by, 05-24-2013 at 10:26 PM (288 Views)
After consecutive 95+ loss seasons where the Twins were easily one of the worst teams in either league, they break out a (current) 10-game losing streak in May of 2013, one in which they are repeatedly pummeled early in the game. An announcer said not only have the Twins allowed the most runs in the 1st inning, but that the runs allowed in the 1st are the most runs allowed in any inning by any team in baseball in 2013. Think about that: right when you take the field to get a good start, you perform worse than any team in baseball in any inning. Incredible.
In games where they grab significant leads, like 6-0 over Baltimore, 2 and 3 run leads against Chicago, Detroit and Atlanta, they find a way to lose. Usually, pitching, but also, increasingly, dumb plays, bloop hits, sloppy throws, poor defense. When your are a bad baseball team, it isn't hard to invent new ways to lose.
But really, it comes down to this: Is Gardenhire's contract going to be renewed? And really, the answer has to be "No" at this point. Not after the last two years. If Gardy could turn things around, he would have at this point. He follows up two unacceptably bad years with a 10-game losing streak and effectively relegated the last four months of the season to meaningless baseball games.
And the real issue is this: If Gardy is not going to be renewed then what are the Twins accomplishing by keeping him as manager? Are the players going to try harder because they know Gardy won't be around next year? Are they going to listen closer and try to learn from him? Are they going to even care what he says -- knowing that he won't be here? And, is that the kind of atmosphere you want in the clubhouse, a dead man walking and no one able to face the bald truth that the team is rudderless, the organization incapable of making a managerial move because.... because why?
I'm not a Gardy hater. I really don't care who the manager is as long as they play well and make games fun and interesting. But once the answer becomes Gardy isn't the guy going forward, then the question has to be: Why is he still the manager right now? Is this the right thing for what comes next?
Only a dysfunctional organization clings to the past when it's clear the future lies in a new direction. To renew Gardenhire at this point would be pathetic. He's had a good run -- though it needs to always be remembered how poorly the Twins played in the post-season under Gardy. It doesn't mean he's hated or a lousy manager. It just means it's time for a change. And when it's this clear that change is coming -- then there is no reason for it not to happen sooner rather than later. Like yesterday.