FOXsports Reports Gardy Will Be Back

FOX reporter Ken Rosenthal reported Monday morning via Twitter that the Twins will be announce later in the day that manager Ron Gardenhire will remain the club’s manager.

There was no immediate word concerning how much of his coaching staff would be returning in 2014 with him.

EDIT: Mike Berardino of the Pioneer-Press has Tweeted that source tells him Gardy’s entire coaching staff will be back, as well.

Earlier Monday, the Twins announced there would be a press conference at 2:30.

Rosenthal also stated, again via Twitter, “Gardenhire would not have stayed with #Twins on one-year deal. Presumably wanted assurances that team plans to increase payroll as well.”

Gardenhire1Hopefully, Gardy got that assurance and it didn’t just mean Ryan would pay the current collection of AAAA players more money.

Honestly, if I were Gardenhire, I would not have come back to the Twins. This team is not likely to be much, if any, better in 2014, which means he’s going to spend all of next summer catching the same grief he’s getting right now. Why would he want that?

I’ve contended since forever that Gardy got more credit for the winning years than he deserved and more blame for the losing years than is warranted. He’s not a baseball genius, but he handles a clubhouse pretty well and that’s a huge part of being a successful manager.

Had he walked away from the Twins, he’d have been unemployed about two weeks, if that long. He’d have been one of the most sought after managers on the open market and wherever he landed would have been a better situation than he finds himself in by staying with the Twins.

I hope he got the assurances he needed from Ryan concerning roster improvement and didn’t settle for a vague, “we’ve got talent in the pipeline.”

– JC

GameChat – Indians @ Twins #4, 1:10 pm

Bring the curtain down.

The Indians have closed strong and appear to be ready to move in to the do-or-die Wild Card phase of the postseason.

The Twins appear ready to move in to the managerial death-watch phase of the postseason. If you haven’t done so yet, go to the Poll we posted below and tell us who you think will be the Twins manager come Tuesday.

Now, there’s one more game to play and here are the lineups:

INDIANS

@

TWINS
Bourn, CF Presley, CF
Swisher, 1B Dozier, 2B
Kipnis, 2B Plouffe, 3B
Santana, C, DH Doumit, DH
Raburn, RF Parmelee, 1B
Cabrera, A, SS Herrmann, C, RF
Brantley, LF Thomas, C, LF
Gomes, Y, C Fryer, C
Aviles, 3B Florimon, SS
_Jimenez, U, P   _Diamond, P

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

R

H

E

Cleveland

2

0

0

0

0

2

1

0

0

5

10

0

Minnesota

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

1

5

3

and so it ends… I have a sneaking suspicion that we fans aren’t the only ones who are glad to put an end to this season so we can start putting it behind us and “dream” about what might be in 2014…

Poll: Who Will Be Twins Manager on Tuesday?

EDIT: It looks like we can shut down the poll. Ken Rosenthal was first to report that the Twins will be announcing a 2 year extension for Gardy Monday afternoon. Congrats to the 33% of poll respondents that said the Twins manager would still be the manager on Tuesday.

It’s been a tough season for Twins manager Ron Gardenhire.

Let’s be honest, General Manager Terry Ryan didn’t do Gardenhire any favors when he assembled the roster during the last offseason and Ryan has pretty much acknowledged that fact.

Still, this makes three straight seasons of losses numbering in the mid to upper 90s and that almost always means a change in the manager’s position. Almost always.

Reading the reports of various Twins beat reporters could make you feel either certain Gardy is coming back or certain he’s a goner, depending on the writer… and depending on the day.

The only thing we know with any certainty is that Gardenhire and Ryan will be meeting very soon after the Twins’ season ends Sunday afternoon. It may be Sunday evening. It may be Monday. In fact, apparently the two men spoke for a little while before Sunday’s final game.

