The Minnesota Twins fired Ron Gardenhire earlier this week, and the search is now on for a new manager. Minnesota has been known to be an organization that promotes solely from within, Gardenhire having been the third base coach when he replaced Tom Kelly, but Terry Ryan has said the search will exhaust all options.
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For Twins fans, seeing the promotions consistently come from within the organization has become an agonizing trend. Many of the same viewpoints are shared, and not much change takes place. That being said, this managerial search could prove to be significantly different.
Looking at the likely possibilities, two internal names come to mind, Doug Mientkiewicz and Paul Molitor. The former is the current Fort Myers Miracle manager, and has shown success with a Florida State League championship, while the latter was a coach for the Twins this past season.
I don’t dismiss the possibility of Mientkiewicz being a good fit for the Twins managerial job. He resonates with the younger players, and he has a track record of success already, but after all, this is the case for Molitor.
Paul Molitor played for the Minnesota Twins from 1996-1998 and has been around the organization since. The Minnesota native was on Gardenhire’s staff, but as mentioned, comes from a different background.
Sure, Molitor played in the organization, and he coached on the previous staff, but it would be shortsighted to lump him into the typical promotion from within category. Molitor brings success from multiple organizations throughout his career, and he has always been regarded as someone who would succeed if given the chance.
While he may not be as young as Mientkiewicz, Molitor has the fire to resonate with young players as well. He has always been someone who strives for more, and that is something the Twins will need to spark this turnaround.
Should Molitor be brought back, there are two other names that were let go with Gardenhire that should return as well. Both bench coach Terry Steinbach and hitting coach Tom Brunansky will likely have jobs waiting for them. Brunansky led the Twins to an offensive output more powerful than the AL East winning Orioles, and he can be credited for fixing both Oswaldo Arcia and Brian Dozier. Steinbach provided solid leadership, and likely has managerial qualities in his repetoire should he choose that route in the future.
I don’t believe it is a forgone conclusion that Paul Molitor will be named the next Twins manager. After all, Terry Ryan said that he would be looking both internally and externally, meaning time would need to be used either way, if for nothing but a public relations standpoint. That being said, I think Molitor makes a lot of sense, and while he may adhere to the “Twins Way” it will be Paul’s way of doing so.