Thursday, November 1, 2012

Did the Twins miss out on Mike Redmond?

The biggest news from the Twins universe on Thursday was the hiring of former Twins catcher Mike Redmond as the new Miami Marlins manager. He spent the last two years managing Toronto's Class A Dunedin squad so he will be making quite the jump to the big leagues. He was 40 games over the .500 mark over the last two seasons and he won Midwest Manager of the Year in 2011.

There had been talk of Redmond's potential to be a manager all the way back to his playing days. Justin Morneau went as far as to call Redmond the "missing piece" on the last Twins team to make the postseason. Even though he didn't play everyday, Redmond was a positive influence on the teams he was a part of during his 13-year career. This reputation helped him to earn his first big league managerial gig.

Last week, the Twins announced their own realigned coaching staff. This came on the heels of one of the biggest coaching shifts since the Pohlad family took ownership. The team bumped up two Triple-A coaches and brought in another coach with other experience. Twins players will have multiple different clubhouse voices to listen to and an interesting dynamic with their former hitting coach serving in a lesser role.

Ron Gardenhire survived the coaching firestorm with his job but he is in the last year of his contract. The Twins will be looking for the team to turn the corner after back-to-back horrendous campaigns. Gardenhire knows he could lose his job if the team doesn't improve in a hurry. Last season marked his 12th year as Twins manager and it's tough not to think his 13th year could be unlucky.

With a beloved former player getting a prominent job in the major leagues, it's tough not to wonder about the Twins future. It seems like there would need to be major changes next season for Gardenhire to keep his job. Redmond is under contract for the next three years so did the Twins miss out on his services as manager?

It's hard to know if Redmond will find success in Miami. This is a franchise that has used five different managers since the beginning of 2010 and that number includes a full season of Ozzie Guillen. The Marlins might be forced to shift to a younger roster and it can be hard to predict success over the long haul.

For Twins fans, it could be tough to take if the struggles continue in Minnesota and the Marlins do well over the next couple of years. There will be plenty of fans happy with the coaching success of a fan favorite. Others will wonder why the Twins didn't jump at the opportunity to hire a man from outside the organization. The question of "What if?' will continue to pop up in the minds of the Twins faithful.

The loyalty of the Twins franchise to their coaches has been a topic of discussion in recent weeks. There aren't many managers that can keep their jobs following back-to-back 90-loss seasons. Gardenhire's success in the last decade is allowing him one more opportunity to prove he is still the right man for the job.

It's still tough to wonder if the Twins missed out on a golden opportunity for Redmond to become the manager in Minnesota.

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