The Twins hired Waseca native Gene Glynn as their Class AAA Rochester manager Friday, hoping his 13 years of major league coaching experience help him guide a team that struggled mightily the past two years.
The move came 11 weeks after the Twins fired former manager Tom Nieto, who led the team to 53-91 and 49-95 finishes.
Glynn, 55, has been in pro ball since he signed with the Montreal Expos as an infielder in 1979, but this is his first chance to work for the Twins.
"After growing up as a Twins fan, I always looked at their boxscore first, no matter who I was working for," said Glynn, who spent the past five years scouting for the Tampa Bay Rays. "So yes, this means a lot."
At Waseca, Glynn was named Minnesota's first Mr. Basketball in 1975. After graduating from Mankato State, he signed with the Expos and eventually peaked at Class AAA Indianapolis.
Glynn's five previous years of minor league managing experience all came in short-season rookie ball. The last team he managed was Spokane, the Padres' Northwest League affiliate, in 1992.
"I always thought I wanted to manage again, especially after working [as a coach] in the big leagues and learning under guys like Don Baylor and Felipe Alou," Glynn said.
Most of Glynn's big league coaching experience has been as a third base coach. He worked on Baylor's staff with the Rockies from 1994 to 1998 and again with the Cubs from 2000 to 2002. He worked under Alou in Montreal in 1999 and again with the Giants from 2003 to 2006.
"I've tried to hire him two other times," said Twins minor league director Jim Rantz. "Every time I interview him, he gets a big league job. I told him, the third time must be a charm."
Glynn's hitting coach at Rochester will be Tom Brunansky, and the pitching coach is Bobby Cuellar, who also was part of Alou's coaching staff in Montreal in 1999.
In recent years, the Rays often sent Glynn to scout the Twins and their Rochester squad. He was among those consulted before Tampa Bay traded Delmon Young to Minnesota for Matt Garza and Jason Bartlett.
Rantz agreed that Glynn's background as a middle infielder makes him a good fit overseeing the club that sends players to Ron Gardenhire's Twins.
"This was like getting two for the price of one," Rantz said. "His forte is baserunning and infield instruction."
Glynn is spending the offseason coaching third base under Baylor with the Margarita Braves in the Venezuelan Winter League.
"I've always wanted to work for the Twins," Glynn said. "It's a good spot for me, because I can hopefully help guys make the next step."