This October could lead to a new change in the retired life of Mr. Morris. According to Sunday's edition of the Star Tribune (toward the bottom of the article), Morris spent a week and a half working with Twins minor league pitchers in the Florida Instructional League. This experience seemed to work well for both the organization and their former ace. The Twins have offered their former bulldog on the mound a position with the coaching staff of the Gulf Coast League Twins, a rookie league team based in Fort Myers, Florida. He had this to say,
“There are other things we need to talk about... But if it seems like something with a good future, I will give it a try.”Morris has been active in the Twins organization in recent years and many fans have been able to follow his work on the Twins Radio Network. His ability to give commentary on the current game by delving into the experiences of his 18-year career is a valuable asset to the broadcast world. That ability should also serve him well in his transition to a coaching career.
There have been other shake-ups in the coaching ranks of the Twins' farm system to address some of the fundamental problems shown by the prospects that got significant playing time in 2011. In early September, the organization fired Triple-A manager Tom Nieto and hitting coach Floyd Rayford. This came on the heals of back-to-back 90-loss seasons for the first time in the over 100-year history of the Rochester franchise.
The Twins are looking for a new approach in their farm system and "an overall directional change that is being implemented throughout the minor league system this off-season." Morris represents a different philosophy of pitching, one that has been absent from the game in recent years. The hard-nosed, old school style could be a welcomed addition to an organization whose pitching philosophy has failed to produce a front of the rotation starter in recent years.
In an offseason with many changes yet to come, Morris will certainly not be the answer to all of the Twins problems for next year. He is not going to be able to make the middle infield play better defense, he is not going to keep players off of the disable list, and he is not going to be able to put his jersey back on and pitch in a big game situation. Morris can offer some of the younger pitchers in the organization the tips and tricks that made him successful during his time on the mound.
At this point, the Twins organization could use a little injection of Morris in the up-and-coming pitching core. If some of the younger pitchers want to throw the ball a little more inside or show a little fire on the mound like Mr. Morris, that will be fine with me.