October 20, 2017

Gardy is back! With the Detroit Tigers, that is

Former Minnesota Twins manager Ron Gardenhire is back in the American League Central after he was announced Friday as the new skipper of the Detroit Tigers. He has agreed to a three-year contract, according to various reports. Gardenhire also was under consideration to be the manager in Boston.

Gardy was most recently the Arizona Diamondbacks’ bench coach, sitting alongside manager Torey Lovullo. The D-backs won 93 games in 2017. Before that, former Twins’ GM Terry Ryan hired Gardenhire to be a special assistant in 2016.

But Gardy is best known for his 13 seasons with the Twins in which he won more than 1,000 games and led the Twins to six division titles from 2002 to 2010. He was named the American League Manager of the Year in 2010 and also is a five-time runner-up for the same award.

Gardy’s Twins struggled in the postseason, largely because they always had to play those damn New York Yankees, and then the Twins went on a prolonged losing skid after 2010 that eventually got Gardenhire fired in 2014.

The Tigers lost 98 games in 2017 and finished last in the AL Central. Gardy will have to win without longtime star pitcher, Justin Verlander, and slugger, Justin Upton. Both were traded to contenders during the season. He’ll also have to figure out how to coax a little more production out of aging slugger Miguel Cabrera.

Still, the Tigers have established a winning tradition of late, including four consecutive postseason appearances from 2011 to 2014. In 2012, the Tigers went to the World Series and were swept by the San Francisco Giants.

As for the Twins and Tigers, they will play each other 19 times in 2018. Gardy and the Tigers come to Target Field for a three game set, beginning May 21.

Best of luck, Gardy.

COMMENTS

Hi, I’m Rolf Boone and I love the Twins.

I became a fan of the Minnesota Twins after a friendly wager in the early 1980s. I survived Ron Davis, the meltdown in Cleveland, Phil Bradley at the Kingdome and then marveled at a rising generation of stars and two World Series wins in 1987 and 1991. Brad Radke made the 1990s bearable, while Kirby Puckett’s eye injury, exit from the game and eventual death made it almost too much to bear. The new century ushered in more talent — Joe Mauer, Johan Santana, Joe Nathan, Torii Hunter, Justin Morneau — and consecutive seasons of playoff baseball, followed by consecutive seasons of losing baseball. A winning season returned in 2015. So here we are. Go Twins.