September 30, 2014

A job well done for Twins manager Ron Gardenhire comes to an end

This is a post about job security, tenure and the notion of a job well done because when you’ve been a manager of a professional sports team and have survived the whims of ownership, fickle fans and overpaid athletes for 13 years, you’re doing something right.

But that all came to an end Monday for Ron Gardenhire, the longtime manager of the Minnesota Twins who was fired a day after the 2014 season came to its conclusion. For the Twins, it was another season of 90 or more losses so the call was made to let Gardy go.

So Gardy is gone, but he won’t be out of work for long. He is considered a good manager, a manager who won six division titles with the Twins between 2002 and 2010, and then didn’t have anywhere close to the same level of talent during his remaining years with the team. He finishes with a win-loss record of slightly better than .500, but prior to the four-year skid of losing 90 or more games, his record was closer to .600.

One knock against him is that for all those years the team made the playoffs, they usually were eliminated in the first round. In his defense, four of those six post-season losses were to the powerhouse Yankees. Ugh.

By the way, the Twins have had two managers since 1987: Tom Kelly, who won two World Series with the team, guided the franchise through 2001, followed by Gardenhire. Gardy was AL Manager of the Year in 2010 and also was a five-time runner-up for the award.

Some reaction to Gardenhire’s dismissal:

I love Gardy. A great guy. A great manager. Can’t say enough good things about him. But the #MNTwins need a shake up, and he’s the start.
— MnTwinkie (@MnTwinkie) September 29, 2014

Not quite sure what Gardy could of done different the last 3 years.  He’ll land on his feet somewhere.
— corey koskie (@ckone47) September 29, 2014

Ran two red lights on our way to the field. Glad we did. Gardy believed in me when no one else did. Sad to see him go pic.twitter.com/Ds2XdEITtm
— Trevor Plouffe (@TPlouffe24) September 29, 2014

A melancholy Wayne “Big Fella” Hattaway walked *former* #mntwins manager Gardy to the presser pic.twitter.com/P2YvJ2Irq4
— bengarvin (@bengarvin) September 29, 2014

ESPN’s Tim Kurkjian on the Twins: “They’re going to have a hard time, frankly, finding a better manager than Ron Gardenhire.”

And let’s give Gardy the final word, via Pioneer Press reporter Mike Berardino’s Twitter feed:

Gardy: “Sometimes people need to hear a different voice. I’ve been here a long time. I have no problem with this. I agree with this.”
— Mike Berardino (@MikeBerardino) September 29, 2014

–Rolf Boone

P.S. I should mention that former Twins manager Tom Kelly suffered a minor stroke this week but is expected to make a full recovery.

COMMENTS

Hi, I’m Rolf Boone and I love the Twins.

I became a fan of the Minnesota Twins after a friendly wager in the early 1980s. I survived Ron Davis, the meltdown in Cleveland, Phil Bradley at the Kingdome and then marveled at a rising generation of stars and two World Series wins in 1987 and 1991. Brad Radke made the 1990s bearable, while Kirby Puckett’s eye injury, exit from the game and eventual death made it almost too much to bear. The new century ushered in more talent — Joe Mauer, Johan Santana, Joe Nathan, Torii Hunter, Justin Morneau — and consecutive seasons of playoff baseball, followed by consecutive seasons of losing baseball. A winning season returned in 2015. So here we are. Go Twins.