The Minnesota Twins announced Monday that they agreed to a two-year contract extension with Manager Ron Gardenhire. Twins Manager Ron Gardenhire spoke at a news conference at Target Field Monday afternoon, September 30, 2013 in Minneapolis. At right is Twins General Manager Terry Tyan.
Well, good for Gardy! He seems a likable sort, and has had success in his earlier years as the manager of the Minnesota Twins.
But his contract extension sends a tone-deaf message to fans.
As I write, I am looking at the photo of opening day at Target Field, April 12, 2010. What heady times! A beautiful, new ballpark, a competitive team and, supposedly, the resources to field a good team year-in, year-out.
Now, 291 losses later, we are to believe that the last three years were an aberration; gosh, we were really unlucky. There (charitably) is some truth to that. As far as I can tell, none of the low-revenue moves the Twins made worked out.
But now, facing another disaster of a season, we rehire all the coaches and extend Ron Gardenhire’s contract through 2015? Maybe the thought is that this bunch has done it before, so let’s hope they can do it again. Is wishing a plan?
Here’s what it looks like to me and a legion of Twins fans: The ownership is going to ride Target Field as long as ticket sales stay above 2 million.
With the new influx of broadcast revenue, the Twins will be profitable whether they are competitive or not. Now that we have talent (low-cost) coming up, the Twins can milk the All-Star Game and sell the illusion that they are building a contender “the Twins way.”
Time for the Pohlads to sell the team and quit pretending they want a championship ballclub. Actions speak, and what the extension says is: “Come on in, suckers! Have a great time, spend your money, and maybe, just maybe, we can get above .500 on the cheap.”
Sell the team to someone who wants to win.
Joe Carr lives in Eden Prairie.
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