Minnesota Twins: Ranking the 5 Worst Managers in Franchise History

Manager Billy Gardner of the Minnesota Twins (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images)
Manager Billy Gardner of the Minnesota Twins (Photo by Focus on Sport/Getty Images) /
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No. 5: Minnesota Twins’ Ray Miller (1985-1986)

W-L: 109-130 (.456)

Average Finish: 5.2

Ray Miller had the unfortunate task of managing the Minnesota Twins right before Tom Kelly took over, meaning Twins fans remember him as worse than he actually was. He isn’t the worst manager the team has ever had, but he wasn’t close to the best one either.

Miller took over as the Twins manager in 1985 in the middle of an unsuccessful season. Miller was an excellent pitching coach, but when he took over for the the team as manager, it went poorly. He finished with a 50-50 record, and there was optimism for the 1986.

Unfortunately, Miller’s Twins went 59-80 to start the season, leading to his firing and Kelly taking over for the rest of the season, and we know how 1987 went. Miller was not a good manager, but he wasn’t the worst the Twins have had.

No. 4: Minnesota Twins’ Billy Gardner (1981-1985)

W-L: 268-353 (.432)

Average Finish: 5.1

The manager that preceded Miller, Billy Gardner struggled to 30-43 record in his first season with the team. In his second season with the team, it didn’t get any better. Gardner’s Twins lost 102 games, the most in Twins history to that point.

Gardner’s team won 70 games in 1982, before winning 81 in 1984. It looked like Gardner finally was turning the team around. With a roster featuring Gary GaettiKirby Puckett, and Kent Hrbek, who finished the 1984 season second in MVP voting, there were high expectations.

The Twins started the season 27-35 and ownership had enough, firing Gardner and replacing him with Miller. Gardner got one other managing job with the Kansas City Royals in 1987, but that was it.

No. 3: Minnesota Twins’ Cookie Lavagetto (1957-1961)

W-L: 271-384 (.414)

Average Finish: 7.2

The first manager of the Minnesota Twins lasted less than a year in Minnesota before being shown the door. Cookie Lavagetto managed the Senators/Twins for four years, and not once did he lead the team to more than 70 wins.

Lavagetto also sits eighth in team history in losses (384), seventh-worst in team history (.414), and is second-worst in games under/over 500 (-113 games). Lavagetto’s Twins posted some pretty bad numbers with the team, but those were some of the worst.

Lastly, Lavagetto’s teams finished (on average) in seventh out of eight teams in the American League. Camilo Pascual, Earl Battey, Bob Allison, and Harmon Killebrew all played for Lavagetto during this time, but he still couldn’t put the team together. That puts him third on the list.