• 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. Jon Marthaler's Avatar
      Jon Marthaler -
      I call unfair URL usage. Five yard SEO penalty.
    1. Parker Hageman's Avatar
      Parker Hageman -
      Grow up, JON.
    1. Shane Wahl's Avatar
      Shane Wahl -
      Much ado.

      He is going to be back. I guarantee it. I would have fired him last offseason, but I am not Terry Ryan.
    1. ChiTownTwinsFan's Avatar
      ChiTownTwinsFan -
      If he were going to be back, why wait to say so? Waiting to say what's what is just delaying the inevitable, imo.
    1. ThePuck's Avatar
      ThePuck -
      My favorite quote: ' Regardless of ERA and those types of things, even Correia and Pelfrey, they’ve done what you might want to expect.”'

      yeah, those pesky ERAs and other things that evaluate how a pitcher does...if it wasn't for them, people would say they did great. Apprently the scouts told him they've been better than their numbers suggest :-)

      And yes, besides allowing a boatload of inherited runs, the bullpen has been decent.

      My favorite line: 'Ryan suggested that injuries to key players played a substantial role in the Twins’ third consecutive losing season '

      SUBSTANTIAL role? Blaming this season on injuries is just funny...no team goes without injuries...no team should fold because a guy or two misses some time. This kind of losing is what happens when you put this kind of rotation together backed up by too many guys that either aren't ready for the show or never will be ready for the show.

      He focuses on the offensive issues and kind of sidesteps the rotation issues (besides sort of patting himself on the back for the, um, er, success of Correia and Pelfrey)which are even worse and which HE SAID he'd do everything possible to make substantially better.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      Such a depressingly sad series of quotes.
    1. Tcrose3636's Avatar
      Tcrose3636 -
      I would be pretty pissed off if I were Gardy if Ryan fires him. Look at the **** he has had to work with the past 3 years because of Smith/Ryan. If Ryan lets him go just before the top talent comes up, I think it would be a disservice to him. Struggle through 3 talentless teams, I think Gardy gets 1 or 2 years with good players. If he can't get back to the playoffs, then let him go but at least give him a decent rotation and more than 4 regulars in the everyday line up to work with.
    1. rickyriolo's Avatar
      rickyriolo -
      i believe TR brings Gardy back. Why? Because TR believes no one could win with the roster that he himself put together. But it will be a 1 year deal with team option for year 2
    1. ThePuck's Avatar
      ThePuck -
      Quote Originally Posted by rickyriolo View Post
      i believe TR brings Gardy back. Why? Because TR believes no one could win with the roster that he himself put together. But it will be a 1 year deal with team option for year 2
      Maybe TR shouldn't bring himself back then, since he wants to shoulder all the blame.
    1. rickyriolo's Avatar
      rickyriolo -
      I agree with you Puck but not my call
    1. Hosken Bombo Disco's Avatar
      Hosken Bombo Disco -
      Not sure why its controversial to fire an underperforming manager.
    1. Tcrose3636's Avatar
      Tcrose3636 -
      Quote Originally Posted by ThePuck View Post
      Maybe TR shouldn't bring himself back then, since he wants to shoulder all the blame.
      This is a good statement and question. TR has done well with the minor leagues but refuses to spend any kind of money in FA. How long does he get a pass for not making the MLB club better, we saw what another GM could do and we didn't like that. Is this a stretch of years were we as fans have to be patient until the minor league prospect come up and then judge who stays or goes? Lots and lots of question about this team, managers, and in the FO.
    1. Tcrose3636's Avatar
      Tcrose3636 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Hosken Bombo Disco View Post
      Not sure why its controversial to fire an underperforming manager.
      Maybe he is not underperforming. With the roster he has, maybe this is all he can get out of it. If he had something that resembled a MLB starting rotation, maybe he would be back in the Playoffs.
    1. Alex's Avatar
      Alex -
      Quote Originally Posted by Tcrose3636 View Post
      Maybe he is not underperforming. With the roster he has, maybe this is all he can get out of it. If he had something that resembled a MLB starting rotation, maybe he would be back in the Playoffs.
      So you're saying if he had better players he'd manage better?
    1. Alex's Avatar
      Alex -
      Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
      Such a depressingly sad series of quotes.
      I agree. It comes across as pathetic excuse making and just not owning up. I'm sure it's because he can't just come out and say he made huge mistakes, but anyone should be able to read between the lines here -- that or he comes across as pretty mule-headed about the real reasons the Twins are terrible.

