|Doug Mientkiewicz in the white jersey, Tom Kelly|
in the navy, during spring training in March.
There's a case for going outside the org., and I'm OK w/ Molitor or Steinbach. But I'm rooting for Dougie Alphabet. #MakeItMientkiewicz
— Edward Thoma (@bboutsider) October 2, 2014
Mientkiewicz has spent the past two seasons managing the Twins in High A Fort Myers, boasting the Florida State League's best record both years and winning FSL playoffs this year. Beyond the won-loss record, it should be a selling point for him that Miguel Sano's best statistical line came while playing for Mientkiewicz, and Byron Buxton and Eddie Rosario also flourished for him in a difficult hitting environment.
Mientkiewicz's major league career had two segments. He broke in with the Twins, spending all or parts of six seasons in Minnesota, with three and half seasons as the regular first baseman. He was then traded in midseason 2004 to make room for Justin Morneau, and that trade triggered the second stage of his career, in which he wandered from team to team as a bench guy: seven teams (counting the Twins) in six years.
As a result, he was exposed to a rather extensive, and distinguished, set of managers -- not just Tom Kelly and Ron Gardenhire, the two managers for whom he was a regular, but also:
- Tommy Lasorda (Team USA, 2000 Olympics)
- Terry Francona (2004 Red Sox , World Series champs)
- Willie Randolph (2005 Mets)
- Buddy Bell (2006 Royals)
- Joe Torre (2007 Yankees and 2009 Dodgers)
- John Russell (2008 Pirates)
Lasorda and Torre are Hall of Famers; Francona is certainly on that path.
Mientkiewicz would probably say Kelly was his biggest influence, but there are definitely others.