Friday, October 5, 2012

Boom Goes the Coaching Staff

The Twins front office and ownership really hate losing. And who doesn't. So they wasted no time setting into motion a bad day for a bunch of members of the Twins coaching staff (it couldn't have been a ton of fun for the Terry Ryan, Dave St. Peter, and Jim Pohlad either). No one technically got fired; their contracts were not renewed.

Bullpen coach Rick Stelmazsek, third-base coach Steve Liddle, first base coach Jerry White, and head athletic trainer Rick McWane are newly unemployed. Hitting coach Joe Vavra has been re-assigned as an infield instructor, and bench coach Scott Ullger has been re-assigned as an outfield and baserunner instructor.

Pitching coach Rick Anderson's job is still safe -- for now. Either they understood that he didn't have great pitchers to work with the last two seasons, or Gardy told Ryan "if he goes, I go."

Ron Gardenhire still has one more year on his contract, but he will not get an extension yet. He'll have a lot to prove in 2013, and he knows it.

All this may have implications for the AAA team as well. Rochester manager Gene Glynn, pitching coach Bobby Cuellar, and hitting coach Tom Brunanski are rumored to be in the running for the open positions.

So as brutal as all this was -- only one field coach, Al Newman, had previously been fired during Gardy's tenure -- I'm not convinced it'll help much. I understand that the coaches are responsible for much more than what fans see on the field. And we can all agree that many of the players weren't properly prepared for game days. But these guys were there for the good times, too. They didn't suddenly forget how to do their jobs.

The problem was talent, or lack-thereof, not coaching. None of this will mean anything, or matter much, if that fact isn't addressed this off-season.

I sincerely hope that these guys find new gigs or enjoy satisfying retirements, whichever they prefer.

I also sincerely hope that whoever is brought in is wildly successful.

1 comment:

JimCrikket said...

I suspect that if Gardy had said, If he goes, I go," about any of his coaches, Ryan would have thanked him for his years of service and wished him well.