JUPITER, Fla. -- In his five years playing in Minnesota, Mike Redmond observed how Ron Gardenhire always had his players' backs.
Redmond remains grateful that Gardenhire had the faith to bat him third when All-Star Joe Mauer would get a day off or missed time due to injury. The decision wasn't popular, but when put in the prime spot, Redmond produced, batting .341 in 2006.
At times, sticking up for his players led to Gardenhire getting ejected. Redmond always was amused seeing the hat-slamming tirades.
"I laugh every time he gets thrown out of a game," Redmond said. "When he takes that hat off and fires it down on the turf, I'm always going to laugh. When I see him coming out of the dugout, I'm like, 'Here we go.'
"He was great for me as a player. He hit me third. He showed a lot of faith in me. I definitely learned a lot from him. The way he managed and the way he handled his players. I have a lot of respect for Gardy."
On Friday, Redmond and Gardenhire united at Roger Dean Stadium. The Twins were in town to take on the Marlins.
Redmond, in his first year managing Miami, says it will be awkward facing people like Gardenhire and his ex-teammates.
"It's exciting," Redmond said. "It's good to see Gardy and all those guys, guys that I've been around with a long time."
Gardenhire is also thrilled to see one of his former players now managing.
"He's a blast," Gardenhire said. "He was fun to have as a player and he's got all the experience and knowledge in the game of being behind that plate. He brings that entertainment to the ballpark, that light feeling that you need at this level. I think he'll do really, really well. He can be real serious when he wants to. We've seen both sides. He was real serious about how he wanted to get things done."