The Minnesota Twins began their long Major League career in 1901 as the original Washington Senators. 23 years would pass before rookie manager Bucky Harris would give the politicians something to cheer about. Also the reams 2nd baseman, Harris went 3 for 5, including a homerun in the victorious 12 inning, seventh game of the World Series against the New York Giants. It was a huge victory for Harris who nearly repeated the feat the following year, losing the seventh game of the World Series to the Pittsburgh Pirates. The Senators would not return to the Fall Classic again until 1933, when the New York Giants dusted them off in 5. By 1959 Washington grew tired of their Senators and banished the organization to Minnesota where they opened the 1960 season as the Twins. 5 years later, the Twins would reach the fall classic yet again, but Sandy Koufax would start game seven of the World Series and the Los Angeles Dodgers would emerge victorious.
Today the Twins are led by Ron Gardenhire; once an infielder with the New York Mets. Over the course of five years Gardenhire went deep a total of four times. His career batting average was a whopping .232. You might say Gardenhire was the kind of player an organization couldn’t give away. Yet, in 2002, Gardenhire found himself in a major league dugout all over again, serving as the skipper of the lowly Minnesota Twins. In eight years as the Twins manager, Ron Gardenhire has led his team to the post season on six different occasions. Quite a feat for an organization managing a team payroll whose sum total doesn’t match the combined salaries of Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez and CC Sabathia combined. True, the Yankee’s are the defending world champions having beaten the Minnesota Twins in the playoff’s last year, but the Yankee’s may be following Wall Street down the road to ruin. After all, there are a lot of empty over-priced seats in that over priced house the City of New York rebuilt for the Bronx Bombers.
This year the Twins are enjoying the suite of the Central Division, much in the same fashion as they enjoyed it last year and are teaching America a valuable lesson. The old beat up VW Micro-bus can go as far as the Jag parked in the Bronx, if not further. A modest house like the one in Minnesota is just as cozy and a lot happier than the expensive piece of real estate in NY. The Twins aren’t alone in this illustration. Consider the Phillies free agent spending spree and the fact they are chasing the modest Atlanta Braves. How about those Tampa Bay Rays?
Once again, baseball is serving as a reflection of life and screaming out life’s important lesson: You can’t measure a person’s success by his collection of tangible material. The flashy car and the big house, the pocket full of cash doesn’t mean anything anymore. It doesn’t guarantee you a smooth ride to the end of your season. There could be a foreclosure sign hanging in your future. Ron Gardenhire isn’t concerned about it. He knows all about the importance of a good work ethic. It’s okay to dream about excess, but there’s a lot to be said for being content and making the most of what you have. Gardenhire accomplishes this year after year. Is there really a better manager in all of baseball than the Minnesota magician?