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View Full Version : The 2012 "Complain About Gardy" Thread



John Bonnes
04-02-2012, 10:24 AM
It's one of the great baseball pasttimes: complaining about the manager. So let's use this as our Festivus Airing Of Grievances as the year rolls on. Since the season hasn't really started yet, I'll kick things off with a simple question (I think by TwinsDaily member Kirsten Brown) that Aaron and I addressed on a podcast a few weeks back:

"If you could have Ron Gardenhire changes any ONE THING about how he manages, what would it be?"

Thrylos
04-02-2012, 10:31 AM
ONE thing? Does retiring count?

I think if I had to chose ONE thing, it would be not to give away outs by playing small ball and trying to move runners up. The scoring probability of a runner on 1st with 1 out is higher than that of one on 2nd and 2 outs...

powrwrap
04-02-2012, 10:31 AM
Just one thing? Darn, OK.
Gardy has a propensity to leave a pitcher in the game too long. He's too slow to pull a pitcher, which oftentimes causes the game to get out of reach.

gunnarthor
04-02-2012, 10:33 AM
It's one of the great baseball pasttimes: complaining about the manager. So let's use this as our Festivus Airing Of Grievances as the year rolls on. Since the season hasn't really started yet, I'll kick things off with a simple question (I think by TwinsDaily member Kirsten Brown) that Aaron and I addressed on a podcast a few weeks back:

"If you could have Ron Gardenhire changes any ONE THING about how he manages, what would it be?"

I don't know if this is actually a good strategy or not but it seems whenever we have guys on 1st and 3rd, and especially when the guy on first is Span or Casilla, he should have them steal second. But it seems we never do that. Maybe that's the smart thing to do, I don't know. But he talks about wanting speed, that seems like a time to use it and put pressure on the defense. (Figured this was more fun to complain about than his bunting strategies or a discussion of who should be batting second).

mike wants wins
04-02-2012, 10:41 AM
Don't give up outs, unless it is the 8th or 9th inning in a 1 run game, ever. Outs are the single most precious resource in the game. Never, ever sacrifice bunt before the 8th inning. Really, never. It's just bad math, really, really bad math.

minn55441
04-02-2012, 10:41 AM
I like Gardy as a manager, but I still have frustrations. He tends to give all of the starters the same day off. A day game after a night game has turned into "starters take the day off game". I wish he would plan things out better. Rest Mauer one day, Span the next etc. Instead of his current rotation of sitting everyone the same game.

mike wants wins
04-02-2012, 10:47 AM
minn55441, that's an interesting question. Are they better off "losing" with a really weak team 1 time a week or so, or having a weaker team all throughout the week by resting starters say, three times a week? I don't know the answer to that question.

TwinsFanLV
04-02-2012, 10:48 AM
Don't give up outs, unless it is the 8th or 9th inning in a 1 run game, ever. Outs are the single most precious resource in the game. Never, ever sacrifice bunt before the 8th inning. Really, never. It's just bad math, really, really bad math.

Respectively disagree. Baseball is situational. There are examples in any inning where a sacrifice is correct. It depends on several factors, the most important of which is the score. You only need to win by ONE run. I've never heard any of these stat geeks acknowledge that simple fact. Everything about baseball strategy works out better when your team is AHEAD. Get ahead, then grind it out. You don't need three run homers to grind it out.

sln477
04-02-2012, 10:50 AM
I am definitely in the minority when it comes to what is affectionately known as "Gardy bashing" when it comes to Twins fans. I wouldn't change a thing about his managing. I do disagree from time to time about certain strategies, but I trust in his instincts. I view the front office the same way, even though I don't always agree with what transpires. These people are hired by the owners to get the job done & thus have placed their trust & faith in them to get same job done. I am now bound by that faith & trust that these people will get the job done. It doesn't always work out, bad decisions are made, mistakes magnified, & the end result is less than satisfactory. These folks have a very difficult job to do & I applaud them in their efforts. I, along with most, are quick to blurt out our opinions about how we would change things, but it isn't always that simple. I guess that's why we don't have these coveted jobs in the Twins organization. GO TWINS!!!

gunnarthor
04-02-2012, 10:52 AM
Don't give up outs, unless it is the 8th or 9th inning in a 1 run game, ever. Outs are the single most precious resource in the game. Never, ever sacrifice bunt before the 8th inning. Really, never. It's just bad math, really, really bad math.

Gardy gets too much crap about bunting. Guess which team had more sac bunts last year- Twins or Yanks? (Yanks). Gardner (OBP .345) and Casilla (OBP .322) led both teams w/8, which makes sense since both can bunt for a hit and if they fail it goes down as a sac bunt. After that, the best on-base guy Gardy used to bunt was Revere (.310 OBP and pretty fast). Then it was a bunch of sub-.300 OBP guys - Butera, Nishi, Tolbert, Plouffe etc. Basically, automatic outs. Granderson, who hit 41 homers, had as many sac bunts as Tolbert.

powrwrap
04-02-2012, 11:15 AM
Don't give up outs, unless it is the 8th or 9th inning in a 1 run game, ever. Outs are the single most precious resource in the game. Never, ever sacrifice bunt before the 8th inning. Really, never. It's just bad math, really, really bad math.

Gotta disagree with this as well. The situation dictates the strategy. For example: Tie game or down by one run in an away ballpark, 6th inning, no outs. Casilla's on 2nd, Span's on 1st. Carroll coming up to bat with Mauer on deck, Morneau in the hole. I'm bunting. Think about it. In fact, I would criticize Gardy for NOT bunting in this situation.

twinzgrl
04-02-2012, 11:38 AM
Coaching a major league baseball team is very difficult. We, as fans, applaud management when things go right, and rip them when it doesn't. Part of the game. Does Gardy make mistakes sometimes? Of course. But, hindsight is always 20/20...GOOD LUCK Gardy, and GO TWINS!

Fanatic Jack
04-02-2012, 11:45 AM
Stop babying your players! Stop being intimidated by teams in the AL East and West! Career record vs Yankees is 20-65! He has set the organization back 10 years. Completely responsible for last years debacle. He has had the most talented players in Twins history and can't even win ONE playoff game Take your pick.

okobojicat
04-02-2012, 11:52 AM
Respectively disagree. Baseball is situational. There are examples in any inning where a sacrifice is correct. It depends on several factors, the most important of which is the score. You only need to win by ONE run. I've never heard any of these stat geeks acknowledge that simple fact. Everything about baseball strategy works out better when your team is AHEAD. Get ahead, then grind it out. You don't need three run homers to grind it out.

Actually a lot of stat guys (like myself) will acknowledge that you only have to win by one. But by giving outs away (such as bunting) you reduce your chances of scoring 1 run or 3 runs.

