Another year of losing likely for Twins in ’14

The Minnesota Twins are reportedly taking a step toward assuring there’ll be no more of the same old losing at Target Field today by continuing more of the same in the manager’s office.

Ken Rosenthal, one of Fox’s baseball reporters says Gardenhire will be rewarded with a two-year contract.

Rosenthal has been dubbed “a rumor geyser” in the past and we’ll find out whether he’s correct at a 2:30 news conference the Twins have called.

The Twins are promoting the news conference and live stream across all of its social media networks. It’s unusual to encounter heavy promotion of a news conference to announce a managerial firing, but it could certainly happen if everyone goes out happy.

Gardenhire is considered a managerial genius of sorts, although the reputation stuck when he had talented players. He doesn’t anymore.

That he survives to manage another day — if he does — will be due primarily to the Bill Smith Effect. Smith, a disaster of a general manager, is still mentioned as the primary cause of the third straight 90-loss season for the local nine.

But, it’s important to remember, Bill Smith was fired two years ago next month and while general managers cast a long shadow on a team’s future, he didn’t make any of the players signings last year or this year that were duds. For that, fans can blame Terry Ryan.

Ryan told everyone last year that this season would be pretty much like the last one when he urged patience while younger ballplayers climb the minor league ladder. Ryan’s team drafted Byron Buxton, who appears to be a can’t-miss star. And there are several other quality players who will play in 2015, the last year of Gardenhire’s rumored new contract.

But that probably means that next year will be much like this year, and last year, and the year before that.

The Twins are wasting Joe Mauer’s Hall of Fame career, but Mauer appears to be too Minnesota Nice to play the part of Kevin Garnett and demand the team surround him with some players capable of winning.

Gardenhire might have gotten assurances that the team will increase its spending on players, but that won’t come as any shock. The team’s owners said more than a month ago that he would.

By the numbers, the fans are perfectly content with losing. The team drew well for a bad ballclub. Yesterday’s attendance was announced as 30,000. There were about 10,000 people tops but the number is based on tickets sold and the Twins had a big season-ticket base.

Many teams “clean house” to assure that base that better days are ahead. New faces. New blood. The Twins are going with the “trust me” approach as Ryan continues to make withdrawals from the capital he built up by building divison-winning teams earlier in the century.

“Just hightail it out of here while you have a chance,” the Pioneer Press’ Tom Powers advised Gardenhire in his column today. “Someone should post a sign on the manager’s door at Target Field: “Abandon all hope ye who enter here” like the one posted on the gates of Hell in “Dante’s Inferno.” There is no hope here. Not for 2014 and maybe not even for 2015. The future of the organization supposedly is tied to the development of 19-year-old Byron Buxton and 20-year-old Miguel Sano. I don’t know what everyone is supposed to do until they come of age.”

That one’s easy. Watch them lose.