• 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. howieramone's Avatar
      howieramone -
      Quote Originally Posted by clutterheart View Post
      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.
      I don't believe millions of loyal and knowledgeable Twins fans were insulted. This was your average everyday interview and a confession was neither expected nor necessary. Most of us are quite familiar with coachspeak.
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by howieramone View Post
      I don't believe millions of loyal and knowledgeable Twins fans were insulted. This was your average everyday interview and a confession was neither expected nor necessary. Most of us are quite familiar with coachspeak.
      Except this was GM-speak. I don't think anyone needs a confession at this point, a rebooted resignation speech, 2.0, would work just fine for those millions of loyal and knowledgeable Twins fans who were insulted, yet again.
    1. biscuit's Avatar
      biscuit -
      Gardenhire's case reminds me of a quote from former minor league manager, Rocky Bridges, and the title of a Jim Bouton book: "I managed good, but boy did they play bad".
    1. clutterheart's Avatar
      clutterheart -
      Quote Originally Posted by howieramone View Post
      I don't believe millions of loyal and knowledgeable Twins fans were insulted. This was your average everyday interview and a confession was neither expected nor necessary. Most of us are quite familiar with coachspeak.
      Not sure I agree with you here. I think he is scapegoating and creating the old “if only we were healthy” excuse and he is hoping the fanbase buys what he is selling. If the local media was more and aggressive they would start looking into it and seeing if its true. But since this is MN, I am starting to look for the LENIII post about how Willingham gutted it out most of the year and is a better teammate because of it.
    1. josecordoba's Avatar
      josecordoba -
      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
      What's up to par mean? Pelfrey and Correia have given about 3 WAR for the Cost of $10 Million Dollars. I doubt the signings were ever made with the assumption that either would compete for CY Young Awards. If you're mad that Ryan didn't acquire a Front-Line Starter. This is a totally different discussion.
    1. TheLeviathan's Avatar
      TheLeviathan -
      I'm going to go out on a huge limb, but I don't think Willingham getting hurt tanked our playoff chances. Pretty sad that it's the best Terry has to explain this failed season. I can think of dozens of better "GM-speak" cliches that don't sound half as inane as that.
    1. ThePuck's Avatar
      ThePuck -
      Quote Originally Posted by josecordoba View Post
      What's up to par mean? Pelfrey and Correia have given about 3 WAR for the Cost of $10 Million Dollars. I doubt the signings were ever made with the assumption that either would compete for CY Young Awards. If you're mad that Ryan didn't acquire a Front-Line Starter. This is a totally different discussion.
      Not a totally different discussion at all. This article is about the state of this team. If what we've gotten from Correia and Pelfrey this year is what he expected, which is what he said, then that's a problem...then he shouldn't have signed them to begin with. As far as getting our money's worth...as a fan, why do I care? I should be happy we went out and got pitchers worth little on the FA market and they lived up to it when we needed a serious overhaul? Worst rotation in baseball.
    1. AM.'s Avatar
      AM. -
      Very positive: I read this interview and conclude that Gardy is gone. And a change is really needed. I also think that the Twins would be better off without their "interim" GM. Less optimistic about that though.

      I don't particularly trust the thinking / player evaluation of either. I think if the Twins had a manager who was pushing hard for high K or upside pitchers, the GM would more likely be pursuing them. So the roster construction falls partially on the manager, I think, too.
    1. Brock Beauchamp's Avatar
      Brock Beauchamp -
      Quote Originally Posted by AM. View Post
      I also think that the Twins would be better off without their "interim" GM.
      Short-term Twins? Sure. Long-term Twins? Eh, you'll have a hard time convincing me of that unless the GM was Epstein-esque (ie. sabr-heavy and very intelligent).

