Detroit Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire stunned his team over the weekend when he announced his retirement due to health reasons.
Gardenhire appeared on “The Morning Show with Stoney” on 97.1 The Ticket this morning to discuss his decision, and his fervent hope that the players didn’t feel like he was abandoning them as the season winds down.
“The biggest thing is I didn’t want them – I didn’t want anybody – to think I was running out on this thing, ducking, trying to get away,” Gardenhire said. “That’s what I’ve always thought about. But I also know that you have to take care of yourself, and I was at a point where I was just a little worn out. I was beat-up and I was tired coming to the ballpark every day. Those guys need more than that. You start feeling like you can’t give what you need to give.”
Gardenhire was asked who he’d like to see take over for him on a permanent basis. While hitting coach Lloyd McClendon will be taking over his duties for the remainder of 2020, Gardenhire expressed his desire for him to be awarded the full time gig:
“As I told Al, Lloyd McClendon, I’ve been with him for three years. He’s been a hitting coach, now he’s been my bench coach. He is well-loved by the players. He’s delving into the big part of baseball, which is analytics. As a bench coach he’s been working with (quality control coach) Josh (Paul), putting up our program for the day, getting ready for the game, all the matchups and everything. And the players, like I said, totally respect this guy. He’s got a soothing mind and his voice is big. So I told (Al), ‘At least talk to him,'” Gardenhire said.
“I would love to see him get this job, because I’ve worked alongside him for three years and he’s one of the classiest guys I’ve ever been around in my life,” Gardenhire said. “He’s a very smart baseball guy. Sitting with me during every game going over what we should do, it’s been really impressive. So I would hope that he would get a look, I would hope they interview him and I hope he gets a chance, and I told Al Avila the same thing.”
Would you like to see McClendon be the Tigers manager in 2021?
– – Quotes via Will Burchfield of 97.1 The Ticket Link – –