TwinsCentric was formed by Twins super-bloggers Seth Stohs, Nick Nelson, Parker Hageman and John Bonnes. Together they publish at and have authored books, e-books and magazines that provide independent and in-depth coverage of the Minnesota Twins from a fan's perspective. You can contact them at

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Posts about Brad Childress

Change or no change?

Posted by: Seth Stohs Updated: January 4, 2011 - 8:19 AM

On Monday afternoon, the Vikings suprised absolutely no one when they named Leslie Frazier as their eighth head coach. Another coaching change for a team that has had three head coaches in the past six years.

On January 4, 2002, the Minnesota Twins named their 3B coach Ron Gardenhire as their new manager. He replaced Tom Kelly who had been manager since he replaced Ray Miller as Twins manager during the 1986 season. Kelly had been the Twins 3B coach prior to that. 

On January 10, 2002, the Minnesota Vikings named Mike Tice their full time head coach. He had taking over the reigns from Denny Green a few weeks earlier. Tice's contract ran out after the 2005 season, and Brad Childress was brought in from outside the organization in January of 2006. As well all know, Mr. Childress was relieved of his duties six weeks ago. Frazier became the interim head coach and as had been anticipated for about the last year, he was named the team's head coach on Monday. 

The Vikings have had three head coaches in the last six years and four head coaches in the past ten seasons. In the last decade the Vikings have made the playoffs three times. The Twins, on the other hand, have had two managers over the past 25 seasons. In the last decade, the Twins have been to the playoffs six times. 

This blog is not to say that one ownership methodology is better than the other. The Twins practice and preach continuity and with it, they have remained an annual contender and playoff team in the AL Central. The Vikings have made several changes in the past decade. They have just three playoff berths, but their run to the NFC Championship game earlier this year was sure fun to watch. (Note - a good point raised is that the Vikings have had three ownership changes since 1998. It's difficult to run an organization on continuity when that is the case.)

The Twins ownership was known as frugal for a lot of years in the Metrodome, and rightfully so due to very low revenue streams. With the arrival of Target Field, the Twins have spent on payroll, increasing their payroll from just $65 million a few years ago to about $100 million in 2009 and upwards of $120 million in 2010. The Vikings have spent at least the salary cap in most of the years. In 2010, Zygi Wilf went way beyond the salary cap (in an un-capped season) in an attempt to "go for it." How did that go?

Will a new coach change the fortunes for the Vikings after one of the most disappointing seasons in the Vikings history? Brad Childress had lost his players completely. If there is one thing that will never happen, it is Twins players quitting on Ron Gardenhire. 

There are a lot of similarities between the Vikings and the Twins. Some positive traits. Some negative traits. It will always be amazing for me that the Twins have been the much more successful team the past decade and yet this remains such a Vikings state and region. 

Here's to Leslie Frazier being the right guy to take the Vikings back to the playoffs, and to Ron Gardenhire for hopefully being the guy able to take the Twins to that next level. All I know if 94 wins in the regular season is a pretty good place to be.  Is one management philosophy better than the other? What has firing and re-hiring done for the Vikings? What has continuity done for the Twins? 

Everyone can have a different opinion, and no one is right, and no one is wrong.

Twins Thanks

Posted by: John Bonnes Updated: November 25, 2010 - 10:14 AM

It’s too damn cold to participate in running the Turkey 5K this morning, which means I find myself with an hour or so to kill before starting the festive holiday gluttoning. So let’s start a new holiday tradition – 10 things I’m thankful for as a Twins fan in 2010:

