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Article: Big Year for the Manager

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#1 Seth Stohs

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 07:28 AM

You can view the page at http://www.twinsdail...for-the-Manager

#2 Gernzy

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 08:05 AM

Great article Seth. Hopefully the people who want Gardy gone right now will read this and realize there is alot more to it then they think.

#3 Winston Smith

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 08:33 AM

I guess the manager wins games but the players, umpires, injuries, ______ fill in the excuse lose the games?
No Gardy isn't 100% at fault but at some point it's time to move on. 10-12 years with one team is a long time, turn the page and start fresh, imo. He'll get another job.

#4 mike wants wins

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 08:40 AM

For several years Seth wrote the team no longer does the little things well. Now that people are suggesting Gardenhire accountable for that, it is somehow not the coaches responsibility? Who on the roster the last few years has really grown as a player under this staff? When have they over achieved lately?

Gardy clearly is a big part of the success. But if he gets credit when they do well, he needs to get blame when they do not.

#5 old nurse

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 09:05 AM

Who on the roster the last few years has really grown as a player under this staff? When have they over achieved lately?


Several Twins last year had career years. Revere ended up valuable enough that they got a starting pitcher and a prospect for him. Span developed under Gardenhire. Plouffe may have found a spot. The position players added via free agency last year did well. Diamond, DeVries and Deduno all had career years last year. Burton, Perkins and Fien all saw improvement last year. If Casilla turns it around for more than a year in Baltimore you can say it was Gardenhire's fault, but I don't know if that will happen.

#6 bcntwinsfan

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 09:06 AM

Anybody remember Bill Smith. Trading away Bartlett and JJ Hardy from an organization that can't develop middle infielders. Yes, I know,, Garza, and the Santana giveaway. And my favorite, Ramos for Matt Capps. I love watching Butera. at bats, they give me a warm fuzzy feeling inside.I think the Twins should make David Kahn the GM when Ryan retires. I'm sure Gardy's slashed billys tires already.

#7 Seth Stohs

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 09:13 AM

I would say that managers get too much credit when a team wins and too much blame when a team loses. In reality, if another manager had the exact same roster that they've had the last two years, and all the same other issues, how many more games would the Twins have won. Likewise, if there was another manager through the good years, would they really have won (or lost) any more games? It definitely goes both ways.

I've read people say that they think that the Twins have gotten "stale" in recent years... and I guess I don't know what to think about that comment. Will a new voice make the players better and hence not look stale? Would you hire a manager who yells more than Gardenhire? (Cuz he does quite a bit) Or would you want a manager that is more laid back and quiet? I guess maybe that's part of my question... what type of manager would you want to come in here? And, why would that make the Twins successful right away?

#8 mike wants wins

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 09:15 AM

If managers have so little impact, Seth, why do you care who the manager is? Why are they paid as much money as they are?
Lighten up Francis....

#9 Seth Stohs

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 09:20 AM

Several Twins last year had career years. Revere ended up valuable enough that they got a starting pitcher and a prospect for him. Span developed under Gardenhire. Plouffe may have found a spot. The position players added via free agency last year did well. Diamond, DeVries and Deduno all had career years last year. Burton, Perkins and Fien all saw improvement last year. If Casilla turns it around for more than a year in Baltimore you can say it was Gardenhire's fault, but I don't know if that will happen.


Good list, and obviously there have been many more over the years as well. And, I'm sure the opposite can be said.

I like Gardy. I think he's done a terrific job as the Twins manager. I'm not against them going a different direction, but I would caution those that think that is the answer to all the questions, I think they'd be disappointed. I certainly haven't agreed with everything Gardy has done during his years. But, my main point is that I don't think it's fair, or right, to solely judge his managerial abilities and whether or not he should retain his job by looking at wins and losses. So, that's my question, what are those factors for others that should determine it?

MWW makes a good note that they haven't done a lot of the little things well, but I would also say that I don't think they practice them any less than they did when TK was around, so I don't know what the reasoning is.

#10 Willihammer

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 09:21 AM

Is it a fact that the Twins have not done the little things well?

#11 Seth Stohs

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 09:22 AM

If managers have so little impact, Seth, why do you care who the manager is? Why are they paid as much money as they are?


Another fair point, but obvously the manager is a part of every team, and they are paid well... that said, 1st year managers generally make less than league minimum, and even Gardy making a couple million is not that big compared to the players who have more than 3-5 years of experience.

#12 Seth Stohs

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 09:23 AM

Is it a fact that the Twins have not done the little things well?


Someone would have to study that and even determine what that means... their 'little' guys haven't bunted well. They don't always run the bases real well. Defense has been down the last several years, but that's certainly the players... So, I dont know if it's true or not.

#13 mike wants wins

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 09:24 AM

To be clear, i don't think replacing Gardy is the one, sole, answer to the problems of this team. To be clear, I think Ryan has some great strengths. I would never argue they were not key contributors and largetly the architects of the sucess of the first decade of this century. I am arguing that every organization eventualyl replaces even its great leaders, and the best organizations don't wait too long to do so.

