Twins Question of the Day – Gardy Edition

14 Apr

also available at www.SethSpeaks.net -

While listening (and becoming irritated) to tonight’s Fanatic Jack Twins Talk podcast, there was some discussion about Ron Gardenhire as a manager. You will want to listen to the discussion for some background if you want, but it created a question in my head. So, I went to Facebook and posted the following:

Twins and Twins Fan Question of the Day: If Ron Gardenhire would have managed the 2009 NY Yankees, would they have still won the World Series? In contrast, if Joe Girardi was managing the 2009 Twins, would they have advanced past the ALDS and/or won the World Series?

What do you think? Personally, I think that a manager gets way, way too much blame for losses and probably a little too much credit for wins. I believe that over the course of a 162 game season, ‘managing’ the roster and the personalities and such is a grind and Ron Gardenhire does a great job with that. Do I agree with every decision he makes with Xs and Os and lineup construction? Of course not, but I guarantee every team’s fans have similar thoughts about their manager because they watch them every day. When teams are bad, managers get blamed.

Extend the topic by adding… are there any managers out there that, if they managed the 2009 Twins, they would have won the World Series? My thinking is “No.” But that is because World Series championships (regardless of them being the ultimate goal for every team) are not givens, no matter how good the team is.

I won’t say any more. I’d much prefer you add your comments to the topic as I don’t want to influence your thoughts. I do think it is an interesting discussion though so… Leave your  comments here .

By the way… Twins Fans, you will definitely want to check out and then bookmark the new 1500ESPN Twin Cities sports wire page. It’s awesome. Phil Mackey and Tom Pelissero are doing really great things there. Lots of blogs/articles and the videos are terrific. I think you’ll like it!

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10 Responses to “Twins Question of the Day – Gardy Edition”

  1. Steven April 14, 2010 at 10:54 pm #

    I think that managers can effect teams negatively but have less of an effect positively. I think the best managers are the ones who use their bullpen effectively, know when to use pinch hitters/runners/fielders, and don’t fall in love with certain players who shouldn’t be playing (ahemPunto).

    Managing is much more important in the playoffs, when games have more meaning and when some managers overmanage (Scocia is guilty of this).

    I think there’s something to being a great leader of men, and being able to instill confidence in players (which Gardy is probably the best at in baseball), but I think the best managers know how to adequately use their bullpen and bench, and don’t try to get too fancy with bunting or stealing.

  2. TDog April 15, 2010 at 7:49 am #

    I continually second guess Gardenhire’s personnel decisions and don’t think he’s great X’s and O’s guy. That said, I give him huge credit for getting the team to the playoffs. What an incredible stretch run from August on. Every guy on the roster was contributing 100%. Contrast that to the incomparable Jim Leyland’s Tigers who seemed to give up, or the (almost) annual WhiteSox ritual of striking the tents early. How do the team’s players respond when things go badly? The spate of Twins injuries last season could have induced a mindset to just play out the string, but I didn’t see anyone on the 25 man roster doing that. So many just kept stepping it up. Gotta credit Gardy for that. Girardi — geez, did the Yankees face ANY adversity last year?

  3. brad April 15, 2010 at 7:57 am #

    IMO the best managers do their work before games even start. That is having good hitting, pitching and bench coaches. The need to have 1B & 3B coaches that understand when to run, when to take the extra base and when to put the breaks on. They also need a good training routine, how often are the Twins on the DL? That comes from proper training, stretching and loosening up.

    If you put Girardi on the Twins I don’t think they advance any further than they did and if you put Gardy on the Spankees the still win the WS. Seth, you could have managed that team as they had 9 regulars in the field and 3 studs in the rotation.

  4. mike wants wins April 15, 2010 at 8:53 am #

    Seth, you yourself have repeatedly said that the Gardy teams don’t do the little things as well as the Kelly teams. Do you think that is on Gardy at all?

    Clearly, managers get too much credit one way or the other. It’s mostly the players.

