In what you might call an unexpected turn of events, the Twins have announced that they have brought back Joe Vavra as the team's bench coach. This move comes out of left field, an analogy that works well since we're a baseball website (although I admit to not knowing why "left field" means "nowhere"), since it seemed that no other coach besides Tom Brunanski would be back.
But the Twins never said that. We just thought it. And like a shovel over the head in a 70-year old hand-drawn cartoon, Vavra is back in our lives.
For the uninitiated, Vavra came on boach as Minnesota's hitting coach in 2006. He gained a good deal of respect and was given a good deal of credit for helping to develop hitters like Michael Cuddyer and Justin Morneau. But after 2012, the Twins had been through two miserable seasons and changes were made up and down the coaching staff. Only Ron Gardenhire and Rick Anderson kept their jobs.
A couple of coaches returned, including Vavra, who was shifted from hitting coach to third base coach. That's been his role with the Twins for the last two seasons.
There's no doubt that Joe Vavra knows a lot about baseball. To be a coach at the Major League level, it's a given. You don't get to that point by simply walking into the General Manager's office and dropping off an application. Still: to continue to see Vavra recycled through various coaching positions isn't exactly inspiring.
Joe Vavra's hiring tells me Molitor will have as much reliance on bench coach for strategy as Tom Kelly did when Mollie had that job: none.— Patrick Reusse (@1500ESPN_Reusse) November 25, 2014
Reusse should always be taken with a grain of salt, but again: not exactly inspiring.
All that's left now is to hear who the Twins will hire as Paul Molitor's first base coach. Will they take one more crack outside the organization, or will they take the safe route one more time and promote from within?