Fire Gardy

Mismanaging games since 2002

Holy crap, Posnanski linked to us!

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 “” 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 so far

  1. rural March 11th, 2010 10:08 am

    He called your site informal based on the fact that you use the informal ‘Gardy’ vs the more formal Gardenhire.

    Also, Gardy wins, enjoy it.

  2. FunBobby March 11th, 2010 10:59 am

    We may nitpick with how he gets thing done, but we (at least I) don’t disagree with the results he gets. Bitching about some things just gives us something to do while there isn’t a game going on.

    Also, on the radio this morning Souhan suggested the Twins should trade Mauer. I for one think that even if we don’t sign him taking the draft picks is better than trading him.

  3. sirsean March 11th, 2010 11:03 am

    I have a post bouncing around in my head right now about the possibility of trading Mauer. We’ll see if it actually solidifies enough to get written down.

    My initial reaction is that it’d be tough to get a deal done, given how much a team would have to give us to make it worth our while — but then, like Santana, they’d want to lock him up to a long-term deal and thus wouldn’t be willing to give us anything good.

  4. FunBobby March 11th, 2010 1:24 pm

    Right. I think Smith would be in the same situation he was with Johan. and he didn’t handle that particularly well. If Mauer doesn’t sign, I say we keep him all year, try to win it all and see if he decides to sign next winter.

    but let’s try to stay positive.

  5. Bryz March 11th, 2010 5:26 pm

    I saw that Posnanski linked to here yesterday. Congratulations! Throw that in your dad’s face as a retort to failing to change the blog name :-P

    I don’t see how taking 2 draft picks is more advantageous than trading Mauer. You can get A LOT in return for him, so why not take a handful of players that either already have major league success or are much easier to project for the future, rather than two guys that will be coming out of high school or college and likely will still need 4-5 years to develop in the minors.

  6. FunBobby March 11th, 2010 5:35 pm

    I think the main reason for keeping Mauer all year is I think we can win a world series this year. If we are out of contention in july, and can someone get a package similar to something the Rangers got for Tex a few years back I say do it. Although the braves were trading for 1.5 years of him, not 1 or 1/2. I still think they will be able to sign him though

    TwinsCentric writer Set Stohs had a good post on the topic last week

    why is the Twins front office getting all the blame. Instead of saying “Sign Mauer!” Why aren’t we saying “Mauer, sign!”.

  7. sirsean March 11th, 2010 6:08 pm

    Well I wouldn’t say “they can’t trade him,” but if the haul is similar to the one we got for Santana. I mean, if we can trade him for Heyward & Strasburg then hell yeah we should do it, but that’s not going to happen.

    Especially if the 2009 draft is the start of a trend of the Twins going over-slot to get high upside guys, we’d be better off going for it this year and taking the picks rather than accepting an underwhelming haul in a trade.

    And I don’t know why nobody seems to be putting pressure on Mauer to sign. Maybe because they like Mauer more than the front office? Maybe because we expect Mauer to do what’s best for Mauer, but we expect the Twins to do what’s best for us?

  8. Ragstoriches March 12th, 2010 3:07 pm

    The “5 division titles” defense for Gardy makes no sense to me. Since when does regular season success define greatness? Sorry, but some of us strive for more than the AL Central every year. The guy can’t win a playoff game, much less a series. You know what would be one sign of a good manager? Pulling an upset, getting the most out of your team vs. a more talented opponent. His teams play scared in the playoffs. If the Yankees won 5 titles in 8 years or whatever, and won 1 playoff series in that span, would their manager be praised as one of the best in baseball? That guy wouldn’t last 3 years.

    People don’t expect much out of the Twins, which is infuriating. Fans and even the team put the Yankees and Red Sox on such hallowed ground here, it’s like we’re not even playing the same sport. “They have a giant payroll, which isn’t fair, so we can’t be expected to compete with them.” The Twins have been “small market” because in the past they’ve refused to spend money. So they should be commended for it? No. Should they have lowered expectations because of it? No way.

    This year they can’t use the “small market” excuse, so how will their 1st-round sweep be congratulated this year? The Nathan injury is shaping up to be the perfect scapegoat.

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