Friday, December 20, 2013

Gardner hired in Syracuse, won't be back with Biscuits

Billy Gardner, the winningest manager in Montgomery professional baseball history, isn't returning to the Biscuits.

Gardner, after seven years in Montgomery, has been hired to lead the Syracuse Chiefs, the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals.

"This came out of left field," Gardner said Friday. "It was something I didn't expect, but the Rays and everyone were great through the whole process."

Gardner was 497-475 with the Biscuits, who won a Southern League championship in 2007, his first year. Montgomery also made the playoffs in 2012.

"I had a great run in Montgomery," Gardner said. "I made a lot of good friends and it was like a second home to my family. Syracuse will be closer to home and I'll be able to see my family more, which is a big deal."

The Rays have not announced their coaching staffs for the 2014 season.