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Gardy's Culture

Posted by jtkoupal , 02 August 2014 · 1,714 views

The day has to be coming, doesn't it? This is the 4th year in a row that could be heading toward 90+ losses. For most managers or coaches in any sport, 1 or 2 poor seasons spells the end of their days with that team. Ron Gardenhire, however, has managed to keep his job during a dark time when a change is necessary. To make matters worse, much of the coaching staff has stuck around as well. One of these days, a change has to happen.

The root of the problem is a front office that is tethered to Gardy. If not sooner, Gardy should have been out the door when his contract was up after 2013. Of course, pathetic Pohlad's, St. Pete, and Terrry Ryan thought Gardy was "the right man to turn things around". The Front Office has almost a seemingly unhealthy relationship with Gardenhire. A relationship that, all things considered, comes across as a "friendship" and not a working relationship.

As expected, the plan failed miserably and we are left with another coin toss on whether Gardy returns. How many former Twins need to make the All-Star Game to wake people up and make them realize that much of that falls back on the culture that Gardy creates. As with any business, from Professional a Baseball to Fast Food, the manager sets the tone. A lackadaisical manager like Gardy is going to produce a lackadaisical team like the Twins have been recently.

Another problem with Gardy is is in-game decisions. He always leaves pitchers in the game a few batters too long. I could only imagine how many wins he would have if he were a more intelligent manager. We've given him new players, we've shaken up the coaching staff a little bit, and things have gotten worse instead of better. The managerial ineptitude is the only explanation for what we've seen the past 3 years.

In my opinion, Gardy isn't a horrible manager. His problem is that he doesn't know how to get through to the young players. In his earlier years, he made the playoffs often with players developed under Tom Kelly (Morneau, Mauer, Cuddyer, etc.), but no that most of them are gone, he's left with a bunch of guys that are his responsibility. He hasn't found a way to motivate the young players. In my opinion, his problem is that he's too far in the Stone Age. He's too old-fashioned. The game has changed and he needs to realize that. You can't manage 25 year olds in 2014 like you could manage older veterans back in the day. The game is different and people are different.

Gardy's loosing culture in the dugout is a reason why I support the Twins' decision to keep Meyer and May in Rochester. Calling them up now is setting these kids up for failure. Putting guys like Pino, Johnson and a few veterans in the rotation is fine by me until Gardy is gone. I quiver at the thought of our young pitching prospects being part of Gardy's unmotivating culture that has led to so many flops for our guys and success for everyone who leaves. Get Gardy out of there and call these kids up to play for Paul Molitor (or the 6-0 Terry Steinbach...just kidding). Paul Molitor has more leadership potential than Gardy. Gardy has his buddies (Matt Lecroy, his bowling buddy, who we kept over Big Papi) and often doesn't recognize the talent that's there.

If there is one thing clear, it's that changes need to be made. These kids can't possibly amount to a World Series contender under a manager who boasts a career 6-21 record in the postseason, including being swept in the first round 3 times and only advancing past the ALDS once, in 2002 when we lost to the Angels 4-1 in the series, and never really so much as threatening a World Series appearance. He couldn't find a way to go deep into the postseason with 2 MVP's, a Cy Young, and a Gold Glove center fielder who could hit pretty darn well, too.

Maybe Gardy will leave and be a World Series manager somewhere else, it would fit the ex-Twin mold, but there is no use for him in Minnesota. I've thought it's been time to move on for 6 years, but now, I know that we're well passed due. I'm not from Minnesota, but many of you are, and you all deserve better than this. If winning is of any interest to the Front Office, then Gardy's a Goner. If he stays, then it shows that this is not about winning, it's about some secret agenda that we will never figure out.




