The Minnesota Twins announced today that they have fired long time manager Ron Gardenhire. He has been offered another position within the Twins organization, GM Terry Ryan said at a press conference. The Twins new coaching staff will be decided by the team's new manager and Ryan.
Gardenhire has managed the Twins for 13 seasons, winning the 2010 American League Manager of the Year award. The Twins finished their fourth straight season with 90+ losses and not much improvement has shown, even with the farm system that is fairly deep. Over his career as manager, the Twins have gone 1068-1039, finishing in an average 2.5 place in the AL Central.
He was named manager of the team in 2002, replacing Tom Kelly, who had won two World Series with the club. He was initially hired by the Twins in 1988 as a manager in Minnesota's farm system. Then, in 1991, he became the Twins first base coach, a position he held for 11 seasons.
This is the Twins first managerial search since 1986, when they hired Kelly. USA Today's Bob Nightengale predicts that either Terry Steinbach or Paul Molitor (both members of the Twins coaching staff) will be the team's next skipper. Red Sox bench coach Torey Lovullo could also be a name for the Twins position, according to Jon Morosi of FOX Sports.
Gardenhire would be a prime candidate to become a manager immediately for another team, as his major league longevity and success are two factors that many teams are looking for.