Hopefully, the fine folks at ESPN wont sue me for sharing some of their top secret writings on ESPN Insider, but I came across an interesting article by Jim Bowden who takes a look at ten managers who are at the end of their contracts. Obviously, I was curious to see his thoughts on Terry Collins, but then I thought I’d share what he had to say about Ron Gardenhire as well.
Collins deserves great credit under excruciating circumstances throughout his tenure with the Mets. He has done an incredible job the last couple of years with a lineup that at times resembled a Triple-A lineup (outside of David Wright) and a bullpen that was loaded with holes.
His work developing a young starting rotation has been one of the best in baseball. The challenge of working with a demanding front office and a hounding New York media has been handled with class, dignity and a respect for the chain of command. His ability to communicate and motivate his players in a loyal manner has been commendable. He deserves an extension and the right to stay on as manager when the Mets will contend in the next two or three years.
Whenever the Twins don’t have a competitive team, fans and the media clamor for Gardenhire to be fired. I have no idea why.
He’s one of the best fundamental managers in baseball. He runs a game as well as any manager in the business. But when your starting pitching stinks, so does the manager. It goes with the territory. One cannot evaluate Gardenhire until the Twins’ front office can provide him with a competitive starting rotation. General manager Terry Ryan knows this, and also knows Gardenhire has proven when the Twins are good enough he’ll win with them. The only question is whether Gardenire is tired of the losing and prefers to retire. The answer is no.
I find it difficult to believe that the Twins won’t re-sign Gardy at the end of the season, but last month Sid Hartman of the Star Tribune spoke to the Twins owner about Ron Gardenhire’s job security and wrote:
Meanwhile, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire is without a contract after this year. Pohlad said Gardenhire’s status will be evaluated after the season. Is there any reason he won’t be back?
“Well, that’s Terry’s decision, but he’ll consult with all of us,” said Pohlad, who added that nothing has been decided.
It was interesting that Pohlad made it clear Ryan will be around in the future but refused to say the same about Gardenhire.
Reading that, you have to think their is some validity to the uncertainty regarding Gardenhire’s job security. And with the fans up in arms over in Minny, maybe he will indeed be a managerial free agent come this Winter.
Honestly, I wouldn’t even think twice about bringing Gardenhire back to Flushing if he becomes available. I don’t care what the fans in Minnesota think of him now, he’s always ranked among the elite managers of the game in my book. I believe he’s one of the most brilliant strategists in the game and I love his style. What a most welcomed change that would be for the Mets – adding a true in-game strategist…
Managing mostly with a mid-market payroll, he’s posted a 993-923 (.517) record in 12 seasons at the Twins’ helm and has finished in first place six times, also winning Manager of the Year in 2010 while finishing second five other times.
Should the Mets automatically re-sign Terry Collins at the end of the season, or should they interview a couple of candidates first beginning with Gardenhire?