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  • Top '13 Stories: #1 - Gardenhire's Contract Extended

    These are trying times if you're the coach of a local professional sports team. Vikings head coach Leslie Frasier got the axe this week following a season that saw his team lose 10 games. Mike Yeo is on the hot seat with the Wild under-performing. And Rick Adelman might just give up with the number of tribulations that seem to endlessly plague the Timberwolves.

    Ron Gardenhire has endured more losing than any local coach over the past three years, and as his most recent disappointing season came to a close there was some thought he might also be on his way out. Instead, the Twins signed their longtime manager to a two-year extension at the end of September.

    In re-upping with Gardenhire, the Twins acknowledged that the ugly results over the past few seasons can't be strongly tied to the manager's performance. With a transitional roster that has been riddled with injuries and hasn't been supplemented by much impact talent, Gardy has faced difficult circumstances that would have made it nearly impossible for any skipper to find success.

    Known as one of the most loyal organizations in baseball (and perhaps in sports as a whole), the Twins elected not to make Gardenhire the scapegoat for a three-year stretch of misery that has been driven by plenty of contributors. It's clear the front office still likes Gardenhire and puts more stock in his first decade at the helm -- which featured six division championships -- than his most recent run.

    But the club's patience can't, and won't, last forever. The 2014 season figures to be a hugely important one for the game's second-longest tenured manager. With major money being pumped into free agency during the offseason, and with a handful of key prospects expected to join the fold, another year with no progress in the win column would likely spell the end for Gardenhire.

    I've always been a believer that the role of a manager in a baseball team's success is generally exaggerated, but I think Gardenhire is good at what he does for the most part. He is liked by his players, he's an entertaining quote and he's shown some willingness to adapt his generally old-school tactical approach (Joe Mauer logging more than 400 plate appearances as the No. 2 hitter this year is a fine example).

    If Gardy can continue to do those things and the Twins finally begin to pull themselves out of this lingering pit of despair, he figures to stick around for a while yet. But by no means does his new contract take him off the hot seat.

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    This article was originally published in blog: Top '13 Stories: #1 - Gardenhire's Contract Extended started by Nick Nelson
    Comments 22 Comments
    1. mike wants wins's Avatar
      mike wants wins -
      I think Dman hit the proverbial nail on the head.....
    1. wabene's Avatar
      wabene -
      Quote Originally Posted by mike wants wins View Post
      So why are coaches paid so much, if they do nothing? I don't get this line of reasoning. There is research in the NFL that after 10 years, a coach loses effectiveness as a general rule, actually (the research is older, so I don't know how it holds up).

      If a player does badly, he's cut. If a GM drafts crappy players, he's (usually, not here) fired. Why are coaches immune in your world, Seth? I'm genuinely curious what you would do with a coach/manager that isn't good at his job (if you felt he wasn't good).
      Last year at this time there was talk of Gardy's limitations in dealing with young players and I think that must've been addressed by management because I saw some change from Gardy. The way he talked about young players seemed to be in a more encouraging manner. He left Hicks in there so long nobody could accuse him of yo-yoing. My point is when you are evaluating your manager you can stress areas you need to see improvement in. If he does improve now you have just gained stability. With the Vikes in town it is nice to have some.
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