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Article: Big Year for the Manager

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#41 twinsnorth49

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 02:27 PM

Well, I went back and looked at the records of many of the long term coaches named in twinsnorth49's post. 2 things jumped out at me: 1. most (if not all) did not have the same mid to late-career abysmal failure that Gardenhire has had the last 2 years (they were some downward trends but nothing like the win-loss % Gardenhire has had); and 2. Many of them did not have significantly more than Gardenhire's current 11 seasons with one team. And when they did have several consecutive down seasons, it looks like many of them either resigned or were fired.


Most of those coaches struggled in their final year, a couple of them the last two.

I don't think the downward trend the last two season's are on Gardy, I'm OK with the "it may be time for a change" movement but not based on the last two years, especially considering the SP we've had.

As far as the length of tenure of the other coaches approaching that of Gardy, with one team, Sloan coached the Jazz for 22 years, Lindy Ruff coached the Sabres for 16 years, Bud Grant coached the Vikes for 18 years, Reid was the Head man with the Eagles for 13 seasons and Schembechler coached at Michigan for 21 years.

Levy, Reeves and Knox all had about the same tenure as Gardy has now.

Edited by twinsnorth49, 21 February 2013 - 02:31 PM.


#42 CDog

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 03:06 PM

On the topic of whether players tune the manager out after some length of time...

From the 2010 team there are FOUR position players still with the organization. Two of them are Drew Butera and Trevor Plouffe who barely played in 2010. There are THREE pitchers left from 2010, one of whom is Glen Perkins who pitched only 21.2 innings that year.

From 2011, the only position player added is Parmelee (who had only his September callup that year, I'm fairly sure). And for pitchers you only add Swarzak plus two guys who got spot action (Diamond and Hendriks). So I don't think burnout of players on the roster being over-exposed to Gardenhire and his message is really a major issue.

#43 FrodaddyG

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 03:35 PM

That wasn't your question but feel free to keep moving the target.The point was there are plenty of coaches/managers who have held tenure without having the good fortune of finding the Holy Grail, reason being they were quality people and by all other measures successful. The same could be said for many players.

For the record I'm not saying Gardy should stay, change inevitably happens, as it should. If one of the main arguements for firing him is that he has never delivered a championship, then I say that's pretty short sighted and too convenient.

I'd say a sample of a dozen years is a pretty acceptable sample size. It isn't just that he hasn't won a championship, it's that the team hasn't even been competitive in the postseason. The reason the guys you listed were on there is because their teams looked like actual contenders when they hit the postseason. Levy went to multiple Super Bowls, ditto Grant, ditto Reeves. Reid went to one SB, and multiple NFC championship games. Knox went to multiple NFC Championships. Schembechler won multiple Rose Bowls in a time when winning the Rose Bowl still meant something. Ruff sports a winning percentage over .550 in the postseason.

Guys like that stick around because of results, and when they don't perform, they get the boot in short order. (See: Reeves, Dan. NY Giants coach.)

#44 FrodaddyG

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 03:36 PM

Most of those coaches struggled in their final year, a couple of them the last two.

Hmmm... something about that sounds familiar to this discussion...

#45 bcntwinsfan

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 03:50 PM

You think Gardy had no say in these moves? Gardy doesn't make all the decisions, but he does have say in things like this.


He might have thought Garza was a head case but I'm pretty sure he didn't propose trading Bartlett and Garza for Delmon Young. And I would bet my life on his not having anything to do with the Ramos for Capps trade. Bill Smith makes David Kahn look like Steven Hawkins. Insert black hole joke here.

#46 bcntwinsfan

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 03:53 PM

Managers have input on who they don't want on their team but they have nothing to do with trades.

#47 CDog

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 03:55 PM

And I would bet my life on his not having anything to do with the Ramos for Capps trade.


I'd be careful about life-betting on that one. I don't have any inside info on who thought what or who was pushing things, but I do know Gardenhire sure seems to be a "proven closer" guy.

#48 Riverbrian

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 03:59 PM

I'd be careful about life-betting on that one. I don't have any inside info on who thought what or who was pushing things, but I do know Gardenhire sure seems to be a "proven closer" guy.


Yeah... Think about that... Betting your life over Matt Capps. It just doesn't seem like a noble end.

#49 twinsnorth49

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 04:22 PM

Any examples of long-tenured guys who didn't win championships at any point in those runs?


I'd say a sample of a dozen years is a pretty acceptable sample size. It isn't just that he hasn't won a championship, it's that the team hasn't even been competitive in the postseason. The reason the guys you listed were on there is because their teams looked like actual contenders when they hit the postseason. Levy went to multiple Super Bowls, ditto Grant, ditto Reeves. Reid went to one SB, and multiple NFC championship games. Knox went to multiple NFC Championships. Schembechler won multiple Rose Bowls in a time when winning the Rose Bowl still meant something. Ruff sports a winning percentage over .550 in the postseason.

Guys like that stick around because of results, and when they don't perform, they get the boot in short order. (See: Reeves, Dan. NY Giants coach.)


I don't disagree with any of this, I was just responding to your initial question above, which you have now slightly altered. It just points out that there have been many coaches and managers that have lasted despite not winning it all and rightfully so.

Like I said, Im not necessarily advocating Gardy should stay, I just said that there are plenty of examples of long term coaches sticking that failed to meet what so people believe to be the gold standard. By the same token, there are probably just as many coaches who have won championships that bought them way too much currency to stick around unsuccessfully afterwards.

#50 bcntwinsfan

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 04:24 PM

Yeah... Think about that... Betting your life over Matt Capps. It just doesn't seem like a noble end.


