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  • Terry Ryan Discusses Ron Gardenhire's Future

    Ron Gardenhire is well on his way to his third-straight 90-loss season but Terry Ryan is not tipping his hand on whether or not the game’s second-longest tenured manager will be back in Minnesota in 2014.

    On with MLB Network Radio’s Power Alley show, Ryan suggested that injuries to key players played a substantial role in the Twins’ third consecutive losing season but he also shouldered a lot of the blame for the current state of the team.

    “It’s been a difficult year in a lot of areas. We’ve had some injuries and certainly losing a few of these guys for stretches hasn’t helped, particularly a guy like Willingham,” Ryan told Mike Ferrin and Jim Duquette on Thursday. “And now Mauer’s down. It seems like we’ve had one big piece here missing.”

    Willingham, who was a force in the middle of the Twins’ lineup in 2013, has missed 38 games in this season due to injuries and repair the meniscus in his knee. Because of the knee-related issues, when he was on the field, he hit a career-worst .210/.348/.385 in 425 plate appearances, a vast majority of those while hitting either third (232) or clean-up (179). Meanwhile Mauer, who had been the team’s best offensive contributor in 2013, has not seen action since August 19th and has missed now 22 games and counting.

    Of course, Ryan says, injuries are not special to just the Twins.

    “We have some good things happen here,” said Ryan, addressing some of what he viewed as positives. “Record-wise isn’t one of them but there are some things here – our bullpen has been pretty good up until, you know, when you overexpose those guys they’re gonna start to falter some, but they’ve been pretty good. And Perkins has anchored that bullpen staff. Regardless of ERA and those types of things, even Correia and Pelfrey, they’ve done what you might want to expect.”

    One aspect of the team’s performance that Ryan called out was the offense’s inability to score runs, a byproduct of having a .228 average with runners in scoring position.

    “And some of the offense has been my major concern because we haven’t scored runs,” Ryan noted. “We have had people all over out there and we just haven’t got them in. Now I have to take full responsibility for the roster and Gardy has continued to work and grind and his coaches are tremendous workers. So you take all that into consideration and I’m still at the point now when the season concludes we’ll sit down and figure this out and then we’ll move forward.”

    Ferrin then pressed Ryan, asking him pointblank if the team is leaning one way or another but Ryan deferred.

    “Yeah, that is going to have to wait, Mike. It’s one of those things where I’ve promised ownership and our people here and Gardy and the staff down there that once the season concludes we’ll get together and make a final call.”

    Ryan remains mum on Gardenhire's status but this winter figures to be a busy offseason -- one that could include finding Gardy's replacement.
    This article was originally published in blog: Terry Ryan Discusses Ron Gardenhire's Future started by Parker Hageman
    Comments 81 Comments
    1. Winston Smith's Avatar
      Winston Smith -
      A Ryan question, where do they sit on spending the allowed Int. signing money? I know he spent some of it but I thought a lot was still left. Ryan said he'd spend it all, just wondering.
    1. josecordoba's Avatar
      josecordoba -
      My favorite quote: ' Regardless of ERA and those types of things, even Correia and Pelfrey, they’ve done what you might want to expect"
      Ryan is of course correct. Unless one happens to think that Team Defense has no impact on a pitcher's outcome. Which would lead one to believe that Bruce Chen has been a better pitcher this year then Justin Verlander.
    1. old nurse's Avatar
      old nurse -
      Quote Originally Posted by Winston Smith View Post
      A Ryan question, where do they sit on spending the allowed Int. signing money? I know he spent some of it but I thought a lot was still left. Ryan said he'd spend it all, just wondering.
      I do believe there are about 9 months left in the signing period, what is the rush. Was there a quote somewhere that said he was done signing prospects?
    1. ThePuck's Avatar
      ThePuck -
      Quote Originally Posted by josecordoba View Post
      Ryan is of course correct. Unless one happens to think that Team Defense has no impact on a pitcher's outcome. Which would lead one to believe that Bruce Chen has been a better pitcher this year then Justin Verlander.
      You think it's just ERA that show they haven't been up to par? He said 'ERA AND those type of things'. Did you see my response to that quote?

      If you wanna blame it all on defense, well, look at their FIPs. Not that great either.

