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Article: TwinsDaily Interview With Terry Ryan: Gardenhire and Molitor

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#1 Twins Daily Admin

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 10:03 PM

You can view the page at http://twinsdaily.co...ire-and-Molitor

#2 clutterheart

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 10:25 PM

Is there a pdf version of the offseason handbook?

#3 Thrylos

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 06:20 AM

Great job Parker.

And thus lies the biggest issue with these Minnesota Twins:

If Ron wasn’t coming back, I probably shouldn’t be back. Now, Jim Pohlad and Dave St. Peter invited me back, so I brought Ron back with me.


This team probably needs a new owner who cares whether the team wins and is willing to hold people accountable if it does not, because this front office doesn't...

#4 Shane Wahl

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 06:37 AM

So now there is no problem luring free agents . . . I thought it was that "sometimes you just can't give your money away"? I am confused.

I knew it! Ryan bringing back Gardy is a matter of guilt. Ryan managed to keep his job so he feels guilty with what he left Gardenhire to deal with. So everyone gets to come back and no one is held accountable.

#5 Winston Smith

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 07:16 AM

"... we’ve fallen a tad short here as far as productivity." Really?

#6 gunnarthor

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 07:30 AM

Interesting read, thank you. I see that his views on how to review his manager are pretty similar to what Joe Posnanski wrote the other day. Glad he's our GM.

#7 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 07:33 AM

After my second year of helping format this interview for publication, I'm learning just how differently interviews read than sound after being transcribed.

Ryan is a straight shooter. He doesn't mince words and comes across as a truly honest guy. If you could hear his tone, he wasn't underplaying how badly the Twins have played and he takes full blame for the team's record in the past two years. He knows the team's problems and is aggressively trying to fix them... Do I always agree with him how to fix them? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. And that's where I really found the interview interesting, particularly the bits about statistical analysis that you'll read in the Handbook.

This was a really great interview and I'm looking forward to hearing some of your thoughts on the entire thing once it's released.

#8 Seth Stohs

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 07:55 AM

Well put, Brock. TR is terrific and blunt. He understands that as GM every decision he makes will be liked by some and not liked by others and that that comes with the territory. He understands that.

I thought he really explained things very well throughout. Also, Parker did a great job of asking some terrific follow-up questions that helped gain some clarity. Particularly, there is a discussion on platoons that, after Parker asked a follow-up, makes complete sense.

#9 mike wants wins

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 08:02 AM

What does "takes full responsibility" mean? Nothing has changed, so who cares if he says that he takes full responsibility. That is as useful as me saying it. Until things change, it's all just words without meaning. So, what has changed? And adding one more bench coach, since coaching doesn't matter according to many of the most respected people on this board (and even Ryan sort of says that, it is about talent), isn't much of a change. And, if it does have a big effect, doesn't that imply that the other coaches are not good at their jobs, and should not have them?

#10 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 08:02 AM

I thought he really explained things very well throughout. Also, Parker did a great job of asking some terrific follow-up questions that helped gain some clarity. Particularly, there is a discussion on platoons that, after Parker asked a follow-up, makes complete sense.


Heh, indeed. The first answer will get some readers' blood boiling. The follow-up answer will soothe that a bit. I don't entirely agree with TR on platooning but he makes a legitimate point that is pretty hard to refute.

#11 mike wants wins

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 08:10 AM

My distaste for some of the Twins' approach aside.....

I am super pleased and amazed that the Twins are willing to support Twins Daily this way. It says a lot about their willingness to support fans. I am really impressed with what you have pulled off here.
Lighten up Francis....

#12 Siehbiscuit

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 08:15 AM

If his platooning answer is specific to the Twins specific situation (need for more pitching depth cuz our starters are poor) then I understand. If it is in regards to platooning, in general, I may have a hard time agreeing.

Danny Valencia hit .308 this year because Baltimore played to his strengths and didn't ask him to become something that he's not.

#13 Brock Beauchamp

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 08:26 AM

What does "takes full responsibility" mean? Nothing has changed, so who cares if he says that he takes full responsibility.


