Wednesday, May 1, 2013

The Future of Ron Gardenhire

At the end of last season, things must have been a little tense around the Ron Gardenhire household. The Twins were coming off of back-to-back 90-loss seasons and Gardenhire only had one season left on his current contract. It was inevitable for some changes to take place and almost all of Gardy's coaching staff would not be hired back or would be reassigned.

The sporting world can be cruel when a team isn't performing well on the field. Twins fans weren't used to this kind of shake-up since the Pohlad's took over ownership of the club. It was an unprecedented move to clear out the coaching staff and Gardenhire was left standing at the end of the firing frenzy.

There have only been two managers and three general managers of the club since the late 1980's. No other club can match that kind of consistency at the top of the organization. This separates the Twins from most of the rest of the sporting world. There might have been some reasons to fire Gardenhire over the last two years but he survived and the Twins have surprised so far this year.

Gardenhire still has his job but it is hard not to look at him as a lame duck. His contract is up at the end of the 2013 season and it's not like the Twins were suppose to be making a playoff push. The roster of players assembled looked headed for another dismal season and that could have resulted in the termination of Gardenhire's tenure in Minnesota.

Things haven't been as bad as expected in Twins Territory this season. So far, the team has hovered around the .500 mark. They find themselves right in the middle of the pack in the AL Central. This is a little bit of a surprise and fans of the team have to be a little impressed with some of the performances put together by the club this year.

A new era is starting in Minnesota and the Twins might want Gardenhire around for this new rebuild. The minor leagues are stocked with some great talent, which is reminiscent to when Gardenhire took over as manager back in 2002. Aaron Hicks and Oswaldo Arcia have already broke into the big leagues. Star pitching prospects Kyle Gibson, Alex Meyer, and Trevor May might not be too far behind.

Last week, Twins General Manager Terry Ryan told Yahoo! Sports, "I expect Ron to be on this job for a long time. I don't consider it a lame duck at all." It wouldn't have looked right for the club to hand Gardenhire an extension after two of the worst seasons in Twins history. There needs to be some accountability even with the model of consistency the franchise has used over the last couple of decades.

Ryan would go on to say, "We're trying to be stable and have continuity, and almost all the people we've had for years are still here. But there does come a point where change is necessary."

"I hope that's not now."

The future can be uncertain and Gardenhire won't manage this team forever. Fans can see things starting to get back on track so maybe there won't be calls for Gardy's head on a platter. Tom Kelly made it through some rough years in the Metrodome and it looks like Gardenhire might follow that same path at Target Field.

I mean what would the Twins baseball world be like without Ronald Clyde Gardenhire.

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