  5. Gamer April 15, 2010 at 9:00 am #

    I think that Gardy is not as big of a prick as Kelly was, so that shows up in some of the “little things”. Kelly would not have stood for D. Young’s mistakes in the field, that is the easy one.

    However, he also would have wanted Justin to slap the ball to left field more, and stop taking such big hacks early in the count. (see Ortiz, David)

  6. TDog April 15, 2010 at 9:09 am #

    Gamer — While Kelly wanted hitters to be able to take the outside pitch the other way, his frustration with Ortiz was that David was not learning to turn on the inside pitch. Twins hitting instructors unsuccessfully tried to turn on his power, and the light bulb came on for Ortiz only after he had left the Twins. & Kelly would not have screw up Justin — he didn’t mess with the big guns.

    • ggg April 15, 2010 at 3:20 pm #

      light came on for ortiz when he got to boston and started on the juice!

  7. 8th inning guy April 15, 2010 at 3:34 pm #

    I agree with Jack Steal most of the time but not with how he blasts Gardy using the bullpin. He has had fairly functionaly bull-pins without many stellar arms by mixing and matching. To me it’s one of his best qualities as a manager. This year without Nathan he’s going to have to manage the pin differently because again nobody out there is going to dominate.

    Managing in New York is so much different than anywhere in the world. You have massive ego’s, the unrelenting and unforgiving press and of course fans who wont tolorate a two game losing streak. Not to mention Hank Steinbrenner. It takes a unique person to deal with that and it has eaten most who have tried alive. I wonder if Gardy would platoon Nick Punto with A-Rod? lol

  8. jake April 17, 2010 at 9:11 pm #

    The Twins have excellent management. They have had continued success despite a small payroll (obviously those days are over however). Managing a team is more complicated than just saying “bench Delmon because Kubel hits righties better”. Or saying that some sabermetrics pin Harris as a slightly better option than Punto last season so it is an atrocity that Punto is starting games this season.

    As casual fans and blog writing stat nerds we sometimes have to accept that managers often make decisions for reasons beyond our level of understanding of the game.

    I’m not saying we should just let them off the hook every time something bad happens. But to pick and choose what moves are bad based on hindsight is just stupid.

    I’ve heard bloggers say how stupid it was to bring in a guy like Mike Lamb before. Then when they turn out to be right they brag about how smart they are and how stupid the management was. Thing is that they don’t even know what option B was and if it potentially could have been even worse. In that case any option B would have been better.

    But then that same blogger will go off the same way about bringing in Pavano. Then the guy does well last season and has a strong start here and they have the benefit of going mute on the subject.

    I can respect a guy that questions a move before the result is there. But I always hate when reporters say something like “Gardy is so stupid for not pinch hitting for Punto there, and look he made an out and I’m a genius.” But that same reporter isn’t going to right an article saying “man I was livid they didn’t pinch for Punto but he coaxed a walk and then made two great defensive plays to help finish the game. Boy that Gardy is smart”.

    Gardy makes many decisions. Sometimes those decisions have a bad result for one game, which is statistically irrelevant. Sometimes the decisions have a good result, again irrelevant. But overall they win more than they lose and they had in the past had a small payroll so I give the guy credit.

    Girardi is the only Yankees manager to no make the postseason in like a decade. Then the next year the team wins it all. Sabre nerds love him because he just uses the basic matchup strategies that they can understand. But you have to realize that guy has an entire team with proven dependable stats more or less. Girardi doesn’t have to factor in whether or not a guy is getting enough time to develop or how his body language is that day.

    If Gardy had a Yankees lineup something tells me he’d do just fine. Well, I guess this year he basically does and the Twins are what 8-3 against better than average talent.

    If the Twins win close to 100 games to me that just proves Gardy is an elite manager.

  9. Rena August 1, 2013 at 6:02 pm #

    Thank you for the auspicious writeup. It actually was a leisure account it.
    Look advanced to far delivered agreeable from you! By the way, how can we communicate?

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