Well, admitting that you're wrong about something is the first step in taking responsibility for a problem.

Will he go out and fix that issue to a satisfactory degree? Only time will tell.

#14 mike wants wins

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 08:30 AM

Has he admitted that how they scout and develop players is wrong, though? Or has he said "we've done a bad job"? There is a big difference. If you keep your same processes, and blame it on the execution, you are likely to get the same process outcomes.
Lighten up Francis....

#15 JB_Iowa

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 08:41 AM

My big problem with all of this is not Paul Molitor himself, it is the fact that the Twins are wholly adverse to bringing in someone from outside the organization (and yes, I would have liked the person to be Latin and able to relate to some of the younger players of their own culture).

When you never bring in "outside talent", you really limit challenges to your way of thinking -- you often limit new ideas, new approaches, innovation.

I realize this is just a coaches position and frankly, Paul Molitor may be the best person to fill it. But I am so discouraged by the fact that the organization fails to bring in new people at leadership positions. Some (maybe most) promotion from within is a good thing but that needs to be balanced with outside hiring as well.

I fear that this organization is "comfort zoning" itself into the depths (really comfort zoning themselves into being mired in the depths because they are pretty much already there).

#16 gunnarthor

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 10:06 AM

Has he admitted that how they scout and develop players is wrong, though? Or has he said "we've done a bad job"? There is a big difference. If you keep your same processes, and blame it on the execution, you are likely to get the same process outcomes.


Well, in the few years Ryan's been back, the farm system has become one of the best in the game and might still be #1 despite losing Gibson, Arcia and Hicks. So maybe we shouldn't get rid of those development guys.

#17 gunnarthor

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 10:07 AM

What does "takes full responsibility" mean? Nothing has changed, so who cares if he says that he takes full responsibility.


What hasn't changed? Did you expect a 99 loss team to become a winning team as soon as Ryan took over? What, even with hindsight, would you have done differently last year?

#18 nicksaviking

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 10:53 AM

After my second year of helping format this interview for publication, I'm learning just how differently interviews read than sound after being transcribed.

Ryan is a straight shooter. He doesn't mince words and comes across as a truly honest guy. If you could hear his tone, he wasn't underplaying how badly the Twins have played and he takes full blame for the team's record in the past two years.


Actually, I think his tone is fairly transcribed in this transcript. Just the fact that he's sitting down with TD for this interview gives me the impression that he is willing to have an honest discussion with the fans.

I don't agree with Ryan on most of his conservative and old school baseball philosophies however, so like many like-minded posters, my first instinct is to disagree and critique the words coming out of his mouth. However, I thank him for the interview regardless of how many of his opinions I may disagree with.

#19 mike wants wins

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 11:22 AM

What hasn't changed? Did you expect a 99 loss team to become a winning team as soon as Ryan took over? What, even with hindsight, would you have done differently last year?


1. Embrace math and science as helpful things, not things to be mocked.
2. Hired people from outside the org, with different ideas, to reduce groupthink
3. Realized the good players cost real money, and spend it
4. Fired the scouts that recommended the same old tired pitcher types, that he trusts so much, that appear to be wrong over and over, not listened to them more
5. Hired a coaching staff that believes in shifts, and other "new ways" of thinking, that so far have proven to be effective
6. Looked hard at my development processes, and wonder why they have turned out so few good players. Without doing that, I can't say how I'd change them.
7. Embraced better nutrition and training in the minors, not trusting young adults to eat well based on low pay.

that's off the top of my head, without having time to give it more thought.
Lighten up Francis....

#20 Halsey Hall

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 12:08 PM

After my second year of helping format this interview for publication, I'm learning just how differently interviews read than sound after being transcribed.

Ryan is a straight shooter. He doesn't mince words and comes across as a truly honest guy. If you could hear his tone, he wasn't underplaying how badly the Twins have played and he takes full blame for the team's record in the past two years. He knows the team's problems and is aggressively trying to fix them... Do I always agree with him how to fix them? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. And that's where I really found the interview interesting, particularly the bits about statistical analysis that you'll read in the Handbook.

