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View Full Version : PioneerPlanet.com Article Dredges Up Mind-Melting Gardy Chestnuts



Kobs
06-28-2012, 04:51 PM
"Numbers lie a lot," Gardenhire told the Pioneer Press then. "I have a hard time believing all that stuff (about the increasing use of statistics). Our scouts do that, they show me all those numbers. I show them the door. You go by the numbers and a lot of guys wouldn't be playing."

...

Gardenhire employed similar language in April 2010, when Sports Illustrated did a piece on the rising use of baseball statistics by MLB teams. "... I like the human element, and I like the heart way better than I like their numbers," he told the magazine. "And that's what I'll always stay with."

http://www.twincities.com/twins/ci_20952060/numbers-crunchers-twins-old-school-methods-dont-add

Nutshelled.

edavis0308
06-28-2012, 05:42 PM
<facepalm> jdnsidif

crapforks
06-28-2012, 05:43 PM
Gardenhire doesn't see himself as a numbers guy?!?! RON Gardenhire!??! Those words melted the tail right off my mind.

DPJ
06-28-2012, 05:52 PM
Your manager of the year Ron Gardenhire.

GCTF
06-28-2012, 06:00 PM
This stuff is gold, Jerry. Gold!

one_eyed_jack
06-28-2012, 06:57 PM
The Gardenhire quotes are the least troubling aspect of this article.

Yes, Gardenhire is an old-school baseball guy (or a dinosaur if you want to be less kind).

But at this point he is merely a symptom of a much deeper organizational problem.

Replacing him would be putting a band-aid on a cut without curing the disease.

USAFChief
06-28-2012, 07:41 PM
I have no problem with Gardy not trusting some numbers. Some of the stuff thrown around on the web as fact is, in fact, unproven at best and complete horse$##! at worst. I happen to agree with Ron about defensive metrics, for example. I'd trust Gardenhire's opinion about a player's defensive skills way before I'd trust any of the defensive metrics.

But I do have a problem with Twins upper management not even knowing what most of those numbers purport to tell them, not knowing how they're arrived at, but dismissing most of them out of hand. I believe it was Rob Antony in an interview on TT a couple years ago who couldn't even state what the letters in BABIP stand for, much less form an opinion on it's usefullness. That's criminal, IMO.

Keeping up with the latest research, developments, lines of thinking, etc is the responsibility of management in ANY business. By all means, discard it as useless if you don't like it, but make that decision after learning what the heck it is other people are talking about. Make that decision out of careful consideration, not out of willful ignorance.

Boom Boom
06-28-2012, 07:45 PM
"You go by the numbers and a lot of guys wouldn't be playing."

I'm trying to wrap my head around this quote.

Gardy's right that if you made decisions solely based on numbers, some of the guys who are currently playing for the Twins might not be. But someone else would - somebody with better numbers.

There's some degree of eyeball analysis and managing of egos that goes into managing and I won't question that. But there's no reason to plug your ears and close your eyes to statistical information.

Kobs
06-28-2012, 08:00 PM
I have no problem with Gardy not trusting some numbers. Some of the stuff thrown around on the web as fact is, in fact, unproven at best and complete horse$##! at worst. I happen to agree with Ron about defensive metrics, for example. I'd trust Gardenhire's opinion about a player's defensive skills way before I'd trust any of the defensive metrics.

But I do have a problem with Twins upper management not even knowing what most of those numbers purport to tell them, not knowing how they're arrived at, but dismissing most of them out of hand. I believe it was Rob Antony in an interview on TT a couple years ago who couldn't even state what the letters in BABIP stand for, much less form an opinion on it's usefullness. That's criminal, IMO.

Keeping up with the latest research, developments, lines of thinking, etc is the responsibility of management in ANY business. By all means, discard it as useless if you don't like it, but make that decision after learning what the heck it is other people are talking about. Make that decision out of careful consideration, not out of willful ignorance.

I doubt Burl is talking about zone rating or xfip...the reason this is so frightening, he was most likely talking about all stats, including the "classics."

Kobs
06-28-2012, 08:02 PM
For those that didnt read the article the first quote is from 2003.

Badsmerf
06-28-2012, 08:07 PM
Is this really surprising? It actually makes a lot more sense... the Twins suck because they haven't evolved with the game. Pretty much exactly what many have thought.

Pius Jefferson
06-28-2012, 08:08 PM
The Twins just put a major focus on adding power arms to the organization. From the pitching stand-point they at least indirectly admitted a change is necessary.

I honestly don't know how much of the problem is an antiquated philosophy or poor player development. There's players drafted or signs that had strong sabremetric attributes.

