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Mackey: Twins may make changes to field staff

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#1 Seth Stohs

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 09:11 PM

1500espn's Phil Mackey penned a nice article stating that the Twins could make some changes to the field staff:


There's a feeling within the Pohlad family two atrocious seasons cannot pass without change of some kind, sources said, especially with attendance figures dropping at Target Field.


One spot may open up without Ryan or Gardenhire needing to make a move:

The 53-year-old Liddle -- who is well-respected by players and contributes greatly to in-game strategy -- has told people he is strongly considering retiring after the season.


Gardenhire is signed through the 2013 season while his coaches' contracts run out at the end of the season.

#2 Cody Christie

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 09:55 PM

Gardy had nothing but praise for his coaching staff in the conference call with season ticket holders. It still wouldn't surprise me if some kind of move was made.

#3 joeboo_22

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 10:04 PM

I think something has to happen, its to the point where if Gardy doesn't make a move (or 2 or 3) and the Twins start slow next year many more will start calling for his head. If you make a move or 2 with your staff you give yourself a little more rope down the line. Personally I'd like a new pitching coach. I'd love Bert to come out of the booth because I really do think he knows how to pitch and did a good job with The Netherlands at the WBC last time around. But I doubt he'd consider it, as you can tell he likes his vacations and I really think his only goal post career in life was to get into the HOF and since hes done that I don't think he wants to coach. But I've heard good things about the AAA pitching coach so I'd go with him. The other move would be with the 3B coach. Its bad, nothing else I can or need to say.

#4 ashburyjohn

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 10:27 PM

Gardy had nothing but praise for his coaching staff


The Dreaded Vote of Confidence™, one level down the management chain? :)

#5 beckmt

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Posted 27 September 2012 - 11:57 PM

I think both Bobby Cuellar and Tom Brunansky need to be considered for promotion, before we lose them

#6 old nurse

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 01:47 AM

More problematic in the article by Makey is the lack of discipline creeping in and being tolerated.

Is Liddle tired of the rat race or being a scapegoat for what he has no control over? Does a coach make that much money they can retire young? Liddle might not like some of what he sees and is loyal to the staff so to preserve an image calls it retirement. John Bonnes article described the lack of clutch hitting. That is not his area. He doesn't work with the pitchers. There is something that does not add up.

#7 SpiritofVodkaDave

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 07:29 AM

Does a coach make that much money they can retire young? .

uhhhh....yes! He makes $660k a year, and 54 isn't exactly young.

In addition it wouldn't shock me if he stuck around the organization as an adviser or some role as well.

#8 old nurse

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 07:43 AM

Does a coach make that much money they can retire young? .

uhhhh....yes! He makes $660k a year, and 54 isn't exactly young.

In addition it wouldn't shock me if he stuck around the organization as an adviser or some role as well.


In regards to 54 not being exactly young, the policy of this board does not allow me to tell you what I think of your opinion.

#9 JB_Iowa

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 07:48 AM

Fascinating article by Mackey. And to his conclustion: But after 11 years and now two 90-loss seasons, the Twins are trying to decide if it's time to shake things up, I can only say "AMEN".

For me, this isn't about being "bad" at your job (although arguments can be made long those lines), it is more a corollary to "Familiarity breeds contempt" or rather, too much familiarity leads to complacency and bad habits. I honestly believe that part of the Twins' problems stem from too much stability. Since they didn't "bleed in" much new field staff or front office staff in the last 11 years, they now need an infusion of new energy, personalities, ideas and talent.

#10 SpiritofVodkaDave

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 08:03 AM

However, the idea that the Twins are bad due to a bench coach or 3rd base coach is laughable at best.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out why this team is losing 90+ games.

They. Have. No. Starting. Pitching.

I could honestly care less about them bringing in a new field staff, it's not going to make that much of a difference (maybe 2 wins at best?) The success/failure of 2013 is going to be the starting pitching staff.

#11 nokomismod

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 08:59 AM

I agree Spirit of Vodka Dave. No coaching staff in baseball could have made this rotation into a winner.

Mackey's lines about the players starting to show a little less respect for the game (dress code, injured players showing up later than they should) tells me that some fresh blood would be good. I am not sure if Gardenhire's ego would allow for a Gladden, Morris, Bruno, or Molitor to be added to the staff though. I'm thinking it would have to be a guy of his choosing.

#12 Winston Smith

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 09:29 AM

How bad does it have to get before the manager or coaches need to change? Another sub 500 season next year be it or should Gardy have the job as long as he wants?
This comment brought to you from the Rosedale Mall studio by Hamm's Beer, brewed in the land of sky blue waters.

#13 twinsnorth49

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 03:28 PM

However, the idea that the Twins are bad due to a bench coach or 3rd base coach is laughable at best.

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out why this team is losing 90+ games.

They. Have. No. Starting. Pitching.

I could honestly care less about them bringing in a new field staff, it's not going to make that much of a difference (maybe 2 wins at best?) The success/failure of 2013 is going to be the starting pitching staff.


Amen brother and everybody here knows it but most still need a scapegoat.

