Twins Lose 90 Games Again, Need Coaching Change


There was a time when the Minnesota Twins were arguably the most popular sports franchise in the state. It was an extended period of time filled with winning seasons, exceeded expectations and player awards. In terms of consistency, the nine MLB seasons from 2002 through 2010 were the most successful string of seasons in Twins history. During this time frame, the Twins qualified for the playoffs six times, saw two Cy Young Awards and two MVP Awards. While the Twins only advanced to the second round of the playoffs once (2002), this near-decade of baseball in Minnesota was a great ride.

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But the ride is over now and has been for some time.

Since the Twins last qualified for the playoffs in 2010, the team has lost 90-plus games in four consecutive seasons. In fact, the 68 wins the Twins have put up through 158 games this season, is their highest win total since 2010. Sure, injuries and players not living up to expectations has played a role in this consistent failure, but at some point the coaching staff has to be held responsible.

“Since the Twins last qualified for the playoffs in 2010, the team has lost 90-plus games in four consecutive seasons.”

Ron Gardenhire, the manager who led the Twins through the most successful time period in franchise history, and his staff are as much responsible for success as they are for failure. Gardenhire will likely go down as the second-best manager in franchise history, behind only two-time World Series champion Tom Kelly.

But it is time for him and his coaching staff to be replaced.

Every team is different in some way every season. Very few rosters are exactly the same two seasons in a row. The team Gardenhire took over in 2002 is light-years away from the 2014 edition of the Twins. Not one player from the 2002 Twins roster remains on the 2014 roster. More importantly, only Joe Mauer, Glen Perkins, Brian Duensing and Trevor Plouffe remain from the 2010 team that last qualified for the playoffs — and each one of them have radically different roles now.

The 2014 Twins are definitively different than both the 2010 and 2002 Twins teams. Appropriately, they require a different group of coaches. This is not to say that Gardenhire has lost his ability to coach a team to success, but he is not the right coach to lead this team to success. This team needs a new voice and a new identity. And it needs it now.

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  • Danny Santana and Kennys Vargas have already begun the youth movement in Minnesota. In the coming seasons, the Twins’ roster will be filled with even more young, new faces. These players, many considered to have elite talent, will be expected to re-define the current mediocre identity of the Twins.

    But this change cannot happen with Gardenhire, Rick Anderson and company still in charge.

    As long as the current coaching staff is around, the perception of the Twins will always be what the team accomplished in the past and not what they may accomplish in the present or the future. Twins fans should always fondly remember and be thankful for the job Gardenhire did, but it is time for a change. Four consecutive seasons of inferiority with little improvement is enough.