FanPost

Gardenhire's last chance?

Out of curiosity, I looked up the Yankees playoff record the last nine years (since we've been in the playoffs, basically).  Against the Twins, they're 3-0 in series.  Against everybody else, they're 3-6.  Two of those were last year when they won the World Series.   I broke down their record of 2002-2009 a few more ways after the jump.  FYI, I really didn't like what I ended up typing.

Playoff summaries:

2002: Lost ALDS to Angels 3-1

2003: Beat Twins 3-1, Beat Red Sox 4-3, Lost to Marlins 4-2

2004: Beat Twins 3-1, Lost to Red Sox 4-3

2005: Lost ALDS to Angels 3-2

2006: Lost ALDS to Tigers 3-1

2007: Lost ALDS to Indians 3-1

2008: Missed playoffs

2009: Beat Twins 3-0, Beat Angels 4-2, Beat Phillies 4-2

Overall game record: 

2002: 1-3

2003: 9-8

2004: 7-4

2005: 2-3

2006: 1-3

2007: 1-3

2009: 11-4

Total record in games: 32-28

Record against Twins: 9-2

Record against everybody else: 23-26

By division:

vs. AL West: 1-2 in series (only against Angels), 7-8 in games

vs. AL Central, Twins only: 3-0 in series, 9-2 in games (10-2 after tonight)

vs. AL Central, everybody else: 0-2 in series, 2-6 in games

vs. AL East: 1-1 in series (only against Red Sox), 7-7 in games

vs. NL: 1-1 in series, 6-6 in games

By round:

ALDS: 3-0 vs. Twins

ALDS: 0-4 vs. everybody else

ALCS: 2-1

WS: 1-1

Maybe this is misleading because by chance the Yankees have had three of their best four teams of the decade in 2003, 2004 and 2009 (the 4th being 2002, at least by regular season).  But when you think about it, other than the World Series last year, the Yankees between 2002-2008 in the playoffs were no different than the Twins except against the Twins, when they were essentially world-beaters.  Then last year they broke out again and won it all.  Think about that.  Between 2002-2008 the Yankees got some grief for not winning the world series, but they weren't considered abject playoff failures as the Twins essentially have been.  They never advanced past the first round in those years unless they played Minnesota.  Had they not played the Twins, they very well might have been considered abject playoff failures.  Joe Torre can probably thank the Twins for a few extra years managing in New York, as can his staff of those days.  I wish I had quick access to their record when leading and trailing in playoff games after 6 innings in those years, but I just put this together quickly, so I don't know where to find that.  Anyway, even in the years the Twins were first-round fodder for the Yankees, the Yankees did about what would be expected of a playoff team, going 2-1 in the second round, and 1-1 in the round after that.

I think Aaron Gleeman broke down the Twins regular-season woes against the Yankees under Gardenhire pretty well when we played at New York earlier in the season.  If we get swept this year in the playoffs, I don't know what else there would be to say in Gardenhire's defense.  This is his third time having home field advantage for a series.  The other two times he won a total of one game, if I remember correctly.  This might be okay if he managed to pull an occasional upset over the higher seed, but he's 1-4 as the underdog, with the lone win coming 3-2 over the A's in 2002.

I know managers that have won 6 division titles aren't just sitting around looking for work, but at what point do we ask if the Twins as an organization are content being competitive in the regular season or if they really want to try to advance in the playoffs?  There have been plenty of excuses to use in previous seasons, but I think if we lose this year to the Yankees, the trends become too difficult to ignore.

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