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Continued: Hartman: St. Peter affirms his Gardenhire support

  • Article by: SID HARTMAN , Star Tribune
  • Last update: July 13, 2012 - 6:34 AM

Dave St. Peter has the final say when it comes to all decisions for the Twins, reporting only to CEO Jim Pohlad, and the Twins president says he can't imagine anybody managing the ballclub next year except for Ron Gardenhire, despite the team's struggles over the past two seasons.

"I have a hard time imagining that if Gardy wants to come back that he won't be back," St. Peter said. "I have every reason to believe he does want to come back.

"Certainly he has been a great fit with this organization for more than two decades and certainly as our manager for the past 10, he has 900-plus wins.

"I know he has been frustrated with the results on the field last year, and the fact that we haven't made greater inroads this year, but at the end of the day I believe Ron Gardenhire is part of the solution, he's not the problem."

So nothing has changed as far as Gardenhire goes, since Pohlad said about a month ago that there won't be a managerial change unless Gardenhire decides not to return.

St. Peter reported that all the Twins coaches are under contract through the end of this year. "As is usual, [General Manager] Terry [Ryan] will sit down with Gardy at the end of the season, and decisions will be made about how we can best proceed. Certainly those guys have been huge parts of our success as well," St. Peter said.

No player giveaways

While Ryan is the man when it comes to trading players, St. Peter was asked how he feels about trading Francisco Liriano and the fact that Liriano has pitched well recently but will be a free agent.

"Francisco has really pitched well, much better here over the past six or seven starts," St. Peter said. "He's been much more consistent in terms of throwing strikes and, frankly, his ability to work out of trouble. We're going to try and do what's best for this baseball team. There are going to be scenarios where he's still here, because he does have the ability to be a dominant starter.

"I know Terry is taking phone calls, I know he's listening, but at this point we're not going to give people away. We know that every fifth day he gives us a good chance to win, and that's important."

St. Peter knows Ryan is not going to trade away anyone unless it makes the team better.

"I can assure you that will not be the case," St. Peter said. "We're trying to make our team better and that would go for any trade. I don't feel like we're in a selling mode. I think we're in the mode of trying to make our baseball team better -- ultimately that would be the case with any player."

St. Peter said an example of this was the signing of Ryan Doumit to a two-year extension, adding: "We think he fits with our club. He certainly gives us greater flexibility to bring Joe Mauer out from behind the plate and still deliver some offense back there. And frankly, he also has been a tremendous influence in our clubhouse with some of our younger players and I know Gardy is very comfortable with that. We felt it was a responsible deal for the team, and Ryan will be a Twin here for 2013 and 2014."

The team has really never signed high-priced free agents, but St. Peter said "that free agency is one of those channels [for improving the team] -- yeah, it's certainly something we're going to take a look at. We obviously understand that those players at the top end are going to come at a premium and ultimately we'll have to take that into account. But I assure you all of those channels are open to us, and there is no internal policy against signing those guys."

About declining attendance, St. Peter said: "We have our work cut out for us, but I believe we need to win more games if we're going to draw in that 3 million range. That's our objective, that's our goal, we think that's what this market can do to support baseball."

St. Peter also reported that Commissioner Bud Selig will be in town July 31 attending a luncheon at Target Field in celebration of the Reviving Baseball in the Inner Cities (RBI) World Series. The Twins will play host to the event for a second consecutive year, and it is the 20th anniversary of MLB's RBI program, a signature of Selig's leadership tenure. Minnesota's RBI program, which was largely started in 1993 by Kirby Puckett and Dave Winfield, features more than 6,000 area youngsters playing baseball and softball across the Twin Cities.

Agent's near-miss

Neil Sheehy represented new Wild forward Zach Parise for 7 1/2 years until Parise turned to Wade Arnott for his most recent contract. He does represent Ryan Suter, though. Sheehy nearly could have gotten the 3 percent commission on the big contracts for both players.

