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I’ve got two boys that I’m raising and so far they have picked up none of my bad habits. Now that I’m a family man, I left the rock band thing that I did when I was younger. I spent age 17 to 35 or so moonlighting as lead vocalist with a little keyboard playing to help fill out the sound with different bands over those years, Ranging from high school garage bands to serious regional bands that toured a little and to local bands that got it’s ya-ya’s out in small clubs around the area. I was never close to the big time and never expected to get close; I just had a good time doing it. I realized I had to quit because my kids were young and demanding and it was too hard to function as a parent on Sunday morning when you got back from Warroad at . God, do I miss the band thing, but my life with my kids is beyond words and I have no regrets, just a little longing that would probably go away a couple of weeks later if I got back into it again.
My life is Family, Work and Youth Sports right now and it’s been blur.
The Twins announced yesterday that Ron Gardenhire will be returning to manage the club for two more years. Not only will Gardenhire return but the entire coaching staff has been retained as the team took the first steps to prepare for 2014.
Here's what I think about that: I was ready for a change and ready to be patient at the same time. I can be wishy washy like that.
The Twins need change but the needed change doesn't stop at the water's edge of simply swapping managers. I do not believe that taking the same approach with a new person making out the lineup card will make things better. Changing manager is one of ten things that can be done to change. Changing 9 of them while keeping the manager can still work but damn it... You better start work on changing as many of those 9 other things if you have decided against changing #1 on the list.
I don't care if the Twins lost 96 games. I don't care if they lost 110 games or 80 games. The margins are very small in the game of baseball and the difference between losing 80 games and 96 games is 16 wins over a 162 game schedule. One more win every ten games and you are a .500 team.
I'm not going to get lost in the loss total... I'm going to say it very simply... It was how they lost. When I look back at the year that was. The Twins had very little power and they had very little speed. In addition to the combination of no power and no speed... They struck out at near record levels by averaging 8.8 strikeouts a game. Now... You can average 8 strikeouts a game if you have some power and The Twins didn't. If you don't have power... you will need some speed. If you don't have power or speed and you strikeout a bunch... You better have pitching. And... The Twins don't have pitching either... It should be clear to most anyone that a manager can't win with all of that working against him.
So it's clearly not Gardenhire's fault. I do believe that with all my heart. So why am I in the time for a new manager camp?
I feel that way because the team needs massive change and the tide of that change should sweep players and coaches out the door. Send a message that this culture of losing is not without personal cost. Send a message that you are serious about winning ball games.
The Twins were supposed to be a power team. They traded speed guys Span and Revere in the off season and put the power eggs in one basket. Morneau, Willingham, Doumit, Plouffe and Parmelee are all guys with the potential to hit 20 home runs and it didn't happen. They all regressed and Brian Dozier ended up leading the team in home runs.
I don't have the answer but you have to be suspicious about what is going on when you have a team wide regression like that. Is it bad evaluation? Is it a bad culture? Was it just coincedence? We can see that the talent was bad this year... I just don't know why it was bad this year when you compare individual performances to past individual performances.
Clearly, Ownership, Terry Ryan and Dave St. Peter have just stated that it wasn't Ron Gardenhire's fault by giving him a two year contract. It wasn't his fault but something has to happen to change the losing culture. Yesterday was the first move and it was a non move... Let's see what moves #2 through #10 are.