Terry Ryan continues in his quest to find just the right man to become the Minnesota Twins thirteenth manager. Ryan has not had to perform this task since late in 2001 and this will only be his second hire of a Twins manager so he doesn’t have a lot of experience with the process but that is a good thing I think.
According to recent reports the list of potential candidates has been reduced to the final three, Paul Molitor, Doug Mientkiewicz, and Torey Lovullo. But who knows, the Twins keep their cards close to their vest so there is no way to know how accurate these reports are. If these indeed are the finalists I am fine with it.
Who would I hire if I was in Terry Ryan’s shoes? For me it would be between Mientkiewicz and Lovullo. I would eliminate Molitor because of the baggage he brings and the fact that he has been part of the Twins organization off and on for a number of years. My perception is that I don’t see Molitor as really wanting the job, I see him as thinking he is entitled to the job because he is a Hall of Fame player and that in his mind he is the most qualified. I don’t see him as having earned a big league managers job and I don’t see any passion from him for getting the job. I don’t see him as the “guy” that will lead the Twins back to respectability, I see him as the old guy that will bring more of the same.
I like Doug Mientkiewicz very much and think that down the line he will be a wonderful manager either here in Minnesota or somewhere else but right now I have to pass. I love his passion for the game and the fact that he is managing in the minor leagues, earning his stripes so to speak. But in the end it is his inexperience and the fact that he is part of the Twins organization right now that works against him.
I think it is great that the Twins have always rewarded loyalty but every now and then you have to bring in new blood to make your herd that much stronger and to look at things from a different perspective. Think about it, in each of our lives we have taken a new job at some point in time where we first felt that maybe we were not qualified, then over time we became more comfortable in the job as we learned the tricks of the trade. As we were learning we were open to suggestions on how to do the job but as time went along and as we gained confidence in our roles we tended to start to ignore or blow off suggestions because we have been doing this job for some time and no one knows how to do this job better than I, just ask me. Things get done the same way because that way has worked for me in the past and besides, it has always been done that way.
Change is difficult but life and baseball are all about change, once you quit changing you die and the Twins organization is on life support. It is easy to be comfortable because you have no assurance that the new will be better than the old, why go out on that scary limb when you can stay in your safe place? But staying in your safe place does not make you a leader or a winner, it keep you average at best. When change is instituted it will either make the situation better or worse, it will work or it won’t. There is a 50% chance that it will make things better. The Twins have lost 90 or more games for four consecutive seasons, how much worse can it get?
Bringing in Torey Lovullo as the Twins new manager along with a brand new coaching staff will bring new thinking into the organization and give the team a chance to break free of the bonds that have held them going down the same path for years. Why wouldn’t you bring in someone new, why should Twins fans have to continue to endure the same old boring brand of bad baseball the Twins have shown us since 2011? Give us a break, show us you are at least willing to try a new approach.
I know that hiring from the outside will have consequences, Molitor will probably leave the Twins organization and that Tom Kelly‘s may also cut back on his active role with the team as the new regime takes over. But is that all bad? Sometimes the best addition is through subtraction.
Terry Ryan and the Twins are at the fork in the road, will they take the same old path home they always do or will they try that other path that they have not traveled for a long time? The last time the team tried a new path they ended up in Ray Miller land and that was not fun. The newer path probably has some bumps and unexpected surprizes but who knows what they may find, maybe it is a shortcut to the promised land of playoffs and a World Series. I for one can’t wait to see what the Twins choice will be.