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Tigers manager Gardenhire announces retirement

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Los Angeles (AFP)

Detroit manager Ron Gardenhire announced his retirement on Saturday, bringing a sudden end to his three-season tenure with the Tigers and ending a 16-year Major League Baseball managerial career.

The 62-year-old compiled 1,200 wins as a big-league manager, 46th in MLB history.

"First off, I'd like to congratulate Gardy for having one of the best managerial careers in baseball history," Tigers general manager Al Avila said.

"His leadership and hard work over three seasons with our ballclub has helped move us towards our goal of bringing winning baseball back to Detroit.

"His positive impact on our young players will be felt for years to come."

Gardenhire said before Saturday's game against the Cleveland Indians that he came to the decision suddenly.

"The way I've been feeling since I had that bout of food poisoning in Minnesota and the stomach problems and the stress involved with this job, I told Al I'll step down right now," said Gardenhire, who was treated for prostate cancer in 2017.

"This is tough. It's a tough day for me. I didn't expect it, to be honest, when I walked in today. But I know the way I've been feeling. I don't want to feel like I'm running out on everybody, but I know I have to take care of my health."

Calling it a "bittersweet day," Gardenhire thanked players and coaches he's worked with for the past 16 seasons.

"I'd also like to thank the Detroit Tigers and Minnesota Twins for giving me the privilege of leading their clubhouses. 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."

The Tigers hired Gardenhire on October 20, 2017, and he had a record of 132-241 with the team.

Gardenhire has managed 2,480 games in his career, which is the 35th-highest total in MLB history.

Before joining Detroit he spent 13 seasons as manager of the Twins, leading the club to six post-season appearances.

The Tigers said Lloyd McClendon will manage the team for the remainder of the season.

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