Twins owner Jim Pohlad expressed his support for GM Terry Ryan and manager Ron Gardenhire today, reports Phil Mackey of 1500 ESPN Twin Cities radio. Pohlad made a rare appearance on the field today, talking to Gardenhire during batting practice before Monday's game with the Angels. Pohlad said that he is "pleased" with how Ryan has performed his job since returning to the team as the interim general manager last November, and Pohlad added that both he and Ryan have "100 percent confidence" in Gardenhire.
Pohlad admitted it has been difficult watching his team's poor start to the season and while he described the season as "technically salvagable," he sees why Minnesota fans could want a change in management. "But I suppose (calling for someone's job) would be the natural (reaction) for somebody who's not really part of the organization might say. A frustrated fan might say that," Pohlad said.
Ryan was the Twins' GM from 1994-2007, becoming a consultant to the team once Bill Smith took over the job but returning when Smith was fired last November. I don't see the Twins outright firing Ryan given that his tenure with the organization and the fact that he's working on an interim basis already, though it's possible he could step down after 2012 if the club settles on a permanent GM.
Gardenhire's own history with the team is also a point in his favor. This is Gardenhire's 11th season as the Twins' manager, a stint that has seen him lead the team to six AL Central titles and an overall 873-775 record. Gardenhire could take the fall since the Twins are on pace for their second consecutive last-place season but it's hard to blame him for the team's injuries and lackluster roster.
Twins fans don’t support Ron Gardenhire, Terry Ryan…
Correction….Near-sighted instant gratification fans *not real Twins fans in other words* don’t support Ron Gardenhire or Terry Ryan.
If I was a Twins fan I would be a little restless with the duo. They overspent on Mauer and Pavano draining their fiances for other investments. They have no minor league depth whatsoever, with very few “prospects.” Not to mention, when the Twins actually make the postseason they just wind up getting swept by the Yankees…
Not arguing that. Twins were damned if they didn’t sign the hometown boy who had a career year, or damned if they did because the reasonable Twins fan knew he just had is career year. Bill Smith gutted this team. Gave away Wilson Ramos, signed Pavano to a long term contract after a career year as well. Let Torrii Hunter go instead of giving him the extra year he wanted. Nobody knew this was going to happen to Liriano *Even the Yankees were still willing to pay top dollar for him*. It will just take getting back to finding that building their own talent again. As history has shown for even most teams, Free Agency is a 50/50 proposition at best.
The other thing to take into consideration though, is that no team in baseball has been hit worse by injuries, than the Twins have been.
I think most of what you said is inaccurate.
First, how in the world could you NOT expect Liriano to be awful this year? Yes, if he had a spectacular ERA and K/9 no one would be shocked. However, seeing him implode is far from a shock either. Either he’s great or he’s awful and if the Twins were expecting him to be great then that’s their fault. His 2011 seasons suggested it could get worse.
Also, I followed the Liriano trade rumors and NO ONE including the Yankees, were willing to give up the prospects that the Twins were asking for. What reason would they following 2 seasons of injuries and inconsistencies?
Free agency is a 50/50 proposition, but what big ticket free agents other than Pavano did they sign? What could their expectations be following his 2011 seasons WITH THEM where he was no more than a good innings eater? He led the league in hits allowed and had one of the lowest K/9 at 4/9 IP. A 4.25-4.75 ERA SHOULD be expected.
This farm has been lauded for years and since the days of Hunter, Santana, Liriano, Mauers and Moneau they have produced no more than league average players for the most part. The one power arm they developed they traded for Delmon Young. Every other arm seems to be a soft tossing control pitcher which usually amounts to no more than a #4 or #5 type.
Twins fans have to understand that the team is rebuilding and so does management. This is not a good team, injuries factored into the equation.
Do NOT let the #1 finishes fool you. This has been a mediocre team in a poor division. This team has had exactly 1 season with more than 90 wins in the previous 5 seasons. Fans should demand more.
Id be willing to bet the ’09 – ’10 Mets and the ’10 Red Sox would be willing to argue differently on your last point.