Let's say you're down 1 run in the bottom of the 6th inning. 1 out, guy on first. Parmalee is up. Do you bunt? How about Span or Revere? No. Moving the guy to 2nd base with 2-outs reduces your chances of scoring 1 run, 2 runs, or any amount of runs. Basically, in order to regularly justify bunting, you must have someone that is offensively inept as Butera. Otherwise, it almost never makes sense.

zenser
04-02-2012, 11:55 AM
I hate the fact the he wont split up the lefties in the lineup. In the past it has been Mauer, Morneau, Kubel, Cuddyer, Young. Why not put Cuddyer in between Morneau and Kubel. He makes easy to manage against when you do that.

Nick Nelson
04-02-2012, 11:58 AM
I think it's pretty rare that Gardy (or any manager) orders a sacrifice bunt with one out.

@_2244
04-02-2012, 12:04 PM
Baseball is a slow, plodding, methodical game. It's such a slow moving game that I can see how people who don't understand the strategery of the game don't really see much appeal to baseball. "Managing along from home" is one of my favorite things to do as the course of a game unfolds. All of these things factor into baseball being the Grand Game of Hindsight.

I have no problem with people challenging the manager's decisions. I think most of us do that to a certain degree, and it's one of the things that makes the game most interesting to me. When time allows me to follow the game-day threads, I am looking forward to see which of the esteemed posters question Gardy's moves before the outcome has been realized. Will be interesting to see which posters sit on their hands until it clearly becomes evident things didn't work out as planned and then bash the manager.

woolhouse
04-02-2012, 12:12 PM
I'd like for him to throw every player under-the-bus when they make a mistake, not just the ones that are either rookies or not one of his boys. It seemed like- if you listened to soundbytes of him complaining about the players he had- 2011 was all Danny Valencia's fault. I can't recall him saying anything about the $180-million catcher not being able to catch, or the other 3 catchers not even hitting their weights. Pavano didn't get mentioned once for having an ERA north of 5; and Nathan and Capps were both "getting at it." But Valencia's slow-footed-to-the-right range most have cost us 30 wins last year.

diehardtwinsfan
04-02-2012, 12:21 PM
I'm surprised no one has talked about his pen management... leave your guy out there for an inning or two, not to throw 5 pitches to 1 batter. The pen would be much better off for that long term.

tobynotjason
04-02-2012, 12:42 PM
Brain transplant.

Seriously, I'm not sure whether it would lineup-by-position (i.e. weak hitters in the most important [#2] slot in the order) or PREDICTABLE early [1st inning] sac bunting.

Mikewantswins analysis of the sac bunt is wrong inasmuch as there's a difference between run expectation in PAs in which a sac bunt is attempted and run expectation in PAs in which a sac bunt "succeeds". (It doesn't always go down in the former case like it does in the latter, given errors, base hits, hits when the bunt is taken off with 2 strikes, etc.)

But with Gardenhire, he's so by-the-numbers other teams clearly expect the bunt, position (or at least mentally dispose) their infielders accordingly and thereby make most of his sac bunts attempts far worse than an "average" sac attempt. If he'd change it up, bunt a LOT less for a while (to change expectations), then be less predictable (including crucially: be willing to take a sacrifice OFF and hit away in a 1-0 count, put it back after it goes 1-1, encourage tweener bunts that could lead to base hits when the bunters is good/fast etc.) he'd be a much improved, less frustrating in-game manager for it.

Kirsten Brown
04-02-2012, 12:44 PM
Well, since it's my question, I suppose I should add my 2˘.

Generally, I like Gardy and how he manages. However, if I were to ask him to change something, I'd ask that he'd forget about "pitcher wins." It bugs me when he pulls a starting pitcher in the 6th inning as soon as a go-ahead run gets to the plate, seemingly with the mindset of "you might not win this game, but now you won't lose it." Let him clean up his own mess, and pull him when he really begins to stink.

Although, this issue is pretty much baseball-wide. I'd still like to see Gardy buck this tradition.

@_2244
04-02-2012, 01:02 PM
Stop babying your players! Stop being intimidated by teams in the AL East and West! Career record vs Yankees is 20-65! He has set the organization back 10 years. Completely responsible for last years debacle. He has had the most talented players in Twins history and can't even win ONE playoff game Take your pick.

Okay, so you've stated you're anti-Gardy, and you've listed some reasons why. Now I'm curious to see who you'd rather have manage this club and your reasons why.

ericchri
04-02-2012, 01:10 PM
My least favorite thing in baseball... Don't play to pad your closer's save numbers. Outside of a being a good talking stat, it's pretty hard to claim that getting only 3 outs with a 3-run lead somehow proves you "saved" the game. I swear, anybody could save 35 games for the Twins the way he manages. Last year notwithstanding due to everyone being injured. It's infected all of baseball at this point, but wouldn't it be nice to see him put in his closer (theoretically his best relief pitcher, we'll see if that's the case) in the 8th inning to face the other teams 2-4 hitters with a 1-run lead, and let someone else worry about the ninth when the weaker hitters are coming to bat?

jharaldson
04-02-2012, 01:12 PM
Stop using the definition of a "save" as the rule for putting in your closer. There are extremely good offensive teams I would want our closer in when we have a 4-5 run lead and really crappy teams where we don't need to burn them when we have a 2-3 run lead.

luckylager
04-02-2012, 01:31 PM
Two things I would ask Gardy to reconsider: 100 pitch limit and the Tart Cherry Concentrate commercials.

UCLA_YANKEE_COLA
04-02-2012, 02:30 PM
I think the actual effect any manager has on W/L's is so freaking miniscule that the Twins would win or lose the same amount of games if it were Gardy, Connie Mack, Earl Weaver or Trey Hillman. The one thing I'd change, as mentioned above, is a nearly universal problem and that's pitching to the save rule. Use your best relievers in the highest leverage situations. It's so simple it's like telling someone not to open their doors and windows when you turn on you heat in the winter but managers just don't get it.

itstimetotakeit
04-02-2012, 06:50 PM
how can someone defend the loon that is gardenchoke? he hasn't won a playoff serious in over a decade can't manage a bullpen to save his fatass and cherishes his hard working scrappy players that always suck. he's a joke of a manager and needs to be gone of this club this year

Shane Wahl
04-02-2012, 07:07 PM
Actually a lot of stat guys (like myself) will acknowledge that you only have to win by one. But by giving outs away (such as bunting) you reduce your chances of scoring 1 run or 3 runs.

Let's say you're down 1 run in the bottom of the 6th inning. 1 out, guy on first. Parmalee is up. Do you bunt? How about Span or Revere? No. Moving the guy to 2nd base with 2-outs reduces your chances of scoring 1 run, 2 runs, or any amount of runs. Basically, in order to regularly justify bunting, you must have someone that is offensively inept as Butera. Otherwise, it almost never makes sense.

To be fair, I really doubt Gardenhire has chosen to sac bunt very often with one out. I would limit bunting to almost only those situations where there is nobody out and a guy on second or a guy on second and first. And the suicide squeeze sometimes.

USAFChief
04-02-2012, 07:24 PM
Use your best relievers in the highest leverage situations. It's so simple it's like telling someone not to open their doors and windows when you turn on you heat in the winter but managers just don't get it.