Yeah I'm sure he said to Billy, why don't we trade our consensus number two prospect on a closer that the mighty Pirates DFA'd the year before. Don't want to get into a sabr metrics argument but his peripherals pegged him as a league average middle reliever at best. It's not Capp's fault that Bill Smith is an idiot. Why do you think Ryan came back? I could sell that idiot Smith a bridge in Brooklyn.

#51 FrodaddyG

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 04:31 PM

I don't disagree with any of this, I was just responding to your initial question above, which you have now slightly altered. It just points out that there have been many coaches and managers that have lasted despite not winning it all and rightfully so.

Like I said, Im not necessarily advocating Gardy should stay, I just said that there are plenty of examples of long term coaches sticking that failed to meet what so people believe to be the gold standard. By the same token, there are probably just as many coaches who have won championships that bought them way too much currency to stick around unsuccessfully afterwards.

The initial response was in reply to Seth's list, which had entirely guys who had won the pinnacle of their sports.

When you throw out the list you did, then it begs the question: Why did they stick around if they didn't win a championship? That prompted the ensuing responses. Those guys were competitive in both the regular season and the postseason, and when they weren't, they retired or got fired. At this point, Gardy is a decade removed from being "competitive" (or as close as they've been in his run) in the postseason, and two years removed from even being competitive in the regular season.

Better coaches than Gardy have been fired for less of a downturn in their team's fortunes. I mean, Dan Reeves went to three Super Bowl in four years, then got fired after going 8-8 three years later.

#52 johnnydakota

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 04:31 PM

Seth mentioned , for a culture change it needs to be a complete sweep from the instructional leaques to the front office ....totally agree, but for me it is more important to have the best teachers in the game at the lower levels, why do we have mlb players who cant hit a cutoff man or know how to bunt or steal a base?im guessing joe will be the next manager as a player manager and jake will be his bench coach....so if we are going to improve it needs to be in the minors in develpoing players and in drafting and scouting

#53 bcntwinsfan

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 04:33 PM

Little known fact. During the winter GM meetings they have the winter manager's meetings at a Super 8 motel in Cedar Rapids. That's where the big moves are made.

#54 ashburyjohn

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 05:13 PM

Bill Smith makes David Kahn look like Steven Hawkins.


LaTroy's little brother?

Insert black hole joke here.


Or wheelchair joke or voice-synthesizer joke, but maybe that's just me. Imagine the digitized voice offering "well then, how about Ramos for Capps?"

#55 bcntwinsfan

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 05:20 PM

I'm trade marking this. A brief history of untimely trades. If the Twins weren't such a loyal organization, Billy would be scouting in East Timor.

#56 Riverbrian

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 05:28 PM

Yeah I'm sure he said to Billy, why don't we trade our consensus number two prospect on a closer that the mighty Pirates DFA'd the year before. Don't want to get into a sabr metrics argument but his peripherals pegged him as a league average middle reliever at best. It's not Capp's fault that Bill Smith is an idiot. Why do you think Ryan came back? I could sell that idiot Smith a bridge in Brooklyn.


I agree... None of this is Capp's Fault...

However, I'm not sure that you can insulate Gardenhire from front office decisions. The GM has the final say... I'm sure... but... it would be kind of a disfunctional operation if you didn't get input from the manager on team needs going forward.

I don't know for sure but I would be very surprised if Gardy's input was shut out of any or all discussions.

Bill Smith: "Gardy... We are in a playoff race... What do we need"
Gardy: "We need a closer to get us to the playoffs"
Bill Smith: "I could bring in Capps... The Nationals are shopping him... They'd like Ramos"
Gardy: "Ramos won't help us much this year and the playoffs are in our grasp... I need a closer".

I'm sure that the assistent GM and scouts are asked opinions... The Owners with the budget... All of it gets run together and the GM filters it and makes the final decision.

All in All... I'd be shocked if Gardy's input isn't a very large part of roster construction. I assume that sometimes Gardy will have to swallow some stuff he isn't comfortable with but I also assume that most of the time the GM tries to get Gardy what he asks for.

All assumptions on my part.

#57 ThePuck

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 05:29 PM

I agree... None of this is Capp's Fault...

However, I'm not sure that you can insulate Gardenhire from front office decisions. The GM has the final say... I'm sure... but... it would be kind of a disfunctional operation if you didn't get input from the manager on team needs going forward.

I don't know for sure but I would be very surprised if Gardy's input was shut out of any or all discussions.

Bill Smith: "Gardy... We are in a playoff race... What do we need"
Gardy: "We need a closer to get us to the playoffs"
Bill Smith: "I could bring in Capps... The Nationals are shopping him... They'd like Ramos"
Gardy: "Ramos won't help us much this year and the playoffs are in our grasp... I need a closer".

I'm sure that the assistent GM and scouts are asked opinions... The Owners with the budget... All of it gets run together and the GM filters it and makes the final decision.

All in All... I'd be shocked if Gardy's input isn't a very large part of roster construction. I assume that sometimes Gardy will have to swallow some stuff he isn't comfortable with but I also assume that most of the time the GM tries to get Gardy what he asks for.

All assumptions on my part.


funny thing is, at that point of the season, we had lost ONE game in which Rauch was brought in to SAVE a game.

#58 bcntwinsfan

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 05:37 PM

Wow. I managed to include Steven Hawkins and (indirectly) Noam Chomsky in a baseball thread. Lets play six degrees of Marx (Karl not Groucho)

#59 bcntwinsfan

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 05:44 PM

Gardy's input is who he doesn't want on the team (think Lohse) and what type of player (supposed closer etc.) he does want. But he has no say on who gets traded to get that player.

#60 bcntwinsfan

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Posted 21 February 2013 - 05:49 PM

Think Moneyball