Thursday, November 18, 2010

No Longer a Bridesmaid

I think there are a lot of misconceptions about the impacts managers have on the outcomes of baseball games. I can't profess to know the intricacies of these impacts, but I am fairly certain that they are vastly overrated by the majority of people.

Managers make several decisions throughout the course of the a ball game. Of those decisions, only a small percentage reflect a unique philosophy held be that particular skipper. There are certain things I don't like about the way Ron Gardenhire tends to manage -- his deployment of "small ball" tactics, his over-reliance on veteran players, his strict adherence to traditional closer usage, to name a few.

These tendencies understandably frustrate fans, but what those fans don't seem to understand is that basically all managers across the league make the same types of decisions. Most people in Minnesota don't get the opportunity to watch opposing managers under the same type of microscope, so there's a "grass is always greener" mentality that can take hold. At least until you watch Ron Washington, leader of the AL Champs and second-place finisher in this year's Manager of the Year voting, allow his bullpen to implode repeatedly in the playoffs while his best reliever sat on the bench.

Usually it's been Gardenhire finding himself as the runner-up in baseball's annual award for the league's best manager. He finished second in the voting five times in his first eight years at Minnesota's helm. Yesterday, finally, Gardenhire was named American League Manager of the Year for the 2010 season.

I sometimes get painted as a Gardy devotee because I've written pieces defending him against criticism and highlighting his positives more frequently than just about any other person covering the team.

I wouldn't say that's an accurate depiction of my stance. I've criticized Gardenhire for plenty of his decisions in the past. He typifies the "old-school" approach to baseball that can often drive me nuts; wasting outs on sacrifice bunts, batting a middle infielder second in the lineup regardless of his competence, emphasizing hustle and the mystical trait known as scrappiness over pure talent (i.e. Nick Punto).

But, to me, it seems flat-out ignorant to sit here and say that those traits -- however annoying -- have been significant detractors from the team's overall success. Gardenhire is the first manager in league history to capture division titles in six of his first nine seasons. He's often done so while overseeing teams with huge payroll handicaps and lesser talent.

This year, for the first time, he could claim neither of those disadvantages. The Twins entered the 2010 season with monumentally high expectations thanks to an aggressive offseason and unprecedented fan interest. Those expectations were met in the regular season, undeniably. The Twins won 94 games, dominated their division and became the first team in all of baseball to clinch a playoff spot.

They did this despite a great deal of adversity. Joe Nathan, one of the league's best relievers, suffered a season-ending injury in spring training. Justin Morneau, one of the league's best hitters, had his season end in early July. Many other players battled through injuries that caused them to miss time and affected their on-field performance.

Through all of that, 94 wins.

This isn't a sport like basketball or football where the head coach and his staff develop a game plan, draw up plays and manage timeouts. Ultimately, games are won by hitters coming up with big hits, pitchers making good pitches and fielders catching the ball. I do believe that Gardenhire's tactical decisions sometimes hurt the team. But far more, I think he does things that help breed success.

Given his results, that's awfully hard to argue.

Yes, there's the brutal postseason track record. Scapegoating the manager for those struggles seems like an easy way out, though. If Gardenhire's management is so deeply flawed, why has he been so successful in the regular season? If he is responsible for his team "playing scared" when things get tough, how has he led them back from seemingly insurmountable odds to win division titles in 2006 and 2009? The Twins haven't been able to move past the ALDS since 2002 because the players just haven't delivered very good performances, and I can't find it in me to blame anyone but those players themselves for the consistently disappointing outcomes.

The team's lack of postseason success during Gardenhire's tenure should make us feel sorry for the man, not castigate him. I suspect that he wishes more than anyone that this team could find a way to win in the playoffs and bring home a World Series title. The individual honor he received yesterday is certainly not an adequate substitute, but it has been a long time coming.

Congrats Gardy.

39 comments:

M-Dawg said...

"If Gardenhire's management is so deeply flawed, why has he been so successful in the regular season?"

The regular season rewards the marathon not a sprint mentality which Gardy excels at. He projects calm even after bad losses, sticks with his guys, preaches an overall sense of calm. This is critical if you're going to endure the brutal 162-game regular season.

The playoffs are a completely different beast. You really can't afford to lose a single game. Urgency is a must. It's a sprint, not a marathon. Losses are not okay. There might not be a tomorrow for guys to go out and battle their tails off.

