Remember Doug Mientkiewicz? The first baseman spent 12 years in the majors, seven of those with the Twins, winning a Gold Glove with the team in 2001.
Most recently, Mientkiewicz managed the Twins' Single-A Fort Myers Miracle, until the team fired him Friday. Nothing noteworthy here on the surface. Teams shake up their minor-league personnel all the time.
But the timing of his termination surprised Mientkiewicz, and it doesn't cast the Twins organization in the best light. Mientkiewicz says he got the news by phone Friday as he dealt with the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Irma at his home in the Florida Keys.
"My cellphone was out for several days, and then I got a call (Friday) … I'm out here working my rear end off, dealing with remnants of the hurricane, and they call to tell me I'm fired," Mientkiewicz told the StarTribune.com. "You think they will ever do something professional as an organization?"
That phone call got even more awkward, as Mientkiewicz tells the story. He got the news from Brad Steil, the Twins’ director of minor league operations, who is being promoted by the organization. Mientkiewicz says he congratulated Steil on his promotion, “and he said, ‘I couldn’t have done it without you,’ Then he said, ‘We’ve been going through the coaching staffs here, and we’ve decided not to bring you back.’”
Mientkiewicz admitted he knew "changes were taking place." Still, the timing of his termination could have been better.
Twins GM Thad Levine told the Star Tribune he made the move with Mientkiewicz's interests in mind.
“Changes are being made, and we have worked very closely with our senior leadership team and departments to determine the best course of action for the future,” Levine said. “Our hope and goal is to do so in a timely fashion, so that people who are not being retained have 100 percent access to job openings that may occur around the industry.”