November 14, 2015

Can anyone spare a job for former Twins manager Ron Gardenhire?

Maybe I’m just too much of an old-school baseball fan because I can’t understand why Ron Gardenhire, the Twins former manager, is still without a job after the team let him go following the 2014 season.

So what’s not to like?

Gardenhire, after 13 seasons, left with a winning percentage of slightly better than .500 (1,068-1,039) and six division titles in his first nine seasons. He also was the AL Manager of the Year in 2010, but perhaps more impressive: he was runner-up for the same award five times.

His resume recently landed him interviews for managerial openings with the Washington Nationals and the San Diego Padres — and the Padres invited him back for a second look — but both jobs went to different people. Longtime manager Dusty Baker got the nod in Washington, while the San Diego job went to Andy Green, a former third-base coach for the Arizona Diamondbacks.

Twins Daily posed this question in a blog post — Would you hire Ron Gardenhire? — and then evaluated his strengths and weaknesses.

While Gardenhire had plenty of on-field managerial shortcomings during his tenure with the Twins — including being late to embracing strategy such as defensive shifts, platooning and effective lineup construction — being a relationship builder and running a clubhouse was never in question.

Gardenhire also apparently didn’t embrace the all-important world of analytics as its relates to baseball, according to Twins Daily, despite having a defender in Twins GM Terry Ryan.

“Gardy is up to snuff on analytics,” Ryan said.

Not sure whether a lack of success in the playoffs has hurt Gardenhire’s chances at another job — he got the Twins to the post-season in the first place, right? — but that’s one area of his tenure that fell flat.

He was 6-21 in the playoffs, including a number of I-don’t-even-want-to-remember losses to those all-mighty New York Yankees.

Still, Gardy deserves a crack at leading another team.

Photo credit: By Keith Allison (Flickr) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

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.