I agree, I am sick and tired of hearing how people rip on management for Mauer and Morneau’s big contracts. At that place and time they DESERVED it. How horrible would the management look if they had gotten rid of Mauer and Morneau for some future prospects. Mauer was the best hitter in the league and Morneau was the AL MVP! No one could have predicted how these last few years went.
I agree that no one could have predicted the collapse of the M&M boys, but that’s exactly why you DON’T gamble nearly a quarter of your payroll giving a slap-hitting catcher an eight-year contract. I’m trying to think of ANY catcher in the history of the game who was worth a quarter of a team’s payroll in a given year.
Not a Twins fan either, but Mauer, Pavano, and the lack of minor league depth are all on Bill Smith, who has since been fired.
The saddest thing about your quote is that Bill Smith didn’t get fired, he is still in the organization reassigned to a different job for some odd reason at not fired.
It’s easy to pin that on Smith, but Terry Ryan was still very much a part of the Twins scouting and drafting system during Smith’s tenure as GM.
They have plenty of money but they don’t want to spend it. That’s called the Twins way to losing. The hunt for 100 has begun.
Twins fan since 1961–I dunno if that makes me “real’ or not–but I think Gardy has to go. Yes, he’s had some success in the past when he had more talent available, but he’s clearly not able to motivate the team he has now. Time to shake things up like the D-backs did a couple of years ago when they brought in Kirk Gibson.
On the other hand, I like Ryan and want to see what he can do. Willingham and Doumit are steps in the right direction. The team is getting a lot more bang for the buck out of those two $3M Men than they are from the $23M they’re paying Mauer to ground into double plays.
No offense intended here..
Have also been a baseball fan since the early 60’s (Red Sox) and your user name is VERY close to a Twins pitcher from the mid 70’s..
Steve Luebber.. Only mention it because it is not a name you see very often and imagine you caught some flak from it during those years… Think they used to call him “luber-cate” back then???
Anyway.. Always nice to find us “old timers” here 🙂
LOL! No offense taken–before, during and since Luebber’s time with the Twins I’ve been hearing variations of my name that he’d probably be familiar with as well, and a lot of them not as nice as “luber-cate”!
Remember Leubber mainly because that ’76 team had a couple of guys with memorable nicknames, along with Eddie “The wolfman” Bane was on it. Yhey were not a good team by any means, but had a few good players as remember.. Bobby Darwin, Carew, Bill Campbell was still there, maybe Lyman Bostock as well?.. Can’t remember any others without looking it up..
IMO, comparing Gardenhire to Ryan in terms of support is “apples and oranges.” Terry Ryan build the Twins into a steady contender by the time he left, before Bill Smith wreaked havoc on the organization in a series of bad trades, iffy contracts and head-scratching personnel decisions. Now Ryan is back to pick up the pieces. I do not think I am alone in feeling quite confident in his abilities.
Gardenhire, on the other hand, seems to have really lost his effectiveness with this team in the past couple years – lackluster play, inattention to fundamentals, an overall sense of direction and leadership on the team. I don’t so much think he needs to go because of the losing…TK had some pretty bad seasons before Gardy. But this team just looks so lost, and they have a few pretty good players. Not a happy time for Twins nation.
Ryan got to oversee a bust -> boom cycle in which he got to use lots of young cheap talent to build on. It’s easy to build a winner when you have lots of high draft picks in both the amateur draft and Rule 5 draft. The hard part is what Smith had to do which was take the team at its peak and try to sustain winning while continuing to build for the future. He wasn’t very successful with either role.
I just got back from tonight’s abomination of a game, and there was much talk about who’s at fault for this mess. You’d be surprised the support Gardy and especially Ryan have among the Twins long-term season ticket holders.
Anyone that knows anything about twins baseball gives Terry Ryan the upmost respect…
The Twins’ owner said exactly the same thing about a month before he fired Bill Smith 🙂
Tom Ricketts said something similar about Jim Hendry a month before firing him.
Well then, where do the Twins begin in terms of trying to fix things?
Scouting and the minor league affiliates need an overhaul for starters. Bill Smith gutted this team. Minor league pitchers seem to be breaking way too early in their careers. Twins top two rookie pitchers have had Tommy John over the last two seasons.