So simple that dozens--hundreds even--of major league managers can't learn to manage the bullpen to your satisfaction.

One might draw the conclusion that it's not quite so simple as you think from the comfort of your living room chair.

BHtwins
04-02-2012, 07:40 PM
From an "x's and o's" standpoint, from the time the lineup card is written until the end of the game, there isnt probably 2 wins difference between the decisions the AL manager of the year makes and what the worst record manager in rookie ball makes. All baseball guys make the same decisions and most of them if not meaningless are all but.

Take out pitching changes and every other in-game decision an AL manager makes is basically window dressing.

I put baseball managers in the same category as college football coaches. Meaning, they are basically recruiters and motivators mostly.

Saying that, I'd suspect Gardy is probably a relatively good motivator given his career record. Which is a good thing because his batting orders and line-up cards are probably the single biggest weak point he has and has probably cost him at least one division title.

So most annoying thing. Someone needs to tell Gardy that he doesnt have to bat a speedy outfielder or a middle fielder 1 or 2. There is no rule in baseball that would prevent him from batting someone like....say a catcher...with a really high OBP in the number 2 slot and then just leave him there all season long. Number 2 most annoying He is obsessed with the potential for an opposing platoon advantage when he sets his batting order but all but oblivious when he actually writes the line-up card

powrwrap
04-02-2012, 07:45 PM
From an "x's and o's" standpoint, from the time the lineup card is written until the end of the game, there isnt probably 2 wins difference between the decisions the AL manager of the year makes and what the worst record manager in rookie ball makes. All baseball guys make the same decisions and most of them if not meaningless are all but. Take out pitching changes and every other in-game decision an AL manager makes is basically window dressing.

You must not pay attention to Jim Leyland's or Ozzie Guillen's bonehead moves. I've attended games that Guillen has lost for the Sox.

BHtwins
04-02-2012, 07:59 PM
You must not pay attention to Jim Leyland's or Ozzie Guillen's bonehead moves. I've attended games that Guillen has lost for the Sox.

and at the end of 162 games sans pitching moves i doubt it made 2 games one way or the other in the final season outcome. Almost all decisions whether its to bunt, or pinch hit or steal or hit and run are dumb or meaningless or both. You make a boneheaded decision and you lose a game you woulda lost anyway. You make a crazy like a fox move and win a game you probably woulda won anyway. Thats the reality.

tobynotjason
04-02-2012, 08:06 PM
Good call luckylager. The 100 pitch limit IS a great thing to bring up. Depending on how his performance in 2011 ended up, Gardenhire was poised to be around #2 ALL-TIME in terms of "quickest hooks" on his starting pitcher among managers with more than 10 seasons (compared to contemporaries). He's a slave to the pitch count to the point of comedy. The dude credited with bringing them into vogue points to ironclad pitch count rules like Gardenhire's as pretty much the opposite of what he recommended when he did the research that initially prompted clubs to pay some attention to pitch counts.

While it's eminently hateable that he's also a slave to the save rule, given that every other manager in baseball is just as bad it doesn't make me hate him nearly as much as the bunting-by-numbers, lineup-by-positions and pitch count do.

powrwrap
04-02-2012, 08:21 PM
and at the end of 162 games sans pitching moves i doubt it made 2 games one way or the other in the final season outcome. Almost all decisions whether its to bunt, or pinch hit or steal or hit and run are dumb or meaningless or both. You make a boneheaded decision and you lose a game you woulda lost anyway. You make a crazy like a fox move and win a game you probably woulda won anyway. Thats the reality.

So when Joe Maddon had Dan Johnson--9 for 90 that year--pinch hit against the Yankees in the bottom of the ninth last Sep 29th, with 2 outs, that was a game the Rays woulda won anyway?

Your assertion that any bunt, pinch hit, steal, or hit and run are dumb and meaningless is breathtaking. I take it you don't pay too much attention to the strategy of baseball.

Seth Stohs
04-02-2012, 08:27 PM
I think he tends to get thrown out a little too often. I don't like how he tends to be tougher on younger (or certain) players.


Regarding the bunting thing... Gardy hates sac-bunting early in games. Remember when Orlando Hudson came over and wanted to sac bunt in the first inning if Span got on base? Gardy pretty much said, "This is the AL. We don't do that here."

I also believe fully that a manager cannot always go by the book... I like the Gardy occasionally thinks outside the box. You have to if you ever want the element of surprise. So, it's rare that I'll blame a manager for much. Players play.

Seth Stohs
04-02-2012, 08:39 PM
So when Joe Maddon had Dan Johnson--9 for 90 that year--pinch hit against the Yankees in the bottom of the ninth last Sep 29th, with 2 outs, that was a game the Rays woulda won anyway?

I generally agree that the manager doesn't have a huge impact on 98% of games... but powrwrap, your example is why this game is great, and my point about a manager going against the book at times. pinch-hitting Johnson there... if Gardy did that, he'd get ripped because most times, it's not going to work. Johnson (the player) came through, and Maddon looks like a genius. (Don't get me wrong, I think that Maddon is one of the top managers in baseball.)

one_eyed_jack
04-02-2012, 08:48 PM
I've never seen a manager do so much with so little, yet still get bashed incessantly by the fan base for not doing more.

Yes, I get it, the lack of postseason success is frustrating. But the key ingredient to winning in October is starting pitching. When you're forced to trot out the likes of Boof Bonser and Brian Duensing as playoff starters, your chances of success are pretty slim. Take your top run producer out of the lineup a la Morneau in '09 and '10, and you can pretty much forget it.

Look at Bruce Bochy's track record before winning the Series with the Giants. Not very impressive, is it? Did he finally figure it out after a decade-and-a-half? Or do ya think maybe having a staff with Lincecum and a few other guys who would have be aces on a lot of teams made a difference?

6 division titles in 9 years is no small feat, folks. Especially considering the low payroll and injury problems he had to deal with for a lot of those years. Twins fans always point to Kelly, but though he won 2 rings, the team was not consistently competitive under him. He managed the Twins for 15 full seasons. They finished higher than 4th in the division in only 5 of them. His career winning percentage? .478.

Now Gardy, like many of his players, had a down year last year and needs to bounce back. I, for one, hope and think that he can. We'll see starting Friday - bring it on!

BHtwins
04-02-2012, 08:58 PM
So when Joe Maddon had Dan Johnson--9 for 90 that year--pinch hit against the Yankees in the bottom of the ninth last Sep 29th, with 2 outs, that was a game the Rays woulda won anyway?

.

Nope. Thats not what Im saying at all. I'm saying it was dumb luck not managerial prowess. I dont understand the whole idea that baseball "strategy" is sacred.

What I am saying is that true game-changing managerial opportunities dont happen that often and the difference between making a good decision, a bad decision, a lucky decision or doing nothing at all is the difference between 2 games over .500 or 2 games under .500 at the end of the year. I would guess thats at the extremes.

