Thursday, November 18, 2010

Gardenhire's Thank You List

Always a bridesmaid and never a bride.

Congratulations to Ron Gardenhire on finally taking the leap.

No he isn't getting married.  In fact he has been married for some time and has a multiple children.

Gardenhire has finally won the Manager of the Year Award in the American League.  He had been the runner-up for this award an American League record 5 times.  Hence the phrase always a bridesmaid and never a bride had been used to describe Gardenhire.

Gardenhire finished ahead of Ron Washington of the Texas Rangers.  Gardy got 16 out of 28 first place votes.  In comparison Washington received 10 first place votes. An important point to note is the fact that all of the ballots have to be in before the playoffs because this is a regular season award.  This obviously could have impacted voters this season since Washington's Rangers did such a good job in the postseason.

Out of all of the managers in the American League, Gardenhire was the only manager to be listed on all 28 ballots.  I found this to be a very rewarding fact for Gardenhire.  Everyone that has a vote for the award thought that he was one of the top three managers for the past season.

The voters often like to pick managers that have to overcome obstacles during the season.  Looking at that viewpoint there are a few people that Gardenhire can thank for the award.

1.  Joe Nathan- a player that never stepped on the field in 2010.  His arm injury was something that Gardenhire had to deal with for the entire season.  The Twins spent Spring Training, the trade deadline, and other parts of the season working out the problems in the bullpen.

2.  Justin Morneau- Morneau was having an MVP caliber season before his concussion in Toronto.  Michael Cuddyer did a sufficient job filling in at 1B and the Twins will still able to win without their superstar.

3.  Danny Valencia-  Valencia's emergence solidified the Twins 3B position, a position that has been a question mark for numerous seasons.  Gardenhire looked very smart to continue to place Valencia's name in the line-up.

4.  Brian Duensing- Duensing was the pitcher the Twins needed at the trade deadline.  The great thing was the Twins didn't have to give up anything to get him.  Gardenhire had used Duensing in multiple roles but his insertion in the rotation was a turning point in the season.

5.  Delmon Young, Jim Thome, Carl Pavano, Francisco Liriano- Each of these players exceeded expectations this season.  These players were a pivotal part of the Central Division crown and Gardenhire's nomination for Manager of the Year.

As fans we might question many of the in game moves made by Gardenhire.  His playoff record is far from perfect. But he was able to overcome many of the obstacles that were thrown his way this season.

Congrats Gardy... you are a bridesmaid no more.
Gardenhire Contract Extension
Late last night it was also announced that Gardenhire signed a two-year extension with the Minnesota Twins.

The rest of the Twins coaching staff was also signed to the two-year extension.  This means that Gardenhire is under contract through the 2013 season.  The rest of the coaching staff is locked up until the end of the 2012 campaign.

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