By Esme Murphy

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — While some fans say firing Minnesota Twins manager Ron Gardenhire is long overdue, others say they feel torn by loyalty to a manager they genuinely liked as a person.

In the past few seasons, as the losses mounted, Gardenhire was most memorable for his fiery exits. But many fans still remember the winning years and the always winning personality.

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Twins fan Jenny Malave says Gardenhire should not have been fired.

“It’s not his fault the Twins need to put some more money out there to get some better players,” Malave said.

Despite what fans think of Gardenhire, fans haven’t exactly been excited with the team in general.

The first year at Target Field in 2010 the Twins averaged nearly 40,000 fans per game. This year, the reported attendance averaged 27,000, although at many games the actual numbers in the stands was clearly far less.

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At ticket broker Ticket King, Twins’ tickets have been impossible to move at times.

“At the end of the year, last year, we were selling tickets for way, way less than face value and having a hard time doing that,” Ticket King’s Mike Nowakowski said.

So, for many fans, after four straight seasons of 90-plus losses, Gardy needs to go.

“I have always liked Gardy, so it’s hard to say, but I think it’s probably time for a change,” Marth Capps said.

“I think we need more than just a nice stadium. I think we need a winning team and he has had a chance and hasn’t produced,” Bob Power said.

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For the past few seasons, the Twins used the lure of last summer’s All-Star Game as incentive to buy season tickets, but now, seasons ticket sales are expected to continue to take a hit.

Esme Murphy