Honorable Mention:
The Dominican Republic
Without the DR, there wouldn’t be a DR Winter League. And without the DR Winter League, we wouldn’t have been able to watch Francisco Liriano regain his velocity, slider and confidence. When I was raving last March about Liriano’s upcoming year, I was told by a writer I respect that “January is Liriano’s best month.” It wasn’t this year, and I couldn’t be more excited about his future.
Geek Chorus: And so is Brian Cashman. Because unless the Twins get a long-term deal with him done this offseason, he’ll be a free agent after 2012. Hello, pinstripes!
The Bartender at MacKenzie’s
For putting out our beer on ice as we watched the ninth inning of the A’s/White Sox game. The Sox lost, the “Champagne of Beers” was popped, and the Twins won their sixth division title in the last nine years. 
Geek Chorus: And the bartender is thankful to the Twins, for forcing 90% of their fans out of the ballpark before the Twins wised up.
10. Delmon Young’s Stomach Flu
He showed up to spring training in shape and we wondered if we were watching a new Delmon, with newfound discipline. Then he admitted it was mostly the result of being sick. Whatever – he still ended up having a fantastic 2/3 of the year, which is 2/3 more than he had showed previously. So have at that undercooked turkey today Delmon - I’d like to see you in shape again next February.
Geek Chorus: Uh, huh. The only way that happens is if you think “round” is “in.”
9. Twins Coverage
Nine years ago, when I started blogging, it was mostly fueled by disappointment in the lack of baseball coverage in this town. I didn’t start writing because I wanted to write about Twins baseball. I wrote because I wanted to read about Twins baseball, and there weren’t a lot of other options.
Not any more. Now Twins fans are gulping from a firehose of information, even in the offseason. The dailies have really stepped up their game, the national press loves to cover the Twins, and the bloggers – male, female, whimsical and statistical – are creating five times more quality content than I have time to read.
Trust me – I’ve researched who is doing good work blogging for other major league teams. There isn’t any other fan base that has even one-third the number of quality bloggers that Twins fans have.
Geek Chorus: So you’re thankful for – you? Savvy. You may want to revisit what this Thanksgiving thing is all about. Or just give in completely and start talking the third person. You’re practically there.
8. Twitter
For turning every Twins game into the most prolific discussion board ever, while also fitting into my pocket. Twitter is the next frontier for blogs, and Twins fans have a good start on creating the best community of any major league team. Join us, won’t you? You start this weekend by following John, Seth, Parker and Nick.
Geek Chorus: And I’m sure your friends and family who sit face-to-face with you at games are thankful for you being totally engrossed in your fantasy virtual world, too. Instead, you could be telling them about Alexi Casilla’s OPS. Hmm. Maybe they really ARE thankful.
7. Brad Childress and Tim Brewster
To Childress, for distracting the heat away from the ridiculous talk about getting rid of Ron Gardenhire. And to Brewster, for reminding us what can happen when you make a change to get to the next level.
Geek Chorus: Oh, the Gopher switched levels, all right….
6. The Pornstache
For giving us Pavano’s best year since his prime. For it’s cheesy goodness. And for inspiring the Super Mario theme to play before home starts that my kids liked.
Geek Chorus: And for the outstanding performance over Roy Halladay to take the series in Philadelphia while you were staying with your in-laws.
Right. That, too.
5. The Third Base Line Fence at Target Field
But mostly for the Twins players that come over to that third base line fence while they’re warming up and sign autographs for the kids. This year, it was mostly rookies or recent Rochester call-ups and that is absolutely fine with me. I cannot tell you what the means to parents. Thank you guys.
Geek Chorus: Even if it means your son becomes a devoted fan of Matt Tolbert? Are you sure that’s worth it?
4. Twins Fans
I’ve lamented for years that Minneapolis is a football town, and not a baseball town. Football still ranks first, but this summer we were a baseball town. I’m sure of it. Look at the comments sections here. Look at the pregame and postgame crowds downtown. Look at the TwinsCentric Offseson GM Handbook sales. Look at the rage and disappointment following this year’s postseason. Ten years ago this would have been unimaginable. Thank you all so much for caring about baseball. 
Geek Chorus: Now, if we could just get the football crowd to stop The Wave.
3. Jim Thome
I loved him. He brought electricity to the plate, leadership to the clubhouse, historical gravity to the ballpark, and full-hearted goodwill to the fan base.
Geek Chorus: And a 1 for 10 to the postseason.
2. Target Field
It’s outdoors. I know I’m supposed to gush about little details, etc, but I’ve seen all the other new outdoor parks, and honestly, I don’t think it’s a lot better than most of them. But it’s outdoors. And after being trapped in that god-forsaken teflon-coated mausoleum for twenty-five years, that’s enough.
Geek Chorus: Now, if they can just get some decent food that I don’t need to wait three innings for.
1.      The Oughts
 The decade started with a run by a Tom Kelly coached team that gave us all hope – and then a tremendous collapse and the threat of contraction. But it is hard to imagine that any fan base could hope for more than the Twins provided short of winning a championship. As a low-revenue team, they were competive not just for a couple of years, but for a decade. They provided Gold Gloves, batting titles, Cy Youngs and MVPs. They extended their season for seven of their nine years. The coverage of the team exploded to satisfy even the hungriest fan. They built a fan base that packed their new outdoor park and dominated the media. And they have shown almost no sign of slowing down for the next decade. World Championship or no, we probably just lived through the best decade to be a Twins fan. And I’m thankful for it.
Geek Chorus: So am I. And I really treasure each of the six playoff wins. Bring on the next decade.


