Fire Gardy

Mismanaging games since 2002

Happy Gardy Day!

Today’s an eventful day for Ron Gardenhire.

He finished second in the voting for AL Manager of the Year, behind Joe Maddon. Gardy probably deserved to be second place just about as much as Maddon deserved to be first; ie, completely. I can’t think of any problems with it. Except … Maddon got 27 of 28 first place votes, and Gardy got 1. What’s the big deal, you say?

There has never been a unanimous winner for Manager of the Year. (ESPN)
Oh. Oh boy. Is it possible that the newly minted Ray Nation will inexplicably get angry about this? Yes they can. The single vote came from a sportswriter in Cleveland, who was then accosted by, and essentially reneged his vote:
“The voting is done in the final week of the season, so I did not have the playoffs to consider,” Pluto said. “If they did the voting after, certainly Joe would have got it.”
I think that’s exactly why they do the voting before the playoffs — because it’s Manager of the Year, not Manager of October. But I have no gripes. He can say he’d like to take his vote back all he wants to. It seems that’s a rare opinion though, as Pluto is suffering plenty of hate mail.
Pluto said he’s trying to respond to every email he’s received, which have included a one-word, “Idiot,” and even some from fans in Cleveland who love his work but were wowed by his vote

“One guy wrote, ‘I usually like your stuff, but what were you thinking? You’re making me embarrassed to be from Cleveland.”

Seriously? This is what makes you embarrassed to be from Cleveland? 

Oh, and in other Gardy-related news, he finally got his extension. Good for him. As expected, it’s a two year deal, and also as expected, it wasn’t officially announced until all his coaches also got a two year contract extension. That’s right folks. Ullger is now signed through 2010. Vavra will still be our hitting coach and Castellano is still the strength and conditioning coach — so don’t expect any more power.

I appreciate the loyalty shown here by Gardy and the Twins organization. But at what point is it clear that Ullger, Vavra, and Castellano aren’t getting it done? We have performance metrics for the players, and even the manager (he has a 622-512 record), but we get nothing for these coaches and trainers, who have a huge impact on the abilities of the players to perform and the manager to win.

I demand satisfaction!

Also, congratulations Gardy.


4 Comments so far

  1. FunBobby November 13th, 2008 10:56 am

    I agree. I looked at the past AL manager of the year winners (specifically years in which Gardy finished second) and it looks like there was always someone just a little bit better. The two that really stress my point are Joe Maddon this year, and Mike Scoscia (despite apparently dying of radiation poisoning) in 2002. Scoscia and the Angels were great that year, just as Maddon and the Rays were great this year. I don’t think the manager of the year should go to the manager whose team was expected to suck, but turns out to be halfway decent. One exception is Tony Pena in 2003 with KC, they were in first place for most of the year and I think I was on their roster. So people saying “lots of ‘experts’ picked the rays to make the playoffs, while nobody picked the Twins” is not a reason for giving Gardy the award over Maddon. How is meeting expectations a bad thing?

    I agree with not taking into account October (and november). Short playoff series involve some level of luck. A managers true skills show over the course of the 162 games we play from April to September.

    In the NL, I’d say Lou deserved it. The same reasoning applies. Just because the Cubs were supposed to win the division and did isn’t a reason Lou shouldn’t get the award. That logic never has made sense to me. Since when is a managers ability to outperform sportswriter’s projections an indication of his managerial skill?

  2. sirsean November 13th, 2008 11:07 am

    “Since when is a managers ability to outperform sportswriter’s projections an indication of his managerial skill?”

    Awesomest comment ever? Maybe.

    And I don’t think very many “experts” picked the Rays to make the playoffs this year. We were both supposed to be third or fourth place teams. It’s just that their team was better, and therefore exceeded expectations by more.

    (“Experts” are unaware that talent and payroll and market-size are not synonymous, or that having a lot of television viewers doesn’t actually help you win games. Wait, why are they experts?)

  3. FunBobby November 13th, 2008 12:18 pm

    I’m not sure if they should make these award ballots puclic. I’m not a huge fan of sportswriters, but sports fans might be the craziest breed of human out there. Why subject this guy to the idiotic rants of some guy who has been a rays fan since august? Just show us the finaly tally, if someone has a problem, they can start a blog and complain. Isn’t that what blogs are for?

  4. sirsean November 13th, 2008 12:45 pm

    That’s exactly what blogs are for, and I agree that the sportswriters take a lot of heat for the way they vote. And they shouldn’t, even when they’re wrong (this is not really an example of that — voting for Webb over Lincecum or Hamilton over Mauer would be).

    I think it should be more like real voting — ie, the ballots are secret but you can reveal who you voted for if you want to. The point is that it’d be up to the voter, not just public by default.

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