I’m not shocked that Derek Falvey and Thad Levine fired Doug Mientkiewicz.

Mientkiewicz was known in the Twins’ organization for forcefully speaking his mind. He didn’t mind telling bosses when they were wrong, and he didn’t mind voicing strong opinions publicly. That’s not always going to play well in a new hierarchy, and Falvey and Levine probably have plenty of people they’ve been waiting to move into their new organization.

MIentkiewicz’s firing doesn’t have to reflect poorly on those doing the firing or the person being fired. Sometimes personality fits are more important than competence.

And I do think Mientkiewicz was highly competent. Terry Ryan told me after Paul Molitor’s hiring as the Twins manager that Mientkiewicz finished third in the competition, placing him on a path to be a big-league manager somewhere soon, if not with the Twins if Molitor hadn’t kept the job.

I have known Mientkiewicz since he was a Twins prospect. We’ve been brutally honest with each other over the years, sometimes to the point where we have butted heads. I value him as a worker, a baseball lifer and as a fiercely independent thinker. I also like him and his passionate style and believe he should be managing somewhere.

Maybe he didn’t fit with what Falvey and Levine want in a minor-league manager, or maybe he just made them feel uncomfortable.

Here’s all I know for sure:

Falvey and Levine make the big bucks and hold the big titles. If they’re going to fire someone who has been with the organization on and off for a long time, they shouldn’t make one of their subordinates make the phone call.

Falvey and Levine should make the phone call.

Terry Ryan would have made the phone call.


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