Thrylos
06-28-2012, 08:18 PM
Your manager of the year Ron Gardenhire.

nope. Manager of the Millennium

Riverbrian
06-28-2012, 08:22 PM
Is it possible that Gardy has been quoted out of context?

Paul
06-28-2012, 08:28 PM
Is it possible that Gardy has been quoted out of context?

C'mon Brian, that never happens on the internet.

rnw24
06-28-2012, 08:33 PM
its not going to happen, but i think its time for the twins to move on from gardy

Seth Stohs
06-28-2012, 08:53 PM
As has been said, it was a quote from 2003. And we don't know if it was taken out of context. In some ways, I agree with a lot of what's written above. I also agree with Gardy. I think it's irresponsible for a manager or a front office to not take all available information into account when decisions need to be made. That said, I always appreciate a manager who is willing to go against the book. We (as fans) do not know all of the information that the manager knows about players and behind the scenes stuff, and who just flat-out needs a day off or that kind of stuff. The beauty of baseball is there is no ONE correct way to think.

Thrylos
06-28-2012, 09:07 PM
As has been said, it was a quote from 2003. And we don't know if it was taken out of context. In some ways, I agree with a lot of what's written above. I also agree with Gardy. I think it's irresponsible for a manager or a front office to not take all available information into account when decisions need to be made. That said, I always appreciate a manager who is willing to go against the book. We (as fans) do not know all of the information that the manager knows about players and behind the scenes stuff, and who just flat-out needs a day off or that kind of stuff. The beauty of baseball is there is no ONE correct way to think.

Seth, the day to day thing is one thing. Personnel decisions like handing a starting job to Blackburn out of ST last season, while everything pointed out that they shouldn't, is another. That another is why Gardy needs to either get the 21st century or retire. (and not only him, the Twins' FO, starting with the 130 year old Minor League Player development director should be in line too...)

USAFChief
06-28-2012, 09:13 PM
Is this really surprising? It actually makes a lot more sense... the Twins suck because they haven't evolved with the game. Pretty much exactly what many have thought.


Did that non-evolvement just catch up with them in 2011?

Thrylos
06-28-2012, 09:16 PM
Did that non-evolvement just catch up with them in 2011?

Nope. Last World series was in 1991. That is 21 seasons ago. After McPhail left, this team started to fall apart.

USAFChief
06-28-2012, 09:16 PM
I doubt Burl is talking about zone rating or xfip...the reason this is so frightening, he was most likely talking about all stats, including the "classics."

I don't know...he always seems to know when some bench player is 3 for 8 against tomorrow's starter. :D

USAFChief
06-28-2012, 09:19 PM
Nope. Last World series was in 1991. That is 21 seasons ago. After McPhail left, this team started to fall apart.

Clearly, you're on to something here. The sucktastic '90's were all Ron Gardenhire's fault.

Kobs
06-28-2012, 09:19 PM
As has been said, it was a quote from 2003. And we don't know if it was taken out of context. In some ways, I agree with a lot of what's written above. I also agree with Gardy. I think it's irresponsible for a manager or a front office to not take all available information into account when decisions need to be made. That said, I always appreciate a manager who is willing to go against the book. We (as fans) do not know all of the information that the manager knows about players and behind the scenes stuff, and who just flat-out needs a day off or that kind of stuff. The beauty of baseball is there is no ONE correct way to think.

Gardy doesn't go against the book, he dogmatically follows an outdated one.

one_eyed_jack
06-28-2012, 10:26 PM
I don't understand why Gardenhire is the sole focus of the discussion here.

The article illustrates a rather distrubing organization refusal to adapt to modern methods of player evaluation. Gardy is clearly in the old school baseball camp, but his job, more than any other, you need some of that.

Managers are responsible for a lot of things such as handling egos and personalities, keeping the clubhouse together, keeping guys focused making sure guys don't get too high in good times or too low in bad ones, dealing with the media, etc. that simply cannot be informed by spreadsheets. I'm not excusing the stubborn "Stats? We don't need no stinking stats" attitude, that can be problematic as well. But replacing Gardy wouldn't go very far towards solving the problems outlined in the article.

one_eyed_jack
06-28-2012, 10:32 PM
Nope. Last World series was in 1991. That is 21 seasons ago. After McPhail left, this team started to fall apart.

McPhail left in 1994. The Twins went from World Champs in '91 to a 6th-place, 71-91 finish in his last full season. So the team actually started falling apart before he left.

crapforks
06-29-2012, 03:54 AM
Given a decent team, Gardenhire is a good manager. Yeah, he rides the Puntos and Buteras (and any of the washed up vets he's given) into the ground, but I would like to see him at the helm for the next good/great Twins resurgence. Can it happen with different bench, hitting, and pitching coaches?

