Twins To Extend Ron Gardenhire

On the heels of being named the 2010 AL Manager of the Year, Ron Gardenhire has agreed to a two-year contract extension with the Twins, reports Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Twins officials tell Christensen that the skipper's entire staff will also be extended for two years, keeping them signed through 2012. Gardenhire, who was already under contract for 2011, will receive an additional two years, meaning he'll be on the Twins' bench through 2013.

Gardenhire has managed the Twins since 2002, leading the team to a 803-656 (.550) record and six division championships. Minnesota has won just a single playoff series during Gardenhire's tenure and never reached the World Series. However, as we heard when the Twins were eliminated this fall, for CEO Jim Pohlad, the club's playoff performance is a "nonissue" when evaluating Gardenhire.

Gardenhire had finished second in AL Manager of the Year voting five times before this year's win. Gardenhire managed the Twins to 94 victories and a division title, despite missing slugger Justin Morneau for half the season.


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48 Comments on "Twins To Extend Ron Gardenhire"


BG921
4 years 8 months ago

Not a big surprise here, I wish Ron nothing but the best in Minnesota…

Guest
4 years 8 months ago

Luke, double-check your winning percentage there.

Cubsin20xx
4 years 8 months ago

1459-803? I’ll bet my next 739462940 paychecks that this is not right.

Luke Adams
4 years 8 months ago

Good bet. 803 wins in 1459 games is what I was looking for.

4 years 8 months ago

Best manager in baseball in my opinion. Even though I think managers arent extremely important, he manages to get more out of his talent than anyone else. Just wish he didn’t work for Twins….

the_show
4 years 8 months ago

He has to win a playoff of game to earn that title in my opinion

MB923
4 years 8 months ago

Best manager in baseball? Certainly not. One of the best I’ll say, but please, don’t call a manger who is 6-21 lifetime in the playoffs the best in baseball.

TwinsVet
4 years 8 months ago

Even as a homer, I’d agree with this. He’s in the conversation of best manager, but the playoff record is an asterik that keeps him from being a clear favorite.

Drew
4 years 8 months ago

I don’t FAULT him for it, but I agree that it’s hard to say, “He’s A#1 no doubt best manger in the game,” until he gets that monkey off his back.

MB923
4 years 8 months ago

Best manager in baseball? Certainly not. One of the best I’ll say, but please, don’t call a manger who is 6-21 lifetime in the playoffs the best in baseball.

4 years 8 months ago

His teams always play with an edge and attitude that is hard to find at other stops in the league.

Much deserved extension, and his award today could have and maybe should have been the second or third of his career by this point.

Ian_Smell
4 years 8 months ago

Not only should they sign him to a longer contract, but they should stretch him out vertically.

TwinsTapir
4 years 8 months ago

Oh, good, we get Scott Ullger back.

YanksFanSince78
4 years 8 months ago

Congrats on the extension but I thought Washington would’ve won the award.

4 years 8 months ago

I’m sure he would have if they voted on the award after the postseason. Why don’t they? When you think of the “Manager of the Year”, postseason success is a big part of that and what everybody plays for in baseball.

moonraker45
4 years 8 months ago

he got buzzed and forgot to fill out the application form

0bsessions
4 years 8 months ago

As JustinBartz pointed out, accounting for the factor of it being voted for before the postseason makes Gardenhire an obvious choice over Washington this year. Gardenhire won more games, faced more injuries (Lost his first baseman for a huge chunk of the year and his closer for the whole thing), used a patchwork rotation and (Debateably) played in a tougher division than Washington. Gardenhire, simply speaking, did more with less than Washington.

YanksFanSince78
4 years 8 months ago

Yeah, I guess. My thought was that the Twins were suppose to win. They were the best team in the Central. I don’t think anyone had the Rangers pegged to run away with the West. Washington did a great job with a rotation led by the likes of WIlson and Lewis for the majority of the season and a rookie closer. Don’t have a real issue with Gardy winning, just thought Washington did a more impressive job.

twins33
4 years 8 months ago

While most Twins fans still felt we were supposed to win the division, once Nathan went down, quite a few predictions dropped us to 2nd or 3rd before spring training was over.

edited because I said “most predictions” and I don’t think it was most, but a good number of people either switched or picked the Twins while saying…”but….they have this obstacle now which they may not be able to overcome.” So it was like picking them, but doing it without a ton of confidence.