It's the team's attitude during the playoffs that's most disturbing, and part of that falls on gardy, sorry, it's part of the manager's job to get the team in the right mindset. Game 2 they played ho-hum like it was just another game. Game 3 they had quit before they even took the field.

Coaching, playing, etc. in the playoffs is far different than in the reg. season. It's not unreasonable to say that gardy's a very good regular season managers who struggles in the playoffs. It's fact. Again, the only constant in the last decade of playoff futility is Gardy. When your team plays the same exact way and gets the same exact results no matter the players, it's not a coincidence.

Congrats gardy on recognition for being a good regular season manager. Now focus on recognition for being a good postseason one too.

The Ray Area - Mark said...

Great post Nick. Ron Gardenhire was long overdue for this silly award.

Anonymous said...

Gardy's post season suckage is obvious. Two examples of his in season miscues (from my point of view) follow: First of all was the Cuddy bereavement leave. Gardy knew a few days ahead of time when Cuddy was leaving yet he didn't put him at 1B in any ganes leading up to Cuddy's 4 day leave despite Justin not haveing a day off up to that point. If you recall Justin came down with the flu while Cuddy was gone and we had to play Harris at 1B. The second event was when O Dawg and JJ where already on the DL. Gardy said Span needed a day off and Mauer was the DH. With 2 starters already out he benched 2 more with CF and C. We all can agree the players need a rest but not 2 starters on the same day when 2 other starters are already forced to sit (DL). These are just 2 examples (I could give many more) where I thought Gardy dropped the ball.

Anonymous said...

M-Dawg nailed it.

He needs to do a better job of getting his players ready for the playoffs.

I have no problem with Gardy winning Manager of the Year, since it is a regular season award. Postseason is a whole different ballgame.

SethSpeaks said...

So, if I'm understanding correctly, we would prefer a manager that burned out his players throughout the regular season as if it were a sprint, and not make the playoffs just so if they just happen to get their they may have a 0.5% better likelihood of winning once they get their yet will be so dead exhausted and probably even more injured once they get there?

Sorry, but I'll take the guy who has given the Twins an opportunity to win the World Series six times in the last nine years (and one win from making that 7).

Is Gardy perfect? Of course not. but no matter what manager is brought in, we will all find faults. Name the best managers in the league today? Joe Maddon? He lets his players run at will, many times in bad situations. Terry Francona? Mike Scioscia? I don't know what their flaws are because we don't watch them every day. If we did, I bet we would find some, whether they are actual flaws or not.

No, I don't have an answer for the postseason non-success. I can't apologize for giving a little bit of credit to CC Sabathia and Andy Pettitte the last two years. When people talk about the Twins lack of hitting in the playoffs, it can't be argued, but I think those guys should get some credit... and the Twins don't matchup well against top left-handed starting pitchers like the two above, and Gardy didn't have better options than to play Jim Thome and Jason Kubel.

yes, the postseason record is no longer a small sample size, but each year is a different roster, and a different team, so it's not like the sample size is consecutive either.

Great article Nick!

Chad said...

Another stat I recently discovered: Gardy is 147 games over .500 in his nine years managing the Twins. Can anybody guess how many other managers in Twins history are in the exclusive 100 games over .500? I'll give you a hint: Zero. The closest competition is Sam Mele, who won 88 more games than he lost. Our beloved Tom Kelly finished his career 104 games BELOW .500. Clark Griffith managed the Twins for 9 years, made the Hall of Fame, and ended up only 47 games over .500.

Source

There's a lot of ways to explain these results, but at least one significant reason for the success is Gardenhire himself.

Anonymous said...

Ron Washington was ripped off. His team had more injuries and won the division by a bigger lead. He also clobbered the Yankees in the playoffs. This is not a lifetime achievement award it is for the top manager in the American League. It's tough to argue against Washington.

Gardy has coached some the best players(Hunter, Santana, Mauer, Morneau, Nathan, Ect) in MLB the last 9 years and has no real excuse for going 3 and out every year. Defend that!!

M-Dawg said...

Seth, i don't know if you are responding to me, but I'm saying don't change a darn thing in the regular season. What he's doing clearly works. But gardy needs to understand the playoffs are very different than the regular season, and he needs to get that across to his players. Gardy has to adjust his managerial style once the postseason starts because the same "in it for the long haul" approach just doesn't work in the playoffs, as has been demonstrated repeatedly by gardy's clubs.

