Detroit Tigers have first workout with new manager
LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) — Ron Gardenhire put on a glove and took some grounders at first base, tossing the ball to pitchers covering the bag and barking out words of encouragement.
The manager certainly seemed to be enjoying himself Wednesday, when the Detroit Tigers had their first workout for pitchers and catchers at spring training. Gardenhire won over 1,000 games with the Minnesota Twins, but this opportunity with the Tigers is his first chance to manage since 2014, and he had a hop in his step and even some jitters.
“I just caught myself speaking really fast to the team,” Gardenhire said. “I could tell I was really talking fast, and I normally try to keep myself calm, and it was hard, because I was really excited to be in front of a group again.”
Gardenhire’s new team isn’t facing much pressure as the season approaches. The Tigers finished tied for the worst record in baseball a year ago, and not much is expected in 2018 from what is now a rebuilding franchise. When spring training starts, however, every team can find some reasons for optimism.
Detroit right-hander Michael Fulmer, perhaps the team’s best remaining asset, said after throwing a bullpen session that he felt “fantastic” — he’s coming off elbow surgery that ended last season early for him.