Badsmerf
06-29-2012, 06:34 AM
Given a decent team, Gardenhire is a good manager. Yeah, he rides the Puntos and Buteras (and any of the washed up vets he's given) into the ground, but I would like to see him at the helm for the next good/great Twins resurgence. Can it happen with different bench, hitting, and pitching coaches?

I can't excuse the poor performance of the "good" Twins teams in the playoffs. My whole reason for not liking Gardy is based off his teams inability to do anything in the post-season. The day-to-day things are frustrating, but he's gotten better.

My original post wasn't aimed at Gardy, more at the organization as a whole. Maybe they are attempting to rectify it? Problem is that I think this organization has walked a line so far that it can't go back unless new people are brought in. Who knows, in a couple years we might be saying something different with the prospects coming up being close.

Brock Beauchamp
06-29-2012, 07:16 AM
That said, I always appreciate a manager who is willing to go against the book.

Yeah, that's great... When the book is wrong. Joe Maddon is great at knowing when the book is wrong.

If Gardy was to go against the grain and eliminate the ninth inning "closer", most of us would be cheering. He would have "gone against the book" and found a potential exploit in current baseball thinking that improves the team.

But we're not talking about that. We're talking about running guys on the field who OPS at .500 because they "hustle" or they "really get in there and play". Except they don't play. The stats show that. They're awful MLB players. But Gardy runs them out there anyway.

He's trying to play a 21st century game with a 19th century mindset. It's not a winning formula. The Twins could get away with it earlier in his career because the scouting was excellent, development was top-notch, and Anderson did a fantastic job with the pitching staff. That's no longer the case. The Twins need to modernize in a big, bad way and Gardenhire continually proves he is incapable of doing that by running Drew-^%$ing-Butera out there two or three times a week, despite having Ryan Doumit on the bench.

One of the hallmarks of early-Gardenhire Twins teams was their "little things" play. They played sound defense. They hit the cutoff men. They didn't kick the ball around. Those Twins teams are gone, which leads me to believe that those attributes were the result of the hard-ass Tom Kelly, not Ron Gardenhire. If Gardy can't even do traditional baseball right (which he seems to pride himself on), how can we expect him to do anything right at this point?

I'm not a huge Gardy-basher and I think he does a fine job in the clubhouse but it's becoming more apparent that this franchise needs to go in a different direction. Part of that should involve the coaching staff. I'm willing to give Ryan a little more time to see if he can rekindle more magic but outside of the GM position, it's probably time to start thinking about moving the franchise in a new direction.

jctwins
06-29-2012, 08:42 AM
Yeah, that's great... When the book is wrong. Joe Maddon is great at knowing when the book is wrong.

If Gardy was to go against the grain and eliminate the ninth inning "closer", most of us would be cheering. He would have "gone against the book" and found a potential exploit in current baseball thinking that improves the team.

But we're not talking about that. We're talking about running guys on the field who OPS at .500 because they "hustle" or they "really get in there and play". Except they don't play. The stats show that. They're awful MLB players. But Gardy runs them out there anyway.

He's trying to play a 21st century game with a 19th century mindset. It's not a winning formula. The Twins could get away with it earlier in his career because the scouting was excellent, development was top-notch, and Anderson did a fantastic job with the pitching staff. That's no longer the case. The Twins need to modernize in a big, bad way and Gardenhire continually proves he is incapable of doing that by running Drew-^%$ing-Butera out there two or three times a week, despite having Ryan Doumit on the bench.

One of the hallmarks of early-Gardenhire Twins teams was their "little things" play. They played sound defense. They hit the cutoff men. They didn't kick the ball around. Those Twins teams are gone, which leads me to believe that those attributes were the result of the hard-ass Tom Kelly, not Ron Gardenhire. If Gardy can't even do traditional baseball right (which he seems to pride himself on), how can we expect him to do anything right at this point?

I'm not a huge Gardy-basher and I think he does a fine job in the clubhouse but it's becoming more apparent that this franchise needs to go in a different direction. Part of that should involve the coaching staff. I'm willing to give Ryan a little more time to see if he can rekindle more magic but outside of the GM position, it's probably time to start thinking about moving the franchise in a new direction.

This x 1,000

one_eyed_jack
06-29-2012, 02:17 PM
Well this thread has officially jumped the shark.

The impact of the manager on the team's success or failure is often wildly overstated. But now we're linking results to former managers?! Wow.

SpiritofVodkaDave
06-29-2012, 02:19 PM
Clearly, you're on to something here. The sucktastic '90's were all Ron Gardenhire's fault.

