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Twins managerial hunt: Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

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Maybe you like the decision to hire Paul Molitor and maybe you don't, but there's another level here that's worth considering: do you trust the decision makers?

Hannah Foslien

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes is a Latin phrase that translates directly to "Who will guard the guards themselves?" In more recent times, the phrase who will watch the watchers? applies and is probably something you've heard before. While in our context we're not questioning the tyrannical enactments of a corrupt government, nor referencing the content of Juvenal's Satires, the sentiment still applies to our question: do you trust the process?

On our terms, quis custodiet ipsos custodes can be used to ask whether or not you trust the process of the Twins managerial hiring. This doesn't even necessitate that you are pro or anti-Molitor; only whether or not you believe in the abilities of the decision makers to make the best decision.

The conundrum is that even bad decision makers are capable of churning out a good result. Call it what you like - every dog has its day, a moment of clarity, blind luck - but it happens. Conversely, good decision makers are capable of making bad decisions. But I don't want to focus on the results, or the hiring of Molitor. Right now, I want to know whether or not you trust the process.

Terry Ryan, since his return to the role of General Manager, has had mixed results. He's re-stocked the farm system (which is only partially the result of high first round draft picks), he's made good Major League signings in Phil Hughes, Kurt Suzuki, and Josh Willingham, he's handed out the three largest free agent contracts in franchise history, and the future is bright. On the other hand, the overall talent on the Major League roster has been underwhelming, the club has now lost 92+ games four years in a row, and outside of the aforementioned players most of the free agency acquisitions haven't made the team better.

When it comes to ownership and Jim Pohlad, you either believe in payroll as a part of the process or you believe the team should be spending significantly more. Building Target Field, seeing payroll climb to a franchise-record $113 million in 2011, and then seeing it dip into the lower fifth of the league at a level barely higher than it was at the end of the Metrodome era will generate some understandable frustration - especially if your taxes helped pay for the ballpark.

At this point in time, there is a lack of trust between the fan base and the decision makers in the Minnesota Twins organization. There are varying levels of it, and certainly some people deal with the frustration in their own way, but it's hard to deny the gap that's been created over four years of losing baseball. How you feel about Ryan and Pohlad will play into how much you trust the people in charge to turn the team around.

How you feel about Ryan and Pohlad - how much you trust Ryan and Pohlad - extends to your faith in their ability to make good decisions. That means their ability to bring in good free agents, spend money wisely, make smart trades, and evaluate young talent, but it also means their ability to run a comprehensive interview process and be as objective as possible in making their choice for the team's next manager.

And so we go back to Ryan's quote via Mike Berardino above. Minnesota's General Manager believes it was a quality process, and that process has led them to Paul Molitor.

We don't know whether Molitor will be a good manager or not. We know some of his traits and his tendencies and we know how players feel about him, but we don't know whether he'll be a good manager. That's something we'll find out as we go along, just as we would have for anyone else the decision makers could have otherwise chosen.

The question is: regardless of whether or not the choice turns out to be a good one, do you trust the decision makers' abilities to make good decisions?