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  • 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. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
      Molly is still my vote. I just want to see some damn aggressiveness on the basepaths.
      Where is there any word that he has at all been considered for any managerial job, much less a major league one.

      I just don't get the fascination with Molitor-as-manager.
    1. TheLeviathan's Avatar
      TheLeviathan -
      Quote Originally Posted by Shane Wahl View Post
      Where is there any word that he has at all been considered for any managerial job, much less a major league one.

      I just don't get the fascination with Molitor-as-manager.
      None, but he's had close ties to the organization and has a good profile to be a successful manager.

      Let's be honest, the Twins are not going to hire outside the organization. It just isn't how they do things.
    1. Anorthagen's Avatar
      Anorthagen -
      I could see Gene Glynn becoming the new manager of the Twins
    1. Hosken Bombo Disco's Avatar
      Hosken Bombo Disco -
      Quote Originally Posted by Shane Wahl View Post
      Where is there any word that he has at all been considered for any managerial job, much less a major league one.

      I just don't get the fascination with Molitor-as-manager.
      I do agree, if anybody it will probably be Steiny (yawn), but...

      Let's flip this around -- on this thread and other threads, what's your animus towards Molitor?

      Back in the day, I pulled for Molitor over Gardenhire. But Gardy won me over (until about 08 or 09). Looking back I'd say Molitor could have done at least as well as Gardy and not been as intimidated by the absolutely mediocre Yankees every single season. The experience angle is overrated and won't swing many people considering Molitor's knowledge of the game etc.

      And for the record, I'm not necessarily in Molitor's corner anymore. I'd definitely take him over Gardenhire though.

      But again, why get so animated when someone mentions him?
    1. Ctwink's Avatar
      Ctwink -
      How can you have a "complete" review of prospective Twins managers without discussin Steinbach. He's probably the MOST obvious choice! Come on...
    1. ScottyB's Avatar
      ScottyB -
      First of all a pitching coach becoming the manager scares me - I keep having nightmares of Ray "the Rabbit" Miller. Secondly, whether or not Gardy is brought back, Andy needs to go. Time to give Bobby Cuellar a chance. If Steinbach is elevated to manager, we need to purge Vavra and Ullger. That would leave four coach openings - bench, first, third and bullpen (assuming Bruno stays as hitting coach). I could see elevating Glynn and Mientkiewicz or Mauer. If you elevate Dougie, give Tommy Watkins a chance to manage the Miracle. I'd like to see the two remaining spots with guys from outside the organization - and preferably Hispanic. The bullpen might be a place for Pudge Rodriguez since he has no official coaching background. My preference would be an hispanic outsider for bench coach. Options could include Ozzie, Tony Pena (should he become available), Felix Fermin, Juan Samuel, or Andres Galaraga.
    1. LastOnePicked's Avatar
      LastOnePicked -
      It appears that Gardy's extension is already a done deal. Ryan is referring directly to Gardy's role on the 2014 squad already in interviews:

      Minnesota Twins have plenty of 'issues' in 91st loss - TwinCities.com
    1. ThePuck's Avatar
      ThePuck -
      Quote Originally Posted by LastOnePicked View Post
      It appears that Gardy's extension is already a done deal. Ryan is referring directly to Gardy's role on the 2014 squad already in interviews:

      Minnesota Twins have plenty of 'issues' in 91st loss - TwinCities.com
      Seems like you are correct:

      'Ryan said he needs to do his job and acquire some starters for next season so Duensing and Swarzak can stay in the bullpen.


      "I would like to think I'm going to be able to get Gardy some people here," Ryan said before the game. '
    1. IdahoPilgrim's Avatar
      IdahoPilgrim -
      Interesting quote from Ryan. Wonder if that was an accidental slip or an intentional one.
    1. Winston Smith's Avatar
      Winston Smith -
      Why fix what aint broken?
    1. CGNikolic's Avatar
      CGNikolic -
      Quote Originally Posted by Shane Wahl View Post
      I believe he is managing the Mets GCL team now.

      I just pulled his name out of any number of capable guys for a few reasons: he has played all over the world (esp. if the Twins go into that Asian market again . . . . . ), played baseball forever, and is severely disciplined about taking care of his body--I think there is added value in having a coach around like that.

