Ron Gardenhire was one of the most successful managers in Twins history. He led the team to six AL Central Division titles, three of them in his first three seasons. He had stars such as Johan Santana, Torii Hunter, Denard Spahn, Justin Morneau and Joe Mauer play for him over his 13 years at the helm as skipper. Now, Gardenhire is no longer the Minnesota Twins manager. Thanks to four consecutive 90 loss seasons, Gardenhire was relieved of his managerial duties the other day.
However, he leaves behind a successful managerial career minus the four 90 plus loss seasons. Besides the six division titles (2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2009 and 2010), he won manager of the year award in 2010 and was runner-up in 2003, 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2009. He was 1-6 in series victories in postseason play, his only series victory coming in the 2002 ALDS series against the Oakland Athletics.
He will finish his Twins managerial career with a record of 1,068-1,039. Gardenhire’s win total is the second highest in franchise history, behind Tom Kelly’s win total of 1,140.
Gardenhire became the 60th member of the 1,000 win club earlier this year joining such managers as Connie Mack, John McGraw, Bobby Cox, Tony La Russa and Joe Torre.
As of now, none of the seven coaches that were on Gardenhire’s coaching staff will be back next year. That doesn’t mean that some of the coaches would be brought back by the new manager who will pick the coaching staff with input from General Manager Terry Ryan. The coaches were all under one year contracts with Gardenhire having signed a two-year contract last offseason.
The Twins will look both inside and outside the organization to find Gardenhire’s replacement.
Although Gardenhire had a successful managerial career, it was time for the Twins and Gardenhire to part ways. For me personally, I hate to see Gardy go, however I believe that it is time for a change. The Twins need to do something to excite the fan base.
However, Twins fans like myself will remember the success that Ron Gardenhire had in his first 9 seasons.
Photos by: Keith Allison