The Athletic is reporting Ron Gardenhire as the next manager for the Detroit Tigers. That’s quite the interesting development, if it goes through. Here is how it reads via Ken Rosenthal:
The Detroit Tigers have identified Ron Gardenhire as the manager they wish to hire, pending the completion of a contract, Major League sources told The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal…
..Multiple sources told The Athletic’s Katie Strang that Tigers general manager Al Avila entered the process leaning heavily toward a candidate with previous MLB managerial experience. Gardenhire was seen as a seasoned, battle-tested option in this regard.
As you may remember, Ron Gardenhire was once the manager of a very successful Minnesota Twins team that won 1068 of the 2107 games he coached through 13 seasons. The Twins went to the playoffs in his first 3 seasons, 4 of his first 5, and 6 of his first 9. He was successful early. But that came to a screeching halt when they finished with 4 straight seasons of 70 or less wins from 2011-2014 to end his tenure.
Personally, I’ve never been a big fan of Gardenhire. Back when the Twins were picking a coach for that job (I was in middle school), it was narrowed down to he and Molitor. I was on the Molitor bandwagon, even back then. But, I knew nothing about Gardenhire back then and I don’t know that much about him now.
I do know it was hard to argue with the hire when he went to the playoffs so many times right away. But, I always questioned his coaching and his easy-going nature. I feel he always needed a strong locker room to be successful. I questioned his in-game coaching, feeling he always relied too much on what the players wanted to do.
But, again, that was looking from afar and not really knowing how things went in the clubhouse so feel free to @ me if you want to fight about it. I want to first warn you, I’m going to continually point to his playoff record as being F**KING TERRIBLE. He was 6-21 in playoff games while with the Twins. Honestly, that’s better than what I thought it would be before writing this.
Here is Rosenthal’s original story:
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) October 19, 2017
I ran into a few interesting tidbits about Gardenhire that I found interesting. He was born in Germany. He played 5 seasons for the Mets back in the early-80’s and didn’t get paid in his first 3 according to Baseball-Reference… Just looking at his stat table, it looks like Gardenhire impressed in his first season, enough to earn a starting spot for the following one. He played his most games that season (1982) with 141 but only hit .240. He never played in more than 74 games in his next, and last, 3 seasons.