Montecore
04-02-2012, 09:19 PM
Like to see him go. That abysmal 20-65 record against the Yanks, and the woeful playoff success with very talented teams is just too much. Tom Kelly, bless his hard heart could manage. Gardenhire can't.

powrwrap
04-02-2012, 09:25 PM
What I am saying is that true game-changing managerial opportunities dont happen that often and the difference between making a good decision, a bad decision, a lucky decision or doing nothing at all is the difference between 2 games over .500 or 2 games under .500 at the end of the year. I would guess thats at the extremes.

A well timed hit-and-run can win a game and happens many times during the season. Yes, players have to execute, but that is not luck. I dispute your assertion that game-changing managerial decisions amount to 2 games a year. Simply repositioning the defense for particular batters and calling pitches to augment that defense changes the outcomes of games. Intentionally walking a batter and then getting a subsequent double play is good managing in my book. I guess you would call that lucky. I think you are poo-poohing (or aren't aware) of a whole lot of stuff going on behind the scenes.

It's The Trees.
04-02-2012, 09:36 PM
at the major league level, a manager's biggest influence on the team might not be strategy, but managing ego's.

shawntheroad
04-02-2012, 09:42 PM
My biggest gripe, giving away the #2 spot. You don't have to have a little guy that can bunt hitting #2. You don't! The #2 guy should also be able to get on base and have some gap power.

BHtwins
04-02-2012, 10:01 PM
Im sorry that you simply dont understand. I certainly didnt intend to stir the pot. Perhaps I explained badly but regardless you're way overstating the importance of single plays in a 27 out/ 9 inning game and 162 game season

If the Johnson pinch hit opportunity comes 4000 times. The statistical reality is if Maddon does nothing 1000 times the Rays lose 960 times. If Maddon pinch hits Johnson 1000 times the Rays lose 958 times. If Maddon pinch hits any other available hitter on his roster 1000 times the Rays lose 960 times. If Maddon pinch hits Babe Ruth 1000 times the Rays lose 940 times. That it happened doesnt make Maddon a managerial genius, it makes him mostly lucky and kinda smart.

Everything else in your post is along the same lines. Defensive shifts, for example, are largely intuitive to the fielder anyway and I doubt it has any real affect that unique to the manager. I also cant believe playing every batter all season straight up would be worth more then a handful runs over an entire season, I'd say its effect is almost nil. Is it worth doing.....sure....but to say it turns a .500 team to a contender is simply not true.

Same for hit and runs. Over the course of the season it probably has a net negative effect on runs scored unless you have a rosterful of Joe Mauers that GIDP a lot and can make contact on demand. In other words, better off sitting on your hands. Is it fun to watch sometimes....well sure.

I guess more then anything the meaning of the post is that what happens between the games is a lot more important then what happens from the first pitch to the last out.

Shane Wahl
04-03-2012, 12:53 AM
My biggest problem involves the fundamental fact that you need your best OBP guys to be the top batters in your lineup. I'll be fine with Carroll this year, but Joe Mauer is the exemplar of a number two hitter (except for speed) and he should have been in that role for the past 6 seasons, at least. Seeing some of the lineups involving Tolbert, Plouffe, Punto, etc. batting second have sent me over the edge.

Ultima Ratio
04-03-2012, 01:05 AM
Are there better coaches than Gardy, especially coaching in the playoffs? Yes. Are there worse MLB coaches? Yes. I'm ambivalent but lean towards a favorable view of Gardy. Yet, I share the frustrations that so many of you have articulated above. What peeves me most about Gardy is his intentionally vague, evasive and meaningless comments. It does make one wonder if one knows the game very well when one cannot speak intelligibly about player performance et al. Yet, I do think he's gotten a lot out of the players he's had (for the most part).

Fanatic Jack
04-03-2012, 05:20 AM
@_2244

1. Paul Molitor

2. Terry Francona

3. Joe Madden

4. Jim Leyland

5. Mike Scosica

6. Clint Hurdle

7. Ozzie Gullen

8. Jake Mauer

9. You

10. Seth Stohs

11. John Bonnes

12. Nick Nelson

13. Parker Hageman

14. Kirsten Brown

The list is like the energizer bunny and keeps going and going and going.

denarded
04-03-2012, 07:17 AM
I've never seen a manager do so much with so little, yet still get bashed incessantly by the fan base for not doing more.

I agree with your entire post. I would rather have a team that consistently has a chance to go to the post season, then wait through a decade to get a team that is ws caliber. Anything can happen in the post season. Gardy gets it done. what happens in a 5 game series isn't fully on the manager.

diehardtwinsfan
04-03-2012, 07:39 AM
From an "x's and o's" standpoint, from the time the lineup card is written until the end of the game, there isnt probably 2 wins difference between the decisions the AL manager of the year makes and what the worst record manager in rookie ball makes. All baseball guys make the same decisions and most of them if not meaningless are all but.

Take out pitching changes and every other in-game decision an AL manager makes is basically window dressing.

I put baseball managers in the same category as college football coaches. Meaning, they are basically recruiters and motivators mostly.

Saying that, I'd suspect Gardy is probably a relatively good motivator given his career record. Which is a good thing because his batting orders and line-up cards are probably the single biggest weak point he has and has probably cost him at least one division title.

So most annoying thing. Someone needs to tell Gardy that he doesnt have to bat a speedy outfielder or a middle fielder 1 or 2. There is no rule in baseball that would prevent him from batting someone like....say a catcher...with a really high OBP in the number 2 slot and then just leave him there all season long. Number 2 most annoying He is obsessed with the potential for an opposing platoon advantage when he sets his batting order but all but oblivious when he actually writes the line-up card

This sounds great until you watch a game and see a manager make a move that you and everyone else watching the game simultaneously scratches their heads... and it predictably fails (see multiple moves in ALDS 2004 Game 2 as prime examples). Now I'm not one to say that the right moves would have for certain won that game, as we cannot know, but what Gardenhire did in that game (and in many others) is not put the team in the best position to win the game.

This is probably the biggest area that most people get frustrated about Gardy. He doesn't put his team in the best position to win games far more often than we'd like, and to make it worse, he overmanages games against the AL east because of whatever inferiority complex he has. The other problem is that I see no learning going on. The Twins have been blessed to have 2 every day players for a few years now that can OBP around .400 if things are going well. He leads off with Span, and then drops a black hole in the number 2 spot before Mauer. The one time Mauer did bat second, we were scoring somewhere between 5 and 6 runs a game, yet Gardenhire inexplicably stopped doing it. The same can be said for his treatment of younger players/favorites, pitch counts, the pen, etc.

I do realize that some of these traits tend to lead to successes in other areas (like the club house motiviation issues that we in the sabermetric world tend to denigrate), but I'd think at one point, he'd adjust his game just a bit....

That said, I'm not sure I agree that it's only worth a game or two... If everyone is making the same mistakes, it's only a matter of time until a manager rises to the top and wins an extra 6 games due to good coaching...

TwinsFanLV
04-03-2012, 07:40 AM
My biggest problem involves the fundamental fact that you need your best OBP guys to be the top batters in your lineup. I'll be fine with Carroll this year, but Joe Mauer is the exemplar of a number two hitter (except for speed) and he should have been in that role for the past 6 seasons, at least. Seeing some of the lineups involving Tolbert, Plouffe, Punto, etc. batting second have sent me over the edge.

