Earlier this week, a dramatic, earth-shattering, bone-chilling “passing-of-the-torch” occurred. No, I am not talking about the election, I am talking about something right here in Minneapolis. On November 7, the Twins introduced the dynamic duo who will hopefully save them from the dumps. The upper management promised a swift search, in which it was, and the duo promised quick action, which also occurred.
Twins Owner Jim Pohlad and President Dave St. Peter congregated the Twin Cities media into the Target Field press room. That afternoon, they introduced the two men, both from outside the organization, who will now direct the path of the team: Chief of Baseball Operations Derek Falvey and General Manager Thad Levine. Falvey came from Cleveland, where he spent last season as Assistant General Manager for the AL champion Cleveland Indians. Levine, who was chosen by Falvey, previously was with Texas, also as an Assistant General Manager.
Falvey and Levine plan on getting started right away to reorganize the franchise, while keeping the Front Office intact. Flakey would like to add to the staff, as he wants the Twins to start using analytical data, which means math equations and such. The duo will look at what they have in the Twins system, and then make decisions after that. They are not wanting to break up the team, for now. However, if there is a significant trade possibility that can make the Twins better, Levine won’t be afraid to move their “all-stars.” During the 50-minute press conference, Falvey used the word collaboration several times. “The goal here is straightforward and measurable,” Suggested Falvey. “It’s to build a sustainable, championship-caliber team, an organization that fans across Twins territory will be proud of.”
With newbies at the helm, there were quick changes. On November 9, Falvey did not renew the contracts of hitting coach Tom Brunansky and first base coach Butch Davis, effectively letting them go. Brunansky came to the Twins at the end of the 2012 season. While the hitting was unspectacular, it was not bad in 2016. The Twins were just looking for more production in the line-up. Brian Dozier’s 42 home runs and 99 RBIs this year made the stats look better than they really were. It is uncertain why Davis, who coached first base for two years, got the boot, but he also was overseeing the base running and outfielders, which were hard to watch sometimes. Now, it will be curious who will be chosen to replace them!
Falvey and Levine both received five-year contracts to try to turn this struggling team around. From this point to February 13, the new duo will have lots to do to improve the recent 59-102 team and make them contenders again. One thing is for certain: If an actor from the 1994 film Little Rascals can somehow become President of the United States, the Twins can get to a World Series!
Written by: Michael L. Sack