Let's not beat around the bush: A certain vocal portion of Twins fans are never going to be entirely happy with Ron Gardenhire until he brings home a world championship. His bullpen usage will always be second-guessed, his tendency to jaw-jack with umpires will get a few cynical eye rolls, and even this year's Punto-free roster doesn't guarantee that Gardy won't get hectored for leaning on light-hitting, utility-grade infielders. But this Twins team, now more than ever, requires a careful chemistry to make all the right things happen. In following up his 2010 Manager of the Year-winning season, Gardy is going to be in charge of a returning adopted fan favorite battling age on the way to his 600th home run, a Japanese phenom adjusting to the majors with two dozen reporters tracking his every move, the careful balancing act of an overstocked starting rotation and a short-handed relief corps, a top-caliber powerhouse teetering back from the brink of a career-jeopardizing concussion, and the great expectations of the current franchise icon living up to the blockbuster contract that kicks in this year. And he'll have to do it with Chicago and Detroit throwing the whole "weak division" argument out the window. If you need somebody to hold the clubhouse together and take the AL Central under those conditions, why not put your faith in the man who's made it his calling card?

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