Twins start cleaning house

Joe Mays is gone, mercifully. Matt LeCroy was cut yesterday, an unfortunate but necessary move. Luis Rivas is gone, which had to happen due to his inability to improve and make better use of his considerable abilities.

Coach Al Newman is gone, too. Newman is popular with Twins' fans, but I suspect he was a little bit too intent upon doing his own managing while in the third base box. The best case scenario is that Paul Molitor will become hitting coach and Scott Ullger will become the third base coach. Molitor is a stickler for fundamental baseball. He doesn't any longer want to become a manager because he doesn't want the glare of publicity--there's something going on with a divorce, blah, blah, blah, that has caused him to turn down a couple of manager jobs. Molitor's in the Hall of Fame, so he should have the respect of the young players.

Apparently, Justin Morneau is a bit of a pill. I didn't realize that. He isn't handling his wealth and fame all that well. Gardenhire has committed to him for next season, which is good, but one hopes that somebody like Molitor could come in and shape the kid up. He's so loaded with talent that he probably doesn't like listening to coaches. To his credit, Morneau's first base play improved vastly this season.

Somebody needs to tell Torii Hunter to quit criticizing his teammates in the press. I suspect Hunter isn't nearly as popular with the rest of the team as he is with the fans.

Jacque Jones needs to be cut loose. His offense isn't quite up to par, even on the weak-hitting Twins. I could do without watching him swing and miss at low, inside curveballs in the dirt.

And last but not least, the Twins should trade J. C. Romero to the Yankees. They deserve him. He is full of talent, but he has never really grown up. He pouts. He whines. He is more interested in his own record than in the team statistics. He's been this way for years. Romero's older than Santana but less grown up. Get a hitter for him if you can.

And Kyle Lohse? He appears to be on the trading block, too. I think they should put him in long relief and keep him, unless they can get a good hitting third baseman by packaging he and Romero.