Minnesota Has Self-Inflicted the Twins Way

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The Minnesota Twins are now well underway when it comes to their managerial search. After firing Ron Gardenhire following yet another 90 loss season, Minnesota is looking for the leader to right the ship in the clubhouse. Higher up however, Terry Ryan and Dave St. Peter overlook the situation, and both want to separate from the “Twins Way.”

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On the recent fan forum that the Twins held with season ticket holders, both Ryan and St. Peter addressed a caller that brought up the Twins way. St. Peter was adamant in suggesting that the Twins have never used the Twins Way in any advertising, and Ryan said that is not a slogan the club has ever put out.

While both men are likely correct, the Twins Way is a media driven moniker, that Ron Gardenhire and others around the organization have definitely uttered in previous years. That aside, this isn’t a column about he said she said, but instead a look at the “Twins Way.”

Ryan mentioned that he hopes the Twins Way would be playing respectably and well on the field. Although that’s more than something admirable to strive for, that likely isn’t the definition much of Twins Territory associates with the term.

The Twins Way brings about thoughts of promotion from within, consistent thinking, process driven, and a small ball style of baseball.

So, is the Twins Way wrong? Maybe not, but it is broken. Should you have brought up the Twins Way in the early 2000’s, it was a term of endearment. Minnesota won with lesser known guys, playing above their own expectations. In recent memory, the Twins Way has turned into sloppy baseball, stagnant thinking, and competitiveness that doesn’t show at the major league level.

Sure it is fair for Dave St. Peter and Terry Ryan to want to distance themselves from the Twins Way, even if they embraced it when it worked. Unfortunately, in order to do so, the Twins process needs to change.

Promotion from within can be a good thing. Paul Molitor or Doug Mientkiewicz may be the next Twins World Series winning manager, but should they be named, the same mistakes can’t be made. Slowly promoting prospects and watching them toil away in the minor leagues can’t be the norm. Accepting 90 loss seasons and only making minor tweaks instead of looking to reinvent the process can’t be the thought process.

Sure, it’s fair to want to distance Minnesota baseball from the Twins Way, and quite frankly it may even be the best idea. As the Twins usher in a new crop of talent, working towards establishing a new identity, and not leaning on the success of yesteryear is a fresh start. That thought process needs to be replicated throughout the organization.

Dave St. Peter and Terry Ryan are right to back away from the Twins Way in its current context, but they also need to be all in when it comes to re-establishing what the definition of their ball club is.

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