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

November 12, 2015

Good grief, man: Why choose these colors for your blog?

The color scheme for this blog was inspired by the road uniforms the Twins used to wear in the early 1980s, which included a red Twins logo displayed across a powder blue jersey. I don’t know that my blog design has matched the exact look of those uniforms, but it’s close. Those long-ago uniforms have... Continue Reading »

October 31, 2015

Sporting News names Twins Manager Paul Molitor AL Manager of the Year; Hunter, Hawkins retire

Update: Twins Manager Paul Molitor is a finalist for Major League Baseball’s American League Manager of the Year award. The other finalists are Jeff Banister of the Texas Rangers and A.J. Hinch of the Houston Astros. The winner will be announced on Nov. 17. If Molitor wins, it will be his second managerial award this... Continue Reading »

September 29, 2015

Twins recap: youth movement, veterans help team down the stretch

The end: So that’s it for the Twins and the 2015 season. The Twins were swept out of wild-card contention by the Royals, but the team still won 13 more games than last year to finish with their first winning record (83-79) since 2010. Better things to come. I can feel it. Update: Well, this... Continue Reading »

July 3, 2015

Go east, young man: a foreign baseball tradition in Japan

Pitcher Kris Johnson, formerly of the Minnesota Twins, has found success playing ball in Japan for the Hiroshima Carp. He began the year running his record to 4-0 with an ERA of 0.71. He’s no longer undefeated, but he still has a record of 7-3 with an ERA under 2.50. Victor Starffin won 300 games... Continue Reading »

May 10, 2015

Twinning: Twins show winning form early

Hope does spring eternal, especially if you’re a baseball fan. And even more so if you’re a fan of the Minnesota Twins because after a disastrous start to the season, Twins nation — if such a fan following exists — have plenty to get excited about. Twins held scoreless for 20 innings to start the... Continue Reading »

November 23, 2014

A few words about Sara

Sara Boone, who has served with Portland Fire & Rescue — the official name of the fire department in Portland, Ore. — for more than 19 years, has achieved another first, becoming the first African-American woman in the 131-year history of the organization to rise to the rank of Battalion Chief. Sara smiles for the... Continue Reading »

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... Continue Reading »

September 26, 2014

Twins recap: Pitcher Phil Hughes shines in another losing campaign

Update: So that’s a wrap on the 2014 season for the Twins, the team finishing 70-92 after splitting a final four-game series with the Detroit Tigers. The Tigers, meanwhile, won the division and will advance to the playoffs for the fourth straight year, while the Twins have lost 90 or more games over the same... Continue Reading »

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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.