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If you were the Owner of the Twins for One Day ....

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#1 JB_Iowa

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 08:41 AM

Yesterday in the game thread, Glunn posed the following question:

[COLOR=#333333]If you could be the owner of the Twins for one day, and could fire the GM, would you do it? If so, who would you try to hire as the new GM?

[/COLOR]
[COLOR=#333333]Since it looks like the Worley thread is taking a turn in this direction, I thought I'd post it here.

Just to get the discussion rolling, I'll post my answer from the game thread. I'd probably refine it a little but I'm feeling lazy this morning so I'll start with it as it was:

[/COLOR][COLOR=#333333]I would fire him. My primary basis for doing so would be the stagnant nature of the front office staff and the field staff over the past few years. Other than the 3 token coaching terminations, we haven't seen anything that would lead us to believe that there was any change in the "business as usual" nature of the FO decisions. Yes, they spent a little more in free agency this year but they certainly didn't spend near their limit. [/COLOR]

[COLOR=#333333]I felt -- and continue to feel -- that Gardenhire needed to be gone before this season. As I've mentioned before, I think he may well be a good manager elsewhere. There is just too much same old, same old to keep him (and Rick Anderson) with the Twins. And I think someone from outside the organization should have been hired for the manager's job. Perhaps the move would be more symbolic than effectual but at some point, I think you need to show that you are serious about changing the culture.[/COLOR]

[COLOR=#333333]I'm lousy at questions of who to hire plus as we are seeing elsewhere, there are the questions of who would take the GM job. But again, I would be looking for someone from outside the organization and I would empower that person to make whatever changes need to be made including replacing whatever front office and field staff needs to be replaced.[/COLOR]

[COLOR=#333333]That type of change isn't easy and sounds pretty hard-hearted. And the decision to do so would be difficult when you look at the prospects that the Twins have coming up. But I'm reminded again that prospects are just that -- prospects. We haven't seen them prove anything yet and there are a lot of decisions that need to be made about how to make some of those prospects flourish in the majors.[/COLOR]

[COLOR=#333333]I've been ready for a change for some time.




Let the furor begin.[/COLOR]

#2 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 08:42 AM

I'd almost certainly fire Anderson. If Gardy didn't like that, I'd probably ask him to resign as well.

Then I'd promote Cuellar to pitching coach and Molitor to manager.

#3 JB_Iowa

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 08:47 AM

I'd almost certainly fire Anderson. If Gardy didn't like that, I'd probably ask him to resign as well.

Then I'd promote Cuellar to pitching coach and Molitor to manager.


Here's the problem. To me, firing the pitching coach isn't the owner's job. It's the GM's job.

And Ryan's failure to take action is, for me, reflective of the "old boys club" atmosphere that permeates this franchise. And that's pretty much why I think a new GM who can evaluate what is working and not working -- and WHO should keep their job and not keep their job is necessary.

A fresh perspective.

#4 mike wants wins

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 08:50 AM

I agree with everything you just said. I can't name a name, but I'd look for this:

1. Someone that embraces both scouting and numbers/big data
2. Someone that can say what they want in a manager, in terms of bunting, pinch running, use of relievers, pinch hitting, use of starters and pitch counts.....all those things a manager does on field.
3. Someone that believes in signing a legit FA a year, while the team is bad, in an attempt to get better.
4. Someone that can tell me how he would/would not change how MiLB players are fed, housed, coached, and otherwise prepared for being MLB
5. Someone that can tell me where the maket inefficienices are in the game today, and how we can be competitive with teams that spend twice as much money as me (and talks that way)
6. Someone that can name other GMs and coaches/managers he admires, and what he likes about them.

That's off the top of my head, I'm sure there is more.
Lighten up Francis....

#5 mike wants wins

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 08:51 AM

Here's the problem. To me, firing the pitching coach isn't the owner's job. It's the GM's job.

And Ryan's failure to take action is, for me, reflective of the "old boys club" atmosphere that permeates this franchise. And that's pretty much why I think a new GM who can evaluate what is working and not working -- and WHO should keep their job and not keep their job is necessary.

