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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. YourHouseIsMyHouse's Avatar
      YourHouseIsMyHouse -
      Get him his 1,000 wins next year and fire him ASAP. When I read the news the afternoon, I could only imagine how up in arms everybody here got. Personally, I was on the verge of tears. I was in public so I had to hold myself up. The absolute worst part is Ullger and Anderson have, oh I don't know, a 98% chance of coming back too.
    1. YourHouseIsMyHouse's Avatar
      YourHouseIsMyHouse -
      With Gardy managing the team, Buxton will probably end up like B.J. Upton and Sano will be deported following news he lied about his identity and age.
    1. NoCal's Avatar
      NoCal -
      This is a very surly bunch tonight. Frankly, I imagine that Andy and Gardy are pretty good at managing a baseball roster. They just don't have a very good supply of talent. The Twins tend to go in cycles that depend on infusions of talent via the draft; if you are a successful team for 5-6 years, that infusion diminishes, due to draft selections beginning with the 22nd best player available. The well dries up, injuries and misfortune occurs, and soon your organization is struggling. Maybe, like Cleveland and Baltimore, after many years of losing, you make some good trades, you get some good return on your FA investment, and you get a couple of years of being competitive. This blog has a very impatient bunch of subscribers. Knowledgeable, opinionated, smart - but impatient. Cleveland, Baltimore, Tampa Bay - they had many, many losing seasons. The pleasure comes when you hang in there, and then get to revel in success. Lets avoid the Howard S. pessimism -
    1. YourHouseIsMyHouse's Avatar
      YourHouseIsMyHouse -
      Quote Originally Posted by NoCal View Post
      This is a very surly bunch tonight. Frankly, I imagine that Andy and Gardy are pretty good at managing a baseball roster. They just don't have a very good supply of talent.
      Anderson couldn't develop Liriano, Hendriks, and I sure don't want Gibson and Meyer to be the next victims. We've finished last in the MLB for what, 3 years now? Two for sure.
    1. John Bonnes's Avatar
      John Bonnes -
      Quote Originally Posted by NoCal View Post
      This is a very surly bunch tonight.
      Considering the decision, I think that was to be expected. Had he been fired, I think we would have heard a lot more from the other side.

      I think you did a good job of laying out the case for retaining him Gardy, and I think that's a reasonable position. The rhetoric is a lot easier in the other direction, fueled by three years of frustration and especially a brutal finish to the season. But I think given some distance, both sides can see the other's viewpoint.
    1. Thrylos's Avatar
      Thrylos -
      Quote Originally Posted by NoCal View Post
      This blog has a very impatient bunch of subscribers. Knowledgeable, opinionated, smart - but impatient.
      Impatient?

      1991

      That was 22 years ago. A generation ago. How more patience do you need?
    1. LaBombo's Avatar
      LaBombo -
      Quote Originally Posted by NoCal View Post
      This is a very surly bunch tonight. Frankly, I imagine that Andy and Gardy are pretty good at managing a baseball roster. They just don't have a very good supply of talent.
      Every other organization would fire him based solely on losing nearly 300 in three years.

      Only eight times in nearly 70 years has a manager been brought back after 3x90+ losing seasons. Only legendary Hall of Famer Casey Stengel had a worse record than Gardy over those three seasons.

      And in each of those 8 instances the team lost at least 93 games the following season, with the average clocking in at over 100 losses. All but three fired the manager during the following season, and only Kelly managed his team again after the fourth consecutive 90+ loss season.

      So it's not that Gardenhire's a bad manager, it's just that he has no business managing the Twins next year. Teams never give managers with that kind of three year record another chance, and if they do, it's never produced anything but another disaster. That's not pessimism, it's the overwhelming evidence of history.

      There are sure to be some things to get excited about in 2014, but Gardenhire returning is definitely not one of them.
    1. CharacterGroove's Avatar
      CharacterGroove -
      Quote Originally Posted by LaBombo View Post
      Every other organization would fire him based solely on losing nearly 300 in three years.

      Only eight times in nearly 70 years has a manager been brought back after 3x90+ losing seasons. Only legendary Hall of Famer Casey Stengel had a worse record than Gardy over those three seasons.

      And in each of those 8 instances the team lost at least 93 games the following season, with the average clocking in at over 100 losses. All but three fired the manager during the following season, and only Kelly managed his team again after the fourth consecutive 90+ loss season.

      So it's not that Gardenhire's a bad manager, it's just that he has no business managing the Twins next year. Teams never give managers with that kind of three year record another chance, and if they do, it's never produced anything but another disaster. That's not pessimism, it's the overwhelming evidence of history.

      There are sure to be some things to get excited about in 2014, but Gardenhire returning is definitely not one of them.
      What's the average number of losses in year #4 for those teams that chose a new manager?

