Terry Ryan got to put on his Donald Trump shoes on Thursday and fired most of the Twins coaches. The day after the Twins finished their second straight season finishing in the cellar of the American League Central, longtime coaches Rick Stelmaszek, Steve Liddle, Jerry White and head trainer Rick McWane were let go. Along with these moves it was announced that hitting coach Joe Vavra and bench coach Scott Ullger will be reassigned within the organization.
After two straight losing seasons, it’s anybody’s guess if these are the only moves the Twins make to the coaching staff. Manager Ron Gardenhire’s contract goes through the 2013 season, but the rest of his staff ends now.
For those who don’t know who: Rick Stelmaszek was the Twins bullpen coach and had been with the club for 33 years. Steve Liddle had been with the Twins organization for 28 years, and most recently was the major league squad’s third base coach. Jerry White was the Twins first base coach and has been in that position since 1999.
The reassignments have been already announced. Now former bench coach Scott Ullger will oversee outfield instruction and former hitting coach Joe Vavra will oversee infield instruction. Ullger has been with the major league club since 1995 being either the club’s third base coach, hitting coach, or bench coach. Vavra has been the team’s hitting coach since 2005.
There is no immediate word on replacements for the major league openings immediately. An influx of the current Rochester Red Wings staff could soon find a home at Target Field. It has been rumored long before today’s firings that former Twin and current Red Wings hitting coach Tom Brunansky may become part of the Twins staff.
Tom Brunansky played for the Twins for seven years, where he was an All-Star in 1985 and won the World Series in 1987. In his 14-year playing career, Brunansky had a lifetime average of .245, 271 home runs and 919 RBI. Still there are no guarantees that Brunansky will be part of the Twins staff.
Also to note, in an interview on 1500ESPN’s Reusse and Mackey show, former Twin Paul Molitor said he’d be open to interviewing for a coaching position if one opened up.
It usually takes a lot for the Twins to shake up anything, but after two losing seasons, something had to be done. It didn’t take long for the Twins to clean house this season. Virtually all that’s left of Ron Gardenhire’s staff is himself and pitching coach Rick Anderson.
Now Twins fans can sit back and enjoy the chaos of filling roster spots and coaching spots.