There is a pattern here, and it goes back further than 2011. You'll find the same trends in 2005 and 2007 when the Twins were not competetive - the team goes in the tank.
But you have to look at the other side, too. When the team has been good and smelled a possible postseason, they have been very, very good. Check out the streaks that some of those Twins teams went on in the second half. It's impressive.
Personally, I am OK with putting some of that at Gardy's feet, both the good and the bad. It's been a little too consistent to be just chance, IMHO.
I gave up my season tickets, too. I haven't gone to a game all season (telling myself I will when the Twins get to .500). I do listen and watch, but am so often disappointed.
Not sure the direction the organization can take, but a complete housecleaning is in order. Maybe even the "new" blood that they put on the bench should seek employment elsewhere. Maybe the Twins need to totally go outside the organization for now. No Steinbach, no Molitor, no Bruno, no Cuellar. Definitely time to say goodbye to Gardy and Andy and the Twins should've reassigned to the minors, if they desired to keep them, Ulger and Vav.
Nothing against any of them except for losing baseball seasons. Terry Ryan is a nice guy, but he has to move on, too. Maybe time to get some outside help, a different viewpoint, someone who will demand that money be spent and will spend it and tell ownership that instead of planning for less revenue, think of ways that you can generate more...putting a winning g(not jsut competitive) team on the field and putting fan seats in the stands.
I will say that the July swoon going into August had more butts than I ever thought in the stands. Will this change at State Fair time and into September?
Maybe I will spring for some low-priced seats and the love of outdoor baseball. But let it be because I am looking at Sano or Rosario or even Buxton (okay, Hicks will do) rather than a lineup of guys who aren't the future of the Twins. Take five of those roster spots and showcase the future for one month. Maybe some won't play at all again in the majors until 2015, but you have to know something about the future...and it is now!
It just amazes me the excuses that people make for Gardenhire. "It's not his fault." "He doesn't get to pick his players." "He's not responsible for the way rookies play." "It's not his pitching staff."
He's been Twins manager for 12 frickin years. He talks to TR every week and is in every key meeting regarding personnel. Over that time, he's won one playoff series, and been swept by the Yankees, what, three times? For the last three years, the team has lost 90 games -- no matter what players he's been given, no matter his coaches, the schedule, anything.
The bare facts of managing in MLB are these: if you are manager and your team does not perform well, especially for THREE ENTIRE SEASONS, you will get replaced. That's the way it works in a normal, functional organization. The fact that the Twins, for some reason, and even their knucklehead fans, cannot bring themselves to face reality and do the obvious thing -- i.e. try a new manager -- is stupefying beyond belief.
People like me have not only given up our season tickets, not only stopped going to occasional games, not only given up listening or watching, -- we are actively engaging in civil disregard for the whole Twins organization because, in the final analysis, when a group is this dysfunctional and shows absolutely no ability or aptitude to change themselves for the better -- there really is nothing to be done but hope that with enough fan apathy and failure, they will eventually be forced to realize they can't go on like this anymore.
Once you hit September, the record is meaningless. At that point, the Twins will (should) forget all about wins and focus almost exclusively on looking to get innings/at-bats for guys that are auditioning for a spot on next year's roster. Gardenhire's fate should be determined by how the front office feels he has managed this year's roster, such as it is, from April-August.
A reincarnated Billy Martin couldn't get this team to win. The manager of this collection doesn't make much difference. When Hicks was sent down people were not blaming the manager he did not develop. When the pitchers throws poorly, it is on the pitchers and the people who signed them.