While covering the Twins in the late '90s and early 2000s, I got to know Doug and Jodi Mientkiewicz, which meant getting to know Jodi as a smart, savvy observer of baseball and people in and around the game.
Doug used to tell me he'd get home from an 0-for-4 and Jodi would be waiting with hitting tips.
In the wake of the Twins firing Doug as their Class A manager, I've been in touch with Jodi. She didn't want to be quoted directly but did tell me this:
Six weeks ago, the Twins asked Doug to manage their Arizona Fall League team. That's usually a compliment, and often a sign that the manager has a future in the organization.
Doug turned it down because Jodi was due to have heart surgery.
Six weeks later, the Twins fired him.
I've also been told by multiple sources that Doug has received condolences and expressions of anger from many in the Twins organization. Doug was very popular with his former teammates and players in the organization. He was ambitious, but that's no crime.
There may be another side to this story other than the Twins firing Doug without good reason. But if there is, the Twins aren't providing it.
You can hear more on the Twins on my podcast with Roy Smalley at MNSPN.com and The Mix Sports Radio facebook page.