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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. Tcrose3636's Avatar
      Tcrose3636 -
      Quote Originally Posted by Oldgoat_MN View Post
      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?
      Didn't you hear? They don't go with what the stats say, only if they pass the eye test/smell test/ Ouiji board test.

      That said, I am fine with Gardy coming back for 2 years. Only wish they would start looking at statistics and not being so reactive (I/E they are about 5 years behind the times everyone started to draft power pitchers).
    1. ThePuck's Avatar
      ThePuck -
      What would be awesome is that, after seeing the decision Ryan made about gardy, that the Pohlads fire him and Gardy. That's a dream cause we all know he didn't re-sign him without discussing it with ownership first, but it's good to have dreams...
    1. LastOnePicked's Avatar
      LastOnePicked -
      Quote Originally Posted by Thegrin View Post
      I do think that a young, inexperienced team needs a cool, steady hand rather than change.
      Cleveland fans are on Line 1 with a rebuttal.

      But I love your unfounded enthusiam, Thegrin. Let's meet back here on TD after the 2014 season and compare our predictions.
    1. kydoty's Avatar
      kydoty -
      "Sorry, Ron, but I need to see the team get better before thinking about bringing you back beyond 2013."

      *team gets worse*

      "Welcome back, Gardy!"
    1. ThePuck's Avatar
      ThePuck -
      Quote Originally Posted by LastOnePicked View Post
      Cleveland fans are on Line 1 with a rebuttal.

      But I love your unfounded enthusiam, Thegrin. Let's meet back here on TD after the 2014 season and compare our predictions.
      Orioles fans on line two.
    1. Chance's Avatar
      Chance -
      With the cubs firing their manager; which team will have a quicker turn around, us or them? Obviously there are many different variables that there is no way to fairly compare the two. But none-the-less it will be fun to see the two play out. I hope we have a new pitching coach... I'm fine with Gardy coming back.
    1. nicksaviking's Avatar
      nicksaviking -
      Quote Originally Posted by Death Rattle View Post
      There's zero accountability for this franchise?
      Quote Originally Posted by chopper0080 View Post
      Disagree. This franchise seems to employ plenty of accountants.
    1. TheLeviathan's Avatar
      TheLeviathan -
      Man we are totally firing some interns to shake it up!
    1. whydidnt's Avatar
      whydidnt -
      Things have been going so good with the Twins over the last few years, why wouldn't they want to maintain the status quo? Let's keep doing what we've been doing and hope for different results appears to by Ryan's plan for the Twins.
    1. ashburyjohn's Avatar
      ashburyjohn -
      Quote Originally Posted by josecordoba View Post
      The Pohlad's and Terry Ryan are probably quivering.
      Mod note: Please don't make posts personal about other posters. Even when provoked by a post that seems to beg for it.
    1. matthew0211's Avatar
      matthew0211 -
      I've been following the Twins daily and religiously for about 35 years or so... and this is about the lowest and most apathetic I have felt about the team during that time. It's their prerogative to bring Gardy and his staff back, but I hope they will show the real fans some respect by bringing experienced, professional players and a new attitude to the team during the winter instead of the AAA/AAAA talent we've been exposed to during the past three years.

      I'm not optimistic - my fear is that they will continue to market Target Field as a place to eat gourmet sandwiches and drink craft beers, catering the ticketholders in the suites and the Legend's Club as opposed to the real fans who actually care about the product on the field. They need to show me they are more interested in winning games and World Series rather than becoming the baseball version of the Minnesota Wild.

      I want to see a change in how the team adapts to the new style of baseball being played in the 21st Century. Acquiring pitchers who can strike out 7-8 batters per nine innings with the mentality to throw 120 pitches and pitch into the eighth or ninth inning every single game. Hitters who can get on base 35-40% of the time, and aren't afraid to choke up on the bat and protect the plate with two strikes.

