Ron Gardenhire is stepping down from his post leading the Detroit Tigers effective immediately.
Gardenhire, the Tigers announced before their matchup with Cleveland on Saturday afternoon, has decided to retire after three seasons with the organization.
“This is a bittersweet day for myself and my family,” Gardenhire said in a statement, in part.
“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.”
Gardenhire dealing with health issues
The 62-year-old is in his third year with the Tigers, the final on a three-year deal he signed with the organization before the 2018 season. He has compiled a 132-241 overall record with the team.
Gardnehire spent 13 seasons with the Minnesota Twins from 2002-14 before moving to Detroit, and compiled a 1,068-1,039 record there.
The decision, Gardenhire said, was something he had planned to do at the end of the season. Yet he has been struggling with his health since his bout with food poisoning in Minnesota earlier this month and has had tremors in his hands recently. He had battled prostate cancer in 2017, too.
So, he told Tigers general manager Al Avila on Saturday
"This afternoon, when I got here to the office, I went to Gardy's office to talk baseball stuff," Tigers general manager Al Avila said, via the Detroit Free Press. "At that point, we started talking, and he mentioned to me he was going to retire. He wasn't feeling well from a health perspective."
Lloyd McClendon will take Gardenhire’s place for the rest of the year.
The Tigers will wrap up a four-game series with Cleveland this weekend, and have six games left on their regular season schedule. They hold just a 21-29 record headed into Saturday’s game, and have lost eight of their last 10 games.
“I’ve got grand babies and kids I need to take care of and my wife,” Gardenhire said, via the Free Press. “Very tough decision … But I had to do what’s right for me.”
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