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  • 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. jjswol's Avatar
      jjswol -
      I also think that Gardy will be resigned to a two year deal. As for the coaches? I think Brunansky and Vavra will be moving on.
    1. jun's Avatar
      jun -
      Quote Originally Posted by pierre75275 View Post
      And not to nitpik or anything but its actually been 3 years of 95 plus losses
      3 straight years of 30 games under .500 or over.
    1. jun's Avatar
      jun -
      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.
      What fine work has Gardy done? I am really curious about that.
      The Twins won 2 championships in 1987 and 1991 under TK.
      That's the only fine work I could remember.
    1. Hosken Bombo Disco's Avatar
      Hosken Bombo Disco -
      Quote Originally Posted by jun View Post
      What fine work has Gardy done? I am really curious about that.
      The Twins won 2 championships in 1987 and 1991 under TK.
      That's the only fine work I could remember.
      Gardenhire has done no fine work. He will be gone before the all star break next year if he manages.
    1. Old Twins Cap's Avatar
      Old Twins Cap -
      Twins are afraid to make a change. Any change. An organization that can't deal with change will simply be run over by it. I felt nothing but sadness yesterday as the season came to an end. Another wasted year with no signs of things getting better and now more Gardy. This really is going back to a worn formula that has not worked, and when it doesn't work, well, try it again. Isn't that the definition of mental illness?
    1. Death Rattle's Avatar
      Death Rattle -
      There's zero accountability for this franchise?
    1. KGB's Avatar
      KGB -
      Twins are becoming like the Timberwolves - a County Club environment for the management. If the team wins - it because of Gardy, if they lose - it's the players fault. If they lose in the playoff's, how can we expect them to beat the Yankees and there payroll. The team has quit 3 years in a row during the second half and the coaching staff is not held responsible.
    1. mlhouse's Avatar
      mlhouse -
      The Twins need a manager that can develop young players. The proof is not just the 3 consecutive 95+ loss seasons, but rather, throughout those miserable years we have not developed a single player that we can count as a true rebuilding piece going forward. Although the Twins upper management needs to share in this problem, Ron Gardenhire simply is not the development manager we need.

      In 1982 you could see that players like Kent Hrbek, Tom Brunansky, and Gary Gaetti were going to be good hitters. I don't see the equivalent on the Twins roster today except for perhaps a very small glimpse of Oswaldo Arcia. I have been "preaching" for 3 years now that the Twins need to abandon the "Twins Way" and accelerate the movement of their minor league talent. They need to get the players to the major league level and develop them into major league players. They need to take their lumps. THey need to find the players that can play and the ones that cannot. It takes time, even with talent, to fully develop a winning team and the Twins have essentially wasted three years.

      Lastly, I don't think that the Twins ownership really cares. They get 2.5 million fans to the stadium paying very high ticket prices while fielding a essentially a AAA team of non-entities around the injured Joe Mauer. I was at game 162 in a $53 seat to watch Clete Thomas, Alex Pressley, Chris Herrman, Chris Parmalee, Eric Fryer, and Scott Diamond play some of the worst baseball I have ever seen. When Ryan Doumit, Trevor Plouffe, and Brian Dozier, all three at best marginal major league baseball players, are by far the best players you are putting in the lineup, ownership and management have completely failed the fans.
    1. josecordoba's Avatar
      josecordoba -
      Quote Originally Posted by Pius Jefferson View Post
      If they stay than I'm going.
      The Pohlad's and Terry Ryan are probably quivering.
    1. LastOnePicked's Avatar
      LastOnePicked -
      Quote Originally Posted by Death Rattle View Post
      There's zero accountability for this franchise?
      No need for a question mark on that, my friend. Terrible day for Twins Baseball. A few predictions for the next two years ...

      1) Buxton, Rosario, Sano and other Twins top prospects will underwhelm, underperform and ultimately appear disoriented on the major league roster.

      2) At least one more 95+ loss season is ahead. The team will not finish above .500, much less compete against the strongest teams in the league.

      3) Twins starting pitching will continue to rank at the bottom of the league in strikeouts, ERA and WHIP.

