• Ken Rosenthal Reporting Gardenhire Extended Two Years

    Terry Ryan has promised a quick decision on Minnesota Twins manager Ron Gardenhire, and presumably the rest of the coaching staff, very soon after the season ended. Update, 11:02 AM: This morning, Ken Rosenthal tweeted that the Twins will retain Gardenhire and it is believed to be a 2-year deal. Update 11:36: Mike Berardino tweets that the entire coaching staff will be retained so Rick Anderson will be back too. The Twins have also scheduled a 2:30PM press conference.

    Gardenhire’s Major League playing career was entirely as a New York Met. He played shorstop there for five seasons, finishing with 710 AB and a .232 batting average. In 1986 he was traded to the Twins where he played one year in AAA before joining the Twins as a manager of their class A team in 1988. He managed two additional years in the minors before joining the Twins as a third base coach in 1991.

    He took over as Twins manager in 2002, following the retirement of Tom Kelly. Gardenhire led the Twins to their first playoff appearance since 1991 and a trip to the American League Championship Series. He was recognized for his work with a 3rd place finish for the American League Manger of the Year award.

    The rest of the decade held more of the same. Gardenhire’s teams made the playoffs five more times between 2003 and 2010 and missed one other in 2008 because of a "Game 163" loss. During that stretch, Gardenhire was recognized six times with Manager Of The Year votes, finishing second five times and winning the award in 2010.

    But he never led the team to another playoff series victory, compiling a 2-15 record in those five other appearances. And after a decade of success, the Twins have floundered since 2011; they lost 90+ games for their 3rd consecutive year in 2013. Last offseason, Gardenhire was not offered a contract extension through the 2014 season, so the Twins had no financial commitment beyond Sunday’s final regular season game.

    Rick Anderson broke into the majors with the Mets in 1986, serving both as a starter and a reliever, posting a 2.72 ERA over 15 games, but recoding just 3.8 K/9 IP. He was traded to the Royals as part of a package for David Cone prior to the 1987 season and pitched parts of two years with Kansas City.

    By 1989, he had joined Gardenhire in the Twins organization, serving as a pitching coach at the rookie league level. He gradually moved his way up through the Twins minor league system, including seven years in the Twins AAA affiliate. His success stories in the minors include teaching Brad Radke a different changeup grip that helped lead to his success. When Ron Gardenhire was named Twins manager, Anderson was named the pitching coach.

    But the relationship between Gardenhire and Anderson went back much further than 2002. They were roommates in the Mets minor leagues. In fact, Gardenhire claims he has an article from 1984 where Gardenhire said “Someday I’m going to be managing in the major leagues and Rick Anderson is going to be my pitching coach.”

    The Twins pitching staff experienced a great deal of success in the first few years under Anderson. In 2001, the Twins had a 4.51 ERA, 7th in the AL. It shrunk to 4.12, good for 6th in the AL in his first year. And in 2004 it was down to 4.03, lowest in the American League. That success continued through 2007.

    Anderson’s pitching staffs were characterized by their control. The Twins had the lowest walk total in the American League each year from 2004 through 2010, with the exception of 2007 – when they were second. It wasn’t until 2011, when the team lost 99 games, that they dropped out of the top three in that category under Anderson.

    But the Twins pitching has floundered in recent years, finishing 29th, 28th and 29th in ERA over the last three years. And while the staff has remained above average in limiting walks, they also been near the bottom of the league in strikeouts, including being the only MLB team with less than 1000 strikeouts this year.

