With the Twins’ 7-3 victory over the Indians on Saturday afternoon, Ron Gardenhire became the 60th manager in baseball history to join the 1,000-win club. As MLB.com’s Rhett Bollinger notes, Gardenhire is only the eighth manager to join the 1,000-win club having compiled all of those victories with the same club.
Gardenhire, 56, has been at the helm of some ugly Twins teams in recent years, but also helped manage them to some of the organization’s best seasons, winning the AL Central with 90-plus victories in three consecutive seasons. Overall, Gardenhire is 1,000-950 in 13 seasons as manager of the Twins, dating back to 2002.
Pirates manager Clint Hurdle, with 782 career wins, is now the closest to the 1,000-win milestone. He is followed by Ned Yost at 742, Bob Melvin at 732, and Joe Maddon at 707. Bruce Bochy leads active managers with 1,534 wins.
Jim Salisbury of CSN Philly reports that the Phillies are close to signing free agent reliever Joaquin Benoit. An announcement is expected before the winter meetings end on Thursday.
Benoit, 39, has quietly been among the better relievers in baseball over the past seven years. This past season with the Mariners and Blue Jays, the right-hander put up an aggregate 2.81 ERA with a 52/24 K/BB ratio in 48 innings. That included a 0.38 ERA in 23 2/3 innings after the Jays acquired him from the Mariners.
Benoit suffered a torn calf muscle during a benches-clearing brawl with the Yankees near the end of the regular season. He’s expected to be healthy for spring training.
The Phillies have now added three relievers this offseason with Benoit, Pat Neshek, and David Rollins.
ESPN’s Pedro Gomez provides a previously unreported detail of the new collective bargaining agreement, agreed to by the owners and the players’ union last week. Players’ meal money for road games is being reduced from $105 to $30 per day. Teams are providing pre- and post-game meals in the visitors’ clubhouse to offset some of the decrease in meal money.
Gomez quotes an unnamed player who said, “I doubt many guys know about the money going down, nor would they have agreed to it.” All of the players Gomez contacted said they were unaware of and unhappy about the change.
Clubhouse attendants are certainly unhappy about this change, too. As Gomez notes, the attendants previously provided food for visiting teams which earned them tips from the players.
EDIT: It’s worth clarifying that chefs are required in clubhouses now as part of the new CBA, so it’s not a complete loss for the players.