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Friday, March 12, 2010
Fire Gardy! (or maybe not ...)

Joe Posnanski on Ron Gardenhire (and Joe being Joe, I'm forced to snip many hundreds of wonderful words):

Sure, Gardenhire's got Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau. But he didn't have either of those guys in his first season as manager, and the Twins won 94 games. He didn't have them in his second season, either, and the Twins won 90 games. It wasn't until his third season that Johan Santana qualified for an ERA title, and it wasn't until his fifth season that Mauer and Morneau were installed as full-timers.

Sure, Gardenhire probably says a lot of things that sound crazy to you and me. He's probably said that he doesn't give a tinker's damn about on-base percentage, but you gotta have those run producers.

Let me tell you something, though: There aren't many Earl Weavers and Davey Johnsons out there. Some guys really know the numbers, and some guys really know how to handle 25 men at a time. And the numbers? Friends, there are only so many things a manager can do with the numbers. You've got your nine guys who play most days, and you've got your dozen pitchers with generally prescribed roles ... that doesn't leave much room for managerial maneuvering.

You take the manager who (just) knows the numbers, I'll take the manager who (just) knows how to keep his players playing for six months, and I'll beat you 55-60 percent of the time. Ron Gardenhire? He's won 55 percent of the games he's managed.