|Twins Searching for New Manager
|By Sally Haase
October 1, 2014
Ding dong, the sloth is gone. After four consecutive seasons of 90 plus
losses the Minnesota Twins have finally decided to part ways with manager Ron
Gardenhire. Gardenhire was the second longest tenured manager in the major
leagues, just behind Los Angeles Angels manager Mike Scioscia, the only
difference between Gardenhire and Scioscia is that Scioscia’s team has managed
to win the majority of his years leading the team. Gardenhire finishes his career as
manager with over 1,000 wins and over 1,000 losses as well; but one needs to
manage a long time to reach either of those numbers.
Now begins the search for a new Twins manager and there are a few
names being thrown around, three of whom are already within the organization and
one outsider and a wild card both literally and figuratively. Here are the names
mentioned in order of my preference.
Ozzie Guillen: The former Chicago White Sox and Miami Marlins manager has
been working as a commentator and may be ready to get back into managing.
Guillen had a lot of respect for the Twins and their way of playing when many of his
players had zero respect for the Twins. Guillen has a fire that has been missing
from Gardenhire for several years that could inspire the team; and with the Twins
having several Latino players on the roster, having a bi-lingual manager can only
help bridge the communication gap between players and coaches. The cons to
hiring Guillen is that he is a loudmouth and the Twins don’t like controversy and
Guillen will likely say something off color at some point. Another thing the Twins like
is longevity and I just don’t see Guillen managing the Twins for ten or more years. If
the Twins are tired of being so vanilla Guillen is the right choice as manager, he will
certainly liven things up.
Doug Mientkiewicz: The former Twins gold glove winning first baseman just won his
first championship managing the Twins A minor league team. The talk is that
Mientkiewicz is being groomed to take over as Twins manager, I’m not sure if they
are ready to move him up so soon but he would be an excellent choice. He has
proved he can teach A players and is the youngest of the names being thrown
around, so the Twins would expect him to be around for a long time. Mientkiewicz
seems to be much like Gardenhire in that he will be a player’s manager and he also
brings a good dose of nostalgia by being a major part of the glory years of the early
2000’s Twins teams.
Paul Molitor: How Molitor has not been a MLB manager yet is beyond me. He has
manager written all over him. The Hall of Famer is a Minnesota native and has
worked with the current Twins roster on hitting and base stealing. The players have
a lot of respect for Molitor and will listen to him. I think Molitor knows how to push
his players to get everything he can out of them.
Terry Steinbach: Another former Twins player and Minnesota native, Steinbach is
my least favorite of the choices because he just feels too much like Gardenhire. His
temperament is very even keel and he just seems to be missing that spark that I
think the Twins need. Steinbach is supposedly on the Arizona Diamondbacks’
short list for their new manager. If the Twins are serious about keeping Steinbach
on the team, they better make a move quickly to keep him on the coaching staff.
The Twins like loyalty so the new Twins manager will likely be one of
numbers 2-4, although I really feel this Twins team needs someone completely
unattached to the Gardenhire way of coaching a team. A fresh set of eyes and a
new way of thinking is good for a team that has had years of complacent managing.