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Twins fire or reassign all but one member of coaching staff

Oct 5, 2012, 2:49 PM EDT

Rick Anderson, Ron Gardenhire AP

Last year 99 losses and the AL’s worst record motivated the Twins to fire general manager Bill Smith a month after the season ended.

This year 96 losses and the AL’s worst record led to immediate and sweeping changes to the coaching staff, as the Twins announced that everyone on Ron Gardenhire’s staff except for pitching coach Rick Anderson has been let go or reassigned to a lesser role within the organization.

During the first 11 seasons with Gardenhire as manager the Twins fired a grand total of one coach, Al Newman. Yesterday alone they fired first base coach Jerry White, third base coach Steve Liddle, and bullpen coach Rick Stelmaszek while reassigning hitting coach Joe Vavra and bench coach Scott Ullger to roles described as infield and outfield instructors. Head trainer Rick McWane was also let go.

I’d love to offer some meaningful analysis, but beyond stating the obvious about the need for change after 195 losses in two years it’s difficult to say if specific firings were justified or what the shakeup’s impact will be. Good or bad, evaluating coaches is a lot of guesswork. What’s easier to see is that with a new coaching staff and Gardenhire’s contract up after 2013 the writing is seemingly on the wall for what another 90 losses would lead to this time next year.

  1. Jeremy T - Oct 5, 2012 at 2:56 PM

    Is Gardenhire himself not a member of the coaching staff?

  2. aarontzach - Oct 5, 2012 at 3:00 PM

    The Twins can’t fire Anderson yet because they might need HIM to start a few games in 2013.

  3. xjokerz - Oct 5, 2012 at 3:00 PM

    a little shocked by this move.. but all 4 pitchers have been good down the stretch

    go tigs

  4. jsally430 - Oct 5, 2012 at 3:51 PM

    bout damn time. to bad gardys not gone as well

    • theawesomersfranchise - Oct 5, 2012 at 3:53 PM

      He’s find a job so quick it would make your head spin.

    • theawesomersfranchise - Oct 5, 2012 at 3:53 PM

      He’d find a job so quick it would make your head spin.

  5. deeria - Oct 5, 2012 at 4:05 PM

    Jerry White got screwed out of his job. Class Act, that works well with alot of the players. Rick Anderson should of been the first one out.

    • nvandy42 - Oct 5, 2012 at 4:21 PM

      Rick Anderson is one of if not the best pitching coaches in the league. Just because he can’t turn bronze into gold doesnt mean he’s a bad coach. get educated, then speak

      • deeria - Oct 5, 2012 at 9:41 PM

        Your one of those people that think Nick Blackburn is still a potentially HOF project Rick can produce huh?

  6. Gordon - Oct 5, 2012 at 4:51 PM

    I’m a White Sox fan, but I can say without hesitation that Gardenhire is one of the best managers in the league. The 2 years of bad ball are due to piss poor talent evaluation. People seem to have really short memories.

    If he gets fired, he should be on top of the list for every team with an opening.

    • e5again - Oct 5, 2012 at 5:48 PM

      Why must people always preface with what team they are a fan of? I could care less.

      • Gordon - Oct 5, 2012 at 6:47 PM

        So you’re saying that it’s not that bad because it is possible for you to care less?

  7. dremmel69 - Oct 5, 2012 at 5:12 PM

    How many managers, past or present, could do much better than Gardy with a no-ace, AAA-caliber starting rotation? Joe Torre? Sparky Anderson? Earl Weaver? Connie Mack?

    Too easy to say “fire the manager”. Let’s hear who would replace Gardy and why they would get more wins with the same roster.

  8. ndnut - Oct 5, 2012 at 5:28 PM

    Gardy, Jerry White, and Stelly should be the ones staying with everyone else out the door. Hitting and starting pitching have been bad, Liddle was NOT a 3rd base coach, and Ullger wasn’t great either. Anderson is nowhere near great. He is somewhere between good and mediocre as a coach. Certainly there is somebody else out there to be the Twins pitching coach.

  9. albertmn - Oct 5, 2012 at 7:03 PM

    Gardy should get one more year. Anderson should also have been purged along with the rest of the coaches and the head trainer. It makes me think that the team asked Gardy which guy he would keep and the rest are gone. I look forward to new blood from the other coaches, especially Bruno, which the young players seem to love from the minors.

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