MINNEAPOLIS -- Manager Ron Gardenhire enters the seven-game homestand against the Tigers and Indians just three wins short of 1,000 for his career, but he's not focused on that with the way his club is playing.
Minnesota went just 1-6 on its road trip through Chicago and Oakland, and has won just three of its previous 17 games. So Gardenhire is more worried about his team's struggles than getting three more wins this year.
"I'm thinking about one win right now," Gardenhire said with a laugh. "I really am. It's been so far out of the thought process for me. I know my family was talking about it. My wife talked about maybe flying to San Francisco [for the A's series] in case I did it there, but she didn't need to go there, so that wasn't good. So really, it's out of my thought process."
But Twins players know how close Gardenhire is to the milestone, and their goal is to try to get him No. 1,000 before next season, as his contract is set to expire and his future with the club remains up in the air.
"I think everyone in this clubhouse wants to get him to that by Sunday," closer Glen Perkins said. "But I don't think that has any bearing on what happens this winter, and it shouldn't. But it's still our goal to get him that before the season ends."
If Gardenhire accomplishes the feat with the Twins, he'll become only the eighth manager since 1961 to win his first 1,000 games with the same franchise, among them former Twins skipper Tom Kelly, whom Gardenhire replaced in 2002.
That fact is not lost on general manager Terry Ryan.
"To win 1,000 games, when that time comes, that's a pretty good accomplishment in any sport," Ryan said "That's tough to do. Credit where credit is due. That's quite a feat."