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8/6/14

Ron Gardenhire is out as the Twins' manager, now what?

The writing is pretty much on the wall.  From this to this, and everything in between, the biggest question in the Twins' Territory is not if this will be Ron Gardenhire's last season as the Twins' manager, it is when will he be replaced.   Enumerating reasons about Gardenhire's replacement right now will be pointless (it was not after the miserable 2006 post-season, when this place was one of the few week voices suggesting that this team will not go anywhere with Gardenhire and Ryan at its helm.   It took the four most miserable consecutive seasons in franchise history, since the move to Minnesota, to actually have some sort of a majority thinking that this might be the case.)  It did not had to take for Ron Gardenhire to accumulate 1000 losses and be one of only seven managers in baseball history to achieve this feat, for this to happen.

As far as the "when" goes, it looks like it will happen sooner than later.  It might happen as soon as this series is over or it might happen after this season.   I suspect that Gardenhire will be allowed to leave on his own terms and retire riding into the sunset like Clayton Moore, instead of being forced out.  This franchise does things this way (and it is fine.)   For the record, my bet is that Gardenhire does not finish the season and for practical reasons (like not enough bodies to sit in the dugout) they will wait until minor league play is over to do it.  It has a bit more oomph if it is done during the season and that's what I think they will do.  I have never seen so many main press sources either re-iterating how sick and tired Gardenhire is lately, or how sad and "remote" Ryan seems lately.  Something is about to happen, folks, in the land of ten thousand lakes, and it does not involve soaking cod in lye in a bathtub.

The "what" is more important:  What will happen after Gardy is gone?  Potentially, this would be another case of rearranging coaching chairs (c. 2012, when they blamed the lost season on Jerry and Stelly and did a round robin with the rest.)  If Tonto is still around when Kemo Sabe is gone (utterly love the sarcasm of the advertizing copy placement on that shot in so many levels, btw), it will be another failure.   It will also be a failure is Scotty and Vavry and Steiny and Bruno were kept.  They are part of the problem as well.  They need to go.  The jury is still out on Paul Molitor, who has instituted some improvements already, like the defensive shifts, and Bobby Cuellar, who I think has not given an opportunity to do what he can do with this staff in the shade of Anderson.

Fresh thoughts and ideas are needed in this Franchise.  And, of course, this starts in the front office.  I think that Terry Ryan will also retire after this season, and health issues will be sited.  He does have a bigger battle than the Twins' to fight at this point and wishing him the best.  If I were the Pohlads, I would offer someone like Joe Maddon a position similar to what Nolan Ryan had with the Rangers or Tony LaRussa has with the Diamondbacks and give him carte blanche to fix the team (and if he still likes to manage, let him manage as well.)

But this is another long story, better saved for later...


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