The first step of the Twins offseason was to decide what to do with their coaching staff. As I think anyone who knows the organization assumed they would do, they stood pat, re-signing Ron Gardenhire to a two year extension and preserving their entire coaching staff.
Now, I have long advocated a change in management, but at this point, it doesn’t matter. I don’t often agree with the plaudits Gardenhire received for his trips to the postseason (essentially because the team had a significant talent advantage over what, at the time, was one of the worst divisions in all sports, and the team was frequently scared and unprepared for the post season), but I also don’t believe that the three terrible seasons he has been confronted with are his fault either.
Changing the manager wouldn’t have made a difference this year. The Twins need a talent infusion in almost every sector of the team. Even if you brought in a great manager, his game time decisions aren’t going to put the Twins in the postseason next year. I am of the opinion that players don’t develop because of coaching at the major leagues, they develop because of their own personal maturation and the experience facing major league pitching. If they need to be coached, they will remain in the minor leagues. A major league manager will only help a player develop inasmuch as he makes him feel comfortable and puts him in a role to succeed.
This was a problem earlier in his enure, but right now, there is no talent for him to foul up, and that isn’t likely to change next year, and it will only just be breaching the major league roster in two years. In the meantime, why get a new face in here that will only struggle with the same inferior players?
In my opinion, Ron Gardenhire’s failings are with talent appropriation, not talent development. When the team starts to get better, and his line up management, bullpen abuse and too frequent decisions to bunt start to matter, then it will be time to look elsewhere. Right now though? Replacing Gardenhire wouldn’t do a whole lot of good.