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Gardenhire gives vote of confidence to staff

Gardenhire gives vote of confidence to staff

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Gardenhire gives vote of confidence to staff
MINNEAPOLIS -- Manager Ron Gardenhire knows some of the Twins' coaches may not be back on his staff next season.

With Minnesota wrapping up its second-straight 90-plus-loss season, the organization could be looking to make some changes in the offseason. Some of those changes could occur with the field staff, as each coach's contract -- except for Gardenhire -- is set to expire after the end of the season, according to a 1500ESPN.com report.

But the 11th-year Twins skipper is confident his staff is part of the solution, not the problem.

"I'm been surrounded by a staff that, they're my friends but they're workers," Gardenhire said. "I think you see that. They're out there every day getting it done ... So there's a comfort zone."

Among the Twins' tenured coaching staff are pitching coach Rick Anderson and third-base coach Steve Liddle, who were both hired for Gardenhire's first season as manager in 2002. Joe Vavra has been the club's hitting coach since the 2006 season, while Jerry White has been coaching first base since 1999. Bench coach Scott Ullger has been on staff since the 1995 season, and 2012 is the 32nd season for bullpen coach Rick Stelmaszek.

Gardenhire is also aware that the personnel decisions won't be up to him.

"I have all the faith that they can do the job, but some of these things aren't going to be left up to me, it's going to be left to ownership and [general manager] Terry [Ryan]," Gardenhire said. "If he thinks change is needed, he's going to talk to the owners and we'll go from there. We'll see how everything pans out at the end here, but I have the utmost respect for my staff."

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