Is Gardenhire’s exit the best thing for everybody?
Ron Gardenhire suffered through the past four seasons, failing to win more than 70 games in any of them. I would argue that he deserved the chance to lead the Twins’ coming revival. But I also can see why the team fired him Monday, seeking a fresh voice.
Thirteen years in one place is a long time for any manager. The Twins won six division titles in nine years under Gardenhire before their crash. Next season, though, figures to be another uphill climb as the Twins wait for premier prospects like outfielder Byron Buxton and infielder Miguel Sano to emerge.
Gardenhire wasn’t going to quit, but did he really want to endure another year with a team that ranked 24th in payroll this season, 29th in ERA and dead last in defensive efficiency? And really, would it even have been fair for the Twins to ask him?
The Twins can move forward with Paul Molitor or Terry Steinbach. Gardenhire can pursue one of the other jobs currently open, with the Rangers, Astros or Diamondbacks. And it’s still possible that the Brewers will dismiss Ron Roenicke, too.
Firing Gardenhire undoubtedly was painful for Twins general manager Terry Ryan, given his long history with Gardenhire and his loyalty to all Twins employees. But in the end, the decision might be best for all.