Yes he's done a great job with a lot of constraints up until this year. But expectations have changed for this organization. It's no longer acceptable to merely win the division and flame out in the playoffs. Twins are upper-echelon in payroll. They need to advance in the playoffs - its incumbent on the front office to make sure the pieces are in place, Gardy to get his team there and get them prepared to win, and the players to go out and perform.

I just don't understand the folks that lavish praise on him for the regular season and turn a blind eye to the postseason. Can't have both. He is what he is: good in reg season, bad in playoffs. Why is this controversail?

I'd hope the front office can admit this and talks to Gardy about it this offseason. Like any "performance review" at another job, it's an area he needs to improve in.

Anonymous said...

here is my suggestion for gardy for next year: make beating the yankees in the regular season the top priority. tell your team that each series with them is a must win and treat them that way. play with a sense of urgency in the regular season against the top competetion.

they have proven over gardy's tenure that they can win a majority of the series during the regular season, but have they proven that they can win one when they absolutely need to against a great team?

they seem to treat every series as the same, if they lose this one, they will win the next one. that is great in the regular season, but they need practice with do-or-die and a regular season yankee series seems like a great time to practice.

i'm not saying that they aren't trying to win every series or anything like that, just that they need to treat a few series a year like they could make or break the season just to get in that mindset for the playoffs where every game matters.

Anonymous said...

It's the team's attitude during the playoffs that's most disturbing

I hate these types of statements. How anyone can pretend to know what's in the heads of players is beyond me.

Dave said...

ok, I just hit my breaking point on ignorant "attitude lost us a world series" posters.

Would you rather that we had Dusty for a coach? He did a great job firing up the Reds this year! They were so fired up and spunky that they made error after embarasing error to get dominated.

How about Torre? He obviously can coach in the playoffs, right? As dry as dry can be. He looks like he is waiting for his laundry to finish in the dugout. I may be fired up about fabric softener, but is the team?

Girardi? He definately leaves it up to the players. And he can with guys like Jeter who have been in the same clubhouse in the same leadership role for years. I bet that if Jeter isn't on the roster Girardi can't even talk Swisher into a fresh can of Skoal.

And that brings up another point. Morneau wasn't even on the bench for the playoffs. You can't tell me that having your most productive hitter and long time friend of Mauer doesn't kill chemistry. They had to rely on Cuddy's magic tricks for inspiration, and while they are damn good, I would rather Morneau was around then Cuddy with a bird down his pants.

One year we will get it going and the Twins will go deep into the playoffs with Gardy at the helm. That year all you goofballs will say "finally, he must have read my post on a blog and changed his approach". In reality, the team will be playing well and just like any team on top of its game appear as though they were fired up. How do you appear fired up when you play like crap and know it? How can you appear not to be fired up when you are playing well and you know it? All I know is that once people jump back on the Gardy bandwagon I won't bitch, I will move over and make room, even if I feel you are dead wrong now.

SethSpeaks said...

"How anyone can pretend to know what's in the heads of players is beyond me."

100% agree with this comment.

M-Dawg, I completely understand what you're saying... but explain to me what Gardy or any manager would do differently in 3-5 games? Should he yell at umpires more? Should he change the lineup despite the lineup being one of the top in the game? Should he have not gone to Jesse Crain in Game 1 despite the fact that Crain is the guy who got that job done from May through September? Should he threaten his players?

I'm honestly asking that question because I honestly don't know what the answers are, and no one else does either. I was as frustrated as anyone (including the Fanatic one) during the three games in the series. But to say that Joe Girardi managed better in that series isn't really true. It isn't true to say that Ron Washington managed better in the playoffs than other managers either. Geez, he was completely bashed after Game 1 of the ALCS for being a horrible bullpen manager. Then suddenly his offense goes off the rest of the series, and he's a genius?

I don't think I'm being a homer in saying that I think that Nick is right and Ron Gardenhire was the best manager in the league throughout the regular season, and regardless of Jack's antics, that is what the award is for.

Nick N. said...

Game 2 they played ho-hum like it was just another game. Game 3 they had quit before they even took the field.

If you really believe that, it's a huge indictment of the players, not the manager. These are millionaire professional athletes who battled hard for six months to reach the postseason, they should require no extra movitation to try their hardest there.