    If the Gardenhire-Anderson era had ended this week, it will still be one of the most successful eras of the organization. Over 12 years, they collected 998 regular season wins and a .513 winning percentage. They also celebrated winning a division crown six times, a tally that no other Twins team of any era can match.
    This article was originally published in blog: Gardy And Andy: Will They Stay Or Will They Go? started by John Bonnes
    Comments 85 Comments
    1. Pius Jefferson's Avatar
      Pius Jefferson -
      If they stay than I'm going.
    1. josecordoba's Avatar
      josecordoba -
      The more I've thought about this. What I would like to see happen is

      A. Gardenhire be hired away by another team.
      B. The Twins choose a new manager.

      I wouldn't be all that upset about keeping Gardenhire. His track record up through 2009- speaks well about his ability as a manager. He should also be given credit for keeping the Clubhouse together in the midst of three straight bad seasons. I'm wondering if many of his most vocal detractors were making the same claims of TK needing to go before 2001. The reality for Gardenhire is he just didn't have the talent, the last few years. Seriously look at the starting rotation and the average September line-up. Guys like Maddon or Francona couldn't win with the Twins current roster. Gardy will get hired elsewhere and probably do a good job.

      I just feel that overtime a new perspective in any organization is worthwhile. In my line of work the saying goes that after 5-7 years, people stop listening. While I'm not going to blame Gardy for losing games with guys like Eric Fryer. I do wonder about things like Hicks' and Gibson's development at the Big-League Level. I realize it's simplistic to blame just the manager for this. Yet with the new wave of talent coming soon, a change could be beneficial for both parties.
    1. pierre75275's Avatar
      pierre75275 -
      Phil Mackey has said its more likely Gardy will sign a two yr extension today then not
    1. pierre75275's Avatar
      pierre75275 -
      And not to nitpik or anything but its actually been 3 years of 95 plus losses
    1. Badsmerf's Avatar
      Badsmerf -
      I want to see them both gone, but Anderson more than Gardy. His time is up. Not a single guy has gotten better under him in years, the K/9 rate is hideous, and he refuses to keep pace with the evolution of the game. Gardy can be thrown in there too, but his impact is limited to who plays and when.
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      If the Gardenhire-Anderson era ends this week, it will still be one of the most successful eras of the organization. Over 12 years, they collected 998 regular season wins and a .513 winning percentage. They also celebrated winning a division crown six times, a tally that no other Twins team of any era can match.
      Totally unfair to MacPhail and Kelly who won 2 World Champrionships in 4 seasons and were blocked on winning the division that era by the cheating A's of Tony LaRussa.

      The weak division winning and 3 and out Gardenhire teams cannot touch those teams...
    1. howieramone's Avatar
      howieramone -
      So we should minimize Gardy's fine work because the A's cheated and the Central was weak? That is certainly a stretch and I would be surprised if many fans buy it.
    1. Badsmerf's Avatar
      Badsmerf -
      Quote Originally Posted by howieramone View Post
      So we should minimize Gardy's fine work because the A's cheated and the Central was weak? That is certainly a stretch and I would be surprised if many fans buy it.
      Minimize them to below those past Twins teams yes. I'm no TK fan (that is a nice way of saying it) but the dude won 2 world series. No amount of division tittles will touch that.
    1. USAFChief's Avatar
      USAFChief -
      I get the sense Gardy will not be back. I think we'd have known by now if he was getting another contract.
    1. Winston Smith's Avatar
      Winston Smith -
      "... they lost 90+ games for their 3rd consecutive year in 2013."

      This should say lost 96+ games, 90 is to kind for what we've had to watch!
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      I think they are both back, this team is in denial imo.
    1. howieramone's Avatar
      howieramone -
      Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
      I think they are both back, this team is in denial imo.
      The Twins never have and never will be the type of organization that easily panics. I couldn't help noticing fans are screaming for the heads of the Viking coaches and my beloved Gophers.
    1. Jeremy Nygaard's Avatar
      Jeremy Nygaard -
      LaVelle reported last night on the Sports Show (didn't watch, but read Reusse's recap) that the return of both Gardy and Andy was a "done deal" and that there will be a press conference today.
    1. luckylager's Avatar
      luckylager -
      Press conference at 2:30PM. I speculate Gardy/Andy gone. To me it would be an absolute PR boner to announce their resigning the day after they finish up their 3rd consecutive 95+ loss season.
    1. Badsmerf's Avatar
      Badsmerf -
      Quote Originally Posted by howieramone View Post
      The Twins never have and never will be the type of organization that easily panics. I couldn't help noticing fans are screaming for the heads of the Viking coaches and my beloved Gophers.
      Leslie Frazier: 16-22 - refuses to bench one of the worst QB's in the league