      The Twins' hitters struck out the third most times in Major League history this year - unless you're hitting 200 home runs a year, that's not anywhere near acceptable. They need to change their approach. The manager needs to better utilize his pitching staff so he doesn't need 13 pitchers, and his bench so he doesn't need three catchers and two utility infielders.

      Again, I'm not optimistic. But I am a baseball fan, and I won't quit on the Twins. It feels like they've quit on me. They have this winter to prove me wrong.
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      don't insult the new leadership in the Wild like that....they just signed two of the largest contracts in all of sports last year......

      And, I don't buy this whole "suits vs jeans" argument that "suits" are not real fans.....but I agree with the rest of that.
    1. spycake's Avatar
      spycake -
      What's the price tag on Gardy now? I imagine another losing season lowered his price a bit. That's probably why the Twins waited -- I don't think they ever had any intention of letting him go at this point, regardless of how the team performed in 2013.
    1. raindog's Avatar
      raindog -
      I'm pretty sickened by the organization right now. Out of touch from the owner on down.
    1. Tcrose3636's Avatar
      Tcrose3636 -
      Wow, I was all for Gardy coming back, thinking that the only way he would come back was with some reassurance on getting a better ball club through FA...but TR just killed that hope. Now I don't know what to think, this is just kind of brutal. Here is to hoping they get Tanaka because they are not getting anyone through FA.
    1. h2oface's Avatar
      h2oface -
      I just can't believe it. 3 seasons of losing 96 or more games, and he and Terry are your men for the future. It really is distressing. I feel no hope.
    1. LaBombo's Avatar
      LaBombo -
      Quote Originally Posted by h2oface View Post
      I just can't believe it. 3 seasons of losing 96 or more games, and he and Terry are your men for the future. It really is distressing. I feel no hope.
      The really amazing part of this thing is that the on-field product managed to crater in perfect sync with a dramatic increase in payroll.

      Well, available payroll, at least.
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Quote Originally Posted by ThePuck View Post
      So who gets fired this year? Ball boys? Equipment manager? Head of the Grounds Crew?
      Allegedly (I was flying and could not listen to the press conference), Pohlad with the same breath that handed Gardy and his pals an extension, said that a lot of changes will happen in 2014 (can someone verify?) Other than the sarcasm in the inconsistency and mutual conflict between the action and the promise, one would have to assume that the Twins will:

      a. blame 2013 on the cement "settling" at TF and start watering it about an hour before doors open before every home game
      b. fire the bullpen catcher and replace the person in the TCBear costume (heck, 2011 was BS' fault, 2012 was Jerry's and Stellie's fault. This is a highly accountable organization. Someone deserves the blame.)
      c. As Ryan did when I was hearing part of his interview on ESPN1500 a couple of hours ago, blame the season on "luck" and invest in a whole bunch of horseshoes, voodoo dolls etc to improve luck. Heck, hiring a voodoo practitioner to add to the MLB scouting staff, will help as well
      d. Change the sausage & hot dog providers at TF. They got to do it every year, until it sticks. (see c. above.)
      e. Find a former Twins' player (preferably a light hitting one) and make him the seventh coach. He can coach the coaches or the aforementioned voodoo practitioner. Or be a voodoo practitioner himself.

      This is such a poorly run franchise, that is starting to move from a tragical to a purely comical situation especially when the same old people are praising the same old people's achievements even when those amount to having the worse record in the league cumulatively (i.e. could not do any worse) the last 3 years.

      Twins' fans got to laugh, because they have done enough crying and having their intelligence insulted by these guys, should not be an option any more...
    1. josecordoba's Avatar
      josecordoba -
      Quote Originally Posted by ashburyjohn View Post
      Mod note: Please don't make posts personal to other posters. Even when provoked by a post that seems to beg for it.
      Apologies if this came off in such a fashion.
    1. orangevening's Avatar
      orangevening -
      Quote Originally Posted by ashburyjohn View Post
      Mod note: Please don't make posts personal to other posters. Even when provoked by a post that seems to beg for it.
      My vote for funniest "mod note" ever.
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