These are just 2 examples (I could give many more) where I thought Gardy dropped the ball.

Good examples, and there are others too. But in the long run, his questionable decisions didn't really derail anything. I don't think you can argue that this team deserved to win more than 94 games. He got the most out of what he had, as he typically does.

I just don't understand the folks that lavish praise on him for the regular season and turn a blind eye to the postseason. Can't have both.

Yes you can. Hundreds and hundreds of regular-season games provide a much clearer picture of his managerial ability than 20-some postseason games with different rosters over nine years.

Look, the people who are calling out the absurdity of these "attitude" arguments have it nailed. It's complete hindsight speculation. If the Twins had won we'd be lavishing them with praise for their gutsy and tenacious performance, but they lost so we claim they had no fire and didn't show enough urgency. One team has to win and won team has to lose, and unfortunately this year it happened to be the Twins on the wrong side again. To say that this was because they didn't play hard enough or realize the magnitude of the games is silly.

P.S. - Dave, that comment had me rolling!

M-Dawg said...

How many postseason losses are you guys willing to endure before you admit maybe its not working for gardy? nick, it appears your answer is somewhere in the hundreds. So until gardy has managed more postseason games than anyone in history, we cant judge him. Seth, dave, what about you guys? If the twins lose 6 more in a row, will that change your mind? 9 more? I honestly want to know.

Anonymous said...

jeez you guys are jumping all over mdawg here. i love gardy myself, but to be fair its not like the guys saying gardy's terrible or should be fired. you guys are just too sensitive about gardy. how about a little objectivity.

Nick N. said...

There would have to be something in these postseason failures that actually indicates Gardenhire is doing something wrong. What we have now is a string of mostly close losses hallmarked by a lack of big pitching performances and big hits. The man can't go out there and swing the bat.

Dr. Truth said...

Anon and mdawg, not sharing the same opinion as the Twinscentric guys is liable to get you destroyed in their comments sections. There like the dictators of the Twins blogosphere. Just give up now cuz those guys wont ever let it go.

M-Dawg said...

What indicates to you that Gardy is doing something right in the reg season?

SethSpeaks said...

"There would have to be something in these postseason failures that actually indicates Gardenhire is doing something wrong. What we have now is a string of mostly close losses hallmarked by a lack of big pitching performances and big hits. The man can't go out there and swing the bat."

This.

My intent wasn't to go after "M-Dawg" specifically at all. He just is the one who isn't hiding behind "Anonymous." And my question, I think, is legit. What should Gardy do differently in the playoffs? What exactly should be done? I truly don't know the answer to that, and until someone tells me something that could be proven, it's hard for me to blame him. I find it hard to find fault with any managerial things that Gardy did in that three game series.

Anonymous said...

"If Gardenhire's management is so deeply flawed, why has he been so successful in the regular season?"
Because he has talented players? This award is so meaningless and might as well be a team award. If gardenhire were the manager of the royals he probably be about to get fired. Gardy doesnt deserve much blame for playoff failure or much praise for regular season success. Ultimately the decision making of the manager is completely overshadowed by the play of the players. And the intangibles are really unmeasurable because its impossible to say what the true w-l total of the team would have been independent of the manager. So this award is always going to team with the most wins or a team that surpassed their arbitrary expected win total. No one should care about this award. And speculating on gardy as a manager as playing a significant role in the success and failure of the team is sill too. The twins lost in the playoff because they went cold for 3 games, they won in the regular season because they had better players than the rest of the division.

M-Dawg said...

Gardy doesn't swing the bat in the reg season either, though, but that doesnt stop you guys from declaring his greatness.

Jesse said...

Let's assume that in each of the past 12 losses the Twins were overmatched and their opponent had a %60 chance of winning the game. The chance of the Twins losing 12 straight games at these odds is %.21. Since this is so statistically improbable you must begin looking at reasons it is happening. The players have changed over the streak but Gardy hasn't so it is reasonable to put at least a portion of the blame on Gardy.

