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Former World Series champion and Gold Glove first baseman Doug Mientkiewicz has been hired as the new manager for the Toledo Mud Hens, according to multiple reports.
Mientkiewicz, 43, who was born in Toledo before attending high school in Florida, is the 55th manager in Toledo baseball history. He has five seasons of managerial experience in the minor leagues, serving as manager of the Fort Myers Miracle (High-A) in 2013-14 and 2017 and the Chattanooga Lookouts (Double-A) in 2015-16. Both teams are affiliated with the Minnesota Twins.
Mientkiewicz was also a hitting coach in the Los Angeles Dodgers organization.
Neither the Tigers nor the Mud Hens have confirmed the hiring, though the Tigers did announce the organization’s managerial selections for every level below Triple-A. The list includes former Mud Hens catchers in Andrew Graham, Mike Rabelo, and Lance Parrish.
Mientkiewicz replaces Mike Rojas, who went 70-71 in his one season — and second stint — with the Mud Hens.
Mientkiewicz’s career managerial record is 385-299, but he was fired by the Twins after the Miracles’ season, a decision that angered him considering his success — Fort Myers and Chattanooga finished in first place four out of his five seasons, and Chattanooga won the Southern League championship in 2015.
Mientkiewicz, who lives in Florida, was notified he was being let go in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.
“I’m out here working my rear end off, dealing with the remnants of the hurricane, and they call to tell me I’m fired,” he told the Minneapolis Star Tribune. “You think they will ever do something professional as an organization?”
Twins General Manager Thad Levine declined to reveal the reasons for Mientkiewicz’s firing.
A fifth-round draft pick out of Florida State in 1995, Mientkiewicz made his major league debut in 1998 for the Twins, a franchise he spent parts of seven seasons with. He was part of two American League Central championship teams in Minnesota before being trading to the Boston Red Sox at the 2004 trade deadline.
There, Mientkiewicz became the Red Sox first baseman who caught the final out in the 2004 World Series. He also played for the Kansas City Royals, New York Mets, New York Yankees, Pittsburgh Pirates, Florida Marlins, and Dodgers in his career.
Mientkiewicz batted .271 with 899 hits, 422 runs, and 405 RBI in 1,087 games. In the field, he started 852 games, primarily at first base but also at second base, third base, and in the outfield. He won a Gold Glove at first base in 2001 and was a member of the Gold Medal-winning U.S. Olympic baseball team at the 2000 Sydney Games.
Mientkiewicz’s manager for three seasons in Minnesota was Ron Gardenhire, who the Tigers recently hired as their manager. His hire in Toledo was first reported by Jon Heyman of the MLB Network.
Graham will manage Double-A Erie after working with High-A Lakeland last season. Rabelo moves up from Low-A West Michigan to take Graham’s spot in Lakeland, and Parrish — no relation to former Mud Hens manager Larry Parrish — will move from Erie to West Michigan.
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