Twins GM
4 years 8 months ago

This sucks well maybe he can improve on that .222 winning percentage in the playoffs and extend his losing streak from 12 to 21. I mean he is only 2-19 in his last 21 playoff games!!!! That 6-21 career record in the playoffs should say don’t let the door hit you on the way out. Most of those wins came in 2003 in his first year (4-6 but lost last 4), but hey he has got the Twins as close as 3 games away from the World Series once in his career so that is good right???

TwinsVet
4 years 8 months ago

Every season, there’s 24 managers who don’t even make the playoffs. The number of manager’s who have 6 division titles in 9 years is ridiculously small.

You sound like the kid who’s whining that his Grade A Filet Mignon steak came with a side of brussel sprouts, while every other table at the restaurant is eating macaroni and cheese.

MB923
4 years 8 months ago

22 managers don’t make it, not 24. You forgot the Wild Card.

TwinsVet
4 years 8 months ago

Good catch. I was thinking division titles, and just phrased it poorly.

MB923
4 years 8 months ago

Thanks haha. I wouldn’t call him the best in baseball, But I will call him a good manager. Fair?

TwinsVet
4 years 8 months ago

Very fair. I think he belongs in a conversation of the top 3-5, and I’m not sure anyone is clearly the “best”. Torre may have been front-runner for the title a few years ago, but by doing nothing in LA and Giradi winning a title in NY, it pretty much showed Torre was just blessed with an ungodly roster that managed itself.

My irritation is when the locals call for firing Gardy because of his post-season success. As if there’s a better option than Gardy available?!?!?!

MB923
4 years 8 months ago

I’d also call this the “makeup year” for the Manager of the year awards he missed out on. I would’ve given it to Washington, and truthfully I think I may have even voted Maddon or Francona ahead of Gardy, but at least it went to a candidate deserving. I just think Wash should have won. You can argue about Nathan and Morneau, but they had Rauch to back up and the Rangers had a rookie closer. People kept bringing up Lee, his numbers were poor with the Rangers (regular season). And they had a losing record in games he started. Nobody expected the year that Vlad had, at least in the first half, and Josh Hamilton was also a question mark, and Kinsler started off on the DL tooIf I had to pick a manager for the best 2nd half of the year, that would easily go to Gardy, and also Bochy in the NL, but since it’s for the whole year, I would have given it to WashingtonBut as I said, I guess call it a make up year. Kind of like Carl Crawford and Franklien Guiterrez missing out on their gold glovesSeems like managers/coaches who vote are 1 year behind all the time.

TwinsVet
4 years 8 months ago

You have to wonder if the cocaine admission by Wash was a factor at all.

MB923
4 years 8 months ago

Doubt it. Especially if Hamilton wins MVP. Didn’t effect Lincecum getting the Cy Young last year either.

Makes me wonder if despite the injuries, if the Red Sox payroll affected Francona.

I think it certainly affected Girardi last year. Went from 89 wins to 103 wins and 3rd place to divisition title (of course WS champs too but that didn’t matter in the voting).

MB923
4 years 8 months ago

I’d also call this the “makeup year” for the Manager of the year awards he missed out on. I would’ve given it to Washington, and truthfully I think I may have even voted Maddon or Francona ahead of Gardy, but at least it went to a candidate deserving. I just think Wash should have won. You can argue about Nathan and Morneau, but they had Rauch to back up and the Rangers had a rookie closer. People kept bringing up Lee, his numbers were poor with the Rangers (regular season). And they had a losing record in games he started. Nobody expected the year that Vlad had, at least in the first half, and Josh Hamilton was also a question mark, and Kinsler started off on the DL tooIf I had to pick a manager for the best 2nd half of the year, that would easily go to Gardy, and also Bochy in the NL, but since it’s for the whole year, I would have given it to WashingtonBut as I said, I guess call it a make up year. Kind of like Carl Crawford and Franklien Guiterrez missing out on their gold glovesSeems like managers/coaches who vote are 1 year behind all the time.

TwinsVet
4 years 8 months ago

Very fair. I think he belongs in a conversation of the top 3-5, and I’m not sure anyone is clearly the “best”. Torre may have been front-runner for the title a few years ago, but by doing nothing in LA and Giradi winning a title in NY, it pretty much showed Torre was just blessed with an ungodly roster that managed itself.

My irritation is when the locals call for firing Gardy because of his post-season success. As if there’s a better option than Gardy available?!?!?!

TwinsVet
4 years 8 months ago

Good catch. I was thinking division titles, and just phrased it poorly.

MB923
4 years 8 months ago

22 managers don’t make it, not 24. You forgot the Wild Card.

TwinsVet
4 years 8 months ago

Every season, there’s 24 managers who don’t even make the playoffs. The number of manager’s who have 6 division titles in 9 years is ridiculously small.