      Jerry Kill: 4-13 in the big ten, last in legends division 2 years straight and no sign of improvement after being destroyed by a bad Iowa team

      Can't imagine why people want to see a change.
    1. Oldgoat_MN's Avatar
      Oldgoat_MN -
      The Twins pitching staff experienced a great deal of success in the first few years under Anderson. In 2001, the Twins had a 4.51 ERA, 7th in the AL. It shrunk to 4.12, good for 6th in the AL in his first year. And in 2004 it was down to 4.03, lowest in the American League. That success continued through 2007.
      2002 was the first year Johan Santana threw more than 100 innings. He was with the Twins through 2007.

      This is NOT a coincidence.
    1. raindog's Avatar
      raindog -
      Quote Originally Posted by howieramone View Post
      The Twins never have and never will be the type of organization that easily panics. I couldn't help noticing fans are screaming for the heads of the Viking coaches and my beloved Gophers.
      It wouldn't be "panicking". They are easily deserving of walking papers.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      Quote Originally Posted by howieramone View Post
      The Twins never have and never will be the type of organization that easily panics. I couldn't help noticing fans are screaming for the heads of the Viking coaches and my beloved Gophers.

      Panic? 3 straight awful years, and no real changes in leadership? Why is change "evil" in some peoples' minds?
    1. nicksaviking's Avatar
      nicksaviking -
      Quote Originally Posted by USAFChief View Post
      I get the sense Gardy will not be back. I think we'd have known by now if he was getting another contract.
      I kept thinking this too despite my belief that Ryan had taken the blame off of Gardy enough to back himself into a corner.

      But then I started thinking that a decision may not be announced or even leaked mid-season if only Gardy was being brought back and Anderson was getting the boot. If you announce Gardy is back, the next question will be, "What about Anderson?" If you don't want to announce your pitching coach won't be back, you probably would take steps to avoid that question including keeping wraps on a new contract for the manager.
    1. jimbo92107's Avatar
      jimbo92107 -
      Quote Originally Posted by pierre75275 View Post
      Phil Mackey has said its more likely Gardy will sign a two yr extension today then not
      When the Pohlads failed to throw a ton of money at Terry Francona, I was almost as pissed as when the Vikings passed on Colin Kaepernick.

      What did I see in those guys that I don't see in Gardenhire or Christian Ponder? It's a little hard to describe, but it's a certain look in their eyes, apart from other physical attributes. It's a level of determination that most people, even professional athletes, just don't have. It's an almost demonic intensity, a Napoleonic gleam of boundless ambition, combined with a big chip on your shoulder.

      This is what I saw in A.J. Pierzynski that I don't see in Joe Mauer. It's what I see in Brian Dozier that I don't see in Pedro Florimon. It's what I saw in David Ortiz that I didn't see in Kent Hrbek. Various players and coaches have more of it than others. Puckett had it, Gladden had it, Morris had it. It can make a player with moderate talent into a star ballplayer, like Nick Punto. It can make a star talent into a superstar, like Torii Hunter. And a superstar talent becomes Bryce Harper, and we're all hoping, a bunch of guys in the Twins minor league system.

      Guys with that raging flame inside can be hard to get along with, but without that flame, a guy with superstar talent may fizzle out. I hope I'm not talking about Aaron Hicks.

      I will readily grant that Ron Gardenhire and Rick Anderson did not have as much talent to work with as did Tom Kelly. But there's a fine line between patience and complacency, and to me Gardenhire has remained passive far too much with players that either didn't have the talent or the fire to win.

      Gene Glynn should be the manager next year.
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