• 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. gunnarthor's Avatar
      gunnarthor -
      Julio Franco? Is he managing somewhere?

      I agree that the Twins could use some Spanish speaking coaches/or manager. Not sure Franco is the answer.
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      Quote Originally Posted by gunnarthor View Post
      Julio Franco? Is he managing somewhere?

      I agree that the Twins could use some Spanish speaking coaches/or manager. Not sure Franco is the answer.
      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.
    1. strumdatjag's Avatar
      strumdatjag -
      Ozzie!!!
    1. Jim Crikket's Avatar
      Jim Crikket -
      Quote Originally Posted by Shane Wahl View Post
      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 had thought about Smith and I wouldn't totally rule him out. He has a reputation of not being all that popular with the players, so it seems like the only reason you would give him the Big League job would be because you wanted to hire "not Gardy." That is, a manager who isn't too concerned about being well-liked in the clubhouse. I wouldn't rule that out, but I think he's more likely to be added as a coach than a manager. I could also see him moving up to Rochester if Glynn moves up/on, but I'm not sure he'd be real popular there with fans/media, either.

      Jake Mauer has spent several years working with young players, including most of those who are likely to be the core of the next wave of MLB talent. The only thing his resume lacks is Big League experience and, knowing how high the front office is on him, I'll be very surprised if they don't give him an opportunity to fill that gap on his resume.

      I'm not at all surprised no announcement has been made re Gardy. Everyone knows it won't be an altogether popular decision, so I can see them announcing it after the season is over when he won't have to hear that displeasure vocalized every time he steps out of the dugout.
    1. cmb0252's Avatar
      cmb0252 -
      Mike Maddox. Please go outside the organization for once. We need some new blood with some new ideas.
    1. Winston Smith's Avatar
      Winston Smith -
      "..... and is severely disciplined about taking care of his body--I think there is added value in having a coach around like that."

      If you look at Gardy you can see he at least feeds his body really well. Exercise not so much.
    1. Yossarian's Avatar
      Yossarian -
      Dougie Baseball's aggressiveness doesn't look (to me) any worse than Gardy's, particularly with umpires.

      They'll ask Gardy to come back for a one-year deal. Question is, will he take it? I think Gardy hasn't any other alternatives if he wants to manage.
    1. Sconnie's Avatar
      Sconnie -
      Quote Originally Posted by Oldgoat_MN View Post
      Basically, I'd look for someone who seems to have some recent success developing pitchers.
      I like Old Goat's train of thought. If our weakness is pitching, lets make it a point of emphasis. My vote is Jim Hickey
    1. powrwrap's Avatar
      powrwrap -
      My ideal candidate would be:

      1. Someone, anyone, that has never played for, coached for, or scouted for the Twins or their minor league teams. In other words, someone that has NEVER been attached to this organization.

      2. Someone not named Ozzie Guillen.

      3. Someone not named Bobby Valentine.

      4. Someone not named Jim Leyland.
    1. S.'s Avatar
      S. -
      Unless TR goes too I don't see much, if any, chance that we end up with a forward thinking manager from outside the organization. In my opinion, we're much more likely to see them shuffle around a bunch of folks who are already in the org so they can keep on doing the same ol, same ol while claiming we're going to make big changes.

      Hopefully I'm proven wrong, but at this point my expectations aren't exactly high(to put it nicely) until I see something that proves to me we have any intentions of changing the way the org is being run.
    1. Wookiee of the Year's Avatar
      Wookiee of the Year -
      Quote Originally Posted by John Bonnes View Post
      I wonder if Mientkiewicz's actions in High-A - specifically, getting into a fight with another manager - might cost him any realistic consideration.
      I might've thought so, but Mientkiewicz also won Manager of the Year in the Florida State League. Makes me wonder if the fight wasn't as big a deal as you are I would think? It's hard to imagine the Manager of the Year being someone who literally tackled another manager, but it happened. His peers must not look down on the incident that much.