I think Seth intentionally misread the "Sprint vs Marathon" opinion because one of the strengths the Yankees have going into the postseason is that every series against the Red Sox has such added attention that they get practice playing in stressful situations where the Twins are always calm and relaxed because there is always another game. I wrote this as a comment in one of Seth's entries (http://talkintwinsbb.wordpress.com/2010/11/02/twins-offseason-blueprint/):

"I would add a move that is not roster related but instead goes to the heart of the playoff failures and that move would be for someone in the organization to play the bad guy and put pressure on the team to win a series against the Yankees in the regular season. I think either Bill Smith or Dave St. Peter needs to come out before the season and state:

“I like the guys on this team but if this team cannot become competetive against the Yankees during the regular season I will need to re-evaluate the roster. I am instructing Ron Gardenhire to treat the 2 series against the Yankees like a playoff series and the organization will be embaressed if this roster that consists of numerous all-stars and a payroll of over $100 million dollars cannot compete against the Yankees.”

I think this teams needs to learn how to play under stress and they need an artificial sense of urgency added to a series or two during the regular season to better prepare for the playoffs."

If you add up the playoff failures plus the failures against the Yankees we find the sample size is not small and indicates a real problem and that problem is the Twins way does not translate into short periods of high stress.

Nick N. said...

There like the dictators of the Twins blogosphere. Just give up now cuz those guys wont ever let it go.

I put my opinions out there for everyone to read. People disagree with them. I disagree back. Discourse happens and knowledge is gained. I don't really understand what your gripe is.

The twins lost in the playoff because they went cold for 3 games, they won in the regular season because they had better players than the rest of the division.

Good comment, and it summarizes my feelings pretty well. I don't think Gardenhire is the reason for the Twins' success, but the key point is that he doesn't get in the way of it. That's what makes him an effective manager and one deserving of this (maybe arbitrary) award.

The point you're missing is that quite often the team with better players than the rest of the division does not make the playoffs. That doesn't really happen under Gardy.

Gardy doesn't swing the bat in the reg season either, though, but that doesnt stop you guys from declaring his greatness.

"Declaring his greatness"? How am I supposed to respond to your arguments when you exaggerate my viewpoint like that? I don't think Gardenhire is some genius who has masterminded this team's success, but you can't deny the results -- he's the winningest manager in team history and he's made the playoffs six times in nine years. All I'm saying is that on the list of things the Twins need to worry about, their manager is near the very bottom.

Nick N. said...

I think Seth intentionally misread the "Sprint vs Marathon" opinion because one of the strengths the Yankees have going into the postseason is that every series against the Red Sox has such added attention that they get practice playing in stressful situations where the Twins are always calm and relaxed because there is always another game.

The Twins have played tons of high-intensity regular-season games over the years. They've played in Game 163 twice over the past two years. They've had some epic series against divisional opponents with playoff-type atmospheres. Claiming that a team needs to be exposed to Yankee/Red Sox type national hype during the regular season in order to be prepared for the playoffs pretty much excludes every team in baseball except for those two.

The Yankees are more comfortable playing on the big stage, sure. That happens when you are the most popular and media-hyped team in the country. It also happens when you can afford to fill your roster with experienced productive veterans.

If you add up the playoff failures plus the failures against the Yankees we find the sample size is not small and indicates a real problem and that problem is the Twins way does not translate into short periods of high stress.


If true, then I believe that it's an issue of organizational structure rather than in-game management. I just can't get on board with the notion that Gardenhire has some isolated weakness that prevents his teams from being able to beat one single team when the rosters for both those teams have varied dramatically over the last 10 years.

The chance of the Twins losing 12 straight games at these odds is %.21.

You're right, the odds were low. But thousands of baseball games are played over the years and sometimes really unlikely things happen. Lengthy winning streaks and losing streaks, perfect games, etc. What were the statistical odds that the Twins would make the playoffs in June of '06? In late September of '09?

Nick N. said...

I think Seth intentionally misread the "Sprint vs Marathon" opinion because one of the strengths the Yankees have going into the postseason is that every series against the Red Sox has such added attention that they get practice playing in stressful situations where the Twins are always calm and relaxed because there is always another game.

The Twins have played tons of high-intensity regular-season games over the years. They've played in Game 163 twice over the past two years. They've had some epic series against divisional opponents with playoff-type atmospheres. Claiming that a team needs to be exposed to Yankee/Red Sox type national hype during the regular season in order to be prepared for the playoffs pretty much excludes every team in baseball except for those two.

The Yankees are more comfortable playing on the big stage, sure. That happens when you are the most popular and media-hyped team in the country. It also happens when you can afford to fill your roster with experienced productive veterans.

