Monday, September 30, 2013

Gardenhire without Anderson? Not likely

Rick Anderson (left) and Ron Gardenhire were
teammates in the Mets organization in the 1980s,
and Anderson has been Gardenhire's pitching coach
for 12 seasons in Minnesota.
Long-tenured managers tend to be linked to long-tenured pitching coaches. Tony LaRussa and Dave Duncan. Bobby Cox and Leo Mazzone. Tommy Lasorda and Ron Perranoski. Tom Kelly and Dick Such.

And, yes, Ron Gardenhire and Rick Anderson. Anderson has been Gardenhire's pitching coach all 12 seasons that Gardenhire has managed the Twins

We can expect a decision soon, perhaps today, on whether Gardenhire will remain the Twins dugout boss. One bit of speculation has Terry Ryan telling Gardenhire he can stay — but Anderson cannot.

Gardenhire, who can reasonably expect to get other job offers if he is out in Minnesota, would probably reject that proposition. I doubt Ryan would make such an offer, partly because I don't think Ryan is Machiavellian enough to make the offer with the intent of making Gardenhire be the one to cut the ties with the Twins.

For better or worse, and quite probably for better, managers get more say on the pitching coach than on the other members of the staff. Friction between the manager and the pitching coach, be it on a personal level or professional, is too obviously counterproductive. 

When Kelly retired after the 2001 season, Ryan dismissed Such almost immediately, either to clear the position for the choice of the next manager or because Ryan wanted Such out. It's impossible to imagine that Ryan would have fired Such had Kelly remained.

Such was Kelly's pitching coach. Anderson is Gardenhire's. Period, end of sentence. If Gardy stays, Andy stays.


  1. What a loser organization.

    Afraid of change.

    Terry Ryan. Game has passed him by.

    Starts in the owner's box, it all flows from there but still.

    The Twins are a stale organization.

    Strib should do a 3-part series on the demise of the Twins.

    the headline for part 1 of the Sports section, in big bold face should be:

    99 96 96

    -the # of losses the past 3 seasons- and a story on the fall from grace.

    next day,

    30 28 29

    (or whatever the rank of the pitching staff has been in all of MLB the past 3 years) and a big story on the failure of the org. to draft or develop arms(and a sidebar on former pitchers who find success after leaving.)

    then the final day.


    the number of Twin's managers or FO staff or scouts jettisoned and the rarity of that in MLB history when reaching this run of sustained ineptitude.

    (BS was re-assigned, he still has a job)

    Gardy is absolved of the on-field results the past 3 seasons because the players just aren't good enough but but but...

    what about this beauty from the past?

    "General manager Bill Smith has made it clear that the Twins targeted Nishioka largely because Ron Gardenhire wanted more speed in the lineup, and despite his excellent range defensively, Hardy is among the slowest shortstops in baseball. Whether that focus makes sense following the team's most successful three-year stretch offensively since the early '90s is questionable, but there's no doubt that going from Hardy to Nishioka is a huge speed upgrade."

    And also, there is his stubbornness/obliviousness to the platoon concept given the constraints of his line-up...

  2. TR is supremely over-rated.
    The game has passed him by.
    change and adapt or get left behind.
    The entire organization's group think is based on not changing, loyalty.

    And another Gardenhire lovely on Aaron Hicks, not being brought up for September call-ups:

    "This is a good breather for him," Gardenhire said. "Hopefully he'll come back with a little attitude."

    Remember back in Boston from May-ish

    Gardy put on show for that catch 'n' flip. Got all tomato face red in the dugout.

    Hicks offended the baseball gods.

    That is what that is about.

    This attitude they want from Aaron is what?

    And Hicks went from AA to the majors, hitting lead-off against Justin Verlander in the opener because....?

    More fire or some such nonsense?

    Gardenhire seemingly can only manage a certain type of player.

    The standards get pretty high from Gardenhire if you're not his beloved grinder type.

    They are so busy holding certain players accountable and others not they never hold themselves and their outdated way of running things accountable.

    Hicks is not getting any younger. I don't care what happened with him from April to now but Sept. was an absolute no-brainer to give him as many ABs as possible the last 4 weeks. Even if he strikes out 3 times a game...he needs the ABs. He actually has some natural talent to work with. Let him have the ABs the rest of the way in this lost season. What good does the Twins future do to give those major league ABs to Thomas and Presley? None. Replaceable ham-and-eggers.

    The season was lost. Work with and you know ...encourage the kid. The mind games they play with some while gifting jobs to others is baffling.

    The Twins need a fresh voice in the dugout.

    If TR (and the ownership's criteria for keeping your job) is going to continue as is ...and they are.

    The best a Twins follower could hope for would be something rarely mentioned, a complete revamping of the scouting department's m.o. and a replacement of about 75% of the team's scouts.

    The decision makers for the big league club and on-field staff is not going to change. Only hope for a long term turnaround is to give them more AND better players to coach up and evaluate/nit pick once they get up here.

  3. Would the Twins 2014 #1 starter Kevin Correia, be on the play-off roster of any of the 2013 play-off teams?

    As a long reliever, never mind giving him a play-off start? I don't think he would. That it is even a valid question says everything about where the Twins are.

    And it did not just happen overnight, or the past three seasons. Where the Twins are right now is 10 years in the making. It started in the 04 draft the draft where they had all those supplemental 1st round picks and came away with Waldrop, Rainville, Swarzek and Fox.

    The scouting dept. has been abysmal, spectacularly whiffing on 2 thru 4 round picks for 10 years running. And what about their failing trend to take the big HS bat catcher/1B types early? The Bam-Bam Rams honorary yearly choice, they have had horrid success with that m.o. (Henry Sanchez.) They kind of make up their point of emphasis they go along, and change it up every few years. The college control artist SP run, the college big arm middle reliever run...

    All picked high, all fail.

    That is where Ryan has dropped the ball. How this scouting staff hasn't been seen as needing a major overhaul is entirely on him. The game has passed him by and his loyalty to a broken scouting system in to blame.

    New eyes looking at the entire organization is needed, top to bottom. You never get that when you never look outside your back door to fill any positions. You never look because there is never a need, no one is ever fired, just re-assigned.

    And Pohlad is blind to the need.