Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Ex-Twins watch: Ron Gardenhire

Ron Gardenhire isn't going to be the Detroit Tigers manager, notwithstanding last month's Internet rumors. But he apparently will be interviewed by the San Diego Padres and Washington Nationals for their vacancies.

My sense of those organizations is that Gardy is probably too old-school for the Padres' new-wave front office. The Nationals, on the other hand, appear to want an old-school manager, and after two years of first-time skipper Matt Williams, emphatically crave experience.

Which is the better job? Well, the Nats have the best player in the league in Bryce Harper, and even if Jordan Zimmermann leaves as a free agent, the rotation will still feature Max Scherzer and Stephen Strasburg. There's going to be considerable turnover on the Washington roster, but there will be enough there to justify an expectation of winning now.

The Washington job also comes with the sizable shadow of the end-of-the-season scuffle between Harper and Jonathan Papelbon. Whoever gets that job will have to deal with some sizable egos and ... personalities.

I've been a bit skeptical of Gardenhire's chances of landing a second managerial job; teams have been downplaying retreads in favor of novice managers, which I believe is a direct result of front offices wanting skippers who will use the new world of information. That is probably not one of Gardenhire's selling points. But the Nationals appear to be in the market for what Gardy does offer -- a dugout boss who's been there.

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