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Ron Gardenhire could be on hot seat if Twins struggle again

Minnesota Twins manager Ron Gardenhire is in the last season of his contract and is feeling pressure to win.

Tom Szczerbowski

Minnesota Twins manager Ron Gardenhire might find himself out of job next season if team continues to struggle, according to Phil Mackey of ESPN1500.com.

Gardenhire is in the final year of his contract and, after two 95-loss seasons, general manager Terry Ryan chose not to extend the manager's contract. Gardenhire understood the decision, telling the media:

"You earn your contracts and you earn your extensions, and as I said this last couple of years, I haven't earned anything."

Gardenhire has managed the Twins since 2002, and he still owns an above-.500 record as manager despite the struggles of the past two seasons. Minnesota has reached the playoffs six times since Gardenhire took over for Tom Kelly, which is second in the American League behind the New York Yankees. Despite the high number of appearances, the Twins have not won a playoff series since 2002.

Ryan did not place all of the blame for on Gardenhire for the team's struggles, telling the media:

"I don't want him to be in the awkward spot. I want me to be in the awkward spot," Ryan said. "I'm going to give him the players to play with. I'm putting myself in the awkward spot."

The Twins have remained loyal to Gardenhire despite his struggles once reaching the playoffs. Continuing to remain loyal to Gardenhire while the team struggles in the regular season might be impossible.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.