Edson: Here’s What Gardenhire Would Say On Truth Serum

For several decades I was a sports editor who interviewed high school, college and pro athletes for a living.

Not surprisingly, the most candid answers came from high school athletes. Also not surprisingly, the most guarded answers came from pro athletes.

So that got me to thinking. What if we secretly poured some truth serum in Detroit Tiger manager Ron Gardenhire’s water before he did the post-game interview after Sunday’s 3-0 loss to Texas.

Chances are, the interview would have sounded something like this:

Question: Gardy, how would you describe the lineup you had on the field Sunday that mustered four hits?

Answer: Well, it was a solid Triple-A team… or a nice Double-A team. I mean look at our outfielders and their averages (Jones .220, Mahtook .204 and Reyes .235), not to mention our designated hitter (Adduci .214). Then you throw in the defense of John Hicks (another costly error at first base) and you waste a perfectly good pitching performance by Michael Fulmer.

Q: What kind of job have you done this year?

A: I’ve thought about that and I have to say that even though I won five division titles managing the Twins, getting this team to second place in June ranks right up there with the best things I’ve done.

Q: As we head into July, are you hoping the team makes some trades?

A: Actually, my biggest concern in July is not getting over-heated in the pre-game so that I miss two games like I did in Chicago last week. As far as trades go, we’ve been showcasing some of our pitchers to see if we can get rid of some of these guys.

Q: But hasn’t the good starting pitching actually been the secret to your success this season?

A: I don’t call being 14 games under .500 being a success, but it has kept us out of last place. That being said, if we didn’t have some of these veteran starting pitching doing well this season, we would have fallen out of the race in May.

Q: How do you assess this American League Central race?

A: What is there to assess? It’s horse(blank). Cleveland isn’t really having a great year but they have a dozen game lead on Minnesota. The rest of us are terrible. In fact, this is the worst bunch of Central Division teams – as a group – I’ve ever seen.

Q: What is the strength of this year’s Tigers team?

A: Our ability to get along.

Q: What is the biggest weakness?

A: We don’t hit or field particularly well and in the game of baseball, that’s pretty darn important.

Q: What are your thoughts heading into the All-Star break?

A: Fishing and golf.

Nick Edson is a retired Hall of Fame columnist and sportswriter. He worked 25 years at the Traverse City Record-Eagle, 18 as sports editor. He is a two-time president of the Associated Press Sports Editors Association and a member of the Michigan Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame.

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