While I am in the camp that it's time for a change, I do take issue with a few things. 1) Gardy is not the GM. He may have sway with who comes and goes, he's not the decision maker. Former Twins All Stars might actually make a case for him to stay. As a coach and manager you pass knowledge and training on to players that accumulates over time. 2) Gardy's post season success indicates lack of depth of quality of top end pitching. Good hitting can only get you so far and there was a very steep decline in quality after Johan Santana to Brad Radke. Sure Radke was a work horse and one of the better pitchers in team history, but he was a marathoner, not a sprinter. Getting to the post season is a marathon, but winning it all is a sprint. To win the World Series you can't ride the Rick Reed express to glory. 3) I need more evidence of some secret agenda to deprive Twins Fans of World Series glory. I do firmly agree that a culture change is a necessity, and the manager is a big part of it. I'm not certain it's as easy plugging in a fresh face. Gardenhire has maintained an elite position and managed this team through an incredible run of success, albeit never as high as I thought it could have gone. Replacing Gardenhire means reducing that skill purposefully. It's just like going with the rookie short stop, there will be a steep learning curve.
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Hosken Bombo Disco
Aug 02 2014 09:43 AM
Sconnie, I actually think the right manager could come on board and instantly make this team a contender. Somehow Tom Kelly did it, and you see it just about every year, a losing team makes a playoff run. Granted the current Twins still do not have the horses to make a serious bid at a World Series championship, but just about anything can happen in the playoffs. Now to contradict my last sentence by 180 degrees, I will say I don't think the Twins are likely to ever win another playoff series under Gardenhire. Basically, Gardy's disregard for statistics will always leave the Twins unprepared against most any team they are likely to encounter. Which is not to say Gardy is a bad manager - I think he does certain things well, and people (me for example) sometimes underestimate how alert he is to what's going on on the field. I will save the rest of my praise for him until his retirement party though. jtkoupal, thanks for your support. Many Minnesota natives feel the same as you and are ready to move on into the future. :)
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Kelly Vance
Aug 02 2014 12:40 PM

Gardy is washed up.  He doesn't handle pitchers well. He can't relate to the young guys, so he fell back to his comfort zone of old retreads, Matt, Jason and Jason. 

It is wayyy past time for a change. 

 

That being said, we have a team that is totally devoid of leaders. That includes Joe big contract Mauer.

 

In the past glory years we had plenty of leaders. Kirby, Rat, Danny, and Hrbek and remember Groove came on in 87 and Winfield?  Rent a winner. These were all guys that found a way to win. I don't thimk the front office even looks for guys like that anymore. Too busy managing the bottom line. Do you suppose that Andy Mac leaving was because he foresaw present ownership planned on running the Twins like a business, instead of a competitive team?  How Calvinesq? 

 

The guys on this current roster look at called third strikes like they've been bribed. Its as if they want someone else to do it. That is when they aren't swinging at idiot pitches and getting picked off base.

 

Nobody makes it happen on this team, except for Kurt and Dozier. Plouffe sometimes.  Every time Suze comes up with RISP, I expect something to happen.  And many of you called for the Twins to trade the one guy who plays like a winner.

 

But teaching a winning culture comes from the manager. This guy is just putting in his time. The Twins players reflect that.

 

The game has passed Gardy by. So we should say "Bye"

Without even reading the above comments, a few things need to be said.

 

1.) I'm fine with letting Gardy go after the season. 

2.) That doesn't mean he's a bad manager, just that a change is needed.

3.) How many more wins would the Twins have if there were another manager? I'll put the over/under at like 1, maybe.

4.) "A lackadaisical manager like Gardy is going to produce a lackadaisical team like the Twins have been recently." Gardy is about the furthest thing from lackadaisical. He's got as much fire as any manager in baseball. No question about that.

5.) "The managerial ineptitude is the only explanation for what we've seen the past 3 years." The only reason? That's the only answer for it, huh? Has nothing to do with the players that he's been given?He's not perfect, but he is not the reason for the losses.

6.) "he made the playoffs often with players developed under Tom Kelly (Morneau, Mauer, Cuddyer, etc.)," Those three players were developed by Gardy, for what it's worth. 

7.) "Paul Molitor has more leadership potential than Gardy." Based on?? You can't make a statement like this without backing it. Gardy's succeeded in the past. When has Molitor succeeded as a coach? (not that I don't think he can, but there's no proof of that) Also, Molitor is older than Gardy.

8.) "Gardy has his buddies (Matt Lecroy, his bowling buddy, who we kept over Big Papi)" - Pretty sure that's not a manager's decision.9

9.) "If he stays, then it shows that this is not about winning, it's about some secret agenda that we will never figure out." - Alrighty then...

    • Sconnie, DocBauer and curt1965 like this
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JustcallupSANO
Aug 02 2014 08:36 PM

The only problem i have with Gardy is Rick Anderson.

If we fire Anderson and Gardy doesn't like it, then show him the door.

    • Paul Pleiss likes this

Without even reading the above comments, a few things need to be said.
 
