Results tagged ‘ Manager Of The Year Award ’

Strong Lineage

215521_10150168134729841_45991614840_6374971_658818_n.jpgWow…what a great picture.

The first thought that comes to mind is “who was the better manager?”, but I don’t think the answer really even matters.  Tom Kelly brought a “fundamentals” approach to MN, and Gardy has simply continued that tradition.  That consistency has allowed the Twins to build such a fine organization over the past two decades.

I found another pic that does show the main difference between Gardy and TK:

TK and Gardy.jpg

TK was almost always a calming presence, while Gardy brings a bit more “fire & brimstone” to the dugout.  Other than that, though, both managerial philosophies were the same: learn the fundamentals, respect the game, hustle and have fun.

Gardy Finally Gets It

ron-gardenhire-minnesota-twins-mlb.jpgOld news, I know, but I just wanted to make sure to congratulate Ron Gardenhire on his 2010 manager of the year award.  After taking second place SO MANY times in this category, he finally pulled in the well-deserved hardward for guiding the Twins to the Central Division championship this season.

Gardy has one thorn in his side: beating the Yankees.  Other than that inexplicable almost complete failure, he is the best manager a team could ask for.  He loves baseball, knows his stuff, is great at keeping an even-keel, and just overall seems like a down-to-earth good guy.

So Gardy, congrats again and hopefully you’ll be bringing home a new trophy in ’11…one with a few more flags on it! 

Gardy

ron-gardenhire-picture.jpgA while back, the balloting for the American League Manager of the Year Award was announced, and (once again) Twins’ skipper Ron Gardenhire was the bridesmaid, this time to Mike Scoscia of the Angels. I was not too steamed at this, to be honest, and here is why: I’ll start with the positive:

I think that Gardy is a very good fit for this Minnesota Twins ballclub. He preaches fundamentals (a must for a young team, which the Twins will always be under the current economic structure of baseball), keeps a cool head (another “lead by example trait for the youngsters), and is just a good guy, plain and simple.  He isn’t a complete nutcase like Ozzie Guillen, and he isn’t too full of himself like, say, a Lou Pineilla.  Since Gardy succeeded a burnt-out Tom Kelly as manager, five division titles (and one near-miss) speak for themselves.

That being said, I didn’t necessarily cry myself to sleep at Gardy not getting Manager of the Year for two particular reasons:

First, is his loyalty to certain players (well, one player in particular):

Minnesota+Twins+Photo+Day+EnKPxsWuqG9l.jpg

Back when T.K. was at the helm, he always said that as long as he was a major league manager, Dick Such would be his pitching coach. The same can now be said for Gardenhire and Nick Punto.  While other players (like Alexi Casilla, for instance) can make one mistake and instantly be demoted to Gardy’s “doghouse”, a place that is easy to languish in for extended periods of time, Punto pretty much gets a free pass.  Though this kind of loyalty is nice in a personable sort of way, I think it gets Gardy in trouble a little bit in terms of on-field potential.  Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that the skipper himself was that same type of utility player back in his playing days with the Mets:

 

ron_gardenhire_autograph.jpg2. The other issue is his playoff-managing style.  Instead of “going for the throat”, Gardy tends to manage a playoff game like any other regular season game.  This was evidenced in the ALDS against the Yankees when Francisco Liriano was the first arm out of the pen in a close Game One against the mighty Yanks.  Was he just playing the matchups, or hedging his bet that Frankie could somehow get out of the jam and save the good relievers for later?  I have my suspicions it was the latter.  Of course, later never happened (and often does not in a playoff series).  This was not the first instance of that problem, either.

To re-iterate, though, I think that Ron Gardenhire is the man that the Twins need at the helm right now.  He’s great at teaching the fundamentals of the game to young players, as well as trying to keep them on an even keel and just play the game in front of them.  There’s just a few things that could be improved upon…like not already penciling in Punto as a starting infielder and batting ninth.

Gardy At The Helm

070528_gardenhire_hmed_4phmedium.jpgThe Minnesota Twins organization announced today that manager Ron Gardenhire (who has been in that capacity since the start of the 2002 season) sign a two-year extension, pushing his tenure to the end of the 2011 baseball season.  This will assure Gardy an office in the Twins’ new stadium, Target Field, come 2010.

This was a no-brainer move for the Twins to make.  While I often disagree with Gardy’s careful handling of his starting pitchers and his careful playing of the lefty-righty numbers, he has proved me wrong more times than not.  His real talent, though, is in cultivating young players, as he has found the right balance of treating the youngsters with respect but showing them some tough love as well.  This year (2008) might have been his greatest achievement yet, taking a team that absolutely no one thought would contend and taking it within a few innings of a playoff berth.  I wouldn’t want anyone else manning the end spot in the dugout!

Twins Notes:

-In other Gardy news, he again finished second in the Manager of the Year award voting to the Tampa Bay Rays’ Joe Maddon.  Although Gardy deserved the award as much as anyone, how could it not go to Maddon for what he did for the Rays’ franchise?!  This is one of those awards where it’s better to be lucky than good, and Gardy has never been very lucky!  I doubt he cares though…he’ll probably go bowl a few games and forget about it!

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