You sound like the kid who’s whining that his Grade A Filet Mignon steak came with a side of brussel sprouts, while every other table at the restaurant is eating macaroni and cheese.

Twins GM
4 years 8 months ago

This sucks well maybe he can improve on that .222 winning percentage in the playoffs and extend his losing streak from 12 to 21. I mean he is only 2-19 in his last 21 playoff games!!!! That 6-21 career record in the playoffs should say don’t let the door hit you on the way out. Most of those wins came in 2003 in his first year (4-6 but lost last 4), but hey he has got the Twins as close as 3 games away from the World Series once in his career so that is good right???

InLeylandWeTrust
4 years 8 months ago

And there’s the Twins big signing of the offseason!

InLeylandWeTrust
4 years 8 months ago

And there’s the Twins big signing of the offseason!

TwinsVet
4 years 8 months ago

As much as people carp about Gardy’s post-season record, there’s zero doubt he’d be snatched up at a top candidate in a heartbeat by at least 10 other clubs who haven’t made the postseason in a decade. And there’s not exactly a better option out there if they happened to let Gardy walk.

It does my soul good that the Twins front office sticks with their man. TK and now Gardy both have long tenures. How many teams play musical chairs with their managers, and get rewarded for it? Normally a revolving door at manager indicates there’s bigger problems at hand than just the style of the coaches.

$1529282
4 years 8 months ago

I wouldn’t want a revolving door, as you say, and I agree that when that’s happening there’s something bigger going on. However, at a certain point, the Twins’ postseason attitude needs to change, and they need to be more prepared.

I think Gardenhire made an enormous mistake this year resting his regulars the last two weeks of the season and basically conceding the best record in the AL. I said it at the time, and it’s true now too… what good did it do us?

Would we have fared better against the Rays? Who knows? But I think our players looked rusty, had bad approaches, and quite honestly just looked deflated and defeated by the time Game 2 rolled around. Terrible at-bats against Pettitte. This is a guy who had a WHIP of almost 2.00 since coming off the DL (small sample I know), and we let him breeze through 7 innings with a low pitch count.

The Twins looked flat out embarrassing in Games 2 and 3. And it’s not the first time that’s happened. We look like a different team every time we’re up against the AL East or we’re in the Playoffs, and something has to give in that regard.

Drew
4 years 8 months ago

But listen, if he’d have played his regulars in the last two weeks and we still had lost to the Yankees (or the Rays), you’d be complaining about how he wore them out, how they could have used a few days off to focus mentally, etc.

The bottom line here is that winning in the postseason is simply about getting and staying hot. Whether you get hot isn’t always on the shoulders of the manager. Can he do things to help? Sure. But sometimes, no matter what you do, Jason Kubel is going to go 2/32 and kill every rally you have. How exactly do you manage your way out of a player’s slump?

When push comes to shove, all you need is a ticket TO the playoffs. What happens there can be magical (like the Rangers) or pitiful (like the Twins). But if you get that ticket punched every year, you have a MUCH better shot at winning it all than if you only get there once every ten years.

TwinsVet
4 years 8 months ago

As much as people carp about Gardy’s post-season record, there’s zero doubt he’d be snatched up at a top candidate in a heartbeat by at least 10 other clubs who haven’t made the postseason in a decade. And there’s not exactly a better option out there if they happened to let Gardy walk.

It does my soul good that the Twins front office sticks with their man. TK and now Gardy both have long tenures. How many teams play musical chairs with their managers, and get rewarded for it? Normally a revolving door at manager indicates there’s bigger problems at hand than just the style of the coaches.

4 years 8 months ago

Sorry but good managers win games in the post season. Gardy has the worst post-season record of all active major league managers.

Drew
4 years 8 months ago

How about those with NO post-season record? Do you consider them “more successful” at coaching?

$1529282
4 years 8 months ago

How many more times does Scotty Ullger need to prove himself completely and utterly incompetent as a third base coach before he’s canned? I don’t like Joe Vavra much, but I can live with him being retained. But Scott Ullger? There’s little league coaches who would make better decisions at third base.

twins33
4 years 8 months ago

What’s wrong with Vavra? I hear most of the hitters crediting him a lot. I think he’s had a hand in making Valencia (he was also helped by Morneau and Thome), Cuddyer, Young, Redmond, Hunter, and Morneau better hitters. He also was helping Hardy get his swing back. When Hardy was healthy, he was swinging really well. A bit above his head, but still really well.

When Cuddy went on his streak at the end of ’09 I remember him crediting Vavra for hand positioning which made him able to stay back longer. He was on fire after taking over for Morneau in ’09.

