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Who do you fire?

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#1 Parker Hageman

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 11:20 AM

Let's say the Twins get to the point over the next few weeks that an inevitable shake-up needs to occur. Similar to what the Angels just did with the firing of hitting coach Mickey Hatcher, let's say the Twins front office decide to send a message to the clubhouse by axing either hitting coach Joe Vavra or pitching coach Rick Anderson. Which of the two would you fire and why?

Note: One or the other and not both. No cheating by saying Ron Gardenhire or Terry Ryan.

#2 Shane Wahl

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 11:23 AM

Rick Anderson, in part because the pitching is so completely terrible, but more in particular because has been so terrible consistently early in games. Something has got to be off with preparation and approach, and I have a hard time believing that each individual pitcher is having the same problem independently.

#3 SweetOne69

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 11:32 AM

Rick Anderson, in part because the pitching is so completely terrible, but more in particular because has been so terrible consistently early in games. Something has got to be off with preparation and approach, and I have a hard time believing that each individual pitcher is having the same problem independently.


I agree with this. Plus even when we have had decent pitching in the past, under Anderson the whole starting staff would collapse at the same time (Usually for the month of June).

#4 DJSim22

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 11:41 AM

I tend to agree with the previous posts and say Anderson, but there's no way that happens. They'd get rid of Vavra first, Anderson is Gardy's guy.

#5 Thrylos

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 11:50 AM

Anderson (and promote Bobby Cuellar.) He is the closest to Gardenhire so it will give the loudest message and pitching has been worse than hitting. This off-season all but Jerry White need to go (including Gardy); a new (non-interim) GM should be hired and a new minor league director as well to start working with the new Twins' minor league affiliates
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#6 Game163

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 11:54 AM

There is an article on Yahoo! right now about the need to fire Vavra,

http://sports.yahoo....00057--mlb.html

although I personally would choose Anderson to get the axe.

#7 nicksaviking

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 11:59 AM

Anderson's case is hurt by the simple fact the Cuellar's AAA/AAAA starters are showing up Anderson's veteran starters by miles. He's been a great Twin and for awhile was considered the best pitching coach outside of Dave Duncan, but I don't see how Anderson will survive into 2013 especially considering a promotion is probably well deserved and overdue for Cuellar anyway.

#8 woolhouse

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 12:52 PM

I want Tom Brunansky in the major league dugout working with these batters. Especially Joe Mauer. I have the 1987 World Series DVD set, and Brunansky swings at- and hits- the first pitch each time. That Game 1 of the ALCS is in there, and Bruno - and all the batters around hit- are hitting huge singles and doubles on the first pitch. Now, I'm not saying that everytime... but when the pitcher is in a first-strike groove... swing.

#9 JB_Iowa

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 01:09 PM

I'm not thrilled with the parameters you've established but within those parameters, I really don't care which one is fired FIRST. Beyond that, what Thrylos said.

#10 one_eyed_jack

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 01:35 PM

I don't agree with the parameters either, but to answer the question, I'd probably lean towards Vavra. Yes, the pitching has been worse overall, but the hitting has been worse relative to what it's capable of. I think replacing Vavra is more likely to spark the offense than replacing Anderson is to spark the pitching. You can't really liken this to the Angels situation. They were expected to content this year, and still think they can. So they canned Hatcher hoping it create a spark while appeasing Pujols, who obviously wasn't happy with Hatcher. The Twins have already started focusing on next year and beyond. There's no sense trying to salvage this year by firing coaches in hopes it will spark immediate results. And it doesn't seem like the players have quit on these guys or want them gone. So I don't see what's to be gained in firing one guy in May. The rest of this season should determine the fate of the coaching staff. If we see a miraculous turnaround, fine, keep them. But if this team continues a slow death march to another 90+ losses, it's time for wholesale change this offseason. (And it wouldn't really be fair to whoever replaced Andy or Vavra in May if they had to face an uncertain future with regime change in October.)

#11 gunnarthor

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 01:57 PM

If nothing else, I think the Twins need a Spanish speaking coach, which could be Cueller. Plus, maybe he gets something out of Liriano.

#12 Seth Stohs

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 02:12 PM

I'd fire Rick Anderson first... we keep hearing that saying "So-n-So can work under Rick Anderson." Honestly, the last time that I think Anderson helped turn someone's career around was LaTroy Hawkins... in 2002. That said, I don't know what he's been given to work with this year. Perkins and Burton have certainly been good. I really think Vavra is a good hitting coach. The Twins have been horrible situational hitters this season, but I think that's more of an organizational philosophy that's gone downhill since TK left. Tom Brunansky is the big name right now... and I can't help but wonder why. That New Britain team had some guys who give him a lot of credit... but what has he shown in AAA this year. the Red Wings offense is weak. Benson has been demoted. Dozier was hitting under .200 over his past 19 games when the Twins called him up. So, is he really the answer? Some want Molitor, but he's been a failed hitting coach. Rod Carew? Hall of Fame hitter, but failed hitting coach. I think some don't like Vavra because he isn't a former player, a name... And that's not necessarily a bad thing.

#13 Paul

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 02:27 PM

I don't agree with the parameters either, but to answer the question, I'd probably lean towards Vavra. Yes, the pitching has been worse overall, but the hitting has been worse relative to what it's capable of. I think replacing Vavra is more likely to spark the offense than replacing Anderson is to spark the pitching.

You can't really liken this to the Angels situation. They were expected to content this year, and still think they can. So they canned Hatcher hoping it create a spark while appeasing Pujols, who obviously wasn't happy with Hatcher.

The Twins have already started focusing on next year and beyond. There's no sense trying to salvage this year by firing coaches in hopes it will spark immediate results. And it doesn't seem like the players have quit on these guys or want them gone. So I don't see what's to be gained in firing one guy in May.

