Ron Gardenhire looked noticeably thinner and healthier when he returned to Target Field in mid-August as a bench coach with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Gardenhire had walked out of the Twins ballpark after being fired following the 2014 season looking like a guy who needed a break from the stress baseball. He had managed the Twins since 2002 and won six American League Central titles. The last division crown came in 2010 and was followed by four consecutive 90-plus loss seasons that resulted in his dismissal.
Gardenhire stayed out of a big-league dugout until November of last year when he decided to accept a job on Torey Lovullo’s staff assisting the new Arizona manager. Gardenhire was diagnosed with prostate cancer during a preseason physical but underwent surgery in April.
Lovullo, who had been a candidate to replace Gardenhire before Paul Molitor was chosen for that job, led the Diamondbacks to a National League wild card berth in his first season.
Arizona’s success, not to mention Gardenhire’s resume, has put him in line to be considered for the Detroit Tigers’ managerial job this offseason. Now, Gardenhire has been linked to another big-league opening.
Red Sox general manager Dave Dombrowski fired manager John Farrell on Wednesday morning and immediately Gardenhire’s name surfaced as a candidate. Dombrowski was the Tigers’ general manager when Gardenhire was having success in Minnesota and Gardenhire was considered for the Detroit job after being fired by the Twins.
Charley Walters of the Pioneer Press tweeted on Wednesday that Gardenhire was in the final three for the Red Sox job.
A word of advice for the soon to be 60-year-old Gardy. Don’t do it.
If you can land the Tigers job, by all means, take it. But the Red Sox job isn’t a fit. Not with the pressure that Gardenhire would be under from day one in Boston. When Gardenhire left Minnesota, it was hard not to be concerned about his health. When he returned in August, that concern was gone.
In Boston …
Gardy was a well-liked guy in Minnesota, but he didn’t exactly appreciate criticism or the day-to-day questioning that became more prevalent as the losing seasons mounted. No offense to my media brethren in Minnesota, but we have nothing on the Boston scribes and electronic media folks.
Considering how Gardenhire looked when he left Minnesota, one can only imagine what type of toll the day-to-day activities, and media coverage, at Fenway Park would take on him. The stress with the Red Sox is constant. Would Gardenhire have a chance to win? Of course. But even victories in Boston can be met with widespread criticism and suggestions that a managerial change might be a good idea.
Gardenhire should be flattered that he’s being considered for the Red Sox job. But after being out of the managing game for the past three years, and getting himself into a very good place during that time, Gardenhire should realize Boston would be anything but a good fit for him.