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Gardenhire to miss games to attend funeral

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The Twins open a weekend-series with the Kansas City Royals Friday night at Target Field, but they will do so without their skipper.

Manager Ron Gardenhire will miss the game to attend a funeral, according to the Star Tribune.

Terry Steinbach will manage the team on Friday and Saturday in Gardenhire's absence.

Gardenhire is attending the funeral of Mike Hirschbeck, the son of MLB umpire John Hirschbeck, in Akron, Ohio.

Mike Hirschbeck suffered from a rare brain disease known as adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD). He developed a relationship with Twins general manager Terry Ryan while recovering from treatment when he was 13 at the University of Minnesota.

Mike Hirschbeck even served as batboy for the Twins during some spring and regular-season games over the years.

Steinbach told The Associated Press, "There's a place in Gardy's heart for him. He was going to try and do everything he could to get there."

It will be Steinbach's managerial debut. He has not managed a full game, just filled in for Gardenhire during his ejections.

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