FORT MYERS, FL- MARCH 11: Rocco Baldelli #15 of the Tampa Bay Rays looks on against the Minnesota Twins on March 11, 2015 at the CenturyLink Sports Complex in Fort Myers, Florida. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images)

Rocco Baldelli to be Hired as Minnesota Twins Manager

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FORT MYERS, FL- MARCH 11: Rocco Baldelli #15 of the Tampa Bay Rays looks on against the Minnesota Twins on March 11, 2015 at the CenturyLink Sports Complex in Fort Myers, Florida. (Photo by Brace Hemmelgarn/Minnesota Twins/Getty Images)


Happy Wednesday Minnesota Twins fans!

Today belongs to you.

In a week where the Vikings play a big Sunday night game vs the Saints, while we all wait for some dominos to fall with Jimmy Butler and the Timberwolves, and the Wild play again tonight after winning three in a row and then getting a week off; but Thursday, October 25th 2018 is for Minnesota Twins fans.

It seems as though the deal is yet to be finalized but all of the major outlets are reporting that this deal is essentially done and an announcement is expected today, which would make sense, since there is no World Series game tonight. The MLB frowns upon big announcements during World Series game days.

A couple of days ago, Toups wrote a big deep dive into the remaining candidates and here is what he had on Rocco:

Rocco Baldelli

Age 37. Played 7 seasons in the majors with Tampa Bay (2003-2008) and Boston (2009-2010).

Managerial Experience: None

Previous Coaching Experience: Tampa Bay Rays First Base Coach (2015-16) Major League Field Coordinator (2017-18)

Past Managerial Influences: Kevin Cash (2015-2018)

Pros: Baldelli has been on the staff of Kevin Cash, who is a very forward thinking manager and has launched several “new school” ideas including the “Opener Strategy” for the Tampa Bay Rays who also spent most of the season using their 5th spot in the rotation as a “Bullpen Day“. The Twins would be hoping to get a similar effect in hiring Baldelli as the Phillies got with Gabe Kapler, although the Phillies imploded by the end of the year.

Cons: Baldelli would come in as a fresh hire, and by fresh hire I mean with very little coaching experience under his belt. But as has repeatedly been said with the other top candidates, the Twins don’t appear worried about if their next manager has prior experience or not. Baldelli received a second interview with the Twins this week so he is clearly in the mix.

Get used to “New School Baseball”

For those of you who don’t like analytics and hate the way baseball is going…. this may no longer be the team for you. As Toups noted in his piece earlier this week, the Rays, where Baldelli is coming over from, are as “new school” as it gets. If you were sick of seeing the “Opener” concept or 4-man outfields….. well, you’d better get used to them. I’d expect the Twins to be leading the charge next to the Rays, Cubs, Astros, Athletics, and others, as we continue into the new age of baseball.

I don’t really know that much about Baldelli but I know that the Rays overachieve every year in an impossible division, the Cubs just won a World Series for the first time since forever, and the Astros continue to make deep playoff runs.

I don’t give a fuck how many guys play in the outfield or how many starting pitchers we have or don’t have. I don’t care if we never bunt or if we strike out more than everyone else. I don’t care which stat categories we follow or no longer follow.

I care about winning. I’m sick of watching playoff games that don’t include the Twins. I care about Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton being the players they were supposed to be this entire time. Can Rocco help bring that out? Can he get us back to regular playoff and division contention?

I sure fucking hope so…

Eric Strack

Minnesota Sports Fan @RealMNSportsFan

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