05-10-2012, 12:45 AM #1
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It's May 9th, so I understand that all of this talk is probably premature, but given the Twins record through the first 30 games (8-22), it is looking more and more like the time to look ahead. A big part of "looking ahead" would be to see who would be leading this team as the manager. I'm not one to say fire Gardenhire or retain him, but when was the last manager to have BACK-TO-BACK worst records in the league and still hold their job. The organization can be loyal to a degree, but at some point they need to look to see if a change at the helm is worth considering. If a move is made mid-2012, it's likely Ullger would be interim coach, unless they can get someone like Molitor into the position right away, but unlikely. Obviously Ullger should not be seen as the long term answer, but WHO should be?
Perhaps this guy...
Current Tampa Bay Rays Bench Coach, Dave Martinez. Seen as a possible candidate to a few teams last off-season, he is one of the hot up-and-coming coaches in the big leagues. It would be safe to assume that the majority of readers of TwinsDaily see Joe Maddon and the "Rays Way" as a model of a well run team, top to bottom. Joe Maddon, although not the youngest manager, is one of the most progressive, statistician (dare I say Sabermetrician) thinkers of the game. He works hand in hand well with General Manager Friedman to field a competitive team year in, year out with a minuscule payroll in the toughest division in baseball. Since Maddon is under contract and very unlikely to be relieved of his duties before his contract runs out in 2015, his right hand man seems to be a logical choice as a great managerial option.
Martinez was brought in in 2007, the year after Maddon was named manager. He has been a key part (one would presume) to the 2 division titles and 1 Wild Card berth in the 5 seasons he's been there. As far as his in-game tactical record and feelings on sabermetrics, it's a complete unknown, but he is being taught by one of the best in the business.
With the Twins facing the inevitable "rebuilding" phase that could last anywhere from 1-4 years, I would prefer to replace Gardenhire (if he does leave or gets fired) with a younger, unconventional manager. Those who think Terry Francona or Tony LaRussa would come into a situation like this, are dreaming, and Martinez may be a better fit regardless. Does Gardenhire make it through 2012 and the offseason? Would Martinez want to leave the success of the Rays to manage a struggling team? Would Terry Ryan and the rest of the Front Office be ok with the progressive thinking of Martinez? All of these questions would have to have the right answers for everything to fit, but Dave Martinez is my vote for the Minnesota Twins 2013 Manager!