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Thread: Article: The New Britain Coaching Situation

  1. #1

    Article: The New Britain Coaching Situation

    Andrew Walter
    Twins Fan From Afar
    Providing Twins and Rock Cats Coverage
    http://twinsfanfromafar.blogspot.com
    Follow me on Twitter: @MNfanfromafar

  2. #2
    It all boils down to the starting rotation. The Twins have mixed in their share of minor league free agents, and it seems to be a mecca for rehab. Almost any player who will be a Twins major league guy who goes thru the minors does come thru New Britain. So that is a plus, too.

    I won't fault the coaching staff. Smith seems to be a Twins lifer. Cliburn has been up and down and all around. Chad Allen was an interesting choice. I'm not sure if the next step is Jake Mauer switching places with Smith, or is Smith being groomed for a bullpen job, perhaps.

    The Twins have had a lot of longevity in many of their coaching and mangerial positions in the minors, but seem to be looking outside the organization when a vacancy does happen. I don't see any, except maybe Jake, making the majors. But, who knows. Why Tommy Watkins, the mayor of Ft. Myers, coaches everywhere but Ft. Myers is beyond me.

    New Britain consistently fields decent teams for the Twins. But they are in a tough league overall. Sometimes your guys ARE too young. Sometimes they are TOO worn out.

  3. #3
    Senior Member All-Star
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    When assessing the job of a minor league coach is doing, I would look at are his players getting better at what is being coached. Chad Allen cannot turn Beresford into a power hitter, he can make him a better hitter.

  4. #4
    Senior Member All-Star Shane Wahl's Avatar
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    You do a great job with this affiliate.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Double-A Cap'n Piranha's Avatar
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    I'm not totally surprised by the Cats not making the playoffs this year, as the core of their roster came from a pretty bad Fort Myer's squad last year. If you look at the affiliates challenging for/in the playoffs right now, all of them are a level above teams that were competitive last year. Rochester--last year NB just missed the playoffs. Fort Myers--Beloit made the playoffs last year. Cedar Rapids--E-Town won the Appy last year.

    If this theory holds true, you should buy your 2014 and 2015 Rock Cat playoff tickets right now.

  6. #6
    Senior Member All-Star cmathewson's Avatar
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    They didn't have the pitching they expected to. If Meyer had stayed healthy, they'd be looking at playoffs.
    "If you'da been thinkin' you wouldn't 'a thought that.."

  7. #7
    Senior Member Triple-A
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    There is obviously so much more that goes in to evaluating minor league managers/coaches than W-L record. Almost anyone could put up a pretty good record if you give him Sano & Rosario for half a season and Buxton, along with a lot of other talent that rose from CR to Ft Myers the second half of their season.

    But the Twins will, and should, make minor league assignments based on whether they think those staffs are properly developing the prospects they're put in charge of helping to improve. In the process, those managers/coaches are learning how to teach, as well. They're honing their own talents. If they continue to improve, they'll get better assignments either with the Twins or elsewhere. Maybe even MLB jobs, eventually.

    I just don't think wins and losses dictate much as a primary measurement of their performance, at least not until you're in the final year of an affiliation agreement you want to renew.

    Covering the Cedar Rapids Kernels for
    MetroSportsReport.comwhile my alter-ego, Jim Crikket, opines about the Twins and Kernels at Knuckleballsblog.com.

    ~You can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant~

  8. #8
    Senior Member Triple-A
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    I might just add that how the minor league managers/coaches deal with local media probably goes in to their evaluation.

    I've had more than one FO visitor in Cedar Rapids this year ask me how the Kernels coaching staff is to work with from a media standpoint. I'm not sure that's a coincidence.

    Covering the Cedar Rapids Kernels for
    MetroSportsReport.comwhile my alter-ego, Jim Crikket, opines about the Twins and Kernels at Knuckleballsblog.com.

    ~You can get anything you want at Alice's Restaurant~

  9. #9
    Thanks for the comments. For sure, player development is much more important than win-loss records in the minors. It's a much tougher concept to judge, especially since the jury is still out on a lot of guys that have been through New Britain under Smith. I've written about that a little before, but it's worthy of its own post.
    Last edited by Twins Fan From Afar; 08-23-2013 at 03:18 PM.

  10. #10
    Simple sentences only Twins Fan From Afar

  11. #11
    Senior Member All-Star Thrylos's Avatar
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    First of all, hiring a steroid cheater as a coach is a major disgrace on Ryan. Allen should go. Period.

    There are a few things in play for Smith:

    a. Plenty of his former players, currently in the Twins' organization and not, have been loud and clear about how much they dislike him as a coach
    b. Lots of those "Twins' lifers" were Rantz' boys. Now that he has finally retired and there is a new Director of minor leagues, I think that this season was their evaluation season. I do expect several changes in the minors this off-season...
    c. Ask around (off the record) the NB front office about what they think about Smith; you will probably get some really enlightening opinions...
    -----
    Blogging Twins since 2007 at The Tenth Inning Stretch
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    twitter: @thrylos98

  12. #12
    Senior Member Double-A
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thrylos View Post
    First of all, hiring a steroid cheater as a coach is a major disgrace on Ryan. Allen should go. Period.
    Mark McGuire has done a great job as a hitting coach. He also was in trouble for steroids. The world is about second chances. I am sure glad that my bosses judge me based on who I am today and not decisions I made when I was younger.

  13. #13
    Super Moderator All-Star
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    Wait, Chad Allen.... Steroids? Is this a joke?

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by diehardtwinsfan View Post
    Wait, Chad Allen.... Steroids? Is this a joke?
    One year he hit 0 homers. The next year: 4.
    You be the judge.
    Andrew Walter
    Twins Fan From Afar
    Providing Twins and Rock Cats Coverage
    http://twinsfanfromafar.blogspot.com
    Follow me on Twitter: @MNfanfromafar

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