Posted by: gravessack | August 14, 2011

Ron Gardenhire: Fire Or Keep?

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



  1. Don’t forget coaches to like in basketball. It can be the mangers/coaches fault if they don’t work well with the players (or liked my the head guy like the twolves firing Rambis) or players dislike him. But I agree Gardy is one of most kindness and best manger in sports.

  2. Fire the trainer. Maybe fire all the trainers in MLB. The DL is full of over paid, out of shape ball players.

  3. I really believe it is time to start over. This season is on GM BIll Smith not manager Ron Gardenhire. However, this is one of the softest teams in Twins history and the team despite what the media has written, has quit on him at times during the season. Hire Paul Molitor as manager and beg Terry Ryan to come back as GM.

  4. I disagree despite loving Gardie a lot. Texas beat the Yankees handily right after we fell apart. And, their payroll was worse than ours last year. What they did have (as did the Giants) was a manager and owner that the players had confidence in and would work hard for (whether through fear or respect).

    I just don’t think the players feel this way about Gardie anymore even if they love him as a person and respect a lot about what he’s done for the team in the past. I think they do not believe that when push comes to shove he can take them the entire way.

    Last year’s lost to the Yankees in three was completely demoralizing (almost as bad as being swept by the A’s in 2006).

  5. Wrong about it being the player’s fault when he doesn’t run the bases. If a player is not hustling the manager should bench him. If he doesn’t, the other players will see it’s o.k. and will follow suit to a slow disintegration of the team.
    Benching even the best player, if he’s not hustling, is a good example to the rest of the team.

    • Joe,

      Do you think the Twins should get rid of Gardenhire or not?


  6. Sam: After reading subsequent articles by you and your subscribers it seems that the team has disintegrated into a lack of discipline and respect for the manager. Perhaps it all began when he didn’t bench Mauer and set an example. After 9-10 years of limited success it may be time to replace Gardy. Perhaps he is like Marty Schottenheimer of the NFL and does not have what it takes to be a winner.
    All teams have to get past the Yankees if they are to be in the World Series. Especially the Red Sox.
    Your article about Thome was beautifully written and heartfelt.

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