Thank you! Mauer should bat #2! His bat is more valuable than his defense. I would love to see him in the 2 hole 162 times this year, regardless of what position he plays.

powrwrap
04-03-2012, 09:51 AM
Im sorry that you simply dont understand. I certainly didnt intend to stir the pot. Perhaps I explained badly but regardless you're way overstating the importance of single plays in a 27 out/ 9 inning game and 162 game season

I understand you perfectly. I just think you are wrong. Single plays frequently are the deciding factor in games. Certainly more often than two times a season.


Everything else in your post is along the same lines. Defensive shifts, for example, are largely intuitive to the fielder anyway and I doubt it has any real affect that unique to the manager. I also cant believe playing every batter all season straight up would be worth more then a handful runs over an entire season, I'd say its effect is almost nil. Is it worth doing.....sure....but to say it turns a .500 team to a contender is simply not true.

I didn't say the effect was to turn a .500 team into a contender. I said it was worth more than +/- 2 games a season.


I guess more then anything the meaning of the post is that what happens between the games is a lot more important then what happens from the first pitch to the last out.

This is a good point. I remember last year when Leyland started catcher Alex Avila at 3B in an interleague game. Of course he made an error. Or when he overused both his set up man and closer last October and both were unavailable going into Game 5 of the ALCS.

@_2244
04-03-2012, 10:20 AM
So, by our account Gardy should employ the following to refine his managerial game:

No sac bunts with 1 out (can't say that I've ever seen a position player do this)

No more small ball (because there are so many power hitters throughout the lineup)

Quit leaving pitchers in games too long, yank them sooner

Sac bunt only in the 8th or 9th inning of a one run game

Leave pitchers in the game longer, lose the quick hook

No more "B Squad" lineups on day games after night games

Call out all players publicly at the same rate as he does Valencia, for example (yeah, treat players the same regardless of their makeup and how they may respond to different tactics. Sounds like a great idea!)

Throw all conventional baseball wisdom out the door "for a while," become less predictable, employ more trickeration. Forget about executing basic strategic baseball plays properly. Surprise and subterfuge is the way to go!

Quit managing for the sake of pitchers stats. Some think Gardy bases moves on getting his starter a win or reliever a save instead of what's actually best for the team, regardless of which Twin pitcher may get their stats padded. (I have no words for this one)

Reduce the number of times he gets ejected over the course of the season (I would agree with this one, though I'm sure some here take great satisfaction when the evil-doing manager gets removed from the game)

A 56 year old dude with limited coaching experience who has turned down countless opportunities to coach in the bigs should be the Twins manager.

Mauer should bat second in the order

This thread has also taught me that there's really no such thing as "managerial prowess," and that it's much closer to "dumb luck." Stuff is gonna happen in a baseball game regardless, and if any strategy is involved it really doesn't have any meaningful effect.

Anybody have a pipeline to the home team manager's office at Target Field? Surely we can't sit on this cutting edge info without relaying it to the man in charge. I'm sure Gardy and the entire Twins organization would be thankful.

whydidnt
04-03-2012, 01:07 PM
Apparently there are some Twins fans that are so brain washed that they believe Gardenhire is perfect and there is nothing to criticize him about. I guess I missed all of those World Series parades he led. First, the talk of him doing so much with so little is a bunch of BS. He's had two MVPs on his teams and one of the best closers of the era to start with, not to mention the AL Central has been pretty weak over the last decade and the Twins took advantage of that.

So, having said all this to try and create a little reality...I think Gardenhire is a good manager, he's certainly not infallible though. I'm not calling for his job, just think some could recognize that, just like everyone else, he's not perfect. He does a pretty good job motivating the players and managing their egos.

The one thing I'd change is his fascination with scrappy middle infielders that are in his mould. It seems he has always overvalued these guys when it comes to playing time and also lineup positioning. Don't forget it was Gardenhire's desire for "more speed and athleticism" up the middle that was one of the factors in the Twins giving up on Hardy and going after Nishi.

Boom Boom
04-03-2012, 01:43 PM
Game 1 of the 2010 ALDS, bottom of the 1st. Span singles to lead off, and then Hudson sacrifices (!!!!!) him to 2nd. Rally dead. I don't care if Gardy had talked to Hudson previously about not sac bunting early in the game, that kind of **** shouldn't happen.

UCLA_YANKEE_COLA
04-03-2012, 01:46 PM
..........

Shane Wahl
04-03-2012, 01:48 PM
I'm surprised no one has talked about his pen management... leave your guy out there for an inning or two, not to throw 5 pitches to 1 batter. The pen would be much better off for that long term.

There was an analysis by Baseball Prospectus or someone near the beginning of last year, I believe, that made a good case for Gardenhire being about the best bullpen manager in baseball given the kind of average pitchers he has had at his disposal. Last year was unusual.

UCLA_YANKEE_COLA
04-03-2012, 01:50 PM
So simple that dozens--hundreds even--of major league managers can't learn to manage the bullpen to your satisfaction.

One might draw the conclusion that it's not quite so simple as you think from the comfort of your living room chair.

So you support the idea that a manager should blindly pitch his best reliever in the 9th inning regardless of earlier, higher leverage situations? That's some sound logic there buddy. It's cool how you're a douche both here and on BYTO though. The internet needs less logical thinkers.

gunnarthor
04-03-2012, 02:44 PM
So you support the idea that a manager should blindly pitch his best reliever in the 9th inning regardless of earlier, higher leverage situations? That's some sound logic there buddy. It's cool how you're a douche both here and on BYTO though. The internet needs less logical thinkers.

It's not entirely fair to say that Gardy does that. In 02, Everyday Eddie is our closer, our best relief pitchers are probably Romero, Santana and Hawkins. In 03, it's still Eddie but Rincon, Santana and Hawkins are probably the better arms. 04-05, Nathan is probably the best bullpen arm but Rincon is dominating, too. 06, Nathan's clearly the best arm but that's a really good bullpen and Reyes was death to lefties. Same in 07 but Neshek breaks out. 08 it's only Nathan. 09 probably the same but Mijares was a revelation down the stretch. Then you start the post-injury Nathan era where Rauch, Capps and Nathan were all closers at one time or another but the best bullpen arms were probably, at different points, Crain, Guerrier, Perkins and Duensing.

So, yeah, Gardy used Nathan to slam the door on games but he's also used some really good pitchers in the 7th and 8th inning and gotten some great things out of guys like Reyes as well. And, while Nathan is great, I'm not convinced that he'd put up his closer numbers if he was pitching as a set up guy.

