Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire retires because of health problems; Lloyd McClendon to take over in Detroit


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USATSI

Detroit Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire retired on Saturday, informing general manager Al Avila that he was not “feeling well from a health perspective,” according to MLB.com’s Jason Beck. Gardenhire explained that he had been overwhelmed with stress, with that manifesting in the form of shaky hands. Lloyd McClendon, Detroit’s bench coach, will manage the Tigers the rest of the year.

Gardenhire, who will turn 63 in October, seemed unlikely to return to the Tigers next year. His contract was set to expire at the end of the season, and there had been no known movement toward a new deal — not even after Avila received an extension in July 2019.

In two-plus seasons at the helm in Detroit, Gardenhire led the Tigers to a 132-241 record and a 34.5 winning percentage. The Tigers’ 21-29 start to this season had them on pace for their best season under his watch, albeit from a winning percentage perspective.

Prior to taking over the Tigers, Gardenhire had managed the Minnesota Twins for 13 years. During that time, he won 50.7 percent of his regular-season games and led them to six postseason appearances, all coming off American League Central division victories.

Though better known for managing at this point, Gardenhire did play five seasons in the majors as an infielder with the New York Mets. In 285 career games, he batted .232/.277/.296 (62 OPS+) with 0.8 Wins Above Replacement.

McClendon, 61, has seven years of managerial experience under his belt between his stints with the Pittsburgh Pirates and Seattle Mariners. In those seven years, he’s won 45.1 percent of his regular season games. That mark includes one winning season but no playoff appearances.

The Tigers entered Saturday’s contest against Cleveland 3 1/2 games behind the Houston Astros for the eighth and final seed in the American League. SportsLine’s forecast gives the Tigers less than a 1 percent shot at reaching the tournament. 





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