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Report: Ron Gardenhire heavily favored to manage Tigers

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It's been nearly a full calendar year since the Twins fired longtime manager Ron Gardenhire, but his absence from a big-league bench could soon end.

According to USA Today baseball writer Bob Nightengale, Gardenhire "

" target="_blank">is the heavy favorite" to become the next manager of the Detroit Tigers. Multiple reports say the Tigers will part ways with current manager Brad Ausmus.

Gardy in Detroit? That would mean nearly 20 games against the Twins every season.

Gardenhire managed the Twins for 13 years before getting the axe after a fourth straight 90-loss season in 2014. Prior to that, he helped create a winning foundation that resulted in six division titles from 2002-2010.

That's a strong reason why Anthony Fenech of the Detroit Free Press would love to see Gardenhire as the hire, assuming they part ways with current manager Brad Ausmus.

"Gardenhire, like Ausmus' predecessor Jim Leyland, is cut from an old-school baseball cloth, one that over his years produced very successful results for the penny-pinching Twins that fought an uphill battle against teams like the Tigers, who wildly outspent them on a yearly basis."

Technically, he's still under contract with the Twins but Minnesota General Manager Terry Ryan recently told the Pioneer Press that the club will be happy to waive their right of refusal if Gardenhire wants a job with another team.

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