A fresh perspective.


This. 100% this.
Lighten up Francis....

#6 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 08:51 AM

Here's the problem. To me, firing the pitching coach isn't the owner's job. It's the GM's job.

And Ryan's failure to take action is, for me, reflective of the "old boys club" atmosphere that permeates this franchise. And that's pretty much why I think a new GM who can evaluate what is working and not working -- and WHO should keep their job and not keep their job is necessary.

A fresh perspective.


No, it's generally not the owner's job to fire coaches but it's certainly within an owner's scope to sit down the general manager and say "convince me why I shouldn't fire half the coaching staff right now".

And by making this argument, you basically asked "would you fire Ryan?" because if everything else is outside the scope of ownership, that's the only decision to make.

#7 gunnarthor

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 09:15 AM

Yesterday in the game thread, Glunn posed the following question:

[COLOR=#333333]If you could be the owner of the Twins for one day, and could fire the GM, would you do it? If so, who would you try to hire as the new GM?[/COLOR]

Nope, Ryan's a very good GM.

#8 Hosken Bombo Disco

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 09:21 AM

Ryan and Gardenhire ought to have the decency to independently submit their resignations/retirement. As it exists now, there's this daisy chain of "for as long as I'm owner, Ryan will be my GM... for as long as I'm GM, Gardy will be my manager... for as long as I'm manager..."

It's run its course. :)

I'm probably in the minority, but I'd want to keep Ryan as GM but would hire some outside blood as a potential successor GM one day.

#9 nicksaviking

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 09:29 AM

If you get a new GM, he's going to want to bring in his own on and off field staff. So I'd assume a new GM would almost automatically mean a clean house.

Of course that's if they step outside the country club and if they don't, well what was the point of replacing the GM to begin with?

#10 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 09:33 AM

I'm probably in the minority, but I'd want to keep Ryan as GM but would hire some outside blood as a potential successor GM one day.


This is how I feel as well. While I think Ryan has made some pretty big mistakes with the MLB club, he has done a bang-up job with drafting and trading (outside of Worley but even then, they still got May).

I think Terry Ryan is a good GM. I'm not convinced Antony will be a good GM, though I'm not ruling it out either.

#11 mike wants wins

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 09:42 AM

He is not in charge of the draft, though he does hire the scouting director. They are having good drafts because the team is terrible right now, when they drafted later in the draft, they did not have much success (see their lack of young talent right now as proof). So, is it that they are drafting better, or that they are just terrible, and therefore getting good prospects?
Lighten up Francis....

#12 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 09:49 AM

He is not in charge of the draft, though he does hire the scouting director. They are having good drafts because the team is terrible right now, when they drafted later in the draft, they did not have much success (see their lack of young talent right now as proof). So, is it that they are drafting better, or that they are just terrible, and therefore getting good prospects?


The Twins don't have a top three farm system solely because they had high picks. Guys like Berrios and Thorpe are becoming jewels of the system and they were picked up later in the draft or for a pittance in the international pool.

Sure, Buxton and Stewart are great but they won't get you the best farm system in baseball. It requires smart pickups further down the draft board and smart international signings to do that.

#13 Boom Boom

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 09:50 AM

I'm not sure how much credit you can give to Ryan for drafting well the last couple years. The Rays had a lot of good young players coming up for a while, talent they never would have had the chance to pick up if they hadn't been terrible for several years previous.

Firing RickRon AnderGardenhire is inextricably tied to firing Ryan, IMO... if you leave the GM in tact after firing the coaches, you're still giving the GM free reign to bring in some of the same personalities he was always drawn to.

#14 Badsmerf

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 09:51 AM

I wouldn't fire jr mid season. I would tell him this is his last year and start searching for a replacement. I'd want a replacement right away in the off-season to get to work on evaluating and cleaning house. Although, I don't think jr would go for another gm job so he might just resign. I'd target up and coming organizations as well as the cardinals fo people for the job.