1.) I'm fine with letting Gardy go after the season. 
2.) That doesn't mean he's a bad manager, just that a change is needed.
3.) How many more wins would the Twins have if there were another manager? I'll put the over/under at like 1, maybe.
4.) "A lackadaisical manager like Gardy is going to produce a lackadaisical team like the Twins have been recently." Gardy is about the furthest thing from lackadaisical. He's got as much fire as any manager in baseball. No question about that.
5.) "The managerial ineptitude is the only explanation for what we've seen the past 3 years." The only reason? That's the only answer for it, huh? Has nothing to do with the players that he's been given?He's not perfect, but he is not the reason for the losses.
6.) "he made the playoffs often with players developed under Tom Kelly (Morneau, Mauer, Cuddyer, etc.)," Those three players were developed by Gardy, for what it's worth. 
7.) "Paul Molitor has more leadership potential than Gardy." Based on?? You can't make a statement like this without backing it. Gardy's succeeded in the past. When has Molitor succeeded as a coach? (not that I don't think he can, but there's no proof of that) Also, Molitor is older than Gardy.
8.) "Gardy has his buddies (Matt Lecroy, his bowling buddy, who we kept over Big Papi)" - Pretty sure that's not a manager's decision.9
9.) "If he stays, then it shows that this is not about winning, it's about some secret agenda that we will never figure out." - Alrighty then...


BINGO! Every point.

I think Gardy is a very good manager. As does his current team, the teams before him, and sports writers who have voted him AL MOTY once, and in the top 3 several other teams. He also managed his teams to 8 winning seasons in his first 9 years, and 7 playoff appearances.

I also think it's time for a change of leadership, just because. It doesn't speak ill of Gardy to simply say the time may be right to have and hear a different voice during this rebuild. Sometimes change happens just to turn a page and move forward. I have little doubt Gardenhire would be offered a manager job or two or three or more quickly. And I wouldn't be surprised if hired, given a solid team to work with, if he wouldn't be right back in the playoffs.

Just remember, the next trade or FA signing Gardenhire makes will be his very first.

Otherwise, just read what Seth wrote again, because it's about as right and true as anything ever written here at TD, and I can't add anything else.

(Tips his TC cap to Seth)

The only problem i have with Gardy is Rick Anderson.
If we fire Anderson and Gardy doesn't like it, then show him the door.


Here we go again.

I fully appreciate the various opinions expressed here at TD with the utmost respect. Even when I don't agree, I fully appreciate any counterpoints to my own. But this is one of the biggest arbitrary comments that rankles me.

I have NEVER been on record as saying Anderson is the best pitching coach in baseball. In fact, I'm not even sure how any of us could quantify who is the best, or what quantifies what makes who the very best. But to just blast Anderson without question is a huge sticking point with me.

The Twins, with Anderson as pitching coach, had winning records in 8 out of the first 9 seasons he teamed with Gardenhire. They made the playoffs 7 of those 8 years, losing out on a 163rd game one time. The ONE losing season the Twins had in that time frame, 2009, the Twins ranked 11th in team ERA. Every other season, they ranked no worse than 7. And in those 9 seasons, they ranked 1st or 2nd in fewest BB every season but one, 6th in 2002, his first season as pitching coach.

He oversaw Santana in to a multiple CyYoung winner and candidate. He nurtured Nathan and Perkins in to All Star closers. He helped build and re-build bullpens over the years with power arms like those two and others, but also rans like Trombley, Fiore, Guerrier, Reyes, Neshak, Rauch and others. Some decent arms, some from the Twins system, some cast offs from other teams.

Do yourself a favor, take a moment to look at all those winning teams rosters, look at the starting staffs, and then come back. Yeah, he had Santana and Radke some of those years, and Liriano before injury, and after before he lost his mind. But he also won with Blackburn, Slowey, Silva and Pavano, to name a few. A virtual who's who of CyYoung candidates to be sure! (Tongue firmly planted in cheek)

This is not to say the Twins were devoid of talent these years. They weren't. But to blast Anderson arbitrarily for the work he's done the last few years, when the ERA and SP have been disappointing to lousy is ridiculous. Just look at what he's had to work with lately. Then look at this season where the first 3 months actually show constant improvement right up until the All Star break.

In honor of our recent songs discussions in the game threads, this is how I feel about Gardenhire:

 

Clowns to the left of me,
Jokers to the right, here I am,
Stuck in the middle with you,
Yes I'm stuck in the middle with you,
Stuck in the middle with you

 

 

It's time for a change.  No need to argue all the fine points.

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Paul Pleiss
Aug 07 2014 01:48 AM

I'm with JustcallupSano, the worst thing about Ron Gardenhire is Rick Anderson.