The Twins have had some great offenses because of a better lineup, maturing players and Vavra. I wouldn’t give him all the credit, but he certainly seems to help the Twins in being one of the top offenses since he’s arrived. I know Torii Hunter didn’t like that a “nobody” was coming in to help the Twins, but I haven’t heard one word since. Even Torii backpedaled from his previous comments and credited Vavra with the way he made the entire team’s hitting better. The guys have praised him because of results and the fact that the guy works so hard (never says no & works with a player as long as he needs).

$1529282
4 years 8 months ago

I think my lukewarm attitude toward Vavra is a bit biased, and I’ll admit that up front. In general, I find it easier to judge him on his failures with players than on his successes, because I feel like a lot of the really good, successful hitters on the Twins are that by virtue of their own natural gifts.

It maddened me to see him unable to get through to Carlos Gomez and (until this year apparently) Delmon Young. Same for guys like Casilla and to a lesser extent Punto. Even Hunter, who developed nice opposite field power, still had an approach at the plate that drove me nuts.

The Twins have had some good offenses, but there are so many times where I look at one of our players and just think, “What on Earth was he doing in that at-bat? He looked like a high schooler.” I think Denard Span has actually become too timid at the plate and too willing to try to walk, rather than swing early and get a big hit.

It may be bias, lack of attention to other teams’ hitters, or misguidedly placing praise on our pitchers when other teams’ players have terrible at-bats, but I just feel like I see bad approaches and bad at-bats more with our hitters than those of other teams.

Saying “I don’t like Vavra much” may be a bit misleading in the sense that I don’t really actively dislike him as a hitting coach, but I also don’t really feel like he’s done much to make me think highly of him either. You can point to Cuddyer’s amazing September in 2009 as one triumph, but as good as he was then, he was equally bad over this season’s last two months, barely cracking .700 with his OPS (.704).

Drew
4 years 8 months ago

You sure seem to like heaping tons of blame on the coaches for bad things that have happened. You really think it’s Vavra’s fault that GoGo can’t hit? And if he can’t hit throughout his entire career, will you apologize to Vavra? And a 23 year old Delmon Young FINALLY starts hitting, and you’re pissed because he wasn’t hitting like a seasoned major league pro when he 21 and his contemporaries were coming off their second season of AA ball?Your criticism is misguided in this instance. Vavra’s solid.

twins33
4 years 8 months ago

I think it is always a bad thing to point to Carlos Gomez and put any blame on Vavra. Gomez, in his mind, is a power hitter. He thinks he should be hitting #4. He’s said that. He thinks he’s the best CF in baseball. He could be the best CF in baseball, eventually, but he has things to work on. He for sure thinks he’s the best CF on the Brewers because he outright said it to the media.

For one, the Mets rushed him, like they do a lot of their prospects. He needed to be in the minors for at least two more years, but wasn’t. That’s their fault and also ours. We had several chances to send him down, but didn’t. Secondly, Gomez pretty much has rocks for brains, or so it seems. He doesn’t listen well or doesn’t get it. The Mets tried fixing his hitting, the Twins tried and now the Brewers are trying and failing as well. I’m surprised Gardy, Vavra or any of the other coaches even have hair after dealing with him. He is a difficult case. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was the true talent of Gomez. He wasn’t great in the minors and he still isn’t. He can still grow, but he might never be capable of being a starter (deservingly) in the majors.

Delmon is another that I don’t think you can fault Vavra for. Delmon, I don’t know if it was ego or what, but he would not listen to anyone but himself and his father. Maybe Dmitri too, I have no clue on that one, but that’s it. No one else was going to give him hitting advice and when they tried, he ignored or pushed them away. That was in the media for years, especially when he came over to us. Vavra tried, but Delmon said no. It was not until his mother died and the team rallied around him that he started to feel comfortable. I think the team donated money in his mother’s honor or something, I can’t remember, but I know they did something in his mother’s honor. They told him they had his back and as cheesy as it sounds, it worked. Before that, Delmon had a wall up. The second half of 2009 and now 2010, that was Vavra. He told Delmon to switch his batting stance and to drive the ball. Vavra and the Twins had been trying to get Delmon to drive the ball since he arrived. Delmon finally did and the results were there. He’s not perfect, he’s not Morneau-like yet, but he’s still young and maturing. I think he can still get better. His eye at the plate can certainly get better, and I think it’s gotten a lot better than what it used to be.