#15 JB_Iowa

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 10:15 AM

I'd have no problem with Ryan being a senior advisor as long as the NEW GM is given authority and comes from OUTSIDE the organization.

This might not have been necessary if the organization had blended in some talent from the outside over time. But their primary modus operadi seems to be to hire interns and keep promoting them.

#16 gunnarthor

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 10:27 AM

He is not in charge of the draft, though he does hire the scouting director. They are having good drafts because the team is terrible right now, when they drafted later in the draft, they did not have much success (see their lack of young talent right now as proof). So, is it that they are drafting better, or that they are just terrible, and therefore getting good prospects?


Again, this isn't really Radcliff/Ryan's fault. They stopped drafting in 07 but they had solid drafts. 07 they picked #28 and then, b/c of all the supp picks that year, they didn't draft again until the 90s. Revere was a good pick. The 06 draft was a bad draft but Parmelee is actually #16 in WAR among the 44 first round picks (and Benson was a solid prospect for a long while. Robertson got to the majors). Garza was a good pick in 05 (as were Slowey and Duensing in later rounds). 04 was rough - Plouffe and Perkins are ok and Swarzak is a decent 12th pitcher but injuries hurt everyone that was drafted by the Twins. 03 they missed on Moses but hit on Baker. 02 got Span, Neshek and Crain. Pretty solid. Those Ryan/Radcliff drafts weren't horrible - if you want to complain, you should be complaining about Deron Johnson and his changed drafting philosophy.

But I've always felt, and still do, that baseball is usually cyclical. A team like the Twins can't always be at the top of the division. They had one losing season between 01-10. Drafting that late catches up with you, which is what we saw. They got some nice talent in a lot of those drafts but not enough, esp with the reported draft budgets Pohlad had put in place.

#17 birdwatcher

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 10:40 AM

The Twins don't have a top three farm system solely because they had high picks. Guys like Berrios and Thorpe are becoming jewels of the system and they were picked up later in the draft or for a pittance in the international pool.

Sure, Buxton and Stewart are great but they won't get you the best farm system in baseball. It requires smart pickups further down the draft board and smart international signings to do that.


I've been hearing the argument repeatedly for years that Bill Smith gets direct credit for what he accomplished in the absence of Ryan. And also that Ryan is responsible for previous poor drafts with zero, and I mean zero mention of their draft order. And now, Ryan isn't to be credited too much and the primo position in the draft order accounts for much of the organization's recent success.

So finally, maybe we're getting it right. Having a top 10 choice is huge. Absent this, you get Plouffe, Gibson, and Parmelee types. The better systems generally have those top choices anchoring the ranking.

#18 birdwatcher

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 10:42 AM

Again, this isn't really Radcliff/Ryan's fault. They stopped drafting in 07 but they had solid drafts. 07 they picked #28 and then, b/c of all the supp picks that year, they didn't draft again until the 90s. Revere was a good pick. The 06 draft was a bad draft but Parmelee is actually #16 in WAR among the 44 first round picks (and Benson was a solid prospect for a long while. Robertson got to the majors). Garza was a good pick in 05 (as were Slowey and Duensing in later rounds). 04 was rough - Plouffe and Perkins are ok and Swarzak is a decent 12th pitcher but injuries hurt everyone that was drafted by the Twins. 03 they missed on Moses but hit on Baker. 02 got Span, Neshek and Crain. Pretty solid. Those Ryan/Radcliff drafts weren't horrible - if you want to complain, you should be complaining about Deron Johnson and his changed drafting philosophy.

But I've always felt, and still do, that baseball is usually cyclical. A team like the Twins can't always be at the top of the division. They had one losing season between 01-10. Drafting that late catches up with you, which is what we saw. They got some nice talent in a lot of those drafts but not enough, esp with the reported draft budgets Pohlad had put in place.


This is a factual and fair-minded assessment.

#19 tobi0040

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 10:56 AM

Nope, Ryan's a very good GM.


