Gardenhire has a reputation, one that he doesn’t deny, of being an old-school manager. “I don’t mind being old-school,” he said at his introductory new conference. “Because we all learned to play baseball old-school. But we also know there are a lot of new ways out there. If you stop learning, you’re probably screwed. I don’t want to be screwed, so I’m not going to stop learning.”
He spent last season as a bench coach with the Arizona Diamondbacks and experienced a heavy dose of analytics and grew to appreciate it. “I just went through the analytics department and I told every one of those guys I love them because they’re going to help me.”
“It’s the perfect storm” GM Alex Avila said. “You get the old-school leadership plus the new-school analytics and a great man. He’s got that fire that he had in his heyday with the Twins. I got what I was looking for – strong leadership, a motivator, a teacher, a disciplinarian and a communicator”.
Gardy, as he is known, comes with a very accomplished resume. He managed the Twins from 2002 to 2014, going 1,068-1,039. Remarkably, he’s one of just 10 managers in baseball history to win at least 1,000 games with one team.
His deal is for three years but no financial terms were released. Avila also has three years on his deal so the clock is ticking to show marked improvement over the coming seasons. If Gardy is daunted by the task at hand, he doesn’t show it yet. “No I don’t want to lose. Who’s to say we have to lose next year? Who’s to say? Baseball is a great game and a lot of things can happen.”