      ...oh, and maybe if it's defense that is the big probelm, and it is a big problem, he should maybe take some blame for that too...maybe he should have also taken the defense into account when he decided to get a bunch of pitchers who need to rely very heavily on defense to be successful
    1. MarshalltheIrish's Avatar
      MarshalltheIrish -
      There's no question Gardy should go. As if three straight losing seasons of this caliber weren't bad enough, let's not forget he has a hideous 12-game playoff losing streak under his belt as well. The team has failed in every way under his tenure, even with the some successes like the division titles. If they truly want to rebuild I think they'd benefit not only from a new manager next year, but one from the outside. My top pick is Dave Martinez, the bench coach for the Tampa Bay Rays. He's been on the staff for all these great and resourceful Rays teams, and age and career-wise I think he'd be poised to take on a managerial job. In any case, it's time for Gardy to walk.
    1. Alex's Avatar
      Alex -
      Quote Originally Posted by ThePuck View Post
      You think it's just ERA that show they haven't been up to par? He said 'ERA AND those type of things'. Did you see my response to that quote?

      If you wanna blame it all on defense, well, look at their FIPs. Not that great either.

      ...oh, and maybe if it's defense that is the big probelm, and it is a big problem, he should maybe take some blame for that too...maybe he should have also taken the defense into account when he decided to get a bunch of pitchers who need to rely very heavily on defense to be successful
      An interesting comparisons might've to look at last year's defense vs. this year's. The OF wasn't as good without Span and Revere, but up the middle infield was improved greatly -- best combo In the league by some metrics.

      So, I'm not convinced the "it's not the pitcher's fault" really flies.
    1. ThePuck's Avatar
      ThePuck -
      Quote Originally Posted by Alex View Post
      An interesting comparisons might've to look at last year's defense vs. this year's. The OF wasn't as good without Span and Revere, but up the middle infield was improved greatly -- best combo In the league by some metrics.

      So, I'm not convinced the "it's not the pitcher's fault" really flies.
      Truth is...we have failed horribly in every aspect of the game...every...single...aspect. Even the bullpen, though overworked for sure and with a decent ERA, has failed when it comes to inherited runners scoring...which is a pretty important part of relieving.
    1. Alex's Avatar
      Alex -
      Quote Originally Posted by ThePuck View Post
      Truth is...we have failed horribly in every aspect of the game...every...single...aspect. Even the bullpen, though overworked for sure and with a decent ERA, has failed when it comes to inherited runners scoring...which is a pretty important part of relieving.
      I don't disagree with the exception of 2B, C, and CL
    1. ThePuck's Avatar
      ThePuck -
      Quote Originally Posted by Alex View Post
      I don't disagree with the exception of 2B, C, and CL
      True, but I meant as a team...as a whole.
    1. D. Hocking's Avatar
      D. Hocking -
      I don't necessarily blame Gardy for the losing seasons, but I do think it is time for some fresh blood. Last year when they made the changes it seems like they were shuffling the deck of the cards they already had; fire the trainer promote his assistant. Even Terry Ryan -- I kind of wish they would have explored looking for someone on the outside to get some fresh perspective and ideas. I think in general the hiring from within is not a bad thing, but after 20 years you do need to shake it up a little.

      Semi-related, I wonder if Terry really has permission to spend more like he says, or if the Pohlads are singing a different tune behind the scenes.
    1. cmb0252's Avatar
      cmb0252 -
      Quote Originally Posted by D. Hocking View Post
      I don't necessarily blame Gardy for the losing seasons, but I do think it is time for some fresh blood. Last year when they made the changes it seems like they were shuffling the deck of the cards they already had; fire the trainer promote his assistant. Even Terry Ryan -- I kind of wish they would have explored looking for someone on the outside to get some fresh perspective and ideas. I think in general the hiring from within is not a bad thing, but after 20 years you do need to shake it up a little.

      Semi-related, I wonder if Terry really has permission to spend more like he says, or if the Pohlads are singing a different tune behind the scenes.
      Great post. I like the idea of rewarding people from within the franchise but at some point you have to go outside of the organization. I like Gardy and thank him for all he has done for the franchise but I think we need a new leader.
    1. jorgenswest's Avatar
      jorgenswest -
      Terry states disappointment about the offense, but he should have known. The drop in offensive production was in the projections last November. That was even prior to the Span and Revere trades.

