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Closer Perkins: Twins weren't going to win with 'the talent we had'

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Three straight seasons of 90-plus losses for your Minnesota Twins.

That's quite the departure from the previous nine seasons in which Minnesota made the playoffs six times, advancing to the ALCS in 2002.

Some have blamed manager Ron Gardenhire, who was responsible for both the Twins good times, and their poor performances of the last three seasons.

Closer Glen Perkins is not one of those people, and from the tone of his comments to FOX Sports North in a story that came out today, he stands behind his manager, who received a two-year contract this offseason, and blames players for the recent downturn in success on the field.

Perkins to FSN:

"You either have talent or you don't. I think managers can do things to help good teams win more games, but a manager's not going to take the team we had and the talent we had and do anything with it. It's not going to happen. That's not his fault."

Candid words from Perkins, who was an All-Star along with Minnesota catcher Joe Mauer in 2013.

Gardenhire's status seemed up in the air after Minnesota's 66-96 record last year, but players, led by Perkins, seem to be happy with his return.

Jason Kubel, who is back in Minnesota after two seasons away, calls "Gardy" the best manager he's ever had in the FOX article, while Perkins added that "we were all in support" of bringing back the 11-year Twins skipper.

Will things be better this year with Gardenhire back in the clubhouse?

Well, with the additions, it's tough to fathom them losing 90 again this year.

Minnesota signed pitchers Ricky Nolasco and Phil Hughes for a combined $73 million, brought back pitcher Mike Pelfrey, signed catcher Kurt Suzuki to fill the hole Mauer left when it was announced he'll play first base, and brought back former Twins Kubel, Matt Guerrier, and Jason Bartlett on minor-league deals.

The Twins also have outfielder Byron Buxton and third baseman Miguel Sano waiting in the wings, two of the top three prospects in baseball according to MLB.com. While it doesn't look like Buxton will contribute to the big club this year, at least not right away, Sano is expected to battle Trevor Plouffe for the third base job, and has high expectations should he assume the role.

Don't look now, but the path to redemption starts Sunday, when pitchers and catchers report to Spring Training. The full squad is due in Fort Myers Feb. 21.

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