By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
Detroit Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire has decided to retire. The decision is effective immediately.
His contract with the Tigers was expected to expire at the end of the season. Lloyd McClendon has been named the interim manager.
“I’d like to congratulate Gardy on one of the best managerial careers really in Major League Baseball history,” Tigers General Manager Al Avila said. “His leadership and hard work over the last three seasons has put us in a position to get closer to our goal of bringing back winning baseball to Detroit. His hard work and leadership with the young players over the years has really put us back on track and where we need to be and where we need to go.”
He missed two games earlier this month with what was described by the team as a stomach virus. Gardenhire, who will be 63 in Oct., is a high risk person with the coronavirus pandemic.
Gardy also is a prostate cancer survivor. He is stepping away due to health reasons.
“This is a bittersweet day for myself and my family,” Gardenhire said. “I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the countless players and coaches that I’ve had the honor of working alongside for the last 16 seasons as manager. I’d also like to thank the Detroit Tigers and Minnesota Twins for giving me the privilege of leading their clubhouses.
“While I’m stepping away from managing, I’ll be watching this group of Tigers closely in the next few years. There’s a lot of talent on this team, and a lot coming through the farm system. Tigers fans are going to enjoy the exciting times on the horizon.”
McClendon will lead the Tigers in their first game without Gardenhire on Saturday. Detroit hosts the Cleveland Indians at Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan.
In 16 seasons, Gardenhire has gone 1,200-1,280 in his managerial career. With the Twins, he was 6-21 in the playoffs.
As the Tigers leader, he was 132-241. In addition, he was 1,068-1,039 with the Twins.
McClendon has not been a manager since 2015 with the Seattle Mariners. He has managed the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Mariners.
In seven seasons as a manager, McClendon is 499-607.