Worst. 3rd base coach. ever.

Shane Wahl
07-01-2012, 10:14 AM
Yeah, that's great... When the book is wrong. Joe Maddon is great at knowing when the book is wrong.

If Gardy was to go against the grain and eliminate the ninth inning "closer", most of us would be cheering. He would have "gone against the book" and found a potential exploit in current baseball thinking that improves the team.

But we're not talking about that. We're talking about running guys on the field who OPS at .500 because they "hustle" or they "really get in there and play". Except they don't play. The stats show that. They're awful MLB players. But Gardy runs them out there anyway.

He's trying to play a 21st century game with a 19th century mindset. It's not a winning formula. The Twins could get away with it earlier in his career because the scouting was excellent, development was top-notch, and Anderson did a fantastic job with the pitching staff. That's no longer the case. The Twins need to modernize in a big, bad way and Gardenhire continually proves he is incapable of doing that by running Drew-^%$ing-Butera out there two or three times a week, despite having Ryan Doumit on the bench.

One of the hallmarks of early-Gardenhire Twins teams was their "little things" play. They played sound defense. They hit the cutoff men. They didn't kick the ball around. Those Twins teams are gone, which leads me to believe that those attributes were the result of the hard-ass Tom Kelly, not Ron Gardenhire. If Gardy can't even do traditional baseball right (which he seems to pride himself on), how can we expect him to do anything right at this point?

I'm not a huge Gardy-basher and I think he does a fine job in the clubhouse but it's becoming more apparent that this franchise needs to go in a different direction. Part of that should involve the coaching staff. I'm willing to give Ryan a little more time to see if he can rekindle more magic but outside of the GM position, it's probably time to start thinking about moving the franchise in a new direction.

Precisely. Reading this article was infuriating.

Brock Beauchamp
07-01-2012, 10:40 AM
Well this thread has officially jumped the shark.

The impact of the manager on the team's success or failure is often wildly overstated. But now we're linking results to former managers?! Wow.

No, I'm speculating that the Twins slow decline in "the little things" is due to Tom Kelly not being the one drilling these kids with fundamental baseball tactics. Kelly was renown for his brutal Spring Trainings and his "Good Morning!" messages, which meant that the infielders would be taking ground balls until their knees buckled.

And you saw that in the 2001-2004 teams. Can you really say you see that kind of play in today's crop of Twins players?

woolhouse
07-01-2012, 10:48 AM
Does anyone have a copy of "Moneyball" they could lend Gardenhire? Either the book or DVD. Because it seems most other managers and GMs have read it...

Riverbrian
07-01-2012, 11:01 AM
No, I'm speculating that the Twins slow decline in "the little things" is due to Tom Kelly not being the one drilling these kids with fundamental baseball tactics. Kelly was renown for his brutal Spring Trainings and his "Good Morning!" messages, which meant that the infielders would be taking ground balls until their knees buckled.

And you saw that in the 2001-2004 teams. Can you really say you see that kind of play in today's crop of Twins players?

I'll raise my hand. I do not see the same fundamental sharpness in the Twins. I also theorize that the lack of sharpness costs our pitching dearly in the ERA department and makes a bad staff look badder.

2011 was beyond brutal. 2012 has been better because of the addition of Carroll who came from outside the organization.

Is it Gardy... I don't know. He sure used to attack Cuddyer for fundamentals. All I know is that with this pitching staff. You gotta have it cuz the margins of error are tight.

Riverbrian
07-01-2012, 11:13 AM
Does anyone have a copy of "Moneyball" they could lend Gardenhire? Either the book or DVD. Because it seems most other managers and GMs have read it...

The quote was from 2003 which was the year the book came out. Gee... Could that be why the question was asked? Also in 2003... How many teams were immersed in Moneyball theories?

I really think its stupid for any GM or Manager or Player to talk with any member of press because... Look what happens!!! Stay away from tweeting... Facebook... Random meetings with fans in supermarkets.

Your words can and will be used against you. Your words can and will be twisted to support how others feel!

Seriously... The Twins need to quadruple the size of the PR department. No one gets an interview until the PR department sterilizes the content in the form of one sentence press releases. Otherwise... Someone is going to over react.

one_eyed_jack
07-01-2012, 04:17 PM
No, I'm speculating that the Twins slow decline in "the little things" is due to Tom Kelly not being the one drilling these kids with fundamental baseball tactics. Kelly was renown for his brutal Spring Trainings and his "Good Morning!" messages, which meant that the infielders would be taking ground balls until their knees buckled.

