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Thread: Praise for the Coaching Staff

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    Twins News Team All-Star TheLeviathan's Avatar
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    Praise for the Coaching Staff

    Here is a nugget from Sid:

    Coaches bring experienceDozier said that working with Paul Molitor, who joined Gardenhire’s coaching staff this season, has been a big help.
    “It has been awesome,” he said. “Any time you have a Hall of Famer on your staff it’s amazing. We’re so lucky to have him. I think his title is baserunning or whatever, but he has his hand in on everything. It’s always good to pick his brain about a lot of stuff, hitting, defense, everything. It is pretty special to have him and I can speak for the rest of the team, too.”

    And what about Tom Brunansky, in his second year as hitting coach?
    “Brunansky is awesome, he’s kind of the same way as Paul, he has his hand in on a lot of stuff, not just hitting,” Dozier said. “He was one of the best, in my opinion, when he was playing. I know for me he has kind of transformed everything with my swing, and a lot of things with other guys, too. He has done an outstanding job, too.”

    Asked what changed in the clubhouse this year, Dozier replied: “I think everything. I think it’s night and day compared to where we were at this point last year. We upgraded our pitching staff. Our lineup has pretty much flip-flopped, night and day. It’s a lot better 1-9. Everything is going well and it’s a great mix of guys, too, in the clubhouse. That makes for a good day.


    What I really like about this quote is that it's an internal confirmation of what is being reflected on the field: things are different and the additions to the coaching staff have a big hand in that.

    Maybe the take-away here is that this is the first time the coaching staff has had long-tenured, successful players working with everyone. Gardy has always been a good players coach, but maybe his expertise was never in the details. On the other hand Molly and Bruno appear to have the experience and teacher's mentality to add a lot to this staff and the results are bearing that hypothesis out.

    Or maybe this was just bound to happen after three years of miserable play and no progress?



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    Twins Moderator MVP USAFChief's Avatar
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    At the least, there seems to be a little more willingness to look at data and try some shifts, working counts, etc.
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    Quote Originally Posted by TheLeviathan View Post
    Here is a nugget from Sid:



    What I really like about this quote is that it's an internal confirmation of what is being reflected on the field: things are different and the additions to the coaching staff have a big hand in that.

    Maybe the take-away here is that this is the first time the coaching staff has had long-tenured, successful players working with everyone. Gardy has always been a good players coach, but maybe his expertise was never in the details. On the other hand Molly and Bruno appear to have the experience and teacher's mentality to add a lot to this staff and the results are bearing that hypothesis out.

    Or maybe this was just bound to happen after three years of miserable play and no progress?
    One thing it tells me is that Dozier is becoming the go-to Twins guy for the media....the public face of the team....the new Cuddyer, as it were. And Plouffe is Option 1A, in that regard. And now they are the key anchors at the top of the lineup in the Twins batting order. Who ever could have imagined that that would be the case just one year ago today? Both players have had the switch flipped, Plouffe is a different player at the plate and in the field, while Dozier is moving to the elite level among all MLB 2nd Basemen. What's different from last year? Molitor (not to slight Bruno).

    To me though, this club is still one Spanish-speaking coach away from where they need to be, and soon, as an increasingly larger percentage of their key and developing players will be Latinos.

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    Senior Member All-Star Thrylos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post
    To me though, this club is still one Spanish-speaking coach away from where they need to be, and soon, as an increasingly larger percentage of their key and developing players will be Latinos.
    They got one since last season, but he sits in the bullpen.
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    Senior Member Triple-A Paul Pleiss's Avatar
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    Praise for the coaching staff, but none for the manager. And what about Rick Anderson. I love to hate that guy. Does he deserve any credit for the resurgent Phil Hughes, or is that more related to Phil just getting the job done and keeping the ball in the park?

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    Owner All-Star John Bonnes's Avatar
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    I would be interested in hearing from some of the folks who have been ready to fire Gardenhire for years ... how to they interpret the changes that have been evident so far. Will they last?