If you add up the playoff failures plus the failures against the Yankees we find the sample size is not small and indicates a real problem and that problem is the Twins way does not translate into short periods of high stress.


If true, then I believe that it's an issue of organizational structure rather than in-game management. I just can't get on board with the notion that Gardenhire has some isolated weakness that prevents his teams from being able to beat one single team when the rosters for both those teams have varied dramatically over the last 10 years.

The chance of the Twins losing 12 straight games at these odds is %.21.

You're right, the odds were low. But thousands of baseball games are played over the years and sometimes really unlikely things happen. Lengthy winning streaks and losing streaks, perfect games, etc. What were the statistical odds that the Twins would make the playoffs in June of '06? In late September of '09?

Nick N. said...

I think Seth intentionally misread the "Sprint vs Marathon" opinion because one of the strengths the Yankees have going into the postseason is that every series against the Red Sox has such added attention that they get practice playing in stressful situations where the Twins are always calm and relaxed because there is always another game.

The Twins have played tons of high-intensity regular-season games over the years. They've played in Game 163 twice over the past two years. They've had some epic series against divisional opponents with playoff-type atmospheres. Claiming that a team needs to be exposed to Yankee/Red Sox type national hype during the regular season in order to be prepared for the playoffs pretty much excludes every team in baseball except for those two.

The Yankees are more comfortable playing on the big stage, sure. That happens when you are the most popular and media-hyped team in the country. It also happens when you can afford to fill your roster with experienced productive veterans.

If you add up the playoff failures plus the failures against the Yankees we find the sample size is not small and indicates a real problem and that problem is the Twins way does not translate into short periods of high stress.


If true, then I believe that it's an issue of organizational structure rather than in-game management. I just can't get on board with the notion that Gardenhire has some isolated weakness that prevents his teams from being able to beat one single team when the rosters for both those teams have varied dramatically over the last 10 years.

The chance of the Twins losing 12 straight games at these odds is %.21.

You're right, the odds were low. But thousands of baseball games are played over the years and sometimes really unlikely things happen. Lengthy winning streaks and losing streaks, perfect games, etc. What were the statistical odds that the Twins would make the playoffs in June of '06? In late September of '09?

M-Dawg said...

"You can't deny the results -- he's the winningest manager in team history and he's made the playoffs six times in nine years."

I completely agree. Nowhere do i disagree with you. He aboslutely deserves credit for the reg season achievements.

He's also one of the losingest managers in MLB postseason history. Please dont deny that.

Anonymous said...

A manager does more than in-game management!

M-Dawg said...

"If true, then I believe that it's an issue of organizational structure rather than in-game management."

You honestly think the manager's job is strictly in-game management and everything else is on the front office?

Anonymous said...

I just don't see how you can completely dismiss any thought that Gardy has anything to do with the postseason failures. Yes, most of the blame should be on the players, but you have to at least admit that there might be something in the preparation for the playoffs that could be lacking.

it is great to get to the playoffs every year, but eventually you have to at least entertain the notion that maybe at least some of the blame can go to gardy and maybe he isn't getting them adequately prepared for the big postseason series. or you can keep praying that the blind squirrel will eventually find the nut.

Nick N. said...

You honestly think the manager's job is strictly in-game management and everything else is on the front office?

No, but there's no reason to think Gardenhire's behind-the-scenes management is anything but excellent. Players like him and play hard for him. They stay out of trouble.

He's also one of the losingest managers in MLB postseason history. Please dont deny that.

I'm not denying that. But I think many people pay way too much attention to that fact in assessing him as a manager.

Yes, most of the blame should be on the players, but you have to at least admit that there might be something in the preparation for the playoffs that could be lacking.

Sure, I'll conceed that possibility. But I think any negative impact he has is relatively small and constantly overblown by fans looking for somewhere to hang their frustration.

It seems like every time I make a positive post about him I get throngs of people complaining about his lack of postseason success. On this day, in which he has finally received some recognition for all of his winning, can't we just concentrate on the positives? There are a ton of them.

Dave said...

As far as Gardy goes I really dislike him as an in game manager. My defense was based on some assumption that its his fault that the Twins can't beat the Yankees in the playoffs.

