Friday, October 20, 2017

Gardy in Detroit

The word Thursday evening was that the Detroit Tigers had settled on Ron Gardenhire as their next manager, and the Boston Red Sox had settled on Alex Cora.

Neither deal was completely done, but assuming that nothing goes wrong in wrangling the contract details, Gardy will be back in the AL Central.

And good for him. I don't think Detroit is a particularly good fit for him, not that anybody is likely to win with the Tigers for a few years. It's an organization with an over-the-hill core and a weak farm system.

The good news is that ownership --with the passing of patriarch Mike Ilitch -- recognizes the necessity of rebuilding. The bad news is, they haven't much to rebuild with.

I don't view Gardenhire's strengths and weaknesses as a good fit for a rebuilding team. He was, throughout his tenure with the Twins, inclined to prefer proven players and impatient with youngsters. That was understandable when the Twins were contending, but during the last few seasons it was counterproductive. I don't know for sure that Oswaldo Arcia or Liam Hendricks would have turned into viable major league regulars with steadier opportunities; what I do know is that neither developed as hoped.

A team in the Tigers position, I think, would do better to go with a younger, even inexperienced, manager, one less beholden to his past.

I thought, and wrote, that Gardenhire's strengths fit well with the Red Sox. What he doesn't have, and the Sox may well have required, is a history of working with the advanced metrics in vogue today.

It's possible that the past season, spent working with Red Sox alum Torey Lovello with the Arizona Diamondbacks, taught Gardenhire what he was missing with his previous resistance to the new stats. Gardy's about the same age I am; I'd like to think that I'm capable still of growing. But I also know that it's harder for me to accept change.

Anyway, I don't jeer at this:

I also won't jeer at those who want to see the evidence.

1 comment:

  1. It'll be nice to see Trevor Plouffe again when the Tigers are at Target Field.