The Twins news conference announcing Ron Gardenhire has agreed to a two-year contract extension through the 2015 season just concluded. Here is some instant reaction:
1) It was surprising, at least to us, that much of the tone of it was one of Gardenhire deciding to come back and not of the Twins deciding to keep Gardenhire. To us, the biggest issue in all of this was whether a manager who has presided over 99, 96 and 96 losses in each of the past three seasons would be given the chance to keep managing, not whether he would want to keep managing.
2) Zinger of the day came from owner Jim Pohlad, who said it was a two-year deal because that way they figured Gardenhire would be assured of getting his 1,000th victory. He is two short at 998 now.
3) Some fans wanted Gardy to be gone. Even more, it seemed, wanted some of his field staff relieved of their duties. The name we heard most often in this regard was pitching coach Rick Anderson. But GM Terry Ryan and co. made it clear that all the field staff has been invited to come back. Not all have accepted yet, but they expect everyone back.
4) The most defining quote of how bad things are right now, from Ryan: "There are a number of reasons we are where we are. Just look out on the diamond ... I need to fix a lot of things."
5) How will they fix that? Pohlad made it sound like they will have license to dip into the free agent market, but nothing was specified as to payroll. President Dave St. Peter (and Ryan) made it sound like draft and development will still be the keys to turning the franchise around. Minor leaguers will play "a huge role in digging us out of this hole," St. Peter said.
Your thoughts, please, in the comments.