      Quote Originally Posted by AM. View Post
      I don't particularly trust the thinking / player evaluation of either. I think if the Twins had a manager who was pushing hard for high K or upside pitchers, the GM would more likely be pursuing them. So the roster construction falls partially on the manager, I think, too.
      I don't think the manager has any real control over roster construction past saying stuff like "I really like Punto, please keep him". Which is aggravating in its own right but will hardly make or break a franchise. No manager is ever going to say "I really like that Blackburn fellow, keep Clayton Kershaw in the minors".
    1. USAFChief's Avatar
      USAFChief -
      Quote Originally Posted by Brock Beauchamp View Post


      I don't think the manager has any real control over roster construction past saying stuff like "I really like Punto, please keep him". Which is aggravating in its own right but will hardly make or break a franchise. No manager is ever going to say "I really like that Blackburn fellow, keep Clayton Kershaw in the minors".
      I agree, and would go so far as to say if a manager IS overly influencing roster construction, I'd primarily blame the GM anyway. Part of any executive's job is to delegate, or not delegate, responsibilities.
    1. twinsnorth49's Avatar
      twinsnorth49 -
      Easily the most aggravating and disconcerting comment was that Correia and Pelfrey "did what you might expect". If this is what he expected, he clearly couldn't have been genuine when he said the team would compete this year, could he?

      Quite obviously if these are your two main FA SP signings and this what you expected, then you expected to lose.

      As far as Gardy goes, it's a tough read either way, I'm not sure anyone gets more than 70 wins out of this steaming pile but 3 years of 90+ in the L column and then deciding to stay the course is not the best way to excite your fan base. I'm usually not a fan of change for change sake but some fresh faces and a new direction would sure breed a little more interest for me.
    1. jay's Avatar
      jay -
      Quote Originally Posted by Kwak View Post
      Maybe Gardenhire wants out?
      I tend to think we'll see Gardy dust off the ol' TR retirement speech 1.0, which I'd be perfectly fine with. Gardy has never been known for being great at handling young players, which we'll have plenty of in short time. I'd like to see someone with a little more energy and advanced field approach.
    1. nicksaviking's Avatar
      nicksaviking -
      Why were injuries mentioned at all? The Twins were long out of any playoff race when Willingham and Mauer went down.

      The Twins were among the healthiest teams in the league at the beginning of the year.
    1. Boom Boom's Avatar
      Boom Boom -
      Quote Originally Posted by twinsnorth49 View Post
      Easily the most and disconcerting comment was that Correia and Pelfrey "did what you might expect". If this is what he expected, he clearly couldn't have been genuine when he said the team would compete this year, could he?

      Quite obviously if these are your two main FA SP signings and this what you expected, then you expected to lose.
      I get that Ryan has to say things like "pretty darn good pitcher" and "meaningful games in September" when the season is still fresh. But now that the season is over, these comments bother me as well. Honestly I'd rather he said that KC and Pelf have been disappointing, because it sounds here like he's hoping that fans don't remember the line he toed originally on these guys.
    1. ThePuck's Avatar
      ThePuck -
      Quote Originally Posted by nicksaviking View Post
      Why were injuries mentioned at all?
      Because some fans will buy that excuse.
    1. nicksaviking's Avatar
      nicksaviking -
      Quote Originally Posted by ThePuck View Post
      Because some fans will buy that excuse.
      Yup, but of course only if Ryan brings it up first for them to mull over.
    1. ThePuck's Avatar
      ThePuck -
      Quote Originally Posted by nicksaviking View Post
      Yup, but of course only if Ryan brings it up first for them to mull over.
      exactly.
    1. Halsey Hall's Avatar
      Halsey Hall -
      Quote Originally Posted by Boom Boom View Post
      I get that Ryan has to say things like "pretty darn good pitcher" and "meaningful games in September" when the season is still fresh. But now that the season is over, these comments bother me as well. Honestly I'd rather he said that KC and Pelf have been disappointing, because it sounds here like he's hoping that fans don't remember the line he toed originally on these guys.
      Correia and Pelfrey did just exactly what some expected. I think TR expected alot more. He has to be more aggressive this off season acquiring a couple decent arms than ever before.
    1. ThePuck's Avatar
      ThePuck -
      Quote Originally Posted by Halsey Hall View Post
      Correia and Pelfrey did just exactly what some expected. I think TR expected alot more. He has to be more aggressive this off season acquiring a couple decent arms than ever before.
      If Ryan expected a lot more from them, he doesn't say 'Regardless of ERA and those types of things, even Correia and Pelfrey, they’ve done what you might want to expect.” ' Well, unless you figure he often doesn't mean what he says...
    1. twinsnorth49's Avatar
      twinsnorth49 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Halsey Hall View Post
      Correia and Pelfrey did just exactly what some expected. I think TR expected alot more.
      Some? TR said they did what you would expect, where did he indicate he expected more? That would have been refreshing, if he truly did expect more it was based on hope and prayer, which I fear a repeat of.
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