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Friday, October 05, 2012

AG.com: Twins clean house - almost

I’ve never understood getting rid of nearly the entire coaching staff while keeping the manager, and in this case I understand it even less.

This year 96 losses and the AL’s worst record led to immediate and sweeping changes to the coaching staff, as the Twins announced yesterday that everyone on Ron Gardenhire’s staff except for pitching coach Rick Anderson has been let go or reassigned to a lesser role within the organization.

During the first 11 seasons with Gardenhire as manager the Twins fired a grand total of one coach, Al Newman. Yesterday alone they fired first base coach Jerry White, third base coach Steve Liddle, and bullpen coach Rick Stelmaszek while reassigning hitting coach Joe Vavra and bench coach Scott Ullger to roles listed on the team website as minor league instructors. Head trainer Rick McWane was also let go.

Mike Emeigh Posted: October 05, 2012 at 10:11 AM | 12 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: minnesota

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   1. The Long Arm of Rudy Law Posted: October 05, 2012 at 10:20 AM (#4254988)
The Twins haven't fired a manager since 1986. Maybe they don't know that's allowed.
   2. catomi01 Posted: October 05, 2012 at 10:38 AM (#4255012)
Other than upper management trying to scare the manager (or the manager throwing his coaches under the bus to save his own job), what purpose does this serve? The twins would have won 70 games instead of 66 with a different bullpen coach?
   3. DL from MN Posted: October 05, 2012 at 10:57 AM (#4255032)
Rick McWane needed to go. The Twins have been terrible preventing, diagnosing and treating injuries. They've listed players as day-to-day for 10 days before putting them on the disabled list more than once which caused them to play shorthanded. As for the rest, except for Jerry White I think they can find guys who can do the job at least as well or better.

Gardenhire's contract is up in 2013. He's on the hot seat.
   4. Bitter Mouse Posted: October 05, 2012 at 11:07 AM (#4255048)
Gardenhire's contract is up in 2013. He's on the hot seat.


I just assumed it was the Twins being cheap. But I am cynical that way.
   5. DL from MN Posted: October 05, 2012 at 11:13 AM (#4255052)
Could be. The coaches are renewed yearly. Why pay someone else to manage your offseason?
   6. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 05, 2012 at 11:14 AM (#4255053)
So who is their bunt coordinator now? And when will they bring back Nickie Punto? He just filled out that Twins uniform.
   7. andrewberg Posted: October 05, 2012 at 12:35 PM (#4255144)
The twins would have won 70 games instead of 66 with a different bullpen coach?


That was my thought too. No manager was going to win with the pitchers they had this year. Sometimes coaching staffs change due for catharsis, and that's fine, but Gardy has proven that he is capable of NOT sabotaging a good roster. That, and decent bullpen management, are about the only things I expect out of a manager, so I hope he stays around.

Plus, I bought a Gardenhire jersey 2 years ago thinking it was the safest bet on the team. I better not have to get another new one so soon.
   8. AROM Posted: October 05, 2012 at 12:44 PM (#4255152)
Speaking of Twins managers, Tom Kelly managed them for 16 years and retired 11 years ago. He's 7 years younger than Davey Johnson. I wonder if he has any desire to manage again.
   9. DL from MN Posted: October 05, 2012 at 02:02 PM (#4255237)
I think TK is enjoying retirement. They just retired his number in September.
   10. Cris E Posted: October 05, 2012 at 02:26 PM (#4255263)
Gardenhire's contract is up in 2013. He's on the hot seat.

I just assumed it was the Twins being cheap.

These things are not mutually exclusive.
   11. DL from MN Posted: October 05, 2012 at 04:06 PM (#4255385)
No manager was going to win with the pitchers they had this year.


If the starting 5 had been healthy they had a shot. They got nothing out of Scott Baker, Francisco Liriano, Carl Pavano and Jason Marquis. They couldn't get any wins out of Liam Hendriks despite reasonable AAA success. It made a LOT of sense to fire the head trainer.
   12. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: October 05, 2012 at 06:56 PM (#4255673)
Other than upper management trying to scare the manager (or the manager throwing his coaches under the bus to save his own job), what purpose does this serve? The twins would have won 70 games instead of 66 with a different bullpen coach?

I'm really not a fan of these sorts of arguments. You can use it against any move that won't add 30 wins to the Twins - and no move will do that. There are no magic bullets.

Were these guys doing their jobs well? Could they find someone to do it better? Then, yeah, fire them. If that means you still have lousy players, OK, but at least the coaching staff got better.

Beyond that, this move should send one nice sign to Twins fans - the team is, finally, looking to move away from their old culture. They had a very successful franchise following a very nice formula, but it got stale and now their terrible. Along those lines, they fired only one coach so far under Gardy. Now they've fired a bunch. There's a sign that they won't just keep doing things the old way.

Could this be a big nothing? Sure. Could it be a purely cosmetic change? Yeah. Might it end up being nothing more than rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic? Could be. Or, it could be something bigger.

A team that's terrible and generally set in its ways just shook things up in their coaching staff and overall culture. That's not a bad thing.


Speaking of Twins managers, Tom Kelly managed them for 16 years and retired 11 years ago. He's 7 years younger than Davey Johnson. I wonder if he has any desire to manage again.

Very doubtful. There's a reason why he retired in his early 50s and hasn't managed again since then. He's done with managing.

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