Jim Leyland stepping down as Detroit Tigers manager

Jim Leyland stepping down as Detroit Tigers manager

Zach Libby

Two days after the Detroit Tigers were defeated by the Boston Red Sox in six games, in the American League Championship Series, manager Jim Leyland has announced that he is stepping down as manager of the Tigers.

Three AL Central division titles, two world series appearances, and four ALCS appearances  in a span of eight years as Detroit’s manager, Leyland has decided that its time to not return.

“I’m going to be 69 years old,” Leyland said in a press conference Monday. “I’m not ashamed of that. I’m proud of it. The fuel’s getting a little low.

“I want to retire a Tiger,” he said. “So long. It’s not goodbye. And from the bottom of my heart thank you for having me.”

Leyland has accepted another position in the Tigers’ organization, although it has not yet to be determined.

In eight years as the manager of the Tigers, Leyland has won 700 games and lost 597. Before accepted the Tigers managerial position, he managed the Pittsburgh Pirates, Miami Marlins and the Colorado Rockies.  He was 2x NL manager of the year in 1990 and in 1992, as well as winning the World Series in 1997.

Detroit Tigers players took to social media Monday to express the gratitude of having Jim Leyland has a manager.

“What an honor playing my first 8 years with Jim Leyland. A great manager and an even better person. Thanks for believing in me. #HOF,” 2012 AL Cy Young winner Justin Verlander said on twitter.

“He really cares deeply about his players,” utility man Don Kelly said on ESPN. “When you go out there, the way he treats you, you want to run through a wall for him, go out there and get a win. That’s the way he treated me, he treated everybody like that.”

With Leyland gone, who will general manager Dave Dombrowski choose as the Tigers’ manager for the 2014 season?

One of the top candidates would be free agent manager Dusty Baker, who was just released by the Cincinnati Reds after their loss in the wild card game to the Pittsburgh Pirates earlier this month. The 64-year old has a record of 1,671-1,504 in his 20-year span, which includes stops in San Francisco, Chicago, and Cincinnati.

Baker is a three-time National League Manager of the Year winner (1993, 1997, 2000). H has won 5 division titles and has appeared in one World Series in 2002.

Another candidate would be Tigers’ former third base coach Gene Lamont. Lamont has been on staff for Leyland since 2006, and was the bench coach for the 2013 season. Lamont has eight years of manager experience under his belt. He has managed the Chicago White Sox (1992-1995), and the Pittsburgh Pirates (1997-2000).