USAFChief
04-03-2012, 03:10 PM
So you support the idea that a manager should blindly pitch his best reliever in the 9th inning regardless of earlier, higher leverage situations? That's some sound logic there buddy. It's cool how you're a douche both here and on BYTO though. The internet needs less logical thinkers.

i support the idea that figuring out just when those high leverage situations might occur is a lot easier on the Internet than it is in practice. Relievers don't have on/off switches. They need time to warm up, and once warmed up, you generally want to use them. So unless you're advocating having your "best reliever" warmed and ready to from the middle of every close game, your theory isn't practical.

Perhaps that helps explain why MLB managers--pretty much to a man--have found a somewhat similar but more workable method. They reserve their best available relievers for winnable games but schedule their usage rather than reacting after the fact, hoping to manage "leverage" as best they can while accepting the reality that waiting until they're absolutely sure of when might be the best time to use a given reliever isn't practical.

All things equal, the (available) relievers the manager trusts most pitch the end of winnable games, while the bottom of the pen gets the innings of games that are decided. All things are never equal, so health and overuse can sometimes alter that, but that's an issue no matter how you set up your pen.

I understand it's become internet meme to think its as easy as dropping your best reliever out of the sky into whatever situation proves later to have been the "highest leverage." I don't believe in that meme. Can you let us know now when you would use Capps during the opener Friday?

Logic and name calling don't go together either, BTW.

@_2244
04-03-2012, 03:20 PM
Well said, Chief.

jmlease1
04-03-2012, 04:34 PM
We'll see how much complaining I do about Gardy this year. It may end up being less. My biggest problems with him have been: playing no-hit guys because "they could really pick it" even when their total failures as offensive players vastly outweighed any defensive contribution, playing crappy veterans when it was clear that there wouldn't be an improvement from them while rookies with some promise sat on the bench/rotted in AAA, failing to make out a batting order that played to his team's strengths and downplayed their weaknesses, and playing favorites with players. (I've also been of the opinion that he had significant influence on personnel moves during Billy Smith's tenure and not to the good, but YMMV)

This season complaints 1 & 2 seem to be mitigated already by the roster. Our no-hope 3rd catcher Butera has been sent down, and there aren't any veterans on this roster likely to be washed except for possibly Marquis, and he's slotted into a relatively minor role. The batting order remains a concern; Gardy still seems bound and determined to bat LHs together more than seems to make sense, but at least he's got a SS whose OBP makes sense for him to hit in the 2-hole, since we know a middle infielder will hit there, regardless of his ability. The playing favorites issue will bear watching. I'm fine with Span being our starting CF alongside Willingham & Doumit...but when revere was a serious contender to start in the OF, I hated the idea that Revere was going to primarily play LF because Span "likes it better in CF".

We'll see how this works out. I'm not convinced Gardy is a great manager. I'm willing to be convinced he's not terrible. But I think he's got some weaknesses and hasn't shone as a game-manager.

Thrylos
04-03-2012, 04:43 PM
I've never seen a manager do so much with so little, yet still get bashed incessantly by the fan base for not doing more.

Yes, I get it, the lack of postseason success is frustrating. But the key ingredient to winning in October is starting pitching.


I would argue that many of the Gardy teams have had better SP than the '87 Twins who were Viola, Blyleven at the end of his career and Les Straker... esp. looking at the Santana-Radke-Silva-Lohse teams.

ericchri
04-03-2012, 04:54 PM
There's a lot of factors that go into deciding when to use which pitcher, and obviously there's no way to guarantee you'll always have your best pitcher available whenever you want. That being said, my main complaint is this (and it's not just a Gardy thing, but all of baseball):

So, if the Twins are batting top of the 8th with a 1-run lead, presumably that is the time when the manager decides who to warm up. If for some reason you have 2 relievers left who haven't put in a lot of work over the last few games, Alex Burnett and Matt Capps, and the other team's 3 best hitters are up in the bottom of the 8th, who's gonna be pitching? Assuming the game remains a 1-run lead going into the bottom of the 8th, you still know that Alex Burnett is going in to pitch, it's just how everybody (Gardy included) does it. Capps is warming up "just in case", but not pitching until Burnett messes up, so that Capps can pitch the 9th. If Perkins (i.e. a setup man who is also considered a very good pitcher, apologies to Alex Burnett, he just appears to be the weakest member of the bullpen at the moment, I hope he proves me wrong) is available, I don't honestly care, that's not really my beef. But if the situation I described above happens, Burnett's going in, and that drives me nuts.

It's also not unusual to see the Twins in a save situation and the closer warming up, only to have the Twins score 3-4 runs making it a non-save situation and the closer doesn't pitch, even though he warmed up already. And I don't necessarily think that he has to pitch that situation (save his arm for another day, etc...), but suddenly it's not a situation which gives him his "stat", so he doesn't pitch now. Even though a relatively pressure-free chance to pitch might be beneficial.

It's not about miraculously knowing when you're going to have a high-leverage situation innings/days ahead of time, it's about recognizing there will be a high leverage situation in the next half inning and acting appropriately. In reality there are only going to be a very, very small number of these situations in a season, so it's not likely a season breaker. But that doesn't mean that in a few rare cases you couldn't use the best pitcher for the situation instead of pitching to the "role." I am fully aware that managers are not oracles capable of predicting that the highest-leverage situation will be in the 6th inning any given game before the situation arises, but there are some moments that you will have time to recognize such as my example, but the closer is still being saved for the ninth, even though you have time to prepare him for the 8th for an obviously high-leverage situation.

one_eyed_jack
04-03-2012, 05:26 PM
I would argue that many of the Gardy teams have had better SP than the '87 Twins who were Viola, Blyleven at the end of his career and Les Straker... esp. looking at the Santana-Radke-Silva-Lohse teams.


---Maybe in terms of the regular season. Gardy's teams have generally finished with better records than the '87 Twins. But once the playoffs were expanded, you couldn't really do what the Twins did that year and basically ride 2 pitchers to a title. If there had been a wildcard in '87, the Twins would have had to beat Toronto, who won 96 games that year, before even getting to Detroit, who they would have had to beat 4 times, not 3. TK would have been forced to go deeper into his rotation, and that would have made things a lot tougher.

So there's an argument to be made for some of Gardy's rotations being better for the long haul of a 162-game season. But if you're looking for 2 guys to get you through a short series, I would take Viola/Blyleven over Santana/Radke without hesitation. Santana was a true ace and Radke a nice pitcher. But Sweet Music and Bert were big-time gamers.

one_eyed_jack
04-03-2012, 05:32 PM
Apparently there are some Twins fans that are so brain washed that they believe Gardenhire is perfect and there is nothing to criticize him about. I guess I missed all of those World Series parades he led. First, the talk of him doing so much with so little is a bunch of BS. He's had two MVPs on his teams and one of the best closers of the era to start with, not to mention the AL Central has been pretty weak over the last decade and the Twins took advantage of that.

So, having said all this to try and create a little reality...I think Gardenhire is a good manager, he's certainly not infallible though. I'm not calling for his job, just think some could recognize that, just like everyone else, he's not perfect. He does a pretty good job motivating the players and managing their egos.

