The Minnesota Twins and Manager Ron Gardenhire have agreed to terms that will bring him back at the helm for the next two seasons. Ken Rosenthal was the first to break the news on Monday morning, and the Twins officially made the announcement at a press conference this afternoon.
"This was a no brainer for me," Gardenhire said during the Monday media session. "I love it here. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else."
In essence, Gardenhire received a new contract because the front office didn't think the roster was flat out good enough to help Gardenhire put a winning team on the field.
"There is a commitment," Gardenhire said of the desire of the front office to find better talent. "They know what's wrong with this ballclub."
"We know what our fans deserve out on the baseball field. We haven't given it to them. They're here for this baseball team. They love this. This is Twins Territory. We understand that."
Gardenhire and Tom Kelly are the only managers the Twins have had since 1986. Gardenhire's first year was in 2002, and he ended the 2013 season as the second longest tenured manager in the majors, trailing only the Los Angeles Angels' Mike Scoscia.
Kelly is the only manager in MLB history to have a winning season after three straight 90+ loss seasons. General manager Terry Ryan said he has to "stick with what you believe in."
"There aren't any shortcuts," he added. "Gardy and I are on the same page. He trusts me and I trust him, and that's how we get back to even."
Ryan stressed the importance of repairing a pitching staff that posted the second worst ERA in the majors (4.55).
"We need to start with the starting pitching and go from there," he said.
The Twins will start crafting a plan of attack for the offseason during their annual organizational meetings next week.