Major League Baseball doesn’t like it when teams make announcements that take media and fan attention away from the postseason games, themselves, so don’t look for the Twins to be announcing a managerial change on any day that a postseason game is scheduled to be played. That being the case, you have to figure there will be an announcement from the Twins of some sort by Monday.

But we don’t have to wait here at Knuckleballs. Personally, I still think it will be Gardenhire, but my level of certainty has dropped considerably over the past week or so.

But tell us who YOU think will be the Twins manager come Tuesday.

Who do you think will be the Twins manager on Tuesday?

  • Ron Gardenhire (33%, 16 Votes)
  • Nobody, Gardy will be gone but no announcement on a replacement (33%, 16 Votes)
  • Paul Molitor (13%, 6 Votes)
  • Gene Glynn (6%, 3 Votes)
  • Jake Mauer (6%, 3 Votes)
  • Someone else from inside the Twins organization (4%, 2 Votes)
  • An outsider, someone not currently associated with the Twins (4%, 2 Votes)
  • Terry Steinbach (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Tom Brunansky (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Jeff Smith (1%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 48

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GameChat – Indians @ Twins #3, 12:05

The suspense builds… in Cleveland, anyway.

The Tribe is now tied with the Rays for the top AL wild card spot, with the Rangers a game behind that pair of teams.

Game time was moved up to accommodate FOX tv as apparently all of the remaining games with any meaning at all are being shown at the same time.

I’ll probably include whichever game FOX shows us here in Iowa (Pirates/Reds is on the schedule) among my channel-surfing for a while and then flip over to the Hawkeyes and Gophers at 2:30.

Just two more games and we can all finally put this disaster of a season in the rear-view mirror.

P.S. Congrats to former Twin Jamey Carroll on knocking his 1,000th career hit last night for the Royals.

– JC

INDIANS

@

TWINS
Bourn, CF Presley, CF
Swisher, RF Dozier, 2B
Kipnis, 2B Plouffe, 3B
Santana, C, 1B Doumit, DH
Brantley, LF Willingham, LF
Cabrera, A, SS Colabello, 1B
Giambi, DH Mastroianni, RF
Gomes, Y, C Fryer, C
Aviles, 3B Florimon, SS
_Kazmir, P   _De Vries, P
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Cleveland 0 0 0 2 3 0 0 0 0 5 7 0
Minnesota 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 6 0

Gardy won’t be getting his 1,000th career win as a manager this season. He’s at 998 with just one game to play.

The question is, will he be in the Twins’ dugout next April? I’ve been of the opinion that the Twins would give him a 2 year extension, but word coming out is that they’ve floated a possible 1 year extension and he’d be a fool to take that.

Apparently, he and Terry Ryan will meet on Monday and we could hear a decision before the MLB postseason starts on Tuesday, so as not to create any kind of media stir that would compete with the MLB games. Of course, you have to ask, “what kind of stir would an extension cause?”

The answer is, “none, but a change in field manager would.”

Could be an interesting couple of days.

GameChat – Indians @ Twins #2, 7:10 pm

The good news is that Oswaldo Arcia’s MRI apparently showed no damage and he’s back in the lineup for the Twins.

I know these games are pretty meaningless for Twins fans and for the Twins players, too, for that matter, but they are far from meaningless for the Tribe. They’re still in a three-team race for two wild card spots. Remember when the Twins brass said before the season that they wanted to be playing meaningful games in September? Well… OK… this isn’t what I had in mind, but I guess they’re meaningful games to someone.

A reminder that Saturday’s game has been moved to a noon start.

I think there’s a busload of fans from Cedar Rapids scheduled to make the trip up to Minneapolis for the Saturday game. I was thinking about signing up for it at one time, but I’m really glad I didn’t now. That’s going to be an EARLY morning departure tomorrow. Anyway, if you see a bunch of people in Kernels gear tomorrow, be nice to them, they will have had a long day already by the time that game starts.

I’m on my way out for food, drink and maybe even a movie. But here are the lineups for tonight’s game.

