Posted 27 July 2014 - 06:59 PM
First and foremost, I have to state that I am a Gardenhire fan. I think he's a good guy, a good baseball manager, overall.
I honestly think highly of the majority of his coaches as well, Bruno, Molitor, Cuellar, Steinbach and yes, even Anderson, especially when you look at the bullpens he's helped assemble over the years, and some staffs that weren't as talented as other playoff/winning rosters but seemed to squeeze max value out of most. I maintain the major hole is the presence of a quality Latin coach and baseball guy for a number of the Twins young players, and those on their way.
I also maintain Gardy and his staff get a mulligan for 2011 as the Twins returned most of the team from the 95 win, division winning team of 2010. A couple things didn't work, and the team was absolutely devastated by injuries that no-one could have planned or worked for. I also it's really easy to blame the manager/head coach after a couple and seasons or three. Every season brings about SOME injuries and poor performances, and you have to be able to work through and around those issues. Everyone does. But you can also only manage what you've been given to work with. And without question, there have been holes and questionable to wrong personnel groupings to expect Gardenhire or anyone else to have to work with. Ryan himself has shouldered some of that blame, and deservedly so. Gardy undoubtedly shares some of this blame as well as I doubt Ryan builds a roster in a solely inhabited vacuum. Again, forgetting 2011, 2012 & 2013, to me, felt as though there was a collective lack of proper vision.
All that being said, I also believe it is probably time now to make a change. I was generally pleased when Gardy was brought back this year, but I also would have been fine if the change had taken place last year. There can simply be times when the message of a manager and staff can become lost. There can be times when a manager simply doesn't connect with the players he has now, or he himself gets bogged down when things start to go wrong. Sometimes, that new voice, that new perspective is necessary to jump start a program. Or, more to the point in the Twins case, someone who might simply communicate and work better with prospects.
I'm not necessarily sold on going "outside" the organization as Molitor may have the stuff to be a quality manager. Former Twin Mike Redmond, were he suddenly made available, might be an excellent choice. In the minors, soon if not now, I think Mauer and Dougie Baseball may have to chops to do well. I think there's a difference from JUST hiring from within, as opposed to actually having a quality candidate, or more, available to or from your organization.
"Nice catch Hayes...don't ever f*****g do it again."