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    Quote Originally Posted by John Bonnes View Post
    I would be interested in hearing from some of the folks who have been ready to fire Gardenhire for years ... how to they interpret the changes that have been evident so far. Will they last?
    The changes tell me that the club is looking for a possible Tom Kelly-esque exit for Gardy, handing off the righted ship, as it were, to Molitor. In the meantime, Gardy has been floating in la-la land with his choices for manning the outfield and SS. Not many organizations are willing to wait this long to pull the ripcord on Florimon and Hicks, let alone play 3 men at a time out of position in the outfield, especially the challenging AT&T Park outfield, as he did today.

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    Twins Moderator All-Star diehardtwinsfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Bonnes View Post
    I would be interested in hearing from some of the folks who have been ready to fire Gardenhire for years ... how to they interpret the changes that have been evident so far. Will they last?
    My biggest beef with Gardenhire is that he's never struck me as someone who is talented at developing and bringing along rookies, and with a huge wave of them coming up in the minors, he's going to be doing a lot of it...

    That said, 3 catchers.

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    Twins News Team All-Star TheLeviathan's Avatar
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    I think it's to Gardy's credit that he's letting Moliter and Bruno have more free reign to provide their expertise.

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    Please ban me! All-Star stringer bell's Avatar
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    Regarding a coach who speaks Spanish, Cuellar is from Texas IIRC. It would be better for young Hispanic player had a mentor who shared a bit more of their culture. A coach on the bench from Puerto Rice, Venezuela, or the Dominican would be ideal.

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    Twins starters have the worst ERA. I haven't checked their stolen bases and power numbers but they must be in the bottom third.

    I think we should hold off on the praise for a month or two

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    Quote Originally Posted by stringer bell View Post
    Regarding a coach who speaks Spanish, Cuellar is from Texas IIRC. It would be better for young Hispanic player had a mentor who shared a bit more of their culture. A coach on the bench from Puerto Rice, Venezuela, or the Dominican would be ideal.
    I tend to get uncomfortable as this topic comes up, which it has fairly often. Is a coach from Venezuela going to really relate better to Sano (DR) or rosario (PR)? Or is national origin (and thus what you refer to as culture) less important than skin color? Would Hicks be better served with a black bench coach?

    If there was something to point to the Twins being uniquely inept at coaching across cultural lines, perhaps you may be onto something-but as it stands dismissing Cuellar seems overtly racial and without cause. I don't remember Ozzie being especially successful with Latino players (acknowledging that "latino" in common usage covers dozens of different cultures), nor Fredi or Edwin in Miami.

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    Senior Member All-Star Thrylos's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Bonnes View Post
    I would be interested in hearing from some of the folks who have been ready to fire Gardenhire for years ... how to they interpret the changes that have been evident so far. Will they last?
    Since you asked:

    I cannot see into the future, but Gardenhire has had multiple opportunities to win and has not. And these "changes that have been evident" have just resulted to mediocrity (2 games under .500) over awfulness. It in not like the Twins are 10 games ahead in the division or something... Let's not misinterpret what flirting with .500 is. It is mediocrity. Better than awfulness, but still....

    Gardenhire and his pals needed to go a long time ago.
    Last edited by Thrylos; 05-26-2014 at 02:50 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh Morris View Post
    I tend to get uncomfortable as this topic comes up, which it has fairly often. Is a coach from Venezuela going to really relate better to Sano (DR) or rosario (PR)? Or is national origin (and thus what you refer to as culture) less important than skin color? Would Hicks be better served with a black bench coach?

    If there was something to point to the Twins being uniquely inept at coaching across cultural lines, perhaps you may be onto something-but as it stands dismissing Cuellar seems overtly racial and without cause. I don't remember Ozzie being especially successful with Latino players (acknowledging that "latino" in common usage covers dozens of different cultures), nor Fredi or Edwin in Miami.
    Why so uncomfortable? It's perfectly logical to expect that certain fractured Gardy idioms don't translate well, both with respect to another language and culture. 25% of the current 40-man roster is from the Carribean area- given the top prospects coming up through the ranks, that percentage is sure to inevitably rise. And with the potential egos in certain cases, it wouldn't hurt to have a mature Spanish voice at the ready, to make sure everyone is on the same page when strategic decisions are being made, and defuse any misunderstandings before someone goes all Kyle Lohse on the manager's door.

