Since this site used to be called FireGardy, everyone seems to think we are Gardy hating wackjobs.  Well I have news for you, we don't hate Gardy (the wackjobs part is up for debate).  I personally think he is one of the top three to five  managers in the AL.  So, after finishing second an absurd five times, is Gardy finally ready to win?  I say yes.

The Twins started the season without their best pitcher, Joe Nathan.  He had been one of the best closers in baseball over the base several years, and Jon Rauch was hardly an adequate replacement.  Things started off great for the Twins, they were one of the top teams in baseball in April and May.  Then mid-June rolled around and Nick Blackburn's deal with the devil expired.  Injuries plagued Scott Baker and Kevin Slowey. The devil came back and rescinded whatever deal he had with Rauch. Then the biggest blow of them all, Morneau took a knee to the face on July 7th and has been out ever since.  Gardy didn't blink, though.  He and Bill Smith put on their thinking caps and banished Blackburn and his 6.66 ERA (literally, that is what it was at the time.  Look it up) to Rochester and inserted Brian Duensing into the rotation.  He performed way better than expected, and looks to be one of the Twins top three starters for a potential division series.

 I for one have been shocked that he hasn't pulled Valnecia to give Punto the starting 3B job.  Is this a sign of Gardy growing as a manager? Probably.  Everyone says the Twins do the "little things right".  Well news flash, they don't.  But they are still in first place because Gardy and his staff have been able to guide them through all of these rough patches, and he doesn't let his players get down when they make an error or baserunning mistake.  That is very important.

We all often question Gardy's use of his pitchers.  Or his lineup construction on getaway days.  This year, though, Gardy has been a steady hand at the wheel of a ship that has sailed through some very rough seas. To say he isn't manager of the year material is pretty foolish.  So count me among the converted.  I now consider Ron Gardenhire a "good" manager.  Who else is with me?

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17 September 2010