      I'd like to see how the Twins actually rank up when looking at injuries. I mean, relatively recent injuries (like those to Deduno and Mauer) occurred after the wheels had come off. The team has been incredibly healthy at almost every spot, especially when compared to two years ago. Willingham is the only exception, and he'll still end up with 500 PAs, not to mention he's not a 10 win guy.

      The bottom line is that there went into this season aging players who looked older this, hopes at 3B and RF that missed, a rookie CF who was not at all prepared, a 1B who was a shell of his former self, and a starting staff that was a lottery ticket where the max win was $10.
    1. Marta Shearing's Avatar
      Marta Shearing -
      The disturbing thing is that if he's replaced it will just be someone in the gardenhire mold. I wouldnt be a bit sueprised if it was ullger. In that case they'd be better off sticking with gardy.
    1. Kwak's Avatar
      Kwak -
      Maybe Gardenhire wants out?

      Change is inevitable. Ryan is correct in pointing-out that the talent level is such that any manager would struggle--but let's not be deceived that Gardenhire was a helpless pawn with regard to the roster. The pitching philosophy, whatever catchwords you prefer, was a part of Gardenhire's input and was most definitely enforced to the detriment of any pitcher who disagreed. Twins' pitchers have a poor K/game ratio--and suffer because of it. But (at least this year) the Twins' hitters have an equally poor K/game ratio--and suffer just as much. Any baseball manager (field or general) should see these deficiencies and seek to correct them--but I haven't heard a peep from either Ryan or Gardenhire! They can all they want about getting ahead in the count and getting ground-balls, but if there is darn little threat of being struck-out the opponents just cherry-pick the pitches. Inversely the hitters strike-out so often that scoring is made really difficult--the OBP of a K is less than .01!
    1. Danchat's Avatar
      Danchat -
      Look, I love Gardy, I think he's a great coach, but he needs to go. I think Rick Anderson and TR's theory of "let's strike NOBODY out!" has really wrecked the rotation. Instead of signing pitchers who have a little risk and a chance to be good, we signed the most conservative non-strikeout pitchers money could buy. Look, I'd much rather can TR than Gardy. But Anderson has to go, and if Gardy will leave with him, so be it.
    1. jimbo92107's Avatar
      jimbo92107 -
      Gardenhire brings in a pitcher, pitcher gives up a bunch of runs. Gardenhire brings in a new position player, player hits under .240.

      Solution? Fire Gardenhire. Heck, all the next manager needs to do is bring in players that play better. What could be simpler than that?
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Quote Originally Posted by Tcrose3636 View Post
      I would be pretty pissed off if I were Gardy if Ryan fires him. Look at the **** he has had to work with the past 3 years because of Smith/Ryan. If Ryan lets him go just before the top talent comes up, I think it would be a disservice to him. Struggle through 3 talentless teams, I think Gardy gets 1 or 2 years with good players. If he can't get back to the playoffs, then let him go but at least give him a decent rotation and more than 4 regulars in the everyday line up to work with.

      a. 2011 was the same team practically as the 2010, other than the differences in the middle infield that Gardenhire himself wanted (remember Gardy's 'we need more speed up the middle' quotes, which he used to justify why he did not like Hardy.) Add the ostracizing of Slowey and sticking with Blackburn & Duensing in the rotation, which was a Gardy & Andy and not a Smith thing, and Gardy is probably more responsible than Smith for 2011

      b. Gardy had good teams, including a team that had both the Cy Young and MVP award winners, and he did nothing other than his trademark 3 and out. He had 13 seasons.

      It is more than time for him to go away. Bert looks like he is getting a bit too tired/bored with the broadcast and taking half of the games off, and Gardy would be a perfect replacement. Problem solved
      ---

      That said, Ryan's quotes suggest that either he and reality have no connection or he is a plain liar. To say that Pelfrey and Correia were alright and the issues with this season are because the Mauer and Willingham injuries, adds a major intellectual insult to the injury his product has caused to the Twins' fans. Who can take him seriously after those statements? But I suspect a lot of people still taking him seriously after blaming 2012 on Jerry and Stelly and rearranged the rest of the stairs.

      Needed changes will be made for 2014 (like last season.) Maybe Scotty will be the pitching coach (the only position he did not have,) Andy the third base coach, Vavry the bench coach and Steiny the first base coach. That would solve all problems.

      I cannot see how anyone can trust Ryan. He has to go first and foremost for this team to compete.
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