Major League Baseball’s Manager of the Year awards are for regular-season only. And considering that, it’s pretty surprising it’s taken Minnesota Twins manager Ron Gardenhire this long to win one.
He finally picked up the American League honor on Wednesday, with 108 total points in the voting system. Texas Rangers skipper Ron Washington finished second with 80 points.
Funny how many fans in this region were ready to see the Twins oust Gardenhire after Minnesota suffered another first-round sweep out of the playoffs this past season. But despite many second-place finishes in the voting, this is the year he ends up winning it.
I know the sting from that postseason defeat hasn’t worn off for a lot of fans out there. But there’s no denying that Gardy did a pretty masterful job with the Twins, which dates all the way back to spring training, when the team learned that closer Joe Nathan would miss the entire season.
They also navigated through the second half of the season without former AL MVP Justin Morneau, who suffered a concussion in early July.
I’m a bit of a Gardy apologist. Personally, I’ve always felt like players play and players win, and often times the best thing a manager can do is get out of the way. But it’s really not that simple.
Managing a team ofÂ extremely talentedÂ athletes means managing extremely huge egos. And, from a distance anyway, it seems this is where Gardy does his best work. At least, that seems to be what’s typically written about him.
In that regard, you could say there’s a certain coach presiding over the Purple who probably wouldn’t mind getting a little advice from the Twins skipper. Though it’s tough to say how Gardy himself would have handled the Brett Favre-Randy Moss locker room.