I think the time is right on Gardy because I think this team will be largely rebuilt from the ground up over the next few years. That is a good time to bring in a new leader, to grow with the new team.
Lighten up Francis....

#14 ThePuck

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 09:27 AM

Great article Seth. Hopefully the people who want Gardy gone right now will read this and realize there is alot more to it then they think.


I've wanted Gardy gone since 2007.

#15 Winston Smith

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 09:52 AM

What has to happen on the field before it is time to make a change? We aren't talking about a guy that has won multiple world series titles. This isn't a HOF manager that has a great post season record of success. It's a manager that has won in a mostly poor division, and hasn't won a post season game since 2004.

Sometimes that old chair or sweatshirt just has to go and start new!

#16 fairweather

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 09:52 AM

It should be sink or swim. Either he makes this roster competitive from the very beginning of this season or he's gone.

#17 jmlease1

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 09:53 AM

There's a school of thought (started in the NFL, but I can't recall which coach said it) that after a 10 years or so you need to move on because the players start to tune you out. I don't know if that's true or not, but I think it's a fair concern.

I would judge Gardy this season on a few factors, and winning isn't really one of them.

1. Does the team quit on him at any point in the season? If they do, then it's probably time to make a change.

2. Does Gardenhire embrace anything new this season to try and find success for this team or does he only run out the same bag of tricks? Managers need to grow too. I don't expect him to suddenly become a different guy, but if he doesn't show any growth either, it's worth considering.

3. How well does he work with the young players? This team will need to embrace the wave of talent coming up through the minors. If he's not able to work with and develop that talent, he's probably not going to be the right fit. This is admittedly a tough category to judge on; people will tend to evaluate it more on how well the young players perform, which as Seth points out isn't necessarily right.

4. Does he lose the fans? Yep, Gardy gets judged this season on PR a bit. Look, he's one of the most recognizable faces of the organization, with a serious platform and connection to the fans. If he's not able to help keep the fans connected and convince them that this team has a future worth watching, than that's a real strike against him.

All of these things are possible. I don't think any of them are unreasonable. The difficulty is none of them are easily quantifiable.

Seth is right in that managers do get more credit than they probably deserve when the team wins and too much blame when the team loses, but at the same time a lot of the criticisms leveled at Gardy have been consistent through good times and bad and a lot of them are certainly fair. The reasoning that most other managers act the same way isn't a particularly good one for keeping someone around, especially when one of the keys to success is being better at things that others fail at.

I think Terry Ryan has a lot of these things in mind, and that's why this season is a "prove it" year for Gardy. Ryan needs to see that this is the right guy for the future. Loyalty has kept him in place this long; a lot of places would have moved on already, to placate the fan base if nothing else.

#18 DAM DC Twins Fans

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 10:01 AM

I am a Gardy fan and always have been. I think he has done a great job with a team that has not always been the most talented. Having said that--I agree with others--we are starting to build a new team around Hicks, Sano, Buxton, etc. I think after a dozen years it is time for a change--bring in a manager (Bruno??) to build this team.

More important and Seth didnt address this--get rid of Anderson--we need a better pitching coach (Cuellar?).

#19 DAM DC Twins Fans

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 10:05 AM

There's a school of thought (started in the NFL, but I can't recall which coach said it) that after a 10 years or so you need to move on because the players start to tune you out. I don't know if that's true or not, but I think it's a fair concern.


In general I agree with the comment--but not always the case--I know soccer (what the rest of the world calls football) is not a big sport here--but arguably the best manager in any team in any sport--Sir Alex Ferguson of Man. United--has been there 26 years and looks to win another title this season...

#20 twinsnorth49

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 10:20 AM

In general I agree with the comment--but not always the case--I know soccer (what the rest of the world calls football) is not a big sport here--but arguably the best manager in any team in any sport--Sir Alex Ferguson of Man. United--has been there 26 years and looks to win another title this season...


And being the richest club in the sporting universe has nothing to do with that.

#21 Badsmerf

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 10:24 AM

Anybody remember Bill Smith. Trading away Bartlett and JJ Hardy from an organization that can't develop middle infielders.

You think Gardy had no say in these moves? Gardy doesn't make all the decisions, but he does have a say in things like this.
Do or do not. There is no try.

#22 birdwatcher

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 10:49 AM

Over the years, on balance, Gardy has been regarded by the industry as being a very good manager. Does he have weaknesses? Absolutely! And some notable strengths, with clubhouse management and bullpen management most often cited.

My own opinion is that he's gotten burnt out a bit. I think he had a lousy year in 2012, and unless he bounces back in 2013, I'm going to welcome a change.

#23 JB_Iowa

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 11:06 AM

I'm in the he's "stale" camp -- and it actually doesn't have a lot to do with Gardenhire himself. I believe (and believed this long before Gardenhire was hired) that most leaders have a "shelf life" of about 7-10 years, maybe a little longer. There is a reason for term limits in politics. There is a reason that the Methodist Church used to rotate ministers about every 7 years. I've seen it happen with school superintendents, hospital administrators and a number of other "leadership" positions. After a period of time, they seem to lose their effectiveness. It isn't that they are doing anything "wrong". It just becomes time for a new voice, new energy and a different leader. Sure there are exceptions but given the performance of this team the last 2 years, a leadership -- and culture -- change is needed.