      My guess is probably something similar, but I'm very curious to know.
    1. Sconnie's Avatar
      Sconnie -
      Barrero said it, and I'm in agreement, Gardy has the best job in the world. Team loses 90 plus games three years in a row and it's someone else's fault . If the team still sucks in 2014 it will still be someone else's fault, but if he manages to pull together a decent season he's a hero. There's no down side, and no accountability to bringing him back. Status quo sucks and I'm really disappointed that this team will do nothing to change.
    1. Sconnie's Avatar
      Sconnie -
      Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
      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.
      It took the Wild a new GM and a new coaching staff to figure out how to rebuild too. Don't forget that the Wild had a dwindling attendance in a new building after several years of sucking. The Twins (and the Pohlads) have made no moves. We've seen how TR operates, we've seen how Gardy manages, we've seen three years of horrendous baseball preceded by crapping the bed in the first round of the playoffs. No one can be blamed for wanting the Twins to follow suit of the Orioles , Indians, and Wild. At least we'd have hope.
    1. blairpaul715's Avatar
      blairpaul715 -
      Quote Originally Posted by NoCal View Post
      This is a very surly bunch tonight. Frankly, I imagine that Andy and Gardy are pretty good at managing a baseball roster. They just don't have a very good supply of talent. The Twins tend to go in cycles that depend on infusions of talent via the draft; if you are a successful team for 5-6 years, that infusion diminishes, due to draft selections beginning with the 22nd best player available. The well dries up, injuries and misfortune occurs, and soon your organization is struggling. Maybe, like Cleveland and Baltimore, after many years of losing, you make some good trades, you get some good return on your FA investment, and you get a couple of years of being competitive. This blog has a very impatient bunch of subscribers. Knowledgeable, opinionated, smart - but impatient. Cleveland, Baltimore, Tampa Bay - they had many, many losing seasons. The pleasure comes when you hang in there, and then get to revel in success. Lets avoid the Howard S. pessimism -
      Cleveland, Baltimore and Tampa all made managerial changes that brought about a new attitude. Starts with ownership and a GM with ba--s
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by blairpaul715 View Post
      Cleveland, Baltimore and Tampa all made managerial changes that brought about a new attitude. Starts with ownership and a GM with ba--s
      And the Red Sox.
    1. jokin's Avatar
      jokin -
      Quote Originally Posted by NoCal View Post
      Lets avoid the Howard S. pessimism -
      Given that he's lived, slept and eaten Twins home cooking in various capacities for some 30 years- through all of the ups and downs during that time, for many of us, it's not pessimism to avoid and merely stick our heads in the sand until it somehow gets all better at some undetermined point in time.....it's realism to embrace and a demand for substantive changes to be made and previous promises kept.
    1. glunn's Avatar
      glunn -
      Quote Originally Posted by Death Rattle View Post
      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.
      Moderator note -- this is at best an exaggeration. Please read the TD policy sticky thread about "trolling." I share the opinion that Gardy has not done a great job with rookies and young players, but to say that he "hates" them is unprovable and inflammatory.
    1. glunn's Avatar
      glunn -
      Quote Originally Posted by John Bonnes View Post
      Considering the decision, I think that was to be expected. Had he been fired, I think we would have heard a lot more from the other side.

      I think you did a good job of laying out the case for retaining him Gardy, and I think that's a reasonable position. The rhetoric is a lot easier in the other direction, fueled by three years of frustration and especially a brutal finish to the season. But I think given some distance, both sides can see the other's viewpoint.
      I was deeply disappointed. I was hoping that the Twins and Gardy could mutually agree not to renew Gardy's contract. I was hoping for some new blood from a winning organization, like the A's or the Rays.

      That said, I will remain a steadfast Twins fan for life and continue to care about my fellow Twins fans and respect the fact that some of them disagree with me. I wish that Gardy was gone, but hope that he justifies the confidence that some of my brothers have in him.
    1. ashburyjohn's Avatar
      ashburyjohn -
      Quote Originally Posted by Thegrin View Post
      sorry... haters is the word nowadays, isn't it ?
      Attachment 5765
    1. LaBombo's Avatar
      LaBombo -
      Quote Originally Posted by CharacterGroove View Post
      What's the average number of losses in year #4 for those teams that chose a new manager?

      My guess is probably something similar, but I'm very curious to know.
      Mine too. Those teams were probably all bad for many reasons besides the manager.

      But the point of including that loss number was not to imply that the franchise could pull a winner out of its posterior simply by changing managers. It was to illustrate the futility of the 'stay the course' mentality, which more often than not simply results in the panicked decision to change managers in midseason, or at best delays the inevitable til the end of the following season.
    1. CharacterGroove's Avatar
      CharacterGroove -
      Quote Originally Posted by LaBombo View Post
      Mine too. Those teams were probably all bad for many reasons besides the manager.

      But the point of including that loss number was not to imply that the franchise could pull a winner out of its posterior simply by changing managers. It was to illustrate the futility of the 'stay the course' mentality, which more often than not simply results in the panicked decision to change managers in midseason, or at best delays the inevitable til the end of the following season.
      I agree with you. It also shows a certain shortsightedness to this decision. Next year at this time everybody's revisiting yesterday.

      It's possible Gardenhire beats the odds, but it'll be ugly if he doesn't get close.

      (Of course part of the game will be how the advertise expectations. I anticipate a lot of young guys and being told to be patient.)
    1. LaBombo's Avatar
      LaBombo -
      Quote Originally Posted by CharacterGroove View Post
      I agree with you. It also shows a certain shortsightedness to this decision. Next year at this time everybody's revisiting yesterday.

      It's possible Gardenhire beats the odds, but it'll be ugly if he doesn't get close.

      (Of course part of the game will be how the advertise expectations. I anticipate a lot of young guys and being told to be patient.)
      Sounds about right.

      Not rooting for him to fail, but the odds are against him. If the Twins are already thinking about season ticket sales after 2013, it's hard to see him getting to manage the wonderkids in 2015 if next season looks anything like this one, regardless of his contract.

      But if he turns out to be the only guy besides TK in over 70 years with 3x90 losses who turns out to be more than a one year stopgap, good on him. He's already the second most tenured manager in baseball, so anything is possible.

      And if not, maybe the decision to retain him will lead to a much more widespread housecleaning than just a new manager, one that starts as close to the top as practical.
    1. JB_Iowa's Avatar
      JB_Iowa -
      They may already have a gentleman's agreement for him (Gardy) to step aside if next year is another disaster although he does seem pretty stubborn about staying the course.
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