Former Detroit Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire has retired, leaving Lloyd McClendon at the helm for the remainder of 2020.
In a shocking development on Saturday, it was announced that former Detroit Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire was going to retire, effective immediately in a conversation with General Manager (GM) Al Avila.
After three seasons with the Tigers and 16 seasons in the big leagues, Gardenhire will step away from baseball. He cited that his reason for the abrupt end was health concerns that stem from multiple things.
Gardenhire is a cancer survivor, which already plays a role in his health, but after an issue in Minnesota that left him with some food poisoning/stomach virus type illness, Gardenhire has not ben able to get back to good health.
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He has been dealing with things like shaking in his hands, according to a quote from Jason Beck of MLB dot com.
Being the manager of the Tigers also brings some stress onto Gardenhire, and it was deemed that stepping away now was in his best interest.
As Gardenhire departs, the managerial duties will be handled by Lloyd McClendon, who was serving as the Tigers’ current bench coach.
McClendon has been a manager in seven seasons, five with the Pirates and two with the Mariners.
The last time McClendon held the title of “manager” was in 2015 with the Mariners, where he managed them to a 76-86 record, for fourth in the American League West division.
The Tigers will leave him at the helm as they finish up the rest of the 2020 season, and then the position will need to be filled. Frankly, there are a few possible candidates the Tigers could pursue, but Avila will have to work with his front office and try to figure out who they can bring in for an interview.
While the Detroit Tigers will be able to find a new manager, missing out on Ron Gardenhire’s expertise with young talent is going to suck.
The worst thing about Gardenhire leaving is that the Tigers miss out on a chance to have a manager who works incredibly well with young players. While it was almost inevitable that Gardenhire would be retiring at the end of the 2020 season, early hopes were different.
During his time here, Gardenhire proved that he could work exceptionally well with young talent, and in a rebuild, that was perfect.
If his health was not an issue and he could be coaxed into a two-year extension, he would have been the perfect manager to have at the helm coming out of the rebuild. Instead, the Tigers will be on the hunt for a manager who can work well with the young talent.
Best wishes for Gardenhire as he steps away from baseball, best of luck to McClendon, who takes over for the rest of the 2020 season, and lastly, hopefully, Avila has some candidates in mind to take over the helm of this Detroit Tigers rebuild.