If you tuned into Sunday's post-game show and heard the GameDay Chatter segment - otherwise known as "the part of the show where a blogger rails against the establishment" - you heard my dulcet tones ringing across the airwaves. Here's what I said, after noticing that two other teams in town moved towards much more independence in their front offices:
Last week, both the Wild and the Timberwolves hired new general managers, and one thing that both men had in common is that neither was a former player. Both Wild GM Chuck Fletcher, and Timberwolves GM David Kahn, have made their careers entirely in management.
Both men were hired, in part, to help distance front-office decisions from the day-to-day happenings on the court or on the ice. Both Doug Risebrough and Kevin McHale, their predecessors, worked closely with their respective coaching staffs to build teams - but neither one could put together a team that could QUITE make it over the top.
This makes me wonder: maybe it’s time for the Twins front office to spend a little less time listening to the views of the on-field staff.
After all, it was the manager who expressed continuous frustration with Matt Garza. It was the field staff who questioned the leadership of Jason Bartlett. Both were traded, in part, to satisfy the coaching staff - but now Garza is in the midst of a second successful season on the mound for Tampa Bay at the young age of 25, and Bartlett has been one of the most valuable position players in the league this year.
This isn't to say that the manager should have NO input into front-office decisions, but it might be better for the team - in the long run - if the front office was more independent, and if the general manager could focus on the long-term success of the team, rather than satisfying the field manager.
It took a wave of firings for the Wild and the Timberwolves to move in this direction - and, like those two teams, the Twins just can’t seem to quite get over the top. Let’s hope it won’t take another wave of firings for the Twins to try to get there.