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DETROIT (AP) — Another 90-loss season for the Minnesota Twins has left the status of manager Ron Gardenhire and his coaching staff in question.
The Twins finished Sunday with a 3-0 defeat at Detroit and fell to 70-92 as the Tigers clinched their fourth straight American League Central title.
Gardenhire's contract lasts through next season, but general manager Terry Ryan said he will meet individually with Gardenhire and each coach on the staff before determining their status for next year. Gardenhire said he wants to return for a 14th season managing the Twins. Resigning will not be an option.
"I've always said this is my home. It's where I like it at. I love the organization. I love this area. The whole package," Gardenhire said earlier in the week. "And why wouldn't you want to be here? This is as good as it gets. But, like I said, I'm all for whatever is best for the organization, too. And those are the conversations we're going to have here as we go along."
The Twins won their division in six of the first nine years under Gardenhire, but this is their fourth straight season with 92 or more losses. Tom Kelly managed the Twins for four straight years of 90 or more losses, but he had a pair of World Series championships on his resume, too.
According to STATS, Kelly and Gardenhire are two of only four managers in major league history who have stayed with the same team four straight seasons with 90 or more losses. Connie Mack managed the Philadelphia Athletics for nine consecutive years of 90 or more losses, from 1935-43, and stayed in charge of the A's until 1950. Zack Taylor of the St. Louis Browns (1948-51) also had four in a row, but his last season was 1951.
Kelly's streak lasted from 1997-2000, and his last year was 2001, when the Twins finished 85-77.
Gardenhire was the AL Manager of the Year in 2010, the last time the Twins made the playoffs and had a winning record.
"After being in pennant races and being in the playoffs and you hear all these people saying, 'You better take advantage of it because you may not get a chance again.' Well, we've seen that for four years now. I understand it. It's pretty frustrating," he said.
Before Sunday's game, Gardenhire outlined areas the Twins could improve in order to return to contention next season.
"Continue the process of our development of the young guys, solidify our pitching staff," Gardenhire said. "We've got some position players now, we have a lineup that can do some things. Not to say that they can't add to it, but solidify our starting staff — more than anything else."
With the division title on the line for the Tigers, Minnesota RHP Kyle Gibson (13-12) took the mound and nearly matched Detroit star David Price. Gibson allowed three runs in 7 1-3 innings, and the score was 1-0 until the Tigers added two runs in the eighth.
"That was a fun day. It was definitely a playoff atmosphere against a team that's pretty good and David Price on the other side," Gibson said. "There was definitely a lot of positives today. But I wish I would've finished that eighth inning a little bit differently."
Price (15-12) allowed only four hits in 7 1-3 innings, but Gibson allowed the same number.
Twins C Josmil Pinto was back in the lineup after getting sick and having to leave Saturday night's game. He singled and walked.
AP Sports Writer Dave Campbell contributed to this report from Minneapolis.
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