This was a really great interview and I'm looking forward to hearing some of your thoughts on the entire thing once it's released.


Right on! Having talked with Terry many times thru the years, he is an honest, straight shooter. He may tip his hand here a bit. This line hit me instantly when talking about Molitor: There’s some continuity here with bringing [Miguel] Sano and [Byron] Buxton and [Eddie] Rosario and those types of guys. They’re very familiar with him. I don’t think that’s all of a bad thing.

There's just a ton of fixing that needs to be done with this team. Obviously, pitching is at the forefront, and Terry addresses that first. 2 year deals would make alot of sense if he's thinking of going with the youngsters. And with that quote, it's my opinion he is. Most of our lineup sucks and he can't fix that and the pitching also. I think we go young, have another bad season, but really point to 2015 for a steady climb up the ladder.

#21 gunnarthor

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 02:25 PM

1. Embrace math and science as helpful things, not things to be mocked.
2. Hired people from outside the org, with different ideas, to reduce groupthink
3. Realized the good players cost real money, and spend it
4. Fired the scouts that recommended the same old tired pitcher types, that he trusts so much, that appear to be wrong over and over, not listened to them more
5. Hired a coaching staff that believes in shifts, and other "new ways" of thinking, that so far have proven to be effective
6. Looked hard at my development processes, and wonder why they have turned out so few good players. Without doing that, I can't say how I'd change them.
7. Embraced better nutrition and training in the minors, not trusting young adults to eat well based on low pay.

that's off the top of my head, without having time to give it more thought.


Most of these are just how you'd do things differently, none that would improve the team. And Ryan did bring in Jack Goin to do stats. You also make the claim of spend money but don't say how, even with the benefit of hindsight.

You seem stuck on some notion that the Twins can't develop talent despite a pretty successful history of doing that and currently having one of the top ranked farm systems. Why can't you accept the idea that it's just cyclical? That teams, esp low payroll teams as they were until 2010, don't always stay on top? Why does the normal ebb and flow have to mean that Ryan, who took over two years ago, is an old guy who doesn't understand the game? Since he's come back, has he been snookered in a trade? Has he been burned in a FA signing? Has he reorganized the organization? Have top prospects been rushed? Has the team drafted well? Has he brought in younger coaches and managers throughout the system? Has he made good small moves - waiver claims, minor league free agents, rule v picks?

What he hasn't done is waste money on large FA signings that wouldn't have helped the team anyway.

#22 mike wants wins

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 02:35 PM

Um, I said I'd change processes, which is pretty much what I listed, other than 1 spot. Not sure what you expected, given that.
Lighten up Francis....

#23 jokin

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 02:56 PM

1. Embrace math and science as helpful things, not things to be mocked.
2. Hired people from outside the org, with different ideas, to reduce groupthink
3. Realized the good players cost real money, and spend it
4. Fired the scouts that recommended the same old tired pitcher types, that he trusts so much, that appear to be wrong over and over, not listened to them more
5. Hired a coaching staff that believes in shifts, and other "new ways" of thinking, that so far have proven to be effective
6. Looked hard at my development processes, and wonder why they have turned out so few good players. Without doing that, I can't say how I'd change them.
7. Embraced better nutrition and training in the minors, not trusting young adults to eat well based on low pay.

that's off the top of my head, without having time to give it more thought.


Despite the fact that you can't satisfy some folks no matter what you say....let me add:

8) Solve the expanded platooning options issues by setting a strict limit for pitchers on the 25-man roster at 12...which can be readily accomplished by employing the DL strategically.....and especially by utilizing a couple more younger and limited service time RPs with unlimited options like Tonkin and Thielbar on shuttle runs between the Twins and Rochester.

#24 Boom Boom

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 03:01 PM

I'd just like to know what corrective measures the Twins have taken to right the ship besides the replacement of Bill Smith with TR. From the outside, it's hard to see what else they've done, and though I'm not a Bill Smith fan, the problems ran much deeper than him.

#25 nicksaviking

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 03:17 PM

Most of these are just how you'd do things differently, none that would improve the team.


