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06/20/08 8:52 PM ET

Gardenhire praises Jays' ex-manager

Twins manager, Gibbons have been friends since playing days

MINNEAPOLIS -- Three managers have been let go in the past week. The most recent dismissal, John Gibbons from the Blue Jays, hit close to home for Twins skipper Ron Gardenhire. The two have been friends since their playing days for the New York Mets.

"When Gibby was here, he had told me the rumblings and all those things," Gardenhire said. "He was hoping to hang on. He knew it was going to be a tough go. But they really didn't get going. I think he was kind of expecting it. Not that you ever are, but he knew where he was at when he started the season -- under the gun."

The Blue Jays swept the Twins in a three-game series at the Metrodome from May 13-15.

During Gibbons' tenure, the Blue Jays went 305-305. He was named the interim manager on Aug. 8, 2004.

"Tough time," Gardenhire said. "He's a good man. A good manager, been in baseball a long, long time. It's just a part of the game, it happens. I felt bad for him. But I think he knew what the expectations were going in when they spent a lot of money like that to buy players. If it doesn't work out, somebody's going to go."

Gibbons joined Willie Randolph of the Mets and John McLaren of the Mariners as managers whose tenures ended recently.

Gibbons was replaced by former Toronto manager Cito Gaston.

Thor Nystrom is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.