Sheehy said there was a time before the two decided to join the Wild that Parise and Suter talked about whether each player would want to join the other's previous team -- Parise to Nashville or Suter to New Jersey. But both refused to go that route.

Jottings

• The Gophers football team currently has 120 players on its roster, but according to NCAA rules, the Gophers can have only 105 taking part in practice until school starts. So coach Jerry Kill has 15 players not taking part in drills until then.

• George Richards of the Miami Herald reports that Florida Panthers GM Dale Tallon was fine with center Nick Bjugstad returning to the Gophers for his junior year instead of going pro. He also added that they didn't put any pressure on him to leave for the pros.

• USA Hockey's Under-18 squad recently announced its 22-player roster, and five players are from Minnesota: Teemu Kivihalme of Burnsville, Parker Reno of Edina, Karson Kuhlman of Cloquet and Tom Vannelli and Vinni Lettieri, both of Minnetonka. The team will compete at the 2012 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament in the Czech Republic and Slovakia in mid-August.

• St. Cloud native Ron Fowler, a longtime prominent San Diego-area businessman who owns Liquid Investments Inc., is reportedly going to front a group trying to buy the Padres. Fowler, already a limited partner in current Padres ownership, earned his bachelor's degree at St. Thomas, where he is a member of the Board of Trustees, and his MBA at Minnesota. Fowler, who has deep ties to the San Diego sports scene, downplayed his role in the purchase in an interview with the San Diego Union-Tribune, but CBS Sports and Fox Sports both wrote earlier this month that Fowler is indeed leading a group that also includes two sons and two nephews of former Dodgers owner Peter O'Malley.

Sid Hartman can be heard weekdays on WCCO AM-830 at 6:40, 7:40 and 8:40 a.m. and on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. • shartman@startribune.com