I agree. But I think Terry is a better low budget GM than mid to high budget GM. I think he is either stubborn or finds bargain bin type deals as exciting or a fun game.

I honestly believe the single best thing the Twins could do is keep TR as the GM but set a minimum payroll of say $110M to $120M. Force TR to spend that amount.

#20 gunnarthor

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 10:58 AM

I agree. But I think Terry is a better low budget GM than mid to high budget GM. I think he is either stubborn or finds bargain bin type deals as exciting or a fun game.

I honestly believe the single best thing the Twins could do is keep TR as the GM but set a minimum payroll of say $110M to $120M. Force TR to spend that amount.


I think that's a good question but better to wait a few years. After Sano and Buxton are up, if Ryan is still dumpster diving instead of using all of payroll to help, I'd agree. Right now, I don't really care about payroll but in a few years, we'd better be back up there.

#21 ashburyjohn

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 11:12 AM

I guess I'm in the minority but I expect this to be a moot question at the end of the season, with Ryan's health concern adding to his previous reluctance to commit to taking the job again and resulting in his stepping back to a "consulting" position. I am worried that Rob Antony is already anointed as his successor, and from what I've seen of him in public I view him as a competent senior member of the front office but a bit lacking in the "put me out front" skills required of the GM. Hope I'm wrong - either that they do look outside the organization for someone's assistant GM with the right skillset and no opportunity for immediate advancement, or that Antony has the complete package and I'm not seeing it.

#22 mike wants wins

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 11:18 AM

I find the whole discussion on accountability a bit frustrating here........
1. It isn't absolute that any one person is the cause of success or failure here, no one is saying that, contrary to what people on either extreme say about other people
2. But, people who lead and make decisions need to product good outcomes, consistently, or they aren't good at their jobs
3. When the scouts have early picks, they do well (most teams do), and when they have middle picks, they don't do so well.....doesn't that make them not too great at their job? If they just perform about as well as any other team, is that really enough when your strategy is BUILT upon building from within?
4. The GM DOES NOT do the draft. He should be judged on FA, trades, roster decisions, and general W-L record over time. yet, everytime we have this discussion, people fall back on the draft
5. Some people seem to believe, it seems to me maybe I am reading it wrong, that it is wrong to question the performance of anyone else, and seem to get mad when other's do. I guess I'd question why those people participate in discussions that anger them
Lighten up Francis....

#23 gunnarthor

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 11:34 AM

I find the whole discussion on accountability a bit frustrating here........
1. It isn't absolute that any one person is the cause of success or failure here, no one is saying that, contrary to what people on either extreme say about other people
2. But, people who lead and make decisions need to product good outcomes, consistently, or they aren't good at their jobs
3. When the scouts have early picks, they do well (most teams do), and when they have middle picks, they don't do so well.....doesn't that make them not too great at their job? If they just perform about as well as any other team, is that really enough when your strategy is BUILT upon building from within?
4. The GM DOES NOT do the draft. He should be judged on FA, trades, roster decisions, and general W-L record over time. yet, everytime we have this discussion, people fall back on the draft
5. Some people seem to believe, it seems to me maybe I am reading it wrong, that it is wrong to question the performance of anyone else, and seem to get mad when other's do. I guess I'd question why those people participate in discussions that anger them

Mike, I think my general answer to this is that just b/c the team is bad now doesn't mean someone is to "blame." It's normal part of competitive sports and, frankly, it's a good thing that ownership isn't that kneejerk - other orgs have been crushed by constant changes by ownership. All I want to know is if the current regime can get things working again. Based on their track record and moves over the last few years, I think they will.

#24 TheLeviathan

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 11:38 AM

I actually like Ryan and respect a lot of what he's done. Smith deserves significant credit for the state of this farm and so does Ryan for carrying on what has built up. The draft failures towards the end of his first tenure are precisely why we're here, but maintaining success for more than a decade is extremely difficult.

