In tough times, Gardenhire stays positive on bench

In tough times, Gardenhire stays positive on bench

In tough times, Gardenhire stays positive on bench

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Twins have lost three in a row and nine of their last 10 entering Wednesday night's game against the Rays at Tropicana Field. But it's not the time for big speeches or concerns about the team's clubhouse leaders, according to manager Ron Gardenhire.

Gardenhire picked his spot in Toronto, encouraging his players Friday night to have more fun, and the immediate result was a 6-0 win over the Blue Jays on Saturday. He repeated Wednesday afternoon that it's his and the coaching staff's responsibility to keep the club loose and relaxed, but that doesn't require a constant stream of rah-rah speeches and team meetings.

"We have to be positive on the bench. You can try to beat people down all you want to, but that doesn't work," Gardenhire said. "I know we've got a bunch of kids in this lineup with not a lot of experience that are going to go through some rough things. Some of the veterans are kind of rolling with it.

"You've just got to keep patting them on the back and being as positive as you possibly can and just make sure we're doing all of our work. These guys are working very hard."

Gardenhire admitted the Twins have a relatively quiet clubhouse, with few players who would stand up and try to rally the troops, so to speak. He pointed to Justin Morneau and Glen Perkins as examples of players who will speak to their teammates when necessary, relaying the coaching staff's thoughts and making sure everyone is on the same page.

Of course, winning usually does a lot more for morale than any rallying cry or closed-door meeting. In that regard, the key for the Twins is what happens on the field, not in the clubhouse.

"It's frustrating for everybody involved, but we have to keep playing," Gardenhire said. "One win, and we stop talking about it and we go on. That's the way it normally is. Now, we've just got to get that one win and we stop talking about all this stuff. ... But it takes a win, and that's going to take some guys knocking in some runs."

Adam Berry is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter at @adamdberry. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.