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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. Boom Boom's Avatar
      Boom Boom -
      Ryan's quote about getting Gardy some better players could be just force of habit, considering how long Gardy's been here, or it could be one of those "vote of confidence/kiss of death" quotes that always comes before a major organizational firing.

      I get the feeling that it's neither, and the Twins country club isn't going anywhere.
    1. DAM DC Twins Fans's Avatar
      DAM DC Twins Fans -
      I just read all the comments--surprised that Manny Acta and Wally Backman--my top two choices were only mentioned once each. Manny has done well (to a point) with rebuilding teams and Wally (who has Twins connections) has done well in minors.

      I don't get the fascination with Molitar--he has ZERO managing experience anywhere--not the right choice.

      This will be an interesting offseason--potential jobs in Anaheim, Texas, Twins and here in DC and probably one or two more. I actually wonder if Gardy will come to DC where he has a nucleus.
    1. Hosken Bombo Disco's Avatar
      Hosken Bombo Disco -
      Quote Originally Posted by DAM DC Twins Fans View Post
      Wally Backman
      Just what we need, another mediocre Met from the mid 80s. And I see the guy has a ton of baggage.

      Molitor would be a much better choice in my opinion. Molitor cares about the players and has a good head. He would bring in good coaches. Lack of managing experience wouldn't be an obstacle. Much of the on-field stuff is drills and mentoring, which he has been doing with our prospects anyway, and I'm confident he could fill out a line up card. Molitor also has "Minnesota ties" which throughout this thread has usually been an argument in favor.
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Quote Originally Posted by CGNikolic View Post
      Gardenhire and Ryan are not the problem here, 6 division championships in 9 years proves that.
      Not the correct math:

      Math is zero world series and zero AL pennants and:

      6 division championships in 12 years for Gardy
      4 division championships in 16 years for Ryan.

      4 5th place and 5 4th place for Ryan and 2 5th place and 1 4th place for Gardenhire

      If you like mediocrity, you got to love those guys.

      And according that logic, 2 division championships in 4 years makes Smith better than both. At least twice better than Ryan, correct?
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by nicksaviking View Post
      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.
      I've been beating the drum on these 2 for years. Central Division bona fides, bilingual, record of individual performance and team excellence and toughness and durability, familial ties in the case of Pudge, and treasure troves of baseball experience to impart to young, impressionable players. And they both have been available in the recent past. And speaking of Latin catchers, someone with more experience, Central Division ties and also"manager-ready" would be Tony Pena- but it would probably take too much effort to lure him to Minnesota for the Pohlads.
    1. Upnorthtwinsfan's Avatar
      Upnorthtwinsfan -
      How about this. Get TK out of retirement and sign him to a one year deal. Make Jake Mauer the bench coach for TK to mentor for a year and give the job to Jake in year two.

      TK is great at the details and would be a great mentor for Jake as well as great with the young players.

      He probably wouldn't take the job out of respect for Gardy. It's fun to think about it though.
    1. orangevening's Avatar
      orangevening -
      How about someone who has a history with the organization and the "Twins way" at the same time has prespective gained from working in other organizations (including the beloved Tampa Bay Rays). Someone with manager experience. A name that the causal Twins fan will love and get excited about (G__ knows they need it);

      Gary Gaetti :P
    1. MarshalltheIrish's Avatar
      MarshalltheIrish -
      I not only hope with everything in my soul that Gardy isn't retained, but that the Twins would just bring in someone from the outside for once. If they did, I think Tampa Bay Rays coach Dave Martinez would be a fantastic choice. After that, I'd go for Chip Hale or Matt Williams. Of the internal candidates, Glynn would be best. I was once a Molitor advocate and god knows he'd be better than Gardy, but I have my doubts.
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