Personally, I would love to have a manager like Maddon. His in game stuff is superb. His bullpen management is great, and he even tries some non traditional stuff. For instance, he put a righty in against a righty, moved him to LF and put in a lefty, then subbed the lefty out for a LFielder and moved the righty back to the mound. That kind of stuff is on par with the defensive schemes of the Patriots in football and the nuetral zone trap when it was invented in the NHL. High minded and results oriented.

Gardy does not do this, period. But that doesn't apply to this complaint because he didn't make any in game errors during the Yankees series. The only post season flub he has made that I can remember was when he started Radke against the A's.

What you guys are complaining about is some speculative phantasmal "thing" that Gardy is or is not doing that only causes failure only in the playoffs. Nobody seems to know what this "thing" is, and nobody even pretends to. When Gardy plays Punto because of an unseen undemonstrable "thing" that he has, it is an unreasonable move. When you call for Gardy to be replaced because of some "thing" it is a savvy understanding of team chemistry. How does this compute at all?

If we even accept that there is some "thing" that makes teams win in the playoffs, how do we hire a manager that has it? Do we only chase after managers that have proven through results that they have it? And how do we know that other managers are winning championships in spite of a lack of this "thing"?

Polish Sausage said...

Funny you mention Maddon, can't believe he didn't get more recognition this year. 1/3 the payroll of the Yanks (and about $30 mil less than the Twins) and he gets more wins than Gardy and beats the almighty Yanks in the toughest division in baseball.

Gardy, on the other hand, wins because his team, who was supposed to win the crappy division and did win the crappy division, "endured" a loss of their closer which had zero impact on the team and also a 1/2 season when they had to replace their 1st baseman in the lineup with a first ballot hall of famer. It must've been tough pencilling in Thome's name every day.

If Gardy had done what Maddon did in that division the Twinscentric crew would have annointed him the 2nd coming of Jesus. Instead we get another load of righteousness about Gardy "deserving it." Oh well, way to go Regular Season Ronnie.

Anonymous said...

Sure, I'll conceed that possibility.

that's all i was looking for. i don't think anyone in the organization is above criticism with the way they have played in the playoffs.

USAFChief said...

For instance, (Madden) put a righty in against a righty, moved him to LF and put in a lefty, then subbed the lefty out for a LFielder and moved the righty back to the mound. That kind of stuff is on par with the defensive schemes of the Patriots in football and the nuetral zone trap when it was invented in the NHL. High minded and results oriented.

Forgive me if I'm misinterpreting, but are you claiming Madden 'invented' this tactic?

If so, you're wrong by multiple decades.

Dave said...

Chief, did you go through my comments for something to try and nitpick and that was the only thing you could find? No, he obviously didn't invent it. I never said he did. The point is that his managing is results oriented.

USAFChief said...

No, (Madden) obviously didn't invent it. I never said he did.

Really? Cause it sort of sounds like you're claiming he did, in fact, invent it:

That kind of stuff is on par with the defensive schemes of the Patriots in football and the nuetral zone trap when it was invented in the NHL.

In any case, Madden's a good manager. But...visit any Rays blog and you'll see mountains of the same sort of short-sighted, uninformed criticisms of Madden you'll see on any Twins board regarding Gardy. "He can't handle a bullpen!!!" "He doesn't know how to manage in-game!!!" "He should've brought in reliever B instead of reliever A!!!"

You think Madden was MOY? Fine.

But I'd be willing to bet that you--like most fans--would be calling Madden an idiot after 75 games were you to watch him manage every game, like you do Gardenhire.

Dave said...

Whatever, I may be wrong on Madden. You are right, I don't watch even close to a fair amount of Rays games. The ones I have watched impressed me. So let me rephrase; I would love to have a manager that does things like I have seen Madden do that are high minded and results oriented.

As to you picking a fight over words I didn't say, I am going to end this. I didn't say Madden invented that move. I didn't even allude to it. My exact words were "His bullpen management is great, and he even tries some non traditional stuff. For instance..." Now if you want to read “tries” as “invented”, that’s your prerogative. And if you want to argue that the move is indeed traditional, go ahead, I did in fact call it non traditional. Don't try to drag me into some semantic BS you invented in your mind. In the end I don’t give a crap how hard you squinted at my post to get the word “invented” to pop out of the magic eye pattern. Done.

Anonymous said...

"high minded and results oriented"

sounds like a BS resume.