Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Gardy, manager of the year

I am pretty sure that, if Ron Gardenhire managed the Twins in a good Strat-O-Matic league the way he does in real life, he would have a losing record.

Ron Gardenhire has a .550 winning percentage in nine
seasons as Twins manager.
Among his frequent tactical sins: He over-exposes the likes of Jason Kubel, Jacque Jones and Jim Thome to left-handed pitching; he manages for the save stat; when he does use a defensive sub in the late innings, it's usually not for his worst defensive outfielder.

But he's not plying his trade in a dice-and-percentages game. He and his peers are in a human contest, where the considerations include the fragility of the DH's back, the tenderness of the catcher's shoulder and the self-confidence of the left fielder.

Gardenhire today was named the American League Manager of the Year by the BBWAA. He's been the runner-up five times; now he's the winner.

I don't know that he did a better job running the Twins in 2010 than he did in 2006, or in 2002, or 2003. What I do know is that he's won six division titles in nine seasons at the helm and was one win shy of a seventh. The AL Central may not be the best in baseball, but it's not the weakest either.

He's doing more things right than wrong.

1 comment:

  1. I can't help comparing Bobby Cox and Gardenhire. Rob Neyer had an interesting piece about Cox's success but how it failed to translate into World Series titles. I wonder if in 20 years we'll place similar thoughts on Gardy's legacy.