Lately on Twinkie Town, there has been a lot of partisan bickering on the issue of Ron Gardenhire's place at the helm. I'm not going to debate the pros and cons of his managing this ballclub. But, what I did do, is I looked up every MLB managerial firing since and including 2002. Which, as we all know is Ron Gardenhire's first year as the Twins skipper.To make things easier for me, if someone managed the same team in 2001 as they did in 2002, I counted all the years they managed said team prior to 2002.
It seems that the main knock on Ron Gardenhire is the lack of World Series rings. Which, I cannot deny, is true. He has no rings. These same people are also fond of saying "If he managed in another division, he'd have been fired a long time ago." And based on the managers that have been fired in his tenure, I can honestly say that this sentiment is not necessarily true.
Let's first review Gardenhire's resume. Nine years as a manager, six division titles, one postseason series win. Blah blah blah. We all know that.
Now, what about these other managers that were fired? They include a Manager of The Year, a World Series winner, and 10 post season appearances.
Bob Brenly accounts for 2 of the nine post season appearances and the World Series title. He was fired in 2005 after going 29-50 to start the season. The season before that Brenly's club placed 3rd. Brenly had a prolonged regular season failure, and had put his team 20 games under .500.
Joe Girardi was the 2006 NL Manager of The Year. That is the only season he managed in the NL. He had words with owner Jeffery Loria and had a 4th place team. A 4th place team that included Miguel Cabrera, Hanley Ramirez, Dan Uggla, Josh Johnson, and Dontrelle Willis.
Out of the 8 managers who took their teams to the post season, only Macha and Brenly did it more than once. Brenly in 2001 and 2002. Macha in 2003 and 2006.
The other 29 managers have no post season appearances, and no awards.
And while those 29 managers were only around for 4 years or so, so the amount of time doesn't really gel very well with Gardenhire's 9 years.
Clint Hurdle managed the Rockies for 8 years. He also started in 2002. He was fired in 2009, before the All-Star break. He made the playoffs in 2007 via the NL Wild Card. The Rockies won the NL Pennant that year, but lost the World Series to the Boston Red Sox. He has 534 regular season victories to his credit. A .461 winning percentage.
We all know what Gardy has done in the past, and aside from Bob Brenly (Who had 2 future Hall of Fame pitchers at his disposal) and Hurdle's NL pennant, every manager that has been fired since Gardenhire has been hired has done worse than Ron Gardenhire. They all have less regular season wins, and between all of them, only have 10 appearances in the post season.
These 38 managers are from all 6 divisions, and a few of them were fired twice.
The reason Ron Gardenhire hasn't been fired is this: he is significantly more successful than his counterparts that do get fired. He's gotten to the post season 6 times, and he has won one ALDS.
The only team that has more post season apperances in the AL since 2002 is the Yankees.The Twins is right in line with the Red Sox and the Angels with 6 apiece. And while all of those teams have a World Series in that era, they wouldn't have without getting into the playoffs.