How can you matter-of-factly make that statment? Each of those things very likely would impact the team in some manner, why is it not possible they would improve the club if embraced?

You seem to take the most umbrage with his #6:

--6. Looked hard at my development processes, and wonder why they have turned out so few good players. Without doing that, I can't say how I'd change them. --

What possbible reason is there to disagree with this? This should be done by every GM constantly. The Twins haven't turned out quality players lately, why wouldn't you try to assess the reasons? If the reason is, "there is no reason," fine, but Mike clearly said he couldn't state what he would change without an internal evaluation.

There are legitimate issues to be concerned about within this organization, Ryan acknowledges as much. The poster you replied to clearly and rationally listed reasonable areas to address or fix, I'm sorry but Ryan himself says he has to do better, why can't we?

#26 IdahoPilgrim

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 03:33 PM

8) Solve the expanded platooning options issues by setting a strict limit for pitchers on the 25-man roster at 12...which can be readily accomplished by employing the DL strategically.....and especially by utilizing a couple more younger and limited service time RPs with unlimited options like Tonkin and Thielbar on shuttle runs between the Twins and Rochester.


I understand your point, but I don't think you can blame poor use of the DL for the 13-man staff this year - I thought they handled the DL pretty well and certainly more aggressively than last year. The problem was starting pitching that usually didn't get out of the 6th inning - almost have to have a 13-man staff when that happens.

#27 gunnarthor

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 03:33 PM

How can you matter-of-factly make that statment? Each of those things very likely would impact the team in some manner, why is it not possible they would improve the club if embraced?


Because it's true. His comments - Ryan mocks science and math, team suffers from groupthink - aren't necessarily true, just his opinion of Ryan. Saying "I'd do things differently" isn't the same as "I'd do things better." And saying "I'd do it differently" isn't a way to solve the problem when you don't know what the problem is. Even with the benefit of hindsight, no one has suggested a better way to do what Ryan has done, except abstract get rid of everyone posts.

Ryan seems to have figured that the team lacks talent, put people in charge of minor league development that he trusts and has given them talent. He has a track record of successfully rebuilding this team and there's no reason to think that he needs to fire a bunch of scouts b/c the a draft 7 years ago sucked. I find it stunning that people can look at what he's done the last two years as GM and still be anti-Ryan. He's a very good GM.

#28 jokin

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 03:35 PM

Because it's true. His comments - Ryan mocks science and math, team suffers from groupthink - aren't necessarily true, just his opinion of Ryan. .


Sorry, but this statement is what's, demonstrably, not true.....just your opinion.

Edited by jokin, 23 October 2013 - 03:39 PM.


#29 jokin

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 03:36 PM

I understand your point, but I don't think you can blame poor use of the DL for the 13-man staff this year - I thought they handled the DL pretty well and certainly more aggressively than last year. The problem was starting pitching that usually didn't get out of the 6th inning - almost have to have a 13-man staff when that happens.


Why not just have your 13th...and 14th man...in Rochester....or on the DL?

#30 jokin

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Posted 23 October 2013 - 03:39 PM

How can you matter-of-factly make that statment? Each of those things very likely would impact the team in some manner, why is it not possible they would improve the club if embraced?

You seem to take the most umbrage with his #6:

--6. Looked hard at my development processes, and wonder why they have turned out so few good players. Without doing that, I can't say how I'd change them. --

What possbible reason is there to disagree with this? This should be done by every GM constantly. The Twins haven't turned out quality players lately, why wouldn't you try to assess the reasons? If the reason is, "there is no reason," fine, but Mike clearly said he couldn't state what he would change without an internal evaluation.

There are legitimate issues to be concerned about within this organization, Ryan acknowledges as much. The poster you replied to clearly and rationally listed reasonable areas to address or fix, I'm sorry but Ryan himself says he has to do better, why can't we?


The answer we got was "Because he's a good GM.".....which apparently is supposed to cut off all debate and alternative proposals. Even when asked for.

Edited by jokin, 23 October 2013 - 03:45 PM.