      A portion of this blog entry detailed the concern about the offense.

      Projecting the Twins: Early 2013 ZIPS - Blogs - Minnesota Twins News & Rumors Forum

      The Twins did nothing in the offseason to address the offense. It's production should not be a surprise. With an OPS+ of 92 the offense has contributed at least as much to the poor record as the pitching.
    1. D. Hocking's Avatar
      D. Hocking -
      Quote Originally Posted by jorgenswest View Post
      Terry states disappointment about the offense, but he should have known.
      I don't necessarily think Terry should go, but he gave an interview last spring that really rubbed me the wrong way. It was when the Twins were still above 500 well past the time people thought they would be. When he asked if he was surprised -- he seemed irritated and said he expected more. Now I can see why he would say that, but from his tone he seemed really irritated that anyone would think they were not better than a 500 team. I wanted to shout through the radio, have you seen your roster? There was something about his tone that came off both a little arrogant and a little in denial about the true talent level of the team he had put together - like he really felt he had put together a team that could and should produce a winning record. I think things started to go south less than a week after that interview.
    1. Kwak's Avatar
      Kwak -
      Quote Originally Posted by D. Hocking View Post
      I don't necessarily blame Gardy for the losing seasons, but I do think it is time for some fresh blood. Last year when they made the changes it seems like they were shuffling the deck of the cards they already had; fire the trainer promote his assistant. Even Terry Ryan -- I kind of wish they would have explored looking for someone on the outside to get some fresh perspective and ideas. I think in general the hiring from within is not a bad thing, but after 20 years you do need to shake it up a little.

      Semi-related, I wonder if Terry really has permission to spend more like he says, or if the Pohlads are singing a different tune behind the scenes.
      Remember the comment about Ryan not spending all that was authorized? Do you think other teams hang their GM out to dry for "underspending"? I don't. I think it was an empty statement that was intended to obscure the spending issue and place it squarely on Ryan. Before the season started St.Peter was interviewed and stated that "[they]" were comfortable with a budget of $80-$85MM. So if Ryan "underspent" it was by about 3-4% of the plan--and not some massive amount that would have netted another "top" player.

      Yes, I believe that ownership is setting the spending parameters, but also that Ryan is in agreement with those parameters. I never truly accepted the "burnt-out" statement concerning his relinquishing the GM role either. Recall that when Hunter and Santana left there was a huge drop in payroll--and that it was no accident that there was no major free agent signing. Livan Hernandez (at $5MM) would not qualify!
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      Ryan did not sign Hunter or Santana, and quit before Mauer needed signing.....do people think that is a coincidence?
    1. howieramone's Avatar
      howieramone -
      Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
      Ryan did not sign Hunter or Santana, and quit before Mauer needed signing.....do people think that is a coincidence?
      I know I do. When you have a job that millions want but only 30 have, there is never a good time to quit.
    1. Kwak's Avatar
      Kwak -
      Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
      Ryan did not sign Hunter or Santana, and quit before Mauer needed signing.....do people think that is a coincidence?
      Most GMs go through baseball hell in order to even be considered for GM, so leaving is "unexpected"--unless it's a promotion like McPhail received.
    1. RodneyKline's Avatar
      RodneyKline -
      It is not Gardenhire's fault because he was not given good players and he didn't decide to spend only $70m on payroll. Injuries were not that big of an issue this year like it was last year. The failure is 100% on the GM. The team that was sold to us as competitive was a 90 loss team all along and almost all of us knew that. Shame on the fans for buying so many tickets to see this fraud.
    1. Rosterman's Avatar
      Rosterman -
      Scott Ullger will get his year!
    1. clutterheart's Avatar
      clutterheart -
      Injuries? Ryan is playing the injury card?
      How can he be so disingenuous? The starting pitching staff that he created is the worst in the league. Willingham has been unable to stay healthy for most of his career. Mauer was hurt when the season was already over. He rushed Hicks because he traded away all of his CF'ers. He had no plan B for a non-productive Plouffe. He constructed a line-up full of mostly high strike out guys.

      The fault of this season is Ryan's and Ryan's alone.
      Gardy has his issues, and probably it would be good to let him go but Ryan is the one who is tarnishing his legacy by insulting the fan base.
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