Congratulations Gardy. You've been one of the winningest (apparently a word) managers in baseball over the last decade, and just guided your team to its sixth division title in nine years.
Since taking over as manager of the Minnesota Twins before the 2002 season, Ron Gardenhire has turned himself into one of the most successful managers in the game. Whether you like him as a manager or not, no matter what you think about his success (or lack thereof) in the post-season, the man has earned an unprecedented level of success in the history of the franchise. No Minnesota manager has won as many division titles or been to the playoffs so many times...and it's not even close. The only other Minnesota manager to win more regular season games, Tom Kelly, won 695 games in his first nine full seasons, while Gardy has racked up 803.
But let's not get caught up in what's been a pretty solid career as a manager. Winning Manager of the Year is about this year, 2010.
This summer the Twins finished with a 94-68 regular season record, coming in +2 wins over their pythagorean record. He managed his club to a division title, navigating his way through numerous injuries to key players and underwhelming performances from others on the way. What else can you say about it?
His primary competition, Ron Washington of the Rangers, is just as deserving of this award as Gardy is, but you have to believe that some of this award is due to Gardy's body of work. It may be the wrong way to go about it, or maybe it's just part of how the decision is made, but after finishing as a runner-up five times in eight years Gardy finally gets his award in year nine.
Congrats to Gardy! So far it's been a good career, and hopefully he can tack a World Series win or three before all is said and done.