And you saw that in the 2001-2004 teams. Can you really say you see that kind of play in today's crop of Twins players?

---No, certainly not. I think 2006 was the last year you saw it. (Though much to my amusement, the 4-letter network and other associated national media buffoons continued to refer to the Twins as the "team that does the little things right" for years after it ceased to be true.)

While there's no doubt TK stressed that kind of play, I can't say I saw it consistently when he was actually managing the team either. So I'm just not sure how much you can attribute what the team did after Gardy took over to TK.

CDog
07-01-2012, 05:20 PM
---No, certainly not. I think 2006 was the last year you saw it. (Though much to my amusement, the 4-letter network and other associated national media buffoons continued to refer to the Twins as the "team that does the little things right" for years after it ceased to be true.)

While there's no doubt TK stressed that kind of play, I can't say I saw it consistently when he was actually managing the team either. So I'm just not sure how much you can attribute what the team did after Gardy took over to TK.

Just as a quick test, fewest errors in the majors in 2010 and 2009, Twins were 5th and 2nd.

greengoblinrulz
07-01-2012, 05:31 PM
if Gardy looked at numbers, Drew Butera would never get into a game. Luckily for him, he looks at outside things....like 'is he a friend with his dad' or 'has this guy kissed my ass enough'.......we wonder why this time has only won one playoff series despite being ahead in several & favored in others

one_eyed_jack
07-01-2012, 06:16 PM
Just as a quick test, fewest errors in the majors in 2010 and 2009, Twins were 5th and 2nd.

---That's interesting, but to me there's a lot more to playing good fundamental baseball than not making errors. You could play a really crappy game without being charged a single error.

There's stuff like base-running errors, missing cutoff men, only getting 1 out on what should be a double play, failing to get a bunt down to advance a runner, etc. that are fundamental mistakes that don't show up in stats.

Granted I'm going from memory and general impressions, but it seemed like there were a lot more of those kinds of mistakes towards the end of the decade. Part of that may be personnel. Gomez and Delmon both had their share of misadventures.

Shane Wahl
07-01-2012, 06:51 PM
With regard to the "little things" stuff--yeah it is blown way out of proportion by the national media, and yet there seems to be something lost there in the last few years, but maybe we tend to go to the other extreme and think that the team isn't doing the little things right at all, when that is not the case? It still may be true that compared to the rest of MLB, the Twins do those "little things" (however defined) right more often than most?

Riverbrian
07-01-2012, 07:02 PM
Just as a quick test, fewest errors in the majors in 2010 and 2009, Twins were 5th and 2nd.

CDog... I got the same impression that Jack has. Last year... Those little things failures piled up into big innings at times. More times than should happen at the professional level. That 4th out at times is the difference between no runs and 3 and errors are usually not attached to it.

Dilligaf69
07-01-2012, 07:40 PM
Nope. Last World series was in 1991. That is 21 seasons ago. After McPhail left, this team started to fall apart.



Except for that little break from 2002 to 2010 where they won 6 div titles and played in an ALCS..yeah yeah i know your gonna say but wait they have'nt won a series since or a game in 3 tries..true but to imply they had zero sucess since '91' is wrong.

CDog
07-01-2012, 08:07 PM
---That's interesting, but to me there's a lot more to playing good fundamental baseball than not making errors. You could play a really crappy game without being charged a single error.

There's stuff like base-running errors, missing cutoff men, only getting 1 out on what should be a double play, failing to get a bunt down to advance a runner, etc. that are fundamental mistakes that don't show up in stats.

Granted I'm going from memory and general impressions, but it seemed like there were a lot more of those kinds of mistakes towards the end of the decade. Part of that may be personnel. Gomez and Delmon both had their share of misadventures.

Agreed. Like I said, I just went to check one thing that was fairly easy to find and something that is often linked to "little things."

CDog
07-01-2012, 08:09 PM
CDog... I got the same impression that Jack has. Last year... Those little things failures piled up into big innings at times. More times than should happen at the professional level. That 4th out at times is the difference between no runs and 3 and errors are usually not attached to it.

Absolutely true, although I feel like 2011 was...well, I'll save the 15000 words or so and leave it at what we all know it was. Just...blyack.

Riverbrian
07-01-2012, 08:31 PM
Absolutely true, although I feel like 2011 was...well, I'll save the 15000 words or so and leave it at what we all know it was. Just...blyack.

LOL... 2011 was expensive for me from a frustration standpoint... I broke 4 TV's throwing stuff at it. The remote Twice. I tossed My 13 year old son at the TV once and the last time I threw my broken third TV at the 4th TV.

They were not playing actual baseball last year. What was I to do.