Gardenhire ‘absolutely’ wants to stay as Twins manager

Ron Gardenhire is finishing up his 13th season as Twins manager.

David Zalubowski/David Zalubowski/Associated Pres

MINNEAPOLIS — As the 2013 season wound down, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire’s fate was unknown. Minnesota’s longtime skipper was in the last year of his contract, and the team was wrapping up its third straight losing season.

Instead of letting Gardenhire go, the Twins brought him back on a two-year deal that runs through the 2015 season. Yet even though Gardenhire has one year left on that contract, his future with the team is still not certain. Before Wednesday’s game — the team’s final home game of the year — Gardenhire was asked if he still wants to be around if and when the Twins eventually turn things around.

"Absolutely," Gardenhire said. "I’ve always said, this is my home. This is where I like it at. I love the organization. I love this area, the whole package. Why wouldn’t you want to be here? This is as good as it gets. But I’m all for whatever’s best for the organization, too."

Gardenhire is about to wrap up his 13th season as the Twins’ manager and has won six American League Central titles during that span, but Minnesota has now lost 90 or more games in each of the last four seasons. Yet the Twins have shown some signs of taking a step in the right direction, with young players such as Danny Santana, Kennys Vargas and Oswaldo Arcia all putting up impressive numbers.

It remains to be seen, though, if Gardenhire will be the one to lead this team next year, but he has the support of the players in the clubhouse.

"I would imagine that we’ll see him on report day (in spring training)," said Twins closer Glen Perkins. "He’s done everything in his power to help us, and we haven’t got it done on the field. It’s the same story as the last three years. It’s not him or the coaching staff. It’s the players that are out on the field not getting the job done."

If Gardenhire is back in 2015, there’s always the possibility that his coaching staff could see some shakeups. That was the case after the 2012 season when the Twins lost 96 games. The majority of Gardenhire’s staff was either reassigned or not brought back, with the exception of pitching coach Rick Anderson.

Gardenhire was also asked Wednesday about his staff and any potential changes, but would only go so far as to say that he and general manager Terry Ryan will discuss that and other items on the Twins’ four-game trip to Detroit.

"We’ll address it when the time’s right, and it won’t go deep," Ryan said. "We’ve got plans to be made and things to do and decisions to make. We’re affecting people. If we end up doing anything, we certainly need to let people know."

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