      4) Target Field will host at least one more division clinching celebration by an AL Central foe.

      When none of the key variables change, the outcomes become increasingly easy to predict. I hope you all can stomach what's ahead. I don't have the heart for it anymore.
    1. Pius Jefferson's Avatar
      Pius Jefferson -
      Quote Originally Posted by josecordoba View Post
      The Pohlad's and Terry Ryan are probably quivering.
      They should be because for many fans anger is eventually going to turn into indifference and indifference leads to an half-empty Target Field.
    1. Death Rattle's Avatar
      Death Rattle -
      I love how the Twins tried to act like they were getting tough with Gardy by not giving him an extention last offseason. Like for once, the Twins would actually get tough with one of their own.

      Then not even 24 hours from game 162 he gets a two year deal.
    1. Death Rattle's Avatar
      Death Rattle -
      And really the worst part about this whole thing...is that Mayer, Sano, Buxton, Rosario and others are all gonna have to get broken into the majors by a man who hates rookies and young players.
    1. nicksaviking's Avatar
      nicksaviking -
      Quote Originally Posted by Thegrin View Post
      Yippeee !!! Hurrah Hurray !!! Gardy/Andy haters don't get their way !!!
      It is a GREAT day to be a Twins fan. 2014 is looking better.

      Only when the entire staff went down with injuries did the Twins falter.
      Why do you assume people who want a change hate Gardy and Anderson? I don't and I'm betting most others here don't also. Your personal narrative that villifies everyone who thinks change is needed is disturbing.

      When exactly did the entire staff go down with injuries? I wonder because the Twins have been terrible going on three years now and were one of the most healthy teams well into this season. They were long out of contention when Willingham and Mauer got hurt.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      Quote Originally Posted by Thegrin View Post
      Yippeee !!! Hurrah Hurray !!! Gardy/Andy haters don't get their way !!!
      It is a GREAT day to be a Twins fan. 2014 is looking better.

      I know the above won't balance all the negative comments, but some of us think Gardy/Andy are the best manager/pitching coach combination in the major leagues.
      Since Radke & Santana left they worked magic with mediocre pitchers and still got us into the playoffs. Only when the entire staff went down with injuries did the Twins falter. They have had to work with what they had in the minors and that wasn't much.

      Prediction: In 2014 the Twins are going to astound the American League Central. And the American League Central is going to be the toughest division in Major League Baseball. The critics are going to be left tongue-tied by the success of the Twins starting staff. The relief corps, led by Perkins, will be the best in baseball. And the young, inexperienced hitters will be piranhas again.
      I hope you are right.
    1. Thegrin's Avatar
      Thegrin -
      sorry... haters is the word nowadays, isn't it ? I know that people who want a change don't hate Gardy and Andy. And I was just tweaking the people with negative comments.

      in 2011 Pavano, Baker, Blackburn all went down. Slowey was proved inadequate and Lirianno became worse than inconsistent. That was when it all went wrong for us.

      I do think that a young, inexperienced team needs a cool, steady hand rather than change. A clubhouse does not need a new voice when the current voice is the right voice and is saying the right things at the right time.
    1. ThePuck's Avatar
      ThePuck -
      Quote Originally Posted by nicksaviking View Post
      Why do you assume people who want a change hate Gardy and Anderson? I don't and I'm betting most others here don't also. Your personal narrative that villifies everyone who thinks change is needed is disturbing.
      Are you surprised?
    1. chopper0080's Avatar
      chopper0080 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Death Rattle View Post
      There's zero accountability for this franchise?
      Agreed
    1. ThePuck's Avatar
      ThePuck -
      So who gets fired this year? Ball boys? Equipment manager? Head of the Grounds Crew?
    1. Oldgoat_MN's Avatar
      Oldgoat_MN -
      I just cannot imagine how Anderson gets to keep his job. I cannot believe there is any stat of any kind that suggests he is a good pitching coach. He might be a wonderful man, but I don't know why he's a pitching coach.

      Letting him go would have at least suggested they were trying to improve SOMETHING.

      Isn't the definition of insanity doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different result?
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