Gardenhire gets 1,000th win as Twins beat Indians

Published on NewsOK Modified: April 5, 2014 at 4:32 pm •  Published: April 5, 2014
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CLEVELAND (AP) — His blue sweatshirt drenched with beer, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire picked up the boxed bottle of Dom Perignon off his desk and smiled.

"Looks pretty good," he said, admiring the pricey Champagne. "It'll look good on the mantle, unless my wife and I drink it tonight. You just never know."

Gardenhire became the 10th manager in major league history to win 1,000 games with the same team on Saturday as Minnesota, staked to an early lead by Brian Dozier's homer on the game's second pitch, beat the Cleveland Indians 7-3.

Following the game, Gardenhire was doused with adult beverages by his players, who wore gray T-shirts that said, "1000 wins ... 67 ejections" on the front and "And Still Counting" on the back.

Minnesota's Kyle Gibson limited Cleveland to one run over five innings in his season debut after Dozier led off the game with his homer against Carlos Carrasco.

Gardenhire, who has managed Minnesota since 2002, joined Tom Kelly as the only managers in Twins history to reach 1,000 wins. He's also the fifth active manager to hit the milestone, and he joined a list of managing immortals including Connie Mack, John McGraw, Walter Alston, Tommy Lasorda and Earl Weaver as the only ones to get all 1,000 wins with the same team.

In typical fashion, the 56-year-old "Gardy," who has guided the Twins to six AL Central titles, downplayed his accomplishment.

"I haven't looked at the list," he said. "I kind of stayed away from all that stuff. We were kinda talking about it earlier. I really haven't gotten into this very much: How many? Who? Maybe I'll look at it now.

"I guess you tip your hat to those guys because I know how hard it is."

As he spoke with reporters, Gardenhire's cellphone buzzed with a flood of incoming congratulatory texts. One of his daughters called immediately after the game and his wife, Lindsay, was in his office as the Twins celebrated.

"My kids and my family are very, very excited," he said. "They've been waiting for this."

In addition to getting the bottle of bubbly from the Twins and the game's lineup card as a souvenir, Gardenhire was also touched by the gray T-shirts, which included a photo on the front of him being thrown out by late umpire Wally Bell, who died of a heart attack in October.

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