    Something bothered me a bit from this weekend's series. While the bullpen pitchers loved being able to sit in the dugout at AT&T, Gardy was bothered by it and preferred the phone system, supposedly because the RPs could hear what he was telling the bullpen coaches. Does that make any sense?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post
    . And with the potential egos in certain cases, it wouldn't hurt to have a mature Spanish voice at the ready, to make sure everyone is on the same page when strategic decisions are being made, and defuse any misunderstandings before someone goes all Kyle Lohse on the manager's door.
    My discomfort comes from the idea, as I called out, that Cuellar is somehow not qualified for the role. People can read whatever they'd like into why people may disregard him. My own opinion is above.

    Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post
    Something bothered me a bit from this weekend's series. While the bullpen pitchers loved being able to sit in the dugout at AT&T, Gardy was bothered by it and preferred the phone system, supposedly because the RPs could hear what he was telling the bullpen coaches. Does that make any sense?
    Why does any manager have an office? "I don't trust pitcher 1 tonight, Bobby. Put pitcher 2 in instead" seems like a conversation he may not want to have in front of the pitchers. I do imagine it's more difficult to speak candidly there.

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    Twins Moderator MVP USAFChief's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Bonnes View Post
    I would be interested in hearing from some of the folks who have been ready to fire Gardenhire for years ... how to they interpret the changes that have been evident so far. Will they last?
    I would interpret any changes as being in spite of Gardy, not because of.

    I think it was obvious a change in leadership was overdue, and I've seen nothing to convince me otherwise.

    It's not all Gardy's fault, but sometimes an organization becomes comfortable, or even stale, and a change is necessary to move forward.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hugh Morris View Post
    My discomfort comes from the idea, as I called out, that Cuellar is somehow not qualified for the role. People can read whatever they'd like into why people may disregard him. My own opinion is above.



    Why does any manager have an office? "I don't trust pitcher 1 tonight, Bobby. Put pitcher 2 in instead" seems like a conversation he may not want to have in front of the pitchers. I do imagine it's more difficult to speak candidly there.
    I don't think anyone is disregarding him, per se, but Cuellar can't communicate with many players from the bullpen.

    And regarding Gardy and speaking from my own experience, managers and coaches have ways to communicate candidly with their coaches at a decibel level only audible with whom they intend to communicate.

  24. #18
    Quote Originally Posted by jokin View Post
    The changes tell me that the club is looking for a possible Tom Kelly-esque exit for Gardy, handing off the righted ship, as it were, to Molitor. In the meantime, Gardy has been floating in la-la land with his choices for manning the outfield and SS. Not many organizations are willing to wait this long to pull the ripcord on Florimon and Hicks, let alone play 3 men at a time out of position in the outfield, especially the challenging AT&T Park outfield, as he did today.
    Agree with this, but would like to see Steinbach as next manager, not Molitor. Either way, definitely ready for Gardy to go. There are probably several reasons, but foremost is that Gardy demonstrates the truism that it is very difficult for someone to stay in the same high-pressure job for that many years and not get stale or, worse, lose perspective on his or her own strengths and weaknesses.
    "Where's the Crede?"

  25. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by John Bonnes View Post
    I would be interested in hearing from some of the folks who have been ready to fire Gardenhire for years ... how to they interpret the changes that have been evident so far. Will they last?
    John, you pot-stirrer!

    IIRC, some of the changes in the coaching staff were forced on Gardy, so it's hard to give him much credit for them. Further, as possibly shown by games this year when Gardy was absent, the positive impact of the new coaches is likely muted because of his resistance to change. The success of these coaches reinforces my feeling that Gardy, despite being a generally competent manager, needs to be removed for this and future Twins teams to reach their potential.
    Last edited by Deduno Abides; 05-26-2014 at 09:18 PM.
    "Where's the Crede?"

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