The one thing I'd change is his fascination with scrappy middle infielders that are in his mould. It seems he has always overvalued these guys when it comes to playing time and also lineup positioning. Don't forget it was Gardenhire's desire for "more speed and athleticism" up the middle that was one of the factors in the Twins giving up on Hardy and going after Nishi.


---Helpful tip: there is a "Reply with Quote" button you can use to include the original post when responding to others. Had you known this, you could have saved yourself a few keystrokes and not had to re-type or copy/paste the "Gardenhire is perfect" argument that has been advanced so many types by so many people on this thread.

Cheers.

whydidnt
04-03-2012, 05:45 PM
i support the idea that figuring out just when those high leverage situations might occur is a lot easier on the Internet than it is in practice. Relievers don't have on/off switches. They need time to warm up, and once warmed up, you generally want to use them. So unless you're advocating having your "best reliever" warmed and ready to from the middle of every close game, your theory isn't practical.


Really, you mean to tell me that if it's in the 8th innning, your team has a 2 run lead and the lead batter reaches base against you, the manager can't figure out that's a high leverage situation and to warm his best pitcher up instead of "saving him for the ninth". Managers constantly try to get their better pitchers into high leverage situations, EXCEPT for their closers for some reason. It's also frustrating to see managers refuse to bring their closer in for the last out in the 8th, when runners are in scoring position. Again a high leverage situation the manager certainly could have had the "best pitcher" ready for. I think there are lots of games every year where the "high leverage" situation is obvious, or do you think it's purely random that Perkins usually was thrown into that role last year?

I can buy an argument that some players perform better if they know their role and when they are expected to pitch, as it probably affects their routine. I'm not sure their is any statistical evidence to back that up though, I doubt it.

whydidnt
04-03-2012, 05:52 PM
---Helpful tip: there is a "Reply with Quote" button you can use to include the original post when responding to others. Had you known this, you could have saved yourself a few keystrokes and not had to re-type or copy/paste the "Gardenhire is perfect" argument that has been advanced so many types by so many people on this thread.

Cheers.

Here's a helpful tip for you, you could have used the "reply with Quote" to save yourself the few keystrokes that indicated Gardy had done SO MUCH WITH SO LITTLE as other had done. See it works both ways, and guess what it adds absolutely nothing to the conversation. When you get out of your teens hopefully you'll realize that people can disagree with you without it being the end of your world.

Cheers...

USAFChief
04-03-2012, 06:30 PM
There's a lot of factors that go into deciding when to use which pitcher, and obviously there's no way to guarantee you'll always have your best pitcher available whenever you want. That being said, my main complaint is this (and it's not just a Gardy thing, but all of baseball):So, if the Twins are batting top of the 8th with a 1-run lead, presumably that is the time when the manager decides who to warm up. If for some reason you have 2 relievers left who haven't put in a lot of work over the last few games, Alex Burnett and Matt Capps, and the other team's 3 best hitters are up in the bottom of the 8th, who's gonna be pitching? Assuming the game remains a 1-run lead going into the bottom of the 8th, you still know that Alex Burnett is going in to pitch, it's just how everybody (Gardy included) does it. Capps is warming up "just in case", but not pitching until Burnett messes up, so that Capps can pitch the 9th. If Perkins (i.e. a setup man who is also considered a very good pitcher, apologies to Alex Burnett, he just appears to be the weakest member of the bullpen at the moment, I hope he proves me wrong) is available, I don't honestly care, that's not really my beef. But if the situation I described above happens, Burnett's going in, and that drives me nuts.It's also not unusual to see the Twins in a save situation and the closer warming up, only to have the Twins score 3-4 runs making it a non-save situation and the closer doesn't pitch, even though he warmed up already. And I don't necessarily think that he has to pitch that situation (save his arm for another day, etc...), but suddenly it's not a situation which gives him his "stat", so he doesn't pitch now. Even though a relatively pressure-free chance to pitch might be beneficial. It's not about miraculously knowing when you're going to have a high-leverage situation innings/days ahead of time, it's about recognizing there will be a high leverage situation in the next half inning and acting appropriately. In reality there are only going to be a very, very small number of these situations in a season, so it's not likely a season breaker. But that doesn't mean that in a few rare cases you couldn't use the best pitcher for the situation instead of pitching to the "role." I am fully aware that managers are not oracles capable of predicting that the highest-leverage situation will be in the 6th inning any given game before the situation arises, but there are some moments that you will have time to recognize such as my example, but the closer is still being saved for the ninth, even though you have time to prepare him for the 8th for an obviously high-leverage situation.Good points.I'm certainly not here to argue that all manager's (including Gardy's) reliever usage always fits my idea of what's ideal. I DO think that, by and large, bullpen usage is one of Gardy's stengths...although there are certainly times during the season when I throw my shoe at the TV regarding that very issue. When I calm down, though, I often learn there were factors I wasn't aware of, or admit to myself there were as many good reasons to do it Gardy's way as there were to do it mine. I also try to keep in mind a favorite quote of mine (attributed to Ike): "Farming looks mighty easy when your plow is a pencil, and you’re a thousand miles from the corn field."

The Dread Pirate
04-03-2012, 08:06 PM
Go back to the 11-man (or early in the season with extra off days and starters being skipped, a GASP!!! 10-man) pitching staff and stop trying to play matchups so often with the relievers. This gets an extra bench player (hopefully not a third catcher) to allow more late-game offensive machinations especially with all the moving parts (Mauer/Doumit/Morneau/Parmelee).

one_eyed_jack
04-03-2012, 10:06 PM
Here's a helpful tip for you, you could have used the "reply with Quote" to save yourself the few keystrokes that indicated Gardy had done SO MUCH WITH SO LITTLE as other had done. See it works both ways, and guess what it adds absolutely nothing to the conversation. When you get out of your teens hopefully you'll realize that people can disagree with you without it being the end of your world.


---Oh, but shooting down ridiculous straw man arguments like "Gardenhire is perfect" and accusing people of being "brainwashed" really adds to the quality of the discussion, doesn't it?

As for Gardenhire doing a lot with a little, maybe the last 2 years he hasn't, but from 2002-2009 he certainly did.

How about taking a team with the 4th-lowest opening day payroll in baseball and getting them to within 3 win of a World Series appearance?

How about consistently winning division titles, even though your rivals are making big offseason splashes while your front office jettisons your most talented players when they become too expensive and replaces them with bargain bin free agents.

How about 2008 when most of the "experts" picked the Twins to finish dead last after the departures of Santana and Hunter while prematurely crowning the Tigers based on moves to bring in Willis, Cabrera and Renteria. But Gardy had the Twins playing past game 162 again.

How about the comeback in '09, this time capped by a win in game 163, in which Gardy pieced together a late run using a bunch of September callups while guys like Morneau were out.

These were all pretty impressive performances, that I think, unfortunately, have been largely overshadowed by postseason disappointments and taken for granted because they happened so often. But winning year in and year out despite roster upheavel is a tough thing to do. Tom Kelly was a great manager had the 2 unforgettable post season runs, but even he couldn't manage to keep the team in the mix consistently. In his 15 years of managing, he had only 5 winning seasons.