Posted by: Nick Nelson Updated: April 14, 2010 - 12:19 AM
When Brad Childress was first hired as head coach of the Vikings several years ago, he famously promised fans that he would implement a "kick-ass offense." Of course, in his early years at the helm, few would have described the Vikings' plodding offensive unit with that terminology, but by last year -- with the right pieces in place -- the Vikes had become a point-scoring juggernaut and were able to come within a game of the Super Bowl.
The Twins have similarly added some key pieces during their most recent offseason, and the early results in their 2010 campaign have been similarly -- well -- kick-ass. It might not be appropriate to compare J.J. Hardy and Orlando Hudson to Brett Favre and Percy Harvin, but the Twins had an immensely talented core in place already and by shoring up some holes in the lineup (and on the bench, with the addition of Jim Thome), they have seemingly taken their offensive game to the next level.
Last season, the Twins ranked fourth in the American League in runs scored and ninth in home runs. Those are respectable placements, but given that they boasted the league MVP and two other hitters who gained some measure of consideration or the award (Justin Morneau probably would have garnered votes as well if not for his injury), one might have expected the '09 Twins to have been a truly elite offensive club. What held them back was the number of plate appearances that went to substandard hitters like Alexi Casilla, Carlos Gomez, Nick Punto, Joe Crede and Matt Tolbert. Each one of those players accumulated at least 200 plate appearances last year, and not one managed an OPS much over .700. The addition of players like Hardy, Hudson and Thome prevents the Twins from being forced into heaping playing time on overmatched reserves and helps supplement a lineup core that has clearly established itself as one of the most formidable in baseball.
Punto remains a fixture in the Twins lineup, but if his struggles continue, Brendan Harris and Danny Valencia await as viable options to replace him at third. Meanwhile, the rest of this offense looks very strong. Hudson and Denard Span have both gotten off to slow starts, but given their histories there's little reason to expect that to continue. The middle-of-the-lineup hitters have been predictably excellent and Delmon Young is off to a very promising start. Already, we're seeing that this lineup is deep enough to sustain slumps from a few key players and teamwide struggles with runners in scoring position, as they've managed to average 4.62 runs per game despite the lack of production from the top of the order and a .239 team average with runners in scoring position. That's what power up and down the lineup and a core packed with elite hitters can do for you. Once Span and Hudson get it going and the Twins start better taking advantage of scoring opportunities in general -- look out.
Watching this offense provides a new and exciting sensation for Twins fans. This is a lineup that legitimately strikes fear into opposing pitchers and doesn't really let up or relent. It's probably not realistic to expect this group to score 30 a game, as the Vikings did last season, but it would hardly be surprising to see this kick-ass Twins offense put up a touchdown or two from time to time. And it would be somewhat surprising if they weren't among the league leaders in scoring throughout the summer. This lineup is legit.



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