You know what they say about publicity, right? That any publicity is good publicity — I thought, perhaps, that I should remind you about that so we’re clear on what I meant. Well, when Posnanski links to you, that’s some pretty serious publicity.
The problem, though, is the context of that link. He did it in a post called “HireGardy.com” in which he lumps us in with a bunch of crazed anti-Gardenhire internet people. He defends Gardy, who he likes as a manager, against the attacks of bloggers and commenters around the world. And he calls us the “informal” anti-Gardy blog, which is funny given that of the other two sites he points to, one is hosted on blogspot and the other is just a one-page site that complains about Gardenhire but has no other content or usefulness. I guess that means he didn’t spend much time reading.
My dad has frequently told me that I should change the name of the blog — that people are turned off when they hear that the site is called “Fire Gardy,” and perhaps don’t even visit (thus discovering that we don’t actually want Gardy to be fired). He also made the valid point that Gardy will someday not be the manager any more, thus making the website pointless. Those are all good points, of course, but I think the name has a nice ring to it.
I actually think Gardy is a good manager — in the past I’ve tried to quantify the contributions a manager makes and found that Gardy is consistently one of the top managers. It seems like every year, he’s voted 2nd or 3rd in the AL Manager of the Year voting, and I’ve never had reason to quibble with the selection.
Of course, I have a bunch of reasons why I don’t like the things Gardy does — the name doesn’t exist solely because it sounds good. For a team that’s consistently one of the youngest in the league, he has far too much of a preference for veteran players (despite talent). The players in whom he places his undying trust — like when he says Punto needs his at bats because he’ll bat with the game on the line a lot and he needs to be ready for it — well, let’s just say they’re not the players I would choose to trust. I think I’d handle the bullpen differently, with less of an emphasis on predefined roles and faith in the magic of the later innings … but I suppose you can’t really argue with his results.
He rips apart one comment, taking it down point-by-point; that comment basically touched on every weak argument people have against Gardy, which is presumably why Posnanski picked it.
I don’t mean to pick on one comment — the point is we get a LOT of seemingly angry anti-Gardy stuff like that around here. And a lot of it just seems petty to me. Look, I think he’s a great manager. A lot of people think he’s a fraud. That’s fine. I can point to five division champions. A lot of people can point to his weak division and playoff failure. That’s fine. I can point to a team that has consistently won and players who consistently play well for him as the season goes along. A lot of people can point to Gardy’s bizarre individual decisions and they would rather credit other people for the Twins’ success. That’s fine too.
And yes, I think it’s funny that people seem to go to Posnanski to complain about Gardenhire. Maybe it’s because he likes Gardy, and is one of the few people to admit that on the internet. Maybe it’s because he’s just the biggest person to admit it on the internet.
I wish Gardy were better at dealing with young players — it happens to be my opinion that he destroyed Alexi Casilla and would have destroyed Carlos Gomez if he hadn’t been traded. I wish he cared more about “getting outs” than “eating innings” … perhaps saving us from watching guys like Carlos Silva, Sidney Ponson, Ramon Ortiz, and Livan Hernandez go out and lose baseball games. I wish he at least gave the impression that he’s thought through how he wants to handle a pitching staff, rather than just leaning against the conventional wisdom — after all, conventional wisdom isn’t going to help you win when you have fewer resources than your competitors. You have to do something new!
But without a doubt, something Gardy does is working. And it’s working great. And anyway, if Gardy did everything the way I would, then what would I hve to write about? My favorite thing about Gardy — aside from, you know, all the winning — is that he’s a constant, undying source of fun things to write about.8 comments