#14 twinsnorth49

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 03:29 PM

I agree Spirit of Vodka Dave. No coaching staff in baseball could have made this rotation into a winner.

Mackey's lines about the players starting to show a little less respect for the game (dress code, injured players showing up later than they should) tells me that some fresh blood would be good. I am not sure if Gardenhire's ego would allow for a Gladden, Morris, Bruno, or Molitor to be added to the staff though. I'm thinking it would have to be a guy of his choosing.


Where do you come up with that?

#15 roger

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 03:50 PM

+1, 54 to some of us is just a kid, eh old nurse?

#16 Thrylos

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 04:29 PM

I think both Bobby Cuellar and Tom Brunansky need to be considered for promotion, before we lose them


Bruno is one thing but he has history with the Twins. Cuellar is not a spring chicken and I think might be close to retirement himself. That said I agree.

I think if the only move after two 90+ loss season would be to replace Liddle, they better do nothing. They should clean house, but at least Anderson has to go. Cannot keep only the players accountable and call for no scholarships (and still hand one to the Drew) while you tenure your manager and your coaches.

Glad to hear that the Pohlads do not like the product their staff (starting with the GM) put on the field. Time to see whether they will do the right thing...
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#17 Alex

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 06:04 PM

I think both Bobby Cuellar and Tom Brunansky need to be considered for promotion, before we lose them


Bruno is one thing but he has history with the Twins. Cuellar is not a spring chicken and I think might be close to retirement himself. That said I agree.

I think if the only move after two 90+ loss season would be to replace Liddle, they better do nothing. They should clean house, but at least Anderson has to go. Cannot keep only the players accountable and call for no scholarships (and still hand one to the Drew) while you tenure your manager and your coaches.

Glad to hear that the Pohlads do not like the product their staff (starting with the GM) put on the field. Time to see whether they will do the right thing...


Ultimately, I could care less about the coaching staff. The issues are far more about organizational philosophy and player evaluation than anything else. No team, regardless of their coaches, wins even 81 games with this pitching staff. Could the Twins win a few more games with better coaches? Probably, but I don't think it's a number that would be even close to being in the double digits.

#18 Rosterman

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 08:31 PM

Stele could be replaced (sadly, but let us be realistic). Ullger should move on to somewhere that might offer him management opportunities...he is NOT heir to Gardy. Vavra could move aside. Liddle leave on his own. Bring back Redmond. Promote Bruno. Do something.....
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#19 jimbo92107

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 10:40 PM

...No coaching staff in baseball could have made this rotation into a winner.


Unless they teach somebody to throw a knuckleball....

Too soon?

#20 SpiritofVodkaDave

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Posted 28 September 2012 - 10:49 PM

Unless you think they are bringing in Maddox, I'm not sure how anyone could advocate getting rid of Rick Anderson.,.

#21 howeda7

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 03:28 PM

Watching the Gophers get killed in Iowa City today was a reminder of the pain of firing someone just to 'do something.' The last two years have sucked, and baseball managers have less impact on wins and losses then any other coach, but I still don't want to be sitting here in 2017 having fired Gardy's replacement and just hoping that maybe the next guy can get us to the play-offs again.

That said, I agree with those who advocate Bruno and/or Cuellar joining the staff.

#22 greengoblinrulz

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 06:10 PM

Wonder if they will give him the choice of either Vavra or Andy.
Id like to see Andy go if its only one since its him that believes in the low pitch count and thats one of the first things that needs to be changed.
Wonder how much better Gardy could manage if his staff isnt entirely made up of of 'his best friends in baseball' but actual coaches.

#23 Alex

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Posted 29 September 2012 - 10:38 PM

If they fire someone it will basically give the appearance of doing something without having to spend significant money doing something that might actually be more impactful (like signing FA pitchers not named Marquis).

#24 twinsnorth49

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 07:01 AM

Watching the Gophers get killed in Iowa City today was a reminder of the pain of firing someone just to 'do something.' The last two years have sucked, and baseball managers have less impact on wins and losses then any other coach, but I still don't want to be sitting here in 2017 having fired Gardy's replacement and just hoping that maybe the next guy can get us to the play-offs again.



That said, I agree with those who advocate Bruno and/or Cuellar joining the staff.


Please tell me you're referring to Mason and not Brewster!!

#25 Riverbrian

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 10:05 AM

I have no problem with change... but... How does anyone know that Bruno is the answer?

What makes people clamor for Bruno? Bruno may be great... I'm certainly not saying he won't be... I'm asking.... How does anyone know???

Could it be that some are suggesting hires for 2013 based on name recognition. "I've heard of him" type thing. Bruno for Hitting Coach... Redmond for Manager.

It makes me assume Bruno is suggested as a matter of convenience. Which is fine... But can we be a little constrained with the over trumpeting of Bruno... Assuming we know he's the guy... As opposed to simply being a guy we've heard of.

Its one thing to think its time for replacements... It's another thing to passionately replace the replacements.

#26 ashburyjohn

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 08:19 PM

I have no problem with change... but... How does anyone know that Bruno is the answer?

What makes people clamor for Bruno? Bruno may be great... I'm certainly not saying he won't be... I'm asking.... How does anyone know???