– JC

INDIANS

@

TWINS
Brantley, LF Presley, CF
Swisher, 1B Dozier, 2B
Kipnis, 2B Doumit, RF
Santana, C, DH Arcia, DH
Raburn, RF Pinto, C
Cabrera, A, SS Plouffe, 3B
Gomes, Y, C Parmelee, 1B
Aviles, 3B Mastroianni, LF
Stubbs, CF Florimon, SS
_Kluber, P   _Hernandez, P, P
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Cleveland 4 3 0 0 2 0 0 1 2 12 17 0
Minnesota 0 0 0 1 2 3 0 0 0 6 11 0

It sure seems like whenever the Twins get good pitching, the bats are quiet, and when the offense is in the mood to score runs, the pitching sucks. The latter apparently was the case Friday night.

Saturday is Floyd Day

While the Twins are winding up their lost season with a final weekend of futility, there will be another sporting event down the road from Target Field that I and a lot of other folks will be paying much greater attention to on Saturday.

Yes, it’s time once again for the annual contest to determine where Floyd of Rosedale calls home for the next year as my Hawkeyes make the trip north to take on the Golden Rodents of Minnesota.

Floyd has called Iowa City home for the past year since the Hawkeyes’ administration of Minny’s first loss of the 2012 season at Kinnick Stadium a year ago resulted in this scene at the end of the game.

Once again, the Gophers are 4-0 headed in to the game. Iowa is 3-1. Apparently, however, those records are a bit misleading since the consensus view around the country seems to be that Minnesota and Iowa are going to be contending for the 5th and 6th spots in the Legends Division of the Big Ten Conference this year.

I’ve seen most of every Iowa game in person or on television and I’ve caught a few glimpses of Minnesota’s work, as well. I’m not overwhelming impressed with either team, but I’ve also seen a bit of Michigan and Nebraska, who were supposed to be the best of the Legends and I can’t say I think they’ve got much to brag about, either. In fact, the entire division looks mediocre to me, so far.

But back to the battle for Floyd.

My sense is that Iowa simply doesn’t take this “rivalry” thing with Minnesota all that seriously in recent years. I’m not sure why. Obviously, from the video above, the players enjoy taking the bronze pig from the Gophers, but there just isn’t much talk around here about the Minnesota game. Not like there used to be 10-15 years ago (and more).

Based on this video, it appears Minnesota players take it much more seriously… and personally. In fact, they have “hatred” for Iowa.

OK, I guess. Whatever you need to do to get motivated.

But here’s what I found even more telling: According to the Star-Tribune’s Sid Hartman, “The Gophers ticket office made every effort not to sell tickets to the Iowa game to Hawkeyes fans. If the application had an Iowa address on it, they didn’t get the tickets.”

Am I the only one who finds that comical?

Seriously, do the folks running the show at Minnesota really think there’s a single Hawkeye fan who, upon finding out the Gopher Athletic Department would not sell them a ticket to this game, would say to themselves, “Oh well, I guess we just can’t go to the game.”?

Do they think for a moment that the secondary market for Gopher tickets is so hot that ticket prices at StubHub or, for that matter, from the guy on a street corner on game day, will be cost prohibitive for Iowa fans?

As a matter of fact, while I’m not driving up for the game this weekend, I know several fellow Hawkeye fans who are and not a single one of them I talked to even considered sending money directly to the Gophers for their tickets. A couple of them got their tickets from the University of Iowa’s official allotment, but the rest bought tickets elsewhere and many of them paid less than face value for them.

Even when the two teams are mediocre, as is the case this year, there’s always a high demand for tickets among the visiting team’s faithful fanbase. There’s probably no game on either team’s B1G schedule that generates the same interest in tickets from the opposition, with the exception of Wisconsin games. (Yes, in most years I think Wisconsin games do generate more interest in both cases.)