The problem, is that Ryan permeates the "old boys club". He's an old scout and he's stuck in old ways. I think, if I was the owner, I'd have no choice but to fire him. Not because of a lack of competence, but because of a desperate need within the organization to be open to new ideas, new faces, and more accountability. If, by some miracle, Ryan changed that mentality and was willing to shed the "old boys club" - I'd keep him. I just don't believe he can or will.

#25 mike wants wins

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 11:51 AM

Mike, I think my general answer to this is that just b/c the team is bad now doesn't mean someone is to "blame." It's normal part of competitive sports and, frankly, it's a good thing that ownership isn't that kneejerk - other orgs have been crushed by constant changes by ownership. All I want to know is if the current regime can get things working again. Based on their track record and moves over the last few years, I think they will.



I don't share the belief that it is acceptable to win less than 72 games a year three or more years in a row, I don't believe the cycle should be that deep/bad. Others can have different expectations of course.

How long would you give them to be good again?
Lighten up Francis....

#26 tarheeltwinsfan

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 11:54 AM

If I were the King of the Forest (the cowardly lion's song in the Wizard of Oz)...ok, ok, I got carried away. If I were the owner of the Twins, I would immediately attempt to hire John Mozeliak , GM of the Cardinals or someone he recommends, since he is under contract with the Cardinals for several more years. Since he was hired in 2007 for the 2008 season, the Cards have been awarded "Franchise of the Year" in 2011 and 2013, according to Baseball America. They have been in 4 play-offs, won 2 NL pennants and one World series. Their farm system is on a par with the Twins' farm system, even though the Cards have not have the choice high draft picks which the struggling Twins have had in the last 3 years. The Cards have a wealth of young pitching in the majors and in the minors. The Cards lost HOF Albert Pojols and didn't even miss a beat. The Cards are not stuck with a $200 million contract to an oft-injured, aging 1st baseman, who though he will be in the HOF, due to his extraordinary past hitting, the Cards will not have to pay him in his steadily declining years. (Sound familiar?) The Cards have had a winning record each year since Mo was hired. I could see myself as a happy Cardinals' fan, but alas, I can't turn back the clock, plus the Twins beat them in the WS in 1987. But I digress. You asked who I would hire and I have told you.

#27 gunnarthor

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 12:09 PM

How long would you give them to be good again?


They could be around .500 as early as next year, depending on health.

#28 TheLeviathan

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 12:11 PM

They could be around .500 as early as next year, depending on health.


They've been fine this year. Not devastated by MLB injuries and still aren't going to finish anywhere near .500 despite preseason proclamations to the contrary.

Edited by ashburyjohn, 07 July 2014 - 03:52 PM.
removed closing remarks that don't contribute to friendly discussion


#29 mike wants wins

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 12:16 PM

They could be around .500 as early as next year, depending on health.

And if they aren't?
Lighten up Francis....

#30 jaimedude2

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Posted 07 July 2014 - 12:23 PM

I'd almost certainly fire Anderson. If Gardy didn't like that, I'd probably ask him to resign as well.

Then I'd promote Cuellar to pitching coach and Molitor to manager.


This is exactly the approach the Twins should take after the All Star game. Fire
Anderson as Pitching coach because Gardenhire will not do it and Gardy will finally offer his resignation. Then promote Cuellar to pitching coach and Molitor to interim manager. I would fire Vavara and Ulger too and let Molitor pick his new base coaches after Gardenhire is gone. Then the coaching staff has less of Gardenhires bowling team on it and some new fresh blood to inject some life in to this baseball team. The only thing that will inject some life in to these players is to put the Grumpy Gardenhire out of his missery and buy him out. Promote Gene Glynn to third base coach which Molitor might do, and Jeff Smith to AAA manager and everyone else up the ladder in the management ranks one rung throughout.
If things do not start to improve from there then time to makes some major changes throughout the organization. Gardenhires time has passed, there are no more excuses for the lack of improvement and development of young players that anyone can offer.

Edited by jaimedude2, 07 July 2014 - 12:30 PM.