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Goodbye, Wes Johnson - A Twins Blog


Axel Kohagen

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Wes Johnson, huh?

This doesn’t feel good. I’ve read the articles and the blog posts and the comments. I’ve had a chance to digest this thing. So far, it doesn’t sit well in my tummy. Like a member of the clean plate club choking down a particularly bad supper, I gagged on Wes Johnson writing until I could feel despair grow in my chest.

First of all, the Twins were paying him $250,000 a year? Doesn't Griffin Jax makes twice that? Hell, doesn't every player on the team makes at least twice what he does? If I’m getting my numbers right (and feel free to double check), Johnson will be making 500,000 more dollars a year. I expected to see him being roasted in the comments section for selling outtake, but it seems like a lot of people think $500,000 is an amount of money that erases a lot of loyalty. Take care of you and your own, because opportunities don’t come every day.

If I sound a little bitter, it’s because I am. Don’t get me wrong, I’d take the job, too, and every dollar of that money. I would probably even ditch a team midseason. Except, I’d have a lot of trouble abandoning a team during a playoff hunt. Our pitching staff has already felt shaky, like a house of cards. This news is like opening a drafty door. Will everything collapse? I guess we’ll have to find out together.

Johnson’s going to stick around through the series with the Guardians, which now feels even more important. Five games. Four days. Wes Johnson’s last chance to impart his wisdom on the pitching staff before he’s gone. Will he share some final lessons, or is this just another series for him? How will he hand off duties to Pete Maki?

Maybe I’m too sentimental for my own good, but I feel like I’d take this a little personally if I were a Twins pitcher. This is their shot at winning it all (or, dare we dream,  Minnesota? – winning one playoff game). It seems like team loyalty is a myth, along with the rest of the good ole days. Baseball is a data-driven business. You’ve gotta have ice in your veins to make it work. I’m not saying this is a bad thing. Or a good thing. It’s just an attempt at objectively observing the state of the game.

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Johnson will be missed for sure. I hope the guy replacing him has picked up some of his wisdom and ideas with the pitchers. From what I've read quite a bit of Johnsons success was his attitude and personality. That just can't be replaced.

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I hate to see Wes leave. He is a heck of a communicator, coach. Money is money but collegiate baseball is a completely different culture from baseball. God’s speed and good luck Wes.

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On 6/28/2022 at 3:38 PM, ashbury said:

The MLB salary for coaches is a combination of supply-demand, and that few coaches have a secret sauce that the next guy can't replicate or improve on.

Successful coaches have something special.  If you want a warm body to be your coach that’s ok for you but not for me. Coaching isn’t everybody’s cup of tea. There are so many skills to successful coaching. There is no good road map to good coaching because the road is the map. 

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