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Charlie Manuel vs. Ron Gardenhire: Apples to apples OR apples to oranges?

Posted by: Michael Rand under Professional baseball, Twins fans Updated: August 16, 2013 - 4:46 PM


A preface: We have no horse in the race, nor do we have a strong opinion, when it comes to Ron Gardenhire's job security. We can see both sides of those who argue it: six division titles in nine seasons and two-plus bad years that aren't necessarily his fault vs. a legacy of playoff losses followed by a sinking ship he is commanding.


That said, we found it interesting today when Charlie Manuel was fired by the Phillies. Is his situation comparable to Gardenhire's? That is the question we are seeking to answer.

Manuel's career record with the Phillies was 780-636. For his big-league career, he has exactly 1,000 wins as a manager.

Gardenhire's record, all with the Twins, is 986-916.

Manuel had a sustained run of good teams with the Phillies from 2005-2011, winning at least 85 games each season. They made the playoffs every year from 2007-11, winning the 2008 World Series and losing the 2009 World Series.

Gardenhire had a sustained run of good teams with the Twins from 2002-10, with just one losing season in the mix, six division titles (and another near-miss in 2008) along with an appearance in the 2002 ALCS.

The Phillies dropped to 81-81 last season. This year, they were 53-67 when the decision was made on Manuel.

Gardenhire's Twins lost 99 games in 2011, 96 last year and are 54-65 this season.

That said, Manuel's Phillies clearly had higher expectations (not to mention the second-highest payroll in MLB last year and the third-highest this year, more than double what the Twins are spending.

Manuel has more postseason success; Gardenhire has more division titles.

At the end of the day, we have to say their careers, while somewhat parallel, diverge too much for the average Twins fan to say, "Well the Phillies fired Manuel, what are the Twins waiting for."

(Not that it will stop fans from doing that).


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