Nobody, especially me, is claiming Gardenhire is a perfect manager. But I will say that he's one of the best in the business, and largely underappreciated by the flock.

WJ
04-04-2012, 01:40 PM
My advice to Gardenhire:

1. It is permitted by the rules of baseball for someone other than the SS or 2B to bat second in the order.
2. Thursday afternoon games count just as much as other games at the end of the season. Games in April count the same as games in September.
3. Try to avoid playing the Yankees, if at all possible.
4. Getting your lead-off man on base doesn't mean you automatically have to give up an out on the next batter. There's something called a "rally".
5. You are not playing in the National League and this isn't 1985.

gunnarthor
04-04-2012, 01:57 PM
My advice to Gardenhire:

1. It is permitted by the rules of baseball for someone other than the SS or 2B to bat second in the order.
2. Thursday afternoon games count just as much as other games at the end of the season. Games in April count the same as games in September.
3. Try to avoid playing the Yankees, if at all possible.
4. Getting your lead-off man on base doesn't mean you automatically have to give up an out on the next batter. There's something called a "rally".
5. You are not playing in the National League and this isn't 1985.

Gardy really doesn't bunt as much as people seem to think. In his ten seasons, the Twins have only been higher than 7th in the AL in bunting three times - 05, 08 and 09. The 08 and 09 seasons featured a lot of bunt for hit guys who, if they made an out, would be credited with a sac bunt. The 05 Twins were crushed by injuries and forced to give lots of playing time to Juan Castro, Punto, Mike Ryan and Luis Rodriquez. Usually the Twins have been below league avg in sac bunts.

John Bonnes
04-06-2012, 08:32 PM
There were a couple of interesting bullpen moves today worth examining....

1) Bringing in Jeff Gray in the 8th down 4-0. At the time, I thought this was fine, since Gray strikes me as a end of the bullpen guy and one that might be used when the team is probably going to lose the game. But I was a little surprised that when he started giving up baserunners (as one might expect from Jeff Gray) he pulled him and went with the lefty, which raised the second question....

2) Bringing in Duensing to face Markakis made perfect sense because Markakis hits left-handed. But then he kept him in to face Jones, who is right-handed. And the hitters after Jones - Wieters, Betemit, and Reynolds - are all switch hitters or right-handed. It may be that Wieters is more susceptible to lefties or something, but I was surprised Gardenhire left Duensing in there. BTW, Duensing struck out Jones on a low fastball, albeit after falling behind 3-1.

USAFChief
04-06-2012, 09:27 PM
My takes:

1. As you say, Gray makes sense because you're trailing 4-0. A four run lead is sort of the unofficial cutoff for what's a blowout and what isn't (a four run lead can still be made up with one swing of the bat) so you would rather not give up any more runs. I suspect if the lead was 5 or more, Gardy would've been more likely to let Gray stay out there to sink or swim.

2. Since it was 4, once Gray gets into trouble, Gardy goes and gets the LHer to face Markakis. He's not going to use his top LHer though, so it's Duensing instead of Perkins.

3. I suspect if Duensing walks Markakis, or if Markakis was the 1st out of the inning, Burnett faces Jones. Since Duensing got Markakis, and with now 2 out, might as well let Duensing pitch to Jones and see if he can get you out of the inning without using another pitcher. It's not like there is a boatload of solid RH options out of the pen anyway, and if you DO bring Burnett in to face Jones, and he doesn't retire him, you lose the platoon advantage for the next two hitters after that anyway, so you'd be burning a 3rd pitcher in the inning (while trailing by 4) just to get the platoon advantage on one of three hitters, all with with 2 out. Ergo, you let Duensing face Jones.

mysonlikes7
04-06-2012, 09:58 PM
Okay, so you've stated you're anti-Gardy, and you've listed some reasons why. Now I'm curious to see who you'd rather have manage this club and your reasons why.

I can't stand that come back, "who else are you going to get that is better?" That response is constantly used in this town and it bugs me to no end. After every hiring the U of M has done for a football coach, fans have said, "at least this guy is better than the last coach." Yeah. I don't think so. Were the Rays fans, saying who else are they going to get that is better than Lou Pinella when he retired? They hired a coach, Joe Maddon, that the average fan had never heard of, which turned out to be a two time Manager of the Year. Did Red Sox fans think there was a better manager out there than Grady Little after taking the Red Sox to the ALCS? Francona turned out to be a pretty good coach, don't you think? My point is there is generally almost always a manager out there that is just as good or better than the one that is currently managing. The tough part is finding him and giving him the time to get the players he wants.

Now getting back to the question...the 100 pitch limit, coddling players, and having "favorites" on the team that generally are sure outs (see Hocking, Punto, Butera) are my biggest issues with Gardy.

one_eyed_jack
04-06-2012, 10:43 PM
Now getting back to the question...the 100 pitch limit, coddling players, and having "favorites" on the team that generally are sure outs (see Hocking, Punto, Butera) are my biggest issues with Gardy.

1) The 100-pitch limit is hardly unique to Gardy. It's standard practice in today's MLB, for better or for worse. So that's something you could throw out as a criticism against, oh, about 29 or so other major league managers, and thus not a very persuasive anti-Gardy argument. That's like criticizing him for not regularly using his closer for 2 and 3 inning saves as was done back in the day with guys like Bruce Sutter and Goose Gossage.

2) Can you give examples of "coddling players"?

3) Punto was the only guy there that you could maybe consider a "favorite". He had his ups and downs, but watching last year's team was a pretty good lesson in why he was valued. The results weren't always what you'd hoped, and he could make some maddeningly dumb mistakes at times, but Punto's effort and commitment were never in question. Also, he did have seasons where he hit .284 and .290, so he was hardly always a "sure out". Butera was only used regularly when it was a necessity. Hocking played under Gardy for 2 seasons and appeared in slightly more than half the teams games in those, which was less action than he was seeing under TK.

So unless you can come up with specific, verifiable examples of "coddling", I think you struck out on 3 pitches here, chief.

Cheers.

Riverbrian
04-07-2012, 12:26 AM
Here is something that has to stop right now. Gardy has an irrational fear of running out of catchers during the course of a game or losing the DH spot if Mauer has to leave the DH and put the pads back on... due to injury or ejection.

Umm... Everytime Butera swung a bat last year. It was no better then letting Blackburn hit. Once you let Butera swing a bat and I mean once. You can't act like losing the DH spot for an inning or two... due to mid game catcher injury is a death blow.

Mauer or Doumit will have to DH sometime this year to keep their bats in the lineup. Go ahead and close your eyes and roll the dice Gardy. Just remember you can pitch hit for a pitcher when his turn comes up in the rare instance its necessary. It will be OK. Let's not beg Terry Ryan to call up that 3rd catcher who will rarely play.

By the way. Thanks for the division titles. Go get em this year.

Highabove
04-07-2012, 06:30 AM
This "complain about Gardy" thread could eventually catch up to the GopherHole (36500+ views) "Oops-- wrong forum" thread.