Punto…I really don’t know about him. I think he is what he is. I don’t think he’s more talented than he’s shown. I don’t know if there’s anything you can do with players like that. I’m sure Vavra has probably at least tried, but I can’t say with certainty. I can agree about Casilla though. He seems to have the talent to be a good player. We’ve seen flashes of it, but he can’t pull it together yet. Hopefully next year we will. Span, I really don’t know. The same for Kubel, who you didn’t mention. Those two were completely out of whack the whole season. Span, in my opinion, was the worst player on the team. To me, it looked like they both tried to do too much. I have no idea how or what Vavra tried to do, but hopefully it gets fixed next year.

And we have to remember that Cuddy had a knee injury, which apparently he had for most of the season. We have no clue if he was just using that as an excuse or if it was really messing him up. It was obviously there at some point since he had to have surgery. All I know is that I saw a lot of lunges for pitches that no one should ever be swinging at, but that’s always been Cuddyer. He’s done that for as long as I can remember. It needs to be fixed and that is definitely on the player and on Vavra. Then again, you can tell a player this and that doesn’t mean he’ll do it. He could ignore the hitting coach (doesn’t sound like Cuddy) or completely lose the correct approach during an at-bat…maybe by getting anxious. I think we see that a lot, especially in long at-bats. Again, I do agree with a few of the players you mentioned. They do dumb things, but I don’t think Vavra’s out there telling them to continue most of those bad habits. A good example is no matter how many times you tell Punto not to dive into first, he still does it. And they’ve told him to stop many, many times.

And with Vavra, I’m not saying all the praise should go to him. Clearly the talent of the players needs to be taken into consideration and the maturation of them as well. I personally have liked what Vavra has brought to the team. I think the hitting approach has gotten better. It’s not perfect, but I feel like it’s a lot better than it was pre-Vavra (mid to late 90’s, I know the team sucked then too) and even the first 2-3 years when Vavra first started.

Sorry, it didn’t feel like I was writing a book…

$1529282
4 years 8 months ago

As for Gardenhire, I really don’t get it. I know — six division titles in nine years. But that’s also in a division where the Royals have been an annual joke, as have the Indians for most of those years. The years the Indians were good, the Tigers or White Sox were awful. We’ve had at least two pathetic teams in the division for the last decade, and sometimes three. I don’t think Gardenhire really has much to do with it.

He makes poor bullpen choices frequently, even in the regular season (Matt Guerrier comes in to face A-Rod with the bases loaded in New York this year? Are you kidding? Look at the career numbers… 5-7 with 4 HR? Surprise! Grand slam!), plays favorites in who he’s starting (For how many years he tried to make Nick Punto a starter?), doesn’t seem capable of grasping how a platoon works, and really even in the regular season he’s awful outside of the division. Gardenhire is 6-30 all-time at Yankee Stadium, including regular/postseason. Against the AL East as a whole, he has a .400ish winning percentage.

Gardenhire isn’t so much a great manager as he is lucky to have inherited a team that’s consistently good enough to crush the Royals and other bad AL Central teams every year. I think if he were a good manager, the Twins wouldn’t look lost every single season in the playoffs. Last year we ran ourselves out of several rallies with awful baserunning, and this season as soon as Teixeira hit that go-ahead HR in game one, I don’t think a single member of our team had a good at-bat except a few by Orlando Hudson. Watching their approach at the plate was pathetic. We made an injured Andy Pettitte and overworked Phil Hughes look like Cy Young candidates.

Gardenhire is a nice guy and his players like him, but he also blacklists players and puts them in his doghouse… it didn’t burn us with Kyle Lohse, but I do wish he’d taken more of a liking to that Matt Garza fellow. It’d be nice to have him around…

I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say that if Gardenhire were managing in any big market, with this postseason track record, he’d have been axed long ago, or after this season. Or at the very least, warned and have his job on the hot seat!

Our manager just tied the all-time record for postseason futility, and rather than making a change, or at the very least warning him, we pat him on the back and say “excellent job Ron, here’s an extension.” I just don’t understand it. I know the perception is that he’s a great manager, but I think you can look back at so many of our last postseason series and point to at least one critical bullpen error because Gardenhire just doesn’t get it. To me, if he’s this bad in the postseason, he doesn’t deserve an extension, and really his job should be on the line. Winning a mediocre division is something a lot of managers can do. The only thing Gardenhire has shown beyond that is futility. Sorry Twins fans, I don’t buy into the Gardenhire hype machine. He (along with Cuddyer) is the one constant to all of these Division titles that have yielded nothing but disappointment, and while I’m not much of a Cuddyer fan, I’m not blaming him for the 0-12 streak.