      We are taking about baseball here Shane... taking care of your body to a large extent is by no means a part of this sport. Any baseball player would agree to that.
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Quote Originally Posted by LastOnePicked View Post
      It appears that Gardy's extension is already a done deal. Ryan is referring directly to Gardy's role on the 2014 squad already in interviews:

      Minnesota Twins have plenty of 'issues' in 91st loss - TwinCities.com
      I think that Ryan should not assume that he himself will be returning next season, despite what Pohlad said. Three seasons ago this time, BS "had the total confidence" of the Pohlads...

      We shall see.
    1. S.'s Avatar
      S. -
      Quote Originally Posted by ThePuck View Post
      "I would like to think I'm going to be able to get Gardy some people here," Ryan said before the game. '
      This statement is unbearably depressing. Third straight 90+ loss season, roster full of AAA players, and he'd "like to think" he'll be able to get us some upgrades? If the Pohlad's are the least bit serious about putting a respectable team on the field, I can't imagine they're happy about a lot of these quotes TR has had recently.
    1. CGNikolic's Avatar
      CGNikolic -
      Quote Originally Posted by Thrylos View Post
      I think that Ryan should not assume that he himself will be returning next season, despite what Pohlad said. Three seasons ago this time, BS "had the total confidence" of the Pohlads...

      We shall see.
      Terry Ryan is not Bill Smith. He keeps things cheap for the Pohlads and has helped make a bright future for this team. The people to point fingers at? The cheap, aforementioned owners of this team. Gardenhire and Ryan are not the problem here, 6 division championships in 9 years proves that.
    1. ThePuck's Avatar
      ThePuck -
      Quote Originally Posted by S. View Post
      This statement is unbearably depressing. Third straight 90+ loss season, roster full of AAA players, and he'd "like to think" he'll be able to get us some upgrades? If the Pohlad's are the least bit serious about putting a respectable team on the field, I can't imagine they're happy about a lot of these quotes TR has had recently.
      Might run into the problem he did last offseason...just can't give away the team's money :-)
    1. S.'s Avatar
      S. -
      I'm hoping he runs into the same problem Bill Smith had after the 2011 season...where he didnt have a GM job anymore.
    1. Winston Smith's Avatar
      Winston Smith -
      "Gardenhire and Ryan are not the problem here, 6 division championships in 9 years proves that."

      Living in the past is fine when the present and near future are this bad.
      Haven't won a playoff series since 2002, 0-12 playoff record going not sure that's a lot to hang your hat on at this point.
    1. ThePuck's Avatar
      ThePuck -
      Quote Originally Posted by Winston Smith View Post
      "Gardenhire and Ryan are not the problem here, 6 division championships in 9 years proves that."

      Living in the past is fine when the present and near future are this bad.
      Haven't won a playoff series since 2002, 0-12 playoff record going not sure that's a lot to hang your hat on at this point.
      And blaming Smith for all the issues, while giving credit for two division championships to Ryan while Smith was GM, seems odd too.
    1. LaBombo's Avatar
      LaBombo -
      So he's now semi-officially the only non-expansion manager besides TK in the past thirty years to return for another year after three consecutive 90 loss seasons.

      Put another way, since Gardenhire, to put it hyper-politely, lacks TK's postseason success, the front office is admitting something approximating this:

      It took what was a contending core at the end of the past decade, and added tens of millions to the available payroll budget with new stadium revenue.

      With those resources, they built a major league roster so dreadfully bad that the last manager to get a free pass for so many losses was managing a historically awful expansion franchise.

      That's Ryan's admission with the resigning of Gardenhire. The Twins' MLB talent level the past three seasons has stood at the level of a really, really bad expansion team.
    1. Hosken Bombo Disco's Avatar
      Hosken Bombo Disco -
      Quote Originally Posted by Winston Smith View Post
      "Gardenhire and Ryan are not the problem here, 6 division championships in 9 years proves that."

      Living in the past is fine when the present and near future are this bad.
      Haven't won a playoff series since 2002, 0-12 playoff record going not sure that's a lot to hang your hat on at this point.
      Agree.
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