Makes you wonder what they’ve got them doing wrong, doesn’t it? Time to clean house, bring in some new leadership and figure out a new “Twins Way.”
A couple of top drafts picks won’t hurt. They have the upcoming no.2 pick, and likely a top 3 the year after that.
Gardenhire and Ryan are not the problem, they’re the solution. The problem is our hitting coach, pitching coach, medical staff, and so on. Without Ryan, the Twins would have been contracted long ago. Gardenhire is a winning manager, people are just too busy looking at out W-L record to see that he has managed six winning teams in the past ten years.
MauerPower, you must not have alot of knowledge of Gardy and his coaches. Look up Rick Anderson and you will know that he was a teammate of Gardy’s and would never be fired as long as Gardy has a job.
I agree 100%. At some point, the heads are gonna start rolling. The attendance is plummeting. Casual fan interest is like it was in the early 2000’s before the Twins got rolling. Gardy is gonna have to cut his own guys here pretty soon, or possibly face the ax himself.
There is no quick fix at this point. No real help in the minors, so they should look to trade at the deadline. Currently on pace to lose 120 game. OUCH!
when you say trade, do you mean trade for a centerpiece to get them to lose less than 120 games or trade 1 of their centerpieces for prospects & start “rebuilding” (not really rebuilding per se)
Trade away Span, Morneau, Pavano, Capps, etc. Try and build for the future with the idea of competing in 2014 and beyond. The focus needs to be on finding starting pitching.
Morneau has negative trade value. Best hope in dealing Capps is salary relief. Pavano might bring a fringe prospect, and Span could bring a couple of B prospects at best.
There’s no value to ship out on this team. It’s a train wreck. Maybe if Doumit is raking in July, they can move him.
Twins just fired their GM a few months ago. The way I see it, there are two possibilities for it:
1. They did it basically as a PR move, expecting to get immediately better. It’s naive, but assuming that’s the case then they could do the same again.
2. More likely, they did it because they didn’t think Bill Smith was doing a good job. If that’s the case, you have to give a new regime–even a new old regime–time to actually fix the damage.
Personally I subscribe to #2. Now, I think it’s fair to evaluate whether they are making any strides in repairing that damage. If they’re going to be a last place team, fans should know there is a greater good and a light at the end of the tunnel instead of just bleakness. But you don’t fire the replacement one month into the season for not turning it around, and hanging it around Gardenhire’s neck isn’t fair either.
the twins had a great run. Being a small market team they did very well in their run but now its rebuilding time. Time to trade the old players and do a Beane thing and grab as many prospect as you can hide. It might take a few years but the twins will be back.
The Twins have very little of value at this point, and even less backing them up in the high minors. Who on this team is worth anything in a trade at this point, other than maybe Span?
Who’s the ace? Nick Blackburn? Liriano? Just an awful pitching staff.
Baker. Oh wait.
There is no Ace. That’s why next year, it’s time to pony up some serious $$ for pitching. Get Cole Hamels–He’s your #1. Get a solid #2. With Baker, Liriano, Pavano and Marquis ALL GONE they will have to spend some serious $$ to rebuild the pitching staff. The Pohlads HAVE the money. If they don’t want to see crowds of 12,000 watching ballgames in their baseball palace they better open the checkbook.
Diamond is the ACE!
There is no reason to let Gardenhire go. Yes I expected them to do better but changing the manager is not the answer. Let Ryan make some trades. Yes we are going to lose some players for trades Blackburn, Capps, Span, Valencia… but the farm system has nothing right now. Let’s get that fixed.
If the Twins can get anything for Blackburn, Capps and Valencia they should make those deals immediately.
I agree. I wonder if they will get top of the line minor league players or second “tier”. This team has struggled but there is no pitching in AAA or even AA.
Don’t the Nationals need a closer? I wonder what it would take to get them to give the Twins a do-over on the Capps for Ramos deal? (Besides a miracle, that is…)
Fifty year Twins fan out-of-town for a score of years (which limits my perspective somewhat). But here are my thoughts.
