Is it possible that Joe Posnanski is in love with Ron Gardenhire? He recently wrote a winter meetings recap and dedicateda paragraph to his lunch with Gardy. Now, I think Posnanski is a great baseball writer and I read almost everythingbaseball related he publishes. But this man is in love with Gardenhire. I can see how reporters like him, he seems to be very open and is good for sounds bites with his “aw shucks” manner. However, this piece kind of upset me. He said he thinks Gardy is the best manager in the game, but he then goes on to say if he watched all the games, saw how Gardy managed the bullpen, watched every single on of Nick Punto’s at bats he might think differently. What now? So you like Gardy because he is nice, that’s cool, I’m sure he is. But don’t go and say he is the best manager in the game without much basis. I get your point that if the players like the manager, they tend to play harder. However, that isn’t always enough. Gardy is a good manager, but the best in the league? What is that based on? Tony LaRussa arguably gets just as much, if not more, out of the same level on talent. In 2006, when he won the world series he had David f-ing Eckstein as his starting SS. He is worse than Nick Punto. Outside of Puljos, the Cards didn’t have an overly talented bunch. So I’d say the “getting the most out of the least” argument doesn’t really hold that much water.
Despite the name of this site, we think Gardy generally does a good job, but has serious room for improvement. Now Posnanski, a national columnist, is underminingeverything we are trying to do here. Damn. This is really more of a rant against Posnanski just saying things in a column without really backing it up. “Gardy is great, I don’t really watch him on a regular basis, but he is great”. Let the people who watch the Twins day in and day out do the talking, Joe. There are readers on this site who love Gardy and everything he stands for, and I respect that because they know A LOT about Twins baseball so they have more than no legs to stand on.
If he had to write this piece I wish he would have replaced “Ron Gardenhire” with “Twins baseball”. The Twins have really played this way for a while, I guess if you want to put a face to it you can, but we all know that the throwing strikes, and emphasis on defense is somethingthe organization stresses from draft day on. Not something Gardy institutes when players arrive in his clubhouse. He reinforces it, yes. And since the Twins don’t really keep any of the worthless free agents they sign, that’s not an issue.
So, in summation, I would like to state that Ron Gardenhire is getting WAY too much credit for how this franchise has fared. During all those crappy years under Tom Kelly we were stockpiling draft picks to get the players we have today. Maybe this is a sport-wide issue. Managers get way too much credit for the success of their organization. Its different than college football, where the head coach is in charge of recruiting players, developing players, and coaching the game. So from now on, if we want to praise the Twins, we really should remember everyone who contributes. Gardy is really a figurehead. Stan Cliburn (and his brother, I think its Stu or some other weird alliteration) are probably the best managers in the system.
Another thing I don’t like about Gardy, is he is loyal to a fault. I’m all for supporting your guys, and I like that he won’t sign an extension until his staff is signed. However, someone needs to take Ullgerbehind the woodshed and just end it. He is bad at everything, and the fact that he is the manager if Gardy is ejected or has to leave the team or whatever is just downright terrible. Terrible.
Well, that is my Friday morning rant. Have a good weekend everyone.10 comments