Twins GM on manager Ron Gardenhire: “He’ll be back”

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Researching managerial numbers can be a little tricky, but as far as I can tell the only manager since 1960 to have four consecutive 90-loss seasons and keep his job is Tom Kelly of the Twins in the 1990s.

And now the guy who replaced him as Twins manager, Ron Gardenhire, may be joining him on that exclusive list.

Minnesota has lost 95-plus games in three straight seasons and the Twins are on pace to lose 90 this year, but general manager Terry Ryan indicated to Sid Hartman of the Minneapolis Star Tribune that Gardenhire will be back in 2015.

Here’s the exchange between Hartman and Ryan:

What about Gardenhire?

“Same stuff. He is signed for next year, so you don’t have to worry about him.”

He’ll be back?

“Yeah, yeah, I would say he’ll be back,” Ryan said.

Does Ryan think Gardenhire has done a good job this season with a struggling Twins club?

“We can all do better,” Ryan said. “We’re not where we need to be. We can all do a better job. He has to, I have to, as an organization, we all have to. We’re just not playing up to what we’re wishing we were, consequently we’re not playing games that mean much in September.”

Ryan is the same GM who kept Kelly around and the Twins are known for their incredible loyalty, for better or worse, so it certainly shouldn’t shock anyone in Minnesota if Gardenhire sticks around.

Still, if the Twins retain two managers following four consecutive 90-loss seasons and the other 29 teams have done the same a combined zero times in 50-plus years … well, plenty of Twins fans won’t be very happy and it’ll be hard to blame them.

Angel Hernandez made a great call on a tough play

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Fans, and even some writers, tend to jump on umpires when they make bad calls, but rarely if ever point out when they make good calls on tough plays. Angel Hernandez is one of those umpires who gets a lot of flack — and I may suggest even deservedly so — but in the interest of giving credit where credit is due, he made a great call on a very tough play during Thursday afternoon’s game between the Phillies and Marlins.

With a runner on first base and two outs in the bottom of the sixth inning with the Phillies leading 2-1, first baseman Brock Stassi laced an Edison Volquez pitch down the first base line. Michael Saunders, who was on first base, came around third base and attempted to score. The relay throw from second baseman Dee Gordon beat Saunders, but Saunders slid expertly to the back of home plate, avoiding the tag from catcher J.T. Realmuto just long enough to slip his hand in and touch the plate. Hernandez ruled Stassi safe with no hesitation because he was in a great position to get a look at the play. In real time, it was a bang-bang play. The Marlins didn’t challenge the call.

The MLB.com video doesn’t have the best angle, but still shows what a close call it was in real time. This .gif from Meghan Montemurro of The News Journal provides the best angle:

Hernandez also made this nonchalant grab when catcher Andrew Knapp tossed it attempting to catch a foul pop-up:

Yoenis Cespedes leaves game with pulled hamstring

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The Mets and Braves are playing today and it’s not a great day for the Mets in the injury department.

First they scratched Noah Syndergaard with a “tired arm.” Now they’ve lost Yoenis Cespedes, who pulled up limping at second base following a double in the bottom of the fourth:

The team has announced that he has pulled his left hamstring.

Cespedes, of course, missed three games over the weekend due to hamstring issues. That was merely tightness, however, and following an off day and a rainout, Cespedes played last night without incident. But it now looks as though he’s going to miss some serious time.