twins are simply going to promote Jake Mauer to anything with the Twins right now. I do wonder if he could skip over to the aforementioned New Britain (with Molitor in Cedar Rapids).

      It seems as though they would have signed Gardenhire to a new deal by now, doesn't it? I am not sure what to make of Gene Glynn, but if he or Steinbach are managing, yes, I would like the bench coach to be of Latin American descent. Even if it is just to add to that guy's managerial resume for a couple of years right now. How about a guy with over 4,000 professional hits who also played in a Mexican League, a Japanese league, and a South Korean league? Someone who took and takes RIDICULOUSLY good care of his body?


      don't look it up. Think fast and answer who this person is . . .
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