1. It is the Pohlad famlily’s fault. They promoted Bill Smith and kept him in the GM job even when everybody else saw he was destroying the franchise.
2. Ryan can do the GM job. Hed did it before very well. No change needed here but massive beefing up of scouting and related departments are in order.
3. Would Kelly be a good choice to replace Gardy, and would he be interested? Gardy seems like a vets’ manager, and the Twins need to be rebuilding with kids.
4. Team needs to get young. Some stars may have to go to bring a good return.
5. I haven’t been to Target Field yet though obviously I read wonderful things about it when it opened. I have the impression the dimensions may need altering to shrink the playing field a bit. Are those folks who get to see loads of Twins’ games on tv and in person in agreement?
Who are you gonna get that’s better than Gardy? LaRussa…no. Francona…don’t see it happening. Who else is there? Is that crickets I hear?
LaRussa and Francona are bad managers and teams should start looking for managers of the Joe Maddon mold rather than re-treading people who are obsessed with bunting and intentional walks.
I don’t blame Gardy for the shape the team is in, but I also don’t really credit him for all the wins when they had two of the best hitters in baseball in the lineup and a couple excellent pitchers in the rotation.
Molitor? Heck, at this point I’d be willing to see them drag Dan Gladden out of the broadcast booth and let him have a shot.
The problem is the Twins have had their boom cycle and now they are entering another bust cycle. This is the only way some people in baseball know how to build winning teams. I wish it were different for the Twins, but they’re not going to be a good team again until some of their minor league talent develops and is able to form the core of a winning team.
There are other ways to developing a winning franchise than going through bust-boom cycles, but I don’t think the Twins leadership has it figured out.
What is more disheartening than the lack of quality players (at the MLB level or high minors) is the inability of the current team to play “the Twins way.” The defense is awful and the mistakes are far too numerous to be acceptable. Tom Kelly would be livid with the 2011/2012 team’s defense.
The Twins will be back…if the keep Gardenhire where he is…. Right now, like the Red Sox, theTwins are living with the injury bug-a-boo infecting their top tier talent. It may take half a season or more, to turn things around but the methodical Gardenhire knows how to build from within.
Trade Mauer for a bunch of prospects!
He’s a little over a year into an 8 year contract with a full no-trade clause.
If Ron Gardenhire is not to blame for the Twin’s lackluster roster, why wouldn’t the GM be at fault?
C’mon!! Either the Twins don’t draft good players or they don’t cultivate their draftees into good major leaguers. Fire the scouting department!
It just disturbs me when the owner of a $90 million club thinks its ok to have two consecutive 100 loss seasons.
The Twins winning the division 6 times during his tenure = Gardy is a great manager who made something out of nothing. Getting swept in the playoffs over and over, off to a 7-21 start in 2012 = not his fault. Which is it? It can’t be both ways . . .
I think Smith and the scouting department (i.e. Ryan) have a lot to do with the struggles of the Twins. Poor scouting and development have lead to lackluster pitchers who struggle to miss bats and get rocked when they throw it over the plate. Injuries are an unforeseen and shocking, but even without those injuries and a healthy Twins team, it’s really tough for me to say they’d be contenders. I respect Gardy so much as a manager, but he too looks to me like he isn’t the solution for righting the ship. He used to be such an aggressive manager but last year, it seemed to me, the games I watched, that he was a little lax and lost his touch with his players.
The Mauer extension was a “damned-if-I-do-ya, damned-if-I-don’t” type of deal. If they don’t extend him, then the hometown hero is leaving for the money to perform elsewhere. If they do, they risk the long-term deal becoming an albatross when he can’t catch anymore, which there’s question even now if he can do it every day anymore.
If I were Pohlad, I’m sorry, I’d fire the entire lot at the end of the year and get fresh legs in there who see things differently in the front office, scouting and player development, and on the field. They need emphasis on power pitchers in their organization and need to strike gold in the next couple drafts while making some savvy trades (Span and Valencia immediately come to mind for me) to right the ship. In my mind, the longer this group of people stays in the front office, the longer this organization will be held down in the AL Central, which have player development behemoths in Cleveland and Kansas City, and a financial superpower in Detroit.