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NY Yankees - LP: M. Pineda 0 FINAL
Toronto - WP: D. Hutchison 2
Detroit - LP: M. Scherzer 3 FINAL
Chicago WSox - WP: C. Sale 6
Chicago Cubs - WP: F. Doubront 5 FINAL
St. Louis - LP: J. Masterson 1
Cincinnati - LP: A. Simon 2 FINAL
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Minnesota 2 Top 9th Inning
Baltimore 3
Philadelphia - WP: J. Williams 7 FINAL
NY Mets - LP: B. Colon 2
Miami - WP: J. Cosart 4 FINAL
Atlanta - LP: A. Harang 0
Boston - LP: A. Webster 0 FINAL
Tampa Bay - WP: J. Odorizzi 7
Cleveland 1 Bottom 9th Inning
Kansas City 1
Detroit 5 Top 9th Inning
Chicago WSox 4
Texas - LP: P. Klein 0 FINAL
Houston - WP: S. Feldman 2
Colorado 1 Bottom 8th Inning
Arizona 0
Chicago Cubs 1 Bottom 6th Inning
St. Louis 4
Los Angeles 0 Top 6th Inning
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Milwaukee 0 Bottom 4th Inning
San Francisco 3
Oakland 0 Top 4th Inning
LA Angels 0
Washington 2 Bottom 4th Inning
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BYU 35 FINAL
Connecticut 10
(6) Jacksonville St 7 FINAL
(8) Michigan State 45
Bowling Green 31 FINAL
Western Ky 59
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Houston 7
Colorado State 31 FINAL
Colorado 17
UNLV 13 FINAL
Arizona 58
Penn State 26 FINAL
UCF 24
Troy 10 FINAL
UAB 48
(7) UCLA 28 FINAL
Virginia 20
Western Mich 34 FINAL
Purdue 43
(5) Ohio State 34 FINAL
Navy 17
Appalachian St 14 FINAL
Michigan 52
Ga Southern 23 FINAL
NC State 24
Boston College 30 FINAL
Massachusetts 7
West Virginia 23 FINAL
(2) Alabama 33
Rice 17 FINAL
(17) Notre Dame 48
(10) South Dakota St 18 FINAL
(24) Missouri 38
Fla Atlantic 7 FINAL
(22) Nebraska 55
California 31 FINAL
Northwestern 24
Marshall 42 FINAL
Miami-Ohio 27
UC Davis 0 FINAL
(11) Stanford 45
Arkansas 21 FINAL
(6) Auburn 45
(16) Clemson 21 FINAL
(12) Georgia 45
Liberty 29 FINAL
(23) North Carolina 56
Ohio U 17 FINAL
Kent State 14
Louisiana Tech 10 4th Qtr 11:00
(4) Oklahoma 48
Stephen F Austin 16 4th Qtr 7:32
(20) Kansas State 52
Fresno State 13 3rd Qtr 0:03
(15) USC 52
Southern Miss 0 4th Qtr 14:05
Miss State 42
Texas-El Paso 24 3rd Qtr 1:56
New Mexico 21
North Texas 0 3rd Qtr 3:35
Texas 28
(1) Florida State 20 3rd Qtr 10:45
Oklahoma State 17
(14) Wisconsin 10 2nd Qtr 12:12
(13) LSU 7
Idaho 0 Delayed 14:50
Florida 0
South Dakota 9:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(25) Washington 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Utah State 8/31/14 6:00 PM
Tennessee
SMU 8/31/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
Miami-Florida 9/1/14 7:00 PM
Louisville
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
SMU 9/6/14 11:00 AM
North Texas
Fla Atlantic 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(2) Alabama
Buffalo 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Army
(24) Missouri 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Toledo
Arkansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tennessee
(8) McNeese State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(22) Nebraska
Central Mich 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Akron 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Western Ill 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(14) Wisconsin
(20) Kansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
(4) Oklahoma 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tulsa
Western Ky 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
SC State 9/6/14 11:30 AM
(16) Clemson
Navy 9/6/14 12:00 PM
Temple
UAB 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Miss State
South Alabama 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Kent State
New Mexico St 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Colorado 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Fresno State 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Utah
(1) Eastern Wash 9/6/14 2:00 PM
(25) Washington
(15) USC 9/6/14 2:30 PM
(11) Stanford
Ohio U 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Middle Tennessee 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Minnesota
Northern Ill 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Missouri State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Ball State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Iowa
Maryland 9/6/14 2:30 PM
So Florida
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Florida
Georgia Tech 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Tulane
(18) Ole Miss 9/6/14 3:30 PM
Vanderbilt
Old Dominion 9/6/14 5:00 PM
NC State
(8) Michigan State 9/6/14 5:30 PM
(3) Oregon
(19) Arizona State 9/6/14 6:00 PM
New Mexico
Louisiana Tech 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
San Jose St 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(6) Auburn
East Carolina 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(9) So Carolina
Duke 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Troy
Idaho 9/6/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(17) Sam Houston St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(13) LSU
Michigan 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
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(21) Texas A&M
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(10) Baylor
BYU 9/6/14 6:30 PM
Texas
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(1) Florida State
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(23) North Carolina
Virginia Tech 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(5) Ohio State
Memphis 9/6/14 9:00 PM
(7) UCLA
Colorado State 9/6/14 9:15 PM
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Air Force 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Wyoming
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Hawaii
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Texas-El Paso
Colorado 0 FINAL
Seattle 1
New England 3 FINAL
Toronto FC 0
Columbus 0 FINAL
Montreal 2
FC Dallas 0 2nd Half 5:00
Chicago 1
Real Salt Lake 9:30 PM
San Jose
Portland 9:30 PM
Vancouver FC
Ottawa 10 FINAL
Montreal 20
Winnipeg 8/31/14 3:00 PM
Saskatchewan
Toronto 9/1/14 12:00 PM
Hamilton
Edmonton 9/1/14 3:30 PM
Calgary
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Ottawa
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
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Montreal
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Winnipeg
Chicago 70 FINAL
Indiana 77
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