Ron Gardenhire Revels in Mark Buehrle's 'Hate' for Twins
The headline was taken from a quote by White Sox starter Mark Buehrle, who said, "I hate the Twins because they're good and they win."
That sort of made Gardenhire's morning. His Twins and Ozzie Guillen's White Sox have spent the last few seasons battling each other for the American League Central. One team or the other has won the division in seven of the last eight seasons.
"I enjoy the heck out of (the rivalry)," Gardenhire said. "The 'I hate the Twins' headline, that's great stuff.
"You open up the paper, and say, 'Hey, honey, you want a cup of coffee? And yeah, 'I hate the Twins.' It doesn't get any better than that. It's a great article. That's why it's fun."
Gardenhire credits much of the intensity of the rivalry to his counterpart Guillen, who is as outspoken as a manager can be and still be employed.
"I have all the respect in the world for Ozzie," Gardenhire said. "He's a great manager, and I have a lot of fun being on the field with him, because he makes it fun. He likes the game, and he has a lot of fun with it. Players get after it once the game starts.
"As Buehrle said, he hates us because he's tired of seeing us win games."
And, yes, that's exactly what Buehrle was saying. It doesn't make the Twins bad guys. It makes them bitter enemies six series a year.
"Obviously, they're our division rivals,'' Buehrle said in the Tribune story. "A lot of guys ... I'll go have dinner or drinks with (and) you like, but when it comes to battle time, yeah, I'm sick of 'em."
Gardenhire said putting the White Sox on the Twins' enemies list just goes with the territory.
"There's been some head bashing over the years," he said. "It's turned into respect. Don't get me wrong -- we want to kill them and they want to kill us. And that's never going to change. When you play each other as much as we do, that's the way it's supposed to be.
"You should have a good rivalry inside your division with teams that are always competing with each other. It's the same (for the Twins) with Detroit, but this is a little more intense. Ozzie makes it that way. He makes it fun. He says his mind; he says what he's thinking. These are two teams getting after it. That's what makes it good."