The rest of this season should determine the fate of the coaching staff. If we see a miraculous turnaround, fine, keep them. But if this team continues a slow death march to another 90+ losses, it's time for wholesale change this offseason. (And it wouldn't really be fair to whoever replaced Andy or Vavra in May if they had to face an uncertain future with regime change in October.)



This is one of the few times in my life I have nothing to add.

#14 Parker Hageman

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 02:38 PM

@one_eyed_jack: Relax, it's a hypothetical question created to spark the discussion on the two coaches.

#15 mikeee

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 02:43 PM

I want Tom Brunansky in the major league dugout working with these batters. Especially Joe Mauer. I have the 1987 World Series DVD set, and Brunansky swings at- and hits- the first pitch each time. That Game 1 of the ALCS is in there, and Bruno - and all the batters around hit- are hitting huge singles and doubles on the first pitch.

Now, I'm not saying that everytime... but when the pitcher is in a first-strike groove... swing.


If he is the one getting Drew Butera hitting, I want him up too.

#16 twinswon1991

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 02:50 PM

Anderson first. Seconds later: Ryan, medical staff, and entire scouting dept.

#17 Boom Boom

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 03:10 PM

Carl Pohlad, Bill Smith, Dan Gladden, and Wally the Beer Man.

#18 rogrulz30

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 03:31 PM

If I had to fire somebody it would have to be Vavra for one reason, the entire organization needs Mauer to learn to hit for more power with his contract. I know he can learn, I think it is up to Vavra to teach him, he hasn't done it. We can say the same for Anderson not getting Liriano on board, but he isn't a psychologist. We need both the players, we need Mauer more.

#19 YourHouseIsMyHouse

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 03:34 PM

I really think Vavra is a good hitting coach. The Twins have been horrible situational hitters this season, but I think that's more of an organizational philosophy that's gone downhill since TK left.


I'd really like to know why you think Vavra is a good hitting coach. I can't see any reason to defend him really. The Twins take lots of walks, but overall I don't think he has really progressed players at the MLB level. Parmelee is a perfect example. This might be a good idea for an article if you really want to try and convince people including myself.

#20 greengoblinrulz

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 03:42 PM

Andersom, no question but Bruno is the up n comer....so hopefully both

#21 one_eyed_jack

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 04:16 PM

Anderson today, the fat stupid slob manager tomorrow.


---Well this certainly takes the discussion level up a couple of notches. Were you planning on keeping that dumb poopy-head Joe Vavra or was that an error of omission?

#22 Blake

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 04:52 PM

First, offer the coaching job and then fire. (make sure the person wanted is willing) So, offer the job of pitching coach to Blyleven. If he says no, then offer the job of hitting coach to Roy Smalley. Kind of hard for the youngsters to ignore a HOF pitching coach and a hitting coach with a World Series ring. (someone needs to invent an emoticon that signifies tongue in cheek)

#23 Nick Nelson

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 05:09 PM

Someone mentioned the lack of preparation for starting pitchers. I'm also irked by the lack of adjustments being made. With all these guys struggling, you'd think at least one of them would be able to turn it around with some help from the pitching coach, but we're seeing no meaningful improvements from Liriano, or Blackburn, or Marquis. Hendriks seemed to have no plan on the mound. I wonder if a change in guidance for the pitching staff would help.

#24 Thrylos

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 05:26 PM

So, offer the job of pitching coach to Blyleven. If he says no, then offer the job of hitting coach to Roy Smalley.

Kind of hard for the youngsters to ignore a HOF pitching coach and a hitting coach with a World Series ring.


Just for correctness' sake:
Smalley might have a ring and might have beenawarded a post-season $ share in 87, but he never played any post-season games with the Twins. He was traded to the Yankees mid-season. Brunansky on the other hand... ;)

Edited by Thrylos, 18 May 2012 - 06:05 PM.

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#25 ltwedt

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 07:18 PM

Mmmmm- if I had a choice - Steve Liddle - he has no clue! But, given the choices - Anderson. If the "pitch-to-contact" theory is his, please do it tomorrow so we can move on and start trying to actually become a staff of pitchers. I just can not warm to that philosophy

#26 DJSim22

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 08:23 PM

So I emailed KFAN today about Cuellar replacing Anderson and Dark Star went off on me. :cool:

#27 TwinsFanLV

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 08:41 PM

Just for correctness' sake:
Smalley might have a ring and might have beenawarded a post-season $ share in 87, but he never played any post-season games with the Twins. He was traded to the Yankees mid-season. Brunansky on the other hand... ;)

You are totally wrong about Smalley. Smalley had one plate appearance and walked in Game 7 of the '87 series. He was traded to the Yankees much earlier in his career and had returned.

#28 TwinsFanLV

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 08:45 PM

Smalley walked to load the bases in the bottom of the sixth, ahead of a two run double by Greg Gagne.

#29 Dilligaf69

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 09:23 PM

I'd say Vavra...this team just does'nt hit for any power...Now i don't have to see 200 HR's a yr that's not gonna happen but the last few games aside we don't even hit that many doubles. We lead the ML is ground balls so it's an approach thing it seems to me. Mauer should be a doubles machine and while he's had good yrs in that dept, and has had a myriad of injuries it seems to me that if he won't hit HR's which would be nice too then at least he should produce 5 or 6 dozen 2B a yr.

#30 gunnarthor

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Posted 18 May 2012 - 09:38 PM

Just for correctness' sake:
Smalley might have a ring and might have beenawarded a post-season $ share in 87, but he never played any post-season games with the Twins. He was traded to the Yankees mid-season. Brunansky on the other hand... ;)


Um, http://www.baseball-...198710180.shtml