Since Ron Gardenhire replaced Tom Kelly as manager of the Twins in 2002, the team has won six of nine division titles and has been one of the most successful teams in baseball. Gardenhire always has had a good relationship with his players. Still, as the Twins continue to struggle in 2011, I have heard that the Twins should get rid of him soon. I completely disagree with this thinking.
It has been said this season that Gardenhire isn’t firm enough with his players. Catcher Joe Mauer, for example, is rumored to not care a lot about winning and doesn’t always hustle when running the bases. Somehow, Gardenhire gets blamed for this. Whether this is true or not, it is NOT Gardenhire’s fault! He doesn’t run or think for Mauer! He just tells Mauer how he SHOULD play. If Mauer decides to not listen and not play like he should, that is his choice.
Another complaint about Gardenhire is that when the Twins get to the playoffs, they lose in the first round. Except for 2002, when they beat Oakland in the ALDS, this has been the case. But, four of the next five times the Twins have made the playoffs, they have played the Yankees in the first round. The Yankees have been one of the best teams in baseball for years, mostly because of their unbelievably huge payroll ($196,854,630 in 2011) which allows them to get the best players possible. How can anyone blame Gardenhire for this?
When a team is struggling, the manager is usually the one person many people blame. While this may sometimes be partially the manager’s fault, it is NOT in the case of Gardenhire. Before the manager gets blamed for everything, people should take a look at the players and how they are playing. Maybe get rid of a few of them? After all, the manager doesn’t play the games! So, Gardenhire, if you read this, know that I’ve got your back! What do you think about Gardenhire? Should the Twins fire or keep him?
Written by: Sam Graves