The moves I would make if I owned the Twins

Published 8:00 am Thursday, May 28, 2009

If I owned the Twins, the first thing I would do is appoint myself General Manager and Field Manager so I would be in effect, the Pohlad brothers, Bill Smith and Ron Gardenhire. This total control is rare in baseball and even rarer since the mid-20th century. Although I would guess that there have been minor league team owners that did everything except sell popcorn.

The last major league owner-manager was Connie Mack. Cornelius McGillicuddy managed the Philadelphia Athletics for more than 50 years, finally retiring in 1950 at 87 years of age. He began his career in the 19th century, being one of the first catchers to move behind the batter instead of positioning himself by the backstop.

Mack had pretty much complete control and fielded some of the best teams ever to play the game. His Philadelphia Athletics won the American League pennant three straight years 1928, 29 and 30 in the heyday of Babe Ruth’s New York Yankees.

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He didn’t wear a uniform and sat in the dugout dressed in a suit. Now I wouldn’t wear a suit nor a uniform either. Maybe jeans and a Twins jacket.

As owner the first thing I would do is fire Bill Smith and revoke the Jason Bartlett, Matt Garza trade for Delmon Young and Brandan Harris. (Would that I could) I’d have to relieve Ron Gardenhire of his job also. I hate to do it, but there can be only one boss on the field.

Then I’d set about making a few changes. Although I advocated Joe Mauer batting second in the past, now that he has become Ted Williams, I’ll bat him third. I’ll also sign him to a long-term contract as soon as possible.

Alexi Casilla will be brought back from Rochester after his attitude adjustment, to play second base and bat second. Matt Tolbert? Sorry. Back to Rochester.

Trade Delmon Young. The Twins are one superb setup pitcher away from winning the American League pennant and possibly the Series. I’ll get a pitcher for Young after some teams have given up on their division and are building for next year. Young is only 23 and has a long future in front of him. Let some other team worry about his potential future.

If Anthony Swarzak, the Twin’s recent pitching promotion continues his recent shutout-type pitching I’ll keep him in the starting rotation and use injured Glen Perkins in long relief when he comes back. If Swarzak falters in a starting role, I’ll use him in long relief.

Another change I’ll make is to play Carlos Gomez every day. Now that Young is gone, it shouldn’t be too hard. Gomez could be a Willie Mays-type player, but we’ll never know unless we play him.

Set Mike Redmond down. I know he is a good guy and a big asset to the team, but we have another catcher in Jose Morales hitting over .300 in the majors and there is no sense in keeping him in Rochester. Bring him up and let him hit. What a pinch hitter he will make. I don’t see any need for Redmond or Tolbert with Harris and Brian Buscher and Morales here. When I sat down and thought if I was going to make a trade, would I trade Redmond and Tolbert for Casilla and Morales? It seemed like a no-brainer to me. Besides, if Tolbert is sent down, he is only a phone call away in Rochester. As the owner I feel that with these changes we can win more than 100 games. At the end of the World Series, I’d turn the team back to Ron Gardenhire, retire and buy a cabin up north.