Taylor's Twins Talk

Focusing on the Twins, with a few ramblings on other things that catch my attention

Friday, October 20, 2006

Good for Gardy

The Twins have signed Manager Ron Gardenhire to a two-year contract extension that will keep him in Minnesota through the 2009 season. This is a well-deserved extension for a guy who has a chance to become the best Twins manager in history. In five seasons with the Twins, he has a winning percentage of .562 - Tom Kelly's winning percentage, to compare, was .478. The difference is that Kelly guided the team through the horrible stretch that was the 1993-2000 seasons, and of course he also won two World Series rings. The Twins also signed the coaching staff to a deal that will keep them all around through 2008.

If Gardenhire can manage to lead the Twins to a World Series while he's here, then I think there's no question he will have a place as the best manager in team history. If not, he'll probably remain behind TK in my book. Honorable mention has to go to Sam Mele, who guided the team to the 1965 AL Pennant and lost a heartbreaking series to the Dodgers - Mele had a winning percentage of .546 in 5 full seasons and 2 shortened seasons (one when he was hired late in 1961, and one when he was fired in 1967).

One parting note: The Twins have been to the post-season 9 times (not counting the Washington Senators era) - four of those have been under the leadership of Gardenhire. This is admittedly an easier hurdle to jump in the Wild Card era, but the number is pretty amazing nonetheless. Gardenhire doesn't deserve all the credit for that success (Terry Ryan deserves some love, in my opinion, as well), but without a good manager those teams would not have been playoff teams.


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