Detroit Tigers' Ron Gardenhire: When baseball returns, 'it's going to be like a party'

Anthony Fenech, Detroit Free Press on

Published in Baseball

Ron Gardenhire has sat around like this once before, with little to do, no baseball to play, coach or manage, potentially getting on his wife's nerves.

"I've been in baseball 40 years," Gardenhire said. "And the only time I've sat around like this is when I got fired by the Twins."

Gardenhire, like the rest of Major League Baseball, remains stuck in a waiting game that isn't likely to end any time soon.

The Detroit Tigers manager is waiting for MLB and its players association to decide on the next course of action for the 2020 regular season, which recently was delayed until at least May 11 because of the coronavirus pandemic that has forced nearly all of organized sports to a standstill. .

"Everything's been kind of turned upside down," Gardenhire said in a conference call Wednesday morning. "It's been something that I don't think any of us have ever been through.

"The only time, we went out on strike one time, and that was kind of weird. And then 9/11 kind of stopped baseball for a while, but nothing of this length. So this is definitely something that you really have to adjust to. Your mind is totally locked in on baseball, you go through pretty much the whole spring training in it, and then all of a sudden, it's a total shutdown and everybody just goes their own way."


Gardenhire, 62, drove south from the Tigers' spring training home in Lakeland, Florida, to his winter home in Fort Myers, where he's spending his social distancing time with his family. It's a stark contrast from where he was supposed to be: in Cleveland, for Thursday's Opening Day against the Indians.

"I don't know how much weirder it can get," he said. "It's, you know, 'Just go home.' You just leave spring training and we packed up and they said, 'Get out of here.' That you can't sit here and have any kind of planned workouts and all those things.

"Fortunately for me, I live right down the highway, so we just took off and said my goodbyes to the guys and hopefully this won't last very long and you go from there. It's something that we just have to deal with, we're just dealing with it as best we possibly can.

"It's a crazy situation and everybody's kind of going about it in their own ways. It's strange. There's no precedent."


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