#24 Seth Stohs

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 11:08 AM

I think the time is right on Gardy because I think this team will be largely rebuilt from the ground up over the next few years. That is a good time to bring in a new leader, to grow with the new team.


I think that is a very valid reason, but again, who is brought in (or in the Twins case, brought up?)? Why? Is it Molitor, who has no record of success as a coach and no managerial success at any level? (worked with Robin Ventura, who hadn't even coached) Is it someone like Jake Mauer who all of the young players respect and admire? Is it someone like Mientkiewicz? Would they dare hire Jeff Smith (who the players can't stand)? Gene Glynn is known as a great talent evaluator, so does he serve the organization better managing in Rochester, or up in the big leagues? If winning is what people want to evaluate managers by, why not hire Ray Smith from Elizabethton?

#25 ThePuck

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 11:11 AM

I think that is a very valid reason, but again, who is brought in (or in the Twins case, brought up?)? Why? Is it Molitor, who has no record of success as a coach and no managerial success at any level? (worked with Robin Ventura, who hadn't even coached) Is it someone like Jake Mauer who all of the young players respect and admire? Is it someone like Mientkiewicz? Would they dare hire Jeff Smith (who the players can't stand)? Gene Glynn is known as a great talent evaluator, so does he serve the organization better managing in Rochester, or up in the big leagues? If winning is what people want to evaluate managers by, why not hire Ray Smith from Elizabethton?


IMO, best choice would be Ryne Sandberg.

#26 JB_Iowa

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 11:12 AM

I think that is a very valid reason, but again, who is brought in (or in the Twins case, brought up?)? Why? Is it Molitor, who has no record of success as a coach and no managerial success at any level? (worked with Robin Ventura, who hadn't even coached) Is it someone like Jake Mauer who all of the young players respect and admire? Is it someone like Mientkiewicz? Would they dare hire Jeff Smith (who the players can't stand)? Gene Glynn is known as a great talent evaluator, so does he serve the organization better managing in Rochester, or up in the big leagues? If winning is what people want to evaluate managers by, why not hire Ray Smith from Elizabethton?

And why not consider hiring someone from OUTSIDE the organization? Culture change.

#27 Seth Stohs

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 11:13 AM

I'm in the he's "stale" camp -- and it actually doesn't have a lot to do with Gardenhire himself. I believe (and believed this long before Gardenhire was hired) that most leaders have a "shelf life" of about 7-10 years, maybe a little longer. There is a reason for term limits in politics. There is a reason that the Methodist Church used to rotate ministers about every 7 years. I've seen it happen with school superintendents, hospital administrators and a number of other "leadership" positions. After a period of time, they seem to lose their effectiveness. It isn't that they are doing anything "wrong". It just becomes time for a new voice, new energy and a different leader. Sure there are exceptions but given the performance of this team the last 2 years, a leadership -- and culture -- change is needed.


Again, this is another good argument, but there are always counter-examples to this. Dean Smith at UNC, Coach K at Duke. Tony LaRussa in St. Louis. Joe Torre with the Yankees. Bruce Bochy with the Giants. In general though, I think this is a fair argument too. I just think that if you have a young team, why would they be "tuning out" the manager? They're trying to make their way in the big leagues. They certainly are going to listen to the manager and his coaching staff.

#28 Seth Stohs

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 11:15 AM

And why not consider hiring someone from OUTSIDE the organization? Culture change.


The Cubs didn't even want to hire him as their manager... although he's been an OK manager in the minors and certainly has the HOF status that so many seem to think is important.

I also get the "go outside the organization" mentality, and I get that... but that isn't going to change the culture. Only way the culture changes is if everyone from Terry Ryan to Mike Radcliff to the manager to the minor league staffs get changed, which I know many reading think should happen, but it won't. That's also not the topic of this forum.

#29 ThePuck

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 11:17 AM

The Cubs didn't even want to hire him as their manager... although he's been an OK manager in the minors and certainly has the HOF status that so many seem to think is important.

I also get the "go outside the organization" mentality, and I get that... but that isn't going to change the culture. Only way the culture changes is if everyone from Terry Ryan to Mike Radcliff to the manager to the minor league staffs get changed, which I know many reading think should happen, but it won't. That's also not the topic of this forum.


He's been a great minor league manager and the Phillies are grooming him now....we should offer him the job before they promote him

#30 twinsnorth49

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 11:18 AM

Again, this is another good argument, but there are always counter-examples to this. Dean Smith at UNC, Coach K at Duke. Tony LaRussa in St. Louis. Joe Torre with the Yankees. Bruce Bochy with the Giants. In general though, I think this is a fair argument too. I just think that if you have a young team, why would they be "tuning out" the manager? They're trying to make their way in the big leagues. They certainly are going to listen to the manager and his coaching staff.


I agree with this 100%, with what it takes to make the majors and considering the hierarchical structure at the major league level, I would think as a young player you do everything to get your manager to love you, not tune him out, that's pretty counterproductive, not to mention a pretty big gamble that he'll be gone before you are.