So apparently Gopher Athletics is swimming in so much annual revenue that they prefer NOT to sell every ticket they have to the games against Iowa, rather than sell any of those tickets to Iowa fans, even though it will have absolutely no effect on attendance at that game by people wearing black and gold.  I didn’t realize things were going so well, financially, at Rodentville. Congratulations on the fiscal surplus, I guess.

As for the game, Iowa is a one-point favorite in Vegas, last I checked. I never bet on the Hawkeyes (or the Vikings or the Twins), but I’ll go with the wiseguys and say Iowa wins 28-27.

I really don’t know what to expect, though. The Hawkeyes struggle to defend the pass but Minny hasn’t shown that they can pass, so it’s pretty much impossible to predict how things will go.

The forecast is for rain, I believe. Good thing the Gophers play in a dome. Oh… wait… nevermind.

– JC

GameChat – Indians @ Twins, 7:10pm

Don’t get me wrong, they’re still a division rival that I don’t feel particularly fond of but they have tweaked my soft spot (of questionable existence) by knocking the Yankees out of the playoffs this year.. Now that they have that accomplishment made, I’d like to say thank you very much.. now we’d like to win a game.

Cleveland

@

Minnesota
Brantley, LF Presley, CF
Swisher, 1B Dozier, 2B
Kipnis, 2B Doumit, RF
Santana, C, DH Willingham, DH
Raburn, RF Pinto, C
Cabrera, A, SS Plouffe, 3B
Gomes, Y, C Colabello, 1B
Aviles, 3B Mastroianni, LF
Stubbs, CF Escobar, E, SS
  McAllister, P   Albers, A, P

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

R

H

E

Cleveland

0

0

0

3

0

1

1

1

0

6

11

0

Minnesota

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

0

4

5

13

2

didn’t see a single minute of this game – it looks like I should be ok with it… but at least they tried a 9th inning comeback that didn’t quite work out.

GameChat – Tigers @ Twins #3, 7:10 pm

The big question is whether or not the Tigers will be celebrating their AL Central Division championship at Target Field tonight. Their magic number is 1, so either a win over the Twins or a Cleveland loss to the White Sox will do it.

Let’s see if our guys can prevent the Tigers from celebrating tonight or, at the very least, dampen the celebration a bit. As a bonus, a Twins win would actually mean a series win over Detroit.

TIGERS

@

TWINS
Jackson, A, CF Presley, CF
Hunter, To, RF Dozier, 2B
Cabrera, M, 3B Plouffe, 3B
Fielder, 1B Doumit, DH
Martinez, V, DH Pinto, C
Dirks, LF Parmelee, 1B
Infante, 2B Herrmann, C, RF
Avila, C Mastroianni, LF
Santiago, R, SS Florimon, SS
_ Scherzer, P   _Correia, P
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Detroit 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 8 0
Minnesota 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 3 0

The pitching finally got something figured out, at least enough to put together nine solid innings against a very good Detroit lineup.

Unfortunately, the Twins batters couldn’t hit water if they fell out of a boat and as a result, they got to watch the Tigers celebrate an AL Central championship after the end of the 1-0 game.

GameChat – Tigers @ Twins #2, 7:10pm

I’m not around – and between the Twins & the Vikings, I’m really looking forward to the MN Swarm lacrosse season..

Detroit

@

Minnesota
Jackson, A, CF Presley, CF
Hunter, To, RF Dozier, 2B
Cabrera, M, 3B Plouffe, 3B
Fielder, 1B Willingham, DH
Martinez, V, DH Pinto, C
Infante, 2B Doumit, RF
Tuiasosopo, LF Parmelee, 1B
Avila, C Thomas, C, LF
Santiago, R, SS Escobar, E, SS
  Fister, P   Diamond, P

 

1

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

R

H

E

Detroit

0

0

0

4

0

0

0

0

0

4

11

1

Minnesota

0

1

0

0

0

0

1

0

0

2

9

0

honestly, that could have been worse…