Published on September 29th, 2014 | by Thompson0
Goodbye, Gardy. Hello, Ozzie!
That day I’d been calling for the past three years is finally here, and we can now speculate as to who will fill Ron Gardenhire’s shoes as manager of the Minnesota Twins. I don’t see any problem with the decision, and apparently neither did Gardy.
“I agree with this. I think this is right,” he said at today’s press conference, citing many times that he’s “a fan,” and joking with Mike Berardino that he could punch him in the face now. “I want to see this team win.” Gardy was in good spirits all things considered, and has an open job offer to return, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he finds playoff success in Colorado with all the Twins’ former players. He better not bring Rick Anderson to that ballpark, though.
I was surprised by some of the responses to the firing. Will Carroll said “Terry Ryan has no loyalty,” which I thought was a joke because Ryan has been the most loyal GM in the history of the game. And then Keith Olbermann replied by called the firing “cowardly” and Tweeting that ownership and front office were to blame for those losses, which I agree with. If there’s anyone to call out in this situation, it’s Jim Pohlad for not firing Terry Ryan. But come on, Keith. Terry Ryan’s job was on the line, too, and he couldn’t be the only general manager in MLB history to retain a manager with four consecutive 90-loss seasons…twice.
Also, there is obviously a disconnect between the staff and players given the quality of play the last four years. The players may be shouldering the blame for their manager today, but at some point the MANAGER has to MANAGE, and get the most of his players. There is talent not reaching potential in Minnesota, especially in the pitching staff, and this firing was a firing of the staff and not just the manager. There are also concerns regarding a lack of Spanish-speaking coaches to relate to the young, Latin stars the Twins have coming up. The jobs of the entire staff should be available, and Ryan should cast a wide net.
According to Jeremy Nygaard, the “Twins want staff in place by October 12,” so this job won’t be vacant for long, as the Twins’ Wikipedia page beautifully displayed this morning. But according to Berardino, my favorite candidate will be in France until October 18.
As you all know, my candidate has been Ozzie Guillen, and there is some support for that idea out there. As of this writing, a Star Tribune poll found that 34% of 5,228 voters believe Terry Ryan should hire someone outside the organization. And Ozzie is, of course, interested. He’s always wanted to be a “piranha,” and it was confirmed today by Mike Berardino.
Source close to Ozzie Guillen tells me he would have interest in managing the #MNTwins: “Hell, yes, he would.”
— Mike Berardino (@MikeBerardino) September 29, 2014
Another ESPN analyst, Manny Acta, could be a calmer, safer way to bridge the Latin gap between the Twins’ roster and staff, but I like Ozzie’s credentials better. I think it’s important to bring someone in that has had playoff success, which eliminates Jim Tracy and Bo Porter from the conversation.
Other internal options include Doug Mientkiewicz, which I feel is the most accomplished internal option, Paul Molitor, who would serve only as a figurehead since he has absolutely no experience managing, Terry Steinbach, a reasonable but unexciting coach, and even Jake Mauer, who I consider to be a reach, but he certainly has the skill set.
So there’s your shortlist, Terry. Seems to me Ozzie’s at the top of it.