Wednesday, September 12, 2007
What Could Been...???
After the 2001 season, the Twins and their fans lived under the threat of contraction. Terry Ryan was offered the GM job for the Toronto Blue Jays. Tom Kelly retired as the field manager of the Twins. I think we all knew what was going to happen. Once Terry Ryan made the admirable decision to remain with the Twins, it was clear what would happen. Ron Gardenhire had been groomed for about a decade to become the next manager of the Twins. No surprises there.
I remember that time, and it was a couple of years before my blogging (so there is no online account of this, you'll just have to believe me). I kept saying that the Twins needed to do something that made a lot of sense to me. I thought that the new coaching staff and manager should not be just the current path. I thought that the new coaching staff should be a combination of new and yet old. Here would have been the coaching staff that I touted at the time (again, knowing that Gardy would be named manager):
Manager - Paul Molitor (Minnesota native and former Twins player who at the time was also a candidate)
Pitching Coach - Bert Blyleven (former Twins pitcher who experienced much success on the pitcher's mound)
Hitting Coach - Gary Gaetti (another former Twins all-star from the 1987 World Series team, had begun his career as hitting coach already)
3B Coach/Infield Coach - Al Newman (Newman did such a great job in the low minors working with several of the players that were becoming the core of the Twins roster at the time and coming soon. He was of course on both World Series teams.
1B Coach - Terry Steinbach (another local guy who came back and played for the Twins. He could coach first, help the pitchers and catchers and more).
Bench Coach - Tony Oliva (Molitor is smart enough that he really doesn't need a bench coach. Oliva is a terrific person, a blast from earlier Twins glory years, and he knows a little about hitting and outfield play too)
I was just sitting around wondering what a team coached and managed by this group would be like. I think Molitor would be fine and the other guys would also do a good job. But...
My main question for the day revolves around the idea of Bert Blyleven becoming a pitching coach. I know he was lobbying for it at that time. What do you think would happen? Here are a couple of ideas I came up with quickly, but feel free to chime in via the comments below, and be creative...
Twins Trainer would have the phone numbers of Dr. James Andrews' and Dr. Lewis Yocum on speed dial.
Pitchers will learn to hot-foot hitters who don't do this little things 'good.'
Solo home runs are ok, almost encouraged. However, when the catcher comes in, Blyleven will ask him if the pitch was on the 'outer half of the plate', the catcher will say "Yes, it was almost right down the middle of the plate, but it was just to the outer half of the plate... and thigh high" Blyleven will respond explain 'outer half of the plate' such as "you know, like Hawaii is on the western half of the United States."
The criteria for a starting pitcher to be taken out of a ball game in which his team is winning or tied... Pitchers arm actually, literally falls off.
When a pitcher does pitch poorly and needs to be removed from the game, the process for picking which bullpen pitcher comes into the game will be a little different. Manager Molitor will pull out the team yearbook and turn it to the team picture page. He will hand it over the Bert and say, "Circle One."
When a pitcher is going through a rough stretch, Bert will call up his good friend Dick Bremer. Bremer will come in and tell the pitcher just how wonderful they are in an attempt to make them feel better about themselves. If Bremer is unavailable, the team's video coordinator will provide clips of Bremer talking about how wonderful the bad pitcher is from the telecast.
Think of a couple of scenarios that would/could occur with Blyleven as the pitching coach... or Molitor as manager... or any of the above scenarios. Be creative.|
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