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Time might be right to move Gardy out of dugout

Who believes the Minnesota Twins will be a stronger organization in the future if they move Ron Gardenhire out of the dugout?

 I do. But I do not want the Twins to lose him.

 Gardy has stormed around major league ballparks as the Twins skipper since 2002 and he knows the organization, the players and the reason any grown man plays baseball. This could make him a viable candidate for Terry Ryan’s general manager job. It would also give Mr. Ryan a chance to return to retirement.

 Whether or not Gardy wants to park himself in the front office is another question. After being kicked out of more than 60 baseball games in the last 12 seasons he does not fit the mold of a cool, calculating wheeler-dealer. If his managerial style is a good indication of what kind of GM he would be he would bring some fire to Minnesota’s front office. Team owner Jim Pohlad would probably find himself in a few toe-to-toes.

 Mike Scioscia of the Los Angeles Angels is the only manager in baseball to be lead dog of his pack longer than Gardy so that tells you how important he has been to the Twins. I have always admired Gardenhire’s sense of humor. He has poked fun at his players and has taken his share of shots in return. Earlier this season when the Twins were chopping and the chips weren’t flying it was Gardy that was telling them to relax and have some fun. Gardy won the AL Manager of the Year award in 2010 and he has skippered the Twins into the playoffs six times. This guy has been a good manager. In fact, he has won the greater percentage of his games as Minnesota’s manager. Throw the last three years out and his win/loss percentage would really look rosy. An interesting fact is that Tom Kelly, despite all of the glory he brought to Minnesota with two world championships, lost more games than he won.

 For all of his success it looks like Gardy’s days in the dugout are numbered. The Twins have been foundering for a variety of reasons. You cannot throw all the blame at Gardenhire but let’s face it - a shake-up in the organization would not hurt. For all of his popularity, Gardy represents the past and not the future.

 Paul Molitor’s name has popped up as the 2014 manager of the Twins. This is totally in keeping with the team’s tradition. The Twins have always liked projecting the image of an organization that cares about their former players. Tom Kelly and Ron Gardenhire were both with the Twins during the playing days. So was Frank Quilici, a former manager who visited Wadena this spring.

 Molitor is a St. Paul boy, just like Joe Mauer, and played for the University of Minnesota before breaking into the majors. As a Minnesota native and a member of baseball’s 3,000-hit club it is a cinch that Molly would have the respect of the fans. That would make it a great public relations move by the Twins – who could certainly use a good jolt after three seasons of struggle.