Or so I've been told thanks to the unwritten rules.
Like Gardy or hate him, anyone who suggests his clubhouse rules/expectations have been consistent for all players is simply not dealing in reality. Over his tenure he has always shown a bias against young players and made their path more difficult. Not as bad as Kelly did, but from the same family of management.
Just from my experience, I think that's an awful quality in a manager and a tendency that does far more harm to morale than people realize.
Gardy brings many positives things to the managerial role, but his consistency in treatment and his encouragement of unique personalities is not among them.
Being cocky and having attitude are two different things. Imo cocky is another word for show boating. And showing attitude is getting mad when a pitcher hits a batter, or having a week long losing streak and telling your teammates it's unacceptable and throwing water coolers around
The last few seasons Gardy has been hanging off the top rail of the dugout with his arms down on a daily basis it seems. I see defeat in him and not fire. He used to have it at some point, but now, like his team, it seems that he lost it...
Maybe he does not like that any more. I hope that this is true and he and the team changes. Really I do.
You know the pose I am referring to:
And yes, I think that this "fire" thing that so many want is vastly overrated. Joe Mauer would not be a better player if he played some other way. Tony Dungy would not have been a better coach if he had been another way. Tom Kelly didn't have some sort of irate fire. He was pretty calm in games.
Gardy has always backed his players, and as a player that's all you can hope for in a manager. Few know the game better than Gardy.
Wait, Gardy has always backed his players? Like when he constantly threw some under the bus publicly in the past, for things that don't matter? I like Gardy as a human, and I think he does something right in the clubhouse, otherwise they might not have won as much as they did. But to say he "always backed his players" is an exaggeration, imo. We all remember quotes about certain players being ripped publicly. Usually college educated or young players.
The guy consistently beats up young player's for their mistakes in the press and gives passes to veterans. It's a major part of his inconsistent expectations. He's entitled to do it if that's what he feels will help. But it completely flies in the face of the notion that he has everyone's back.
It's all context. You can show some attitude if you're a really good player or you play on a good team. It's like in football. Say a team is up by 21, and a DE hammers a back for a loss then showboats after the tackle, we all say "Go ahead and enjoy it, you're crushing them". But doing the same thing if you're down by 21 is a big no-no.
Gardy's probably just excited to have some players who can back up their attitude. Time will tell if they can do it in the show.
However, there's no way this coaching staff should NOT have been brought back after last year. Gardy continually ripped on players for mental mistakes but offered no examples of what the coaching staff was doing to fix the situation. And the hitting! When Tony Oliva has to call Colabello to tell him he's too far off the plate to cover the outer half of the plate, something is deeply wrong with your coaching staff. That shows that the staff was not going back to the tape to identify problems and fix them. I remember before the AS break seeing Justin hit, he was starting to keep his head more still, I said to my friend "watch, he's going to get hot" and he did for awhile. That's always been Justin's problem. These things are on the players as much as the coaches, they're grown men too who should know their bad habits better than anybody. But still... Tony O calling in hitting advice on a struggling hitter that was so obvious? I heard on the radio yesterday about how Bruno lost a lot of sleep because guys were striking out so much last year, maybe he should have used that time to watch some film or breakdown how opposing pitchers were attacking our hitters.
Questions I'd like to hear reporters ask this year:
"What types of things are you doing in spring training to improve the baserunning this year?"
"Do Twins hitters have the ability to view swings from their past (successful stretches) side by side with current footage, is that something that players/coaches review on a weekly or daily basis?"
"This year Target Field will be equipped with new technology allowing a much better understanding of batted balls and defensive outcomes. This data stream could be a big advantage since its only available in a few venues in 2014, which should give the Twins an advantage over other clubs in understanding their own players. Specifically, how will the coaching staff use this and Pitch f/x data to improve our club?"
I don't think Gardy has the patience to deal with young and inexperienced players anymore, if he ever had it to begin with. Now that he's got a contract extension and the Twins have lots of minor leaguers close to making the jump, he'll have to deal with them.
I think fire and attitude and especially demeanor are over-rated. Which isnt to say that it does not matter, but that their not as important as most people think. Pete Rose didnt get 4000 hits because he sprinted out to his fielding position every inning. He did because he had the inate ability to hit major league pitching.
All those positive abstract qualities probably make some difference which should end up in the statistical record. Paraphrasing Bill James, it's not that they do not matter it's that they are impossible to quantify.
As it is though, Ill take a team full of Joe Mauer's and Stan Musials and beat the snot out of a team of Nick Puntos and AJ Pierszinkis