Fire Gardy

Mismanaging games since 2002

The Demise of Fundamentals

Yet another embarrassing loss, and the Twins reputation as a small ball team that does the little things right continues to look more and more ill-gotten. This team can’t advance runners on the bases and does little, if anything, right. From the game recap:

“I hope that would be our ugliest game of the year,” Gardenhire said. “I hope we never have to deal with something like that again, missing pop flies and failures to get runners in and execution, the whole package.

“I don’t know how you prepare for those things. We’re not used to seeing it and it’s embarrassing for this organization and our fans. I put that on my shoulders — that’s my baseball team out there.”

Frankly, I was fully expecting Gardy to stick with the “We didn’t get the job done, the other team was the best team in the history of baseball, we need to focus on the little things” mantra that he says to the media after every bad performance, but he went one step further this time. He actually took responsibility for how badly the team played. Although I don’t know how much responsibility he really put onto his shoulders, given that he started the sentence by saying he doesn’t know if there’s anything that can be done about it.

All I can say is that he’d better figure something out. It seems more and more like Gardy just says things to the media but that doesn’t get passed along to the players. Does Gardy ever talk to the team? To the players individually? Does the team even practice?

Howard Sinker said it extremely well:

The former manager, Tom Kelly, imbued his teams with the fundamentals and Gardy’s division-winning teams were in large part the result of Kelly’s ways of doing things. The current group has lost the right to carry that banner.
Indeed, ever since Gardenhire took over the team, the “fundamentals” have existed only in the press room, kept alive in the minds of Gardy and the media, but not in the minds of the players or on the field. And it seems that it’s been getting worse as the years progress. At some point, Gardy simply has to realize that he’s not actually putting together a major league caliber defense, and that “pitching to contact” only works if there’s an excellent defense on the field. And that if a player isn’t good with the glove, he has to be able to hit — if not, why is he on the team? (Quick, name five position players on the team who can neither hit nor field. That shouldn’t have been so easy.)

And offensively?

“Honestly, though, he wanted to walk us,” Gardenhire said. “He tried to throw the balls in the dirt. We just kept swinging. I credit their pitcher to keep doing that. If they’re going to keep swinging, keep throwing them down there.”
I feel like I’ve written about this a few times before. And I also feel that Gardy has claimed on multiple occasions that he’s talked to the players about waiting for their pitch and not swinging at pitches out of the strike zone. It’s just … nothing has changed. Either Gardy hasn’t talked to the team, they didn’t listen, they’re not practicing it, or for some reason it’s simply not translating into the games. If Gardy considers himself the manager of the team, it’s high time he steps in and tries to fix this on the field.

I can’t be the only one who’s had enough of hearing one thing from Gardy and seeing the opposite on the field.


2 Comments so far

  1. FunBobby May 19th, 2008 3:11 pm

    I like this topic. It is true, the twins no longer seem to focus on fundamentals. So i’m not sure what they focus on. The pitching is there, the hitting is not. Currently on our roster we have Delmon Young, Carlos Gomez, and Alexi Casilla. They seem to have a very low combined (and individual) baseball IQ. One of our players is on the DL because he hurt himself sliding into first base, that doesn’t exactly scream genius.

  2. sirsean May 19th, 2008 3:22 pm

    And Gardy has told the media that he doesn’t want the players to slide head first. Ever, really, but especially into first base.

    And what happens? People are constantly sliding head first, especially into first base.

    Is it that once Gardy says something to the media he expects the players to read it in the paper the next day, like the rest of us? Or does he tell the players and they just don’t listen?

    It’s also possible that he tells the players what he’s thinking and what he wants, then tells them to disregard him because they might lose their “aggressiveness,” and he doesn’t want to change that.

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