Bruno's qualification is that He Is Fun. As evidence, I offer the anecdote I wrote for my Mastroianni adopt-a-prospect:
http://www.twinsdail...rin-Mastroianni

#27 ashburyjohn

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 08:22 PM

Wonder if they will give him the choice of either Vavra or Andy.
Id like to see Andy go if its only one since its him that believes in the low pitch count and thats one of the first things that needs to be changed.
Wonder how much better Gardy could manage if his staff isnt entirely made up of of 'his best friends in baseball' but actual coaches.


You know, sometimes a manager will go to bat for his coaches. "You can fire them, but then you'll have to fire me." Not Gardy this time - "eh, someone's gonna get the ax from top management, I hear." If Gardy actually was OK with a firing, it should be him doing the firing, shouldn't it?

#28 Fire Dan Gladden

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 08:46 PM

The "change for the sake of change" gong is ringing again.

Maybe the Twins are bad because... wait for it... the starting pitching sucks?

Hard to put a lot of blame on Anderson: Resurecting Burton, Diamond, and Perkins; a bunch of injuries in the last few years resulting in calling up unprepared players. Hard to blame Vavra. Look at all the career years players have had recently. He seems to be doing ok. Gardy is still being Gardy. Love him or hate him, he is giving the organization what they want. I don't think he will ever be fired.

The overall organizational view worked for 10 years. It could work again, but a few things have bit them in the ass over the years. TJ injuries have depleted the pitching reserves. A handful of trades not working out. Not getting any return for Hunter, Cuddyer, Kubel, and Santana (nothing of value for Santana anyways). If the current group in the low minors comes up and hits the snot out of the ball in 2 years, all will be forgotten.

#29 Riverbrian

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Posted 30 September 2012 - 09:47 PM

It's real hard for anyone to know what are current coaches are capable of... or what they have accomplished without inside access to them.

Who's to say that this year wasn't Anderson's finest hour. Maybe the pitching was very very very bad and Andy made them simply bad. Maybe he did some extroidanary work with what he had to work with.

Maybe the pitching was going to be what it was going to be and he had no effect at all.

Maybe we had enough arms to be capable and Andy spoiled it.

I don't know... I just think the organization needs to shift directions a little and start sprinting to catch up.

For that reason... A different hand holding the whip might... And I mean might... Be what is needed going forward.

I may advocate change... But I do so without inside knowledge and I do so with full throated respect for the entire current staff.

#30 JB_Iowa

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Posted 01 October 2012 - 08:33 AM

The "change for the sake of change" gong is ringing again.

Maybe the Twins are bad because... wait for it... the starting pitching sucks?

Hard to put a lot of blame on Anderson: Resurecting Burton, Diamond, and Perkins; a bunch of injuries in the last few years resulting in calling up unprepared players. Hard to blame Vavra. Look at all the career years players have had recently. He seems to be doing ok. Gardy is still being Gardy. Love him or hate him, he is giving the organization what they want. I don't think he will ever be fired.

The overall organizational view worked for 10 years. It could work again, but a few things have bit them in the ass over the years. TJ injuries have depleted the pitching reserves. A handful of trades not working out. Not getting any return for Hunter, Cuddyer, Kubel, and Santana (nothing of value for Santana anyways). If the current group in the low minors comes up and hits the snot out of the ball in 2 years, all will be forgotten.


No, it DIDN'T work for 10 years. It worked if you were happy with them being competitive in the A.L. Central and winning the division with some regularity.

It DIDN'T work if you had a desire for them to be competitive in the post-season. It's pretty clear if you look at the Twins won-loss record against various teams that in the last 6 years or so, the A. L. East got substantially stronger while the Twins stagnated in the A. L. Central. Some of that was money. Some of that was draft postion. BUT some portion of that was organizational philosophy.

I'm not putting all of that on Gardenhire and his coaches. A large part also falls on the front office. But we never see any turnover there either (I do not consider Ryan replacing Smith as any kind of significant change. It is the same philosophy with a familiar face at the helm).

After 2010, I was fully prepared to endure several (and that means more than 2) horrific seasons like the last 2 -- as long as I could see a plan emerging that would take the Twin to competitiveness with the entire league not just the Central Division. But I haven't seen that -- all I've seen other than the Willingham signing (which was really just a replacement for Cuddyer) was a little tinkering around the edges. Everybody knew at the end of 2010 that the Twins' starting pitching wasn't good enough to win in the playoffs. Other than a bit in this year's draft, have we seen any moves to toward improvement? NO -- not through free agent signings and not through trades.

I feel like the pain of the last 2 years has been utterly wasted. The Twins had an opportunity to start re-tooling after 2010 to try to rise to a higher level of competitiveness. They played it safe -- because their mantra is simply to stay competitive enough to put butts in the stands without taking any major risks in improving the team. Well guess what? Even their "play it safe' strategy failed.

And now I'm even more depressed because I don't see them ever taking enough risk to become competitive with the big dogs in the league. This organization is stuck in a pretty deep rut. So yes, now change IS necessary and not just with the field staff. There is also a stench from the stagnation in the front office.