      Quote Originally Posted by John Bonnes View Post
      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.
      First, I have to agree with Jim Crikket that the most likely scenario is Gardy gets a two-year contract. My expectation is the front office will offer him a one-year deal, he'll say thanks, but no thanks, and then the front office will cave and go to two.

      And while it's doubtful they'd look outside the organization, if you're looking for less commonly mentioned candidates, I'd nominate Manny Acta for manager. He's more into stats than your typical manager, he's available, and I'd like to see the Twins add a manager who's not monolingual. Plus, let's face it, Acta has some experience with rebuilding teams.
    1. Pius Jefferson's Avatar
      Pius Jefferson -
      Throw a couple of names out there.

      Chili Davis and Chip Hale.
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Quote Originally Posted by John Bonnes View Post
      I wonder if Mientkiewicz's actions in High-A - specifically, getting into a fight with another manager - might cost him any realistic consideration.
      That should actually be a plus... it is in my book This team needs a manager with emotions, who stands behind his players and can actually bring some energy in the dugout.

      To the OP:

      Seriously, the only negatives on Gardenhire are the last 3 seasons? In some cases, his inability to win in the post-season was worse that his last 3 season...

      If you are going to use the age card on Glynn, it should be used on Molitor as well. They are the same age. I was always wondering whether Molitor's drug use has anything to do with him not being a manager, but this also the organization that hired a PED cheat as a hitting coach the past off-season... Scottie & Steinie should be added to the list (I know, I know....) if the Twins will go internally.

      Really disappointed to not see external names, because this is what the Twins need (starting from the GM, of course.) I suspect that this is an internal only list.
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Quote Originally Posted by Shane Wahl View Post
      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?
      Hopefully the boot. He is not liked by his players, the New Britain fans and the New Britain local club management. How he is still with the organization (and gets a trip to the AFL) is beyond my comprehension...
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Quote Originally Posted by John Bonnes View Post
      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.
      Wally Backman, always have been a big fan and this season had a tremendous turnaround of the Mets' AAA team as a manager. And Twins' ties

      Torey Lovullo, current Red Sox' bench coach, many years as a AAA manager

      and one of the up and coming but blocked managers:

      Charlie Montoyo many years as the Rays' minor league manager with tremendous success in his teams, but as long as Maddon is around, his future in that organization would be in the minors.
    1. SydneyTwinsFan's Avatar
      SydneyTwinsFan -
      I think if Gardy gets a 1 or 2 year deal then either Jake Mauer or Dougie Baseball will be good chances to succeed him after that. It's probably a bit early for both, but I'd like to see one of them added as a bench coach.

      If Gardy is gone, my picks would be Molitor (internal) or Dave Martinez (external).
    1. big dog's Avatar
      big dog -
      Quote Originally Posted by Wookiee of the Year View Post
      I might've thought so, but Mientkiewicz also won Manager of the Year in the Florida State League. Makes me wonder if the fight wasn't as big a deal as you are I would think? It's hard to imagine the Manager of the Year being someone who literally tackled another manager, but it happened. His peers must not look down on the incident that much.

      Yeah, that makes me wonder if all the other managers also wanted to fight that guy at some point, and gave Mint some cred for actually trying to do it.
    1. jimbo92107's Avatar
      jimbo92107 -
      Gene Glynn or Terry Steinbach.

      Yawn.
    1. TheLeviathan's Avatar
      TheLeviathan -
      Molly is still my vote. I just want to see some damn aggressiveness on the basepaths.
    1. Sconnie's Avatar
      Sconnie -
      Quote Originally Posted by powrwrap View Post
      My ideal candidate would be:

      1. Someone, anyone, that has never played for, coached for, or scouted for the Twins or their minor league teams. In other words, someone that has NEVER been attached to this organization.

      2. Someone not named Ozzie Guillen.

      3. Someone not named Bobby Valentine.

      4. Someone not named Jim Leyland.
      I fit those criteria...
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