Monday, May 16, 2011

This is when the team needs a manager

Part of my problem with Ron Gardenhire, the biggest problem, really, is that I think he gets way too much credit for the team's success, when really he has been blessed with some of the best players the team has ever had, and the highest payroll the Twins have ever paid. Why does he get so much credit and the Twins' front office get so little? After all, it was the front office who added Jim Thome as a free agent last year, and traded for Delmon Young, who each stepped up when Justin Morneau went down.
That said, I find it curious that Gardenhire has received none of the blame for the current Dumpster fire that is the Twins team. Now, I think he deserves as much blame for this iteration of the team as he does credit for the playoff run, which is not much. There are certainly a lot of injuries that have completely destroyed the team's offensive hopes. There were certainly some mistakes he made in the offseason that Gardenhire can be blamed for, but the fact that the team is as bad as they are isn't really his fault.
I don't understand the heat that the Twins front office is getting, however. The decision to get faster was not theirs. It was a plan that was handed to them by the now untouchable manager (and this IS the mistake that Gardenhire made, the desire to have a faster infield), and who knows how life would be if Tsuyoshi Nishioka hadn't been injured. One of the biggest complaints is the trade of Wilson Ramos last year for Matt Capps. Capps is the only hard thrower that is remotely effective in the Twins pen, and Ramos is a .260 hitter in the National League. It really, truly wasn't that bad a trade.
Anyways, this is the time that an exceptional manager would really come in handy. How nice would it be to have someone who would trust his starters to go an extra inning or two in games so the bull pen isn't used as frequently? How nice would it be to have a manager that could get the most out of players put in spots that they may not be accustomed to? If you ask me, this proves that Gardenhire is not an exceptional manager beyond any reasonable doubt. Sure, the team is decimated, and even with an exceptional manager, would still be bad, but with some better decision making and leadership, games might be less depressing.

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