OT: Jim Leyland to Retire, Presser at 11:30 ET

Submitted by Bando Calrissian on October 21st, 2013 at 10:06 AM

Per 105.1:

Detroit Sports 1051 ‏@DSports1051 5m 
Sources telling our @TomMazawey that Leyland informed team of his decision to retire on the flight home from Boston.

Fox Sports' Ken Rosenthal:

Sources: Leyland stepping down as #Tigers manager. Told team after end of ALCS. Team has called news conference for 11:30 AM ET.

Happy trails, Skipper.



October 21st, 2013 at 10:08 AM ^

Ken Rosenthal also reporting.

Oddly, Doug Karsch is reporting that only Dave Dombrowski is scheduled to be at the presser, but that could be a smoke screen (PUN INTENDED!).

This sucks.  There's not a better manager out there. 

Karsch bringing up Gibson, but does he still hold ill-will over the Tram situation?


October 21st, 2013 at 7:03 PM ^

and get into the Hall of Fame.  I appreciate his time in Detroit, but he handled the Cabrera injury situation terribly and butchered the eight inning of Game 2 of the LCS.  And I'm mystified at how V-Mart was still hitting behind Prince despite his struggles.  I still don't know how he held his job after managing the collapse of 2009.  To me, his lack of WS titles despite having the Killer B's in Pittsburgh and the best hitter/pitcher on the planet the last three years are marks against him.  Combining that with his mediocre win-loss record should keep him out of Cooperstown.


October 21st, 2013 at 7:16 PM ^

Rank Name Wins Losses Pct.
1 Connie Mackdagger 3,731 3,948 .486
2 John McGrawdagger 2,763 1,948 .586
3 Tony La Russa 2,728 2,365 .536
4 Bobby Cox 2,504 2,001 .556
5 Joe Torre 2,326 1,997 .538
6 Sparky Andersondagger 2,194 1,834 .545
7 Bucky Harrisdagger 2,158 2,219 .493
8 Joe McCarthydagger 2,125 1,333 .615
9 Walter Alstondagger 2,040 1,613 .558
10 Leo Durocherdagger 2,008 1,709 .540
11 Casey Stengeldagger 1,905 1,842 .508
12 Gene Mauch 1,902 2,037 .483
13 Bill McKechniedagger 1,896 1,723 .524
14 Lou Piniella 1,835 1,713 .517
15 Jim Leyland 1,769 1,728 .506
16 Dusty Baker 1,671 1,504 .526
17 Ralph Houk 1,619 1,531 .514
18 Fred Clarkedagger 1,602 1,181 .576
19 Tommy Lasordadagger 1,599 1,439 .526
20 Dick Williamsdagger 1,571 1,451 .520

But apparently you can be 200 games under .500 and get into the hall.

Leyland is 15th all time in wins.  His win % is not that huge of a deal - he's working on some historically low-achieving teams.  I don't think a ton of people would argue Dusty Baker is a better manager than Leyland even though he has a significantly better win %. 

I'm not saying he'll get in.  He probably won't.  However, two players do not make a baseball team, no matter how great they are.  Using that as a mark against him is immensely stupid.


October 21st, 2013 at 8:02 PM ^

This year's starting rotation was stacked.  It was great last year.  Those teams he had in Pittsburgh were awesome.  I don't need to run to a wikipedia page or be immensely smart to know that he had a running feud with Carlos Guillen in the media in 2008, mismanaged the collapse of 2009, destroyed Alex Avila's knees two years ago and poorly handled Miguel Cabrera this year.  

He was good, but he was very fortunate to manage in the weakest division in baseball with one of the highest payrolls.  IMO, considering the division the Tigers play in, they should make the playoffs.  Just one WS win in eight years, with the teams he had, is disappointing. 


October 21st, 2013 at 10:40 AM ^

He's one of the winningest managers in baseball history, won a WS with Florida, a couple of AL pennants with Detroit, and helped to turn a team that host the most games in AL history a couple of years beffore into a consistent playoff winner.  He's not the greatest strategist or anything, but to say he "isn't a good manager" feels completely unfounded.


October 21st, 2013 at 11:54 AM ^

would say otherwise. He probably will get voted into the MLB HOF.  Several divsion championship and WS appearance.  Won WS title.


If you think he's a terrible manager, I'd like to know your standard of great manager because I bet it's impossibly high like winning 162 games and sweep every playoff series every year.

I Like Burgers

October 21st, 2013 at 10:15 AM ^

Leyland has been one of the best things to happen to the Tigers.  Before he got here, they were shit.  He's taken them to two World Series, and three ALCS.  And if you don't remember, before that they were losing 90-120 games a year.

So yeah...get out of here with that "Wooo!" bullshit.  Give Leyland his due.


October 21st, 2013 at 10:20 AM ^

What about Boston's talent?  With Miggy hurt, I don't think anyone can argue the Tigers had more talent than the Sox.  Starting pitching had a slight edge, but Boston is a very, very, very good team.  They even had a higher payroll than the Tigers.

The Tigers lost to the best team.  C'est la vie.

Last year was weird and different and I don't really know what happened, but I know that the players loved Leyland.  There was never any clubhouse issues with Leyland, he understood the team, their strengths, their weaknesses and he got them to exceed their talent level.


October 21st, 2013 at 7:19 PM ^

if Leyland would've shut him down for a couple weeks in September while most of the baseball world suggested.  Leyland was so opposed to advanced metrics, but he should've considered the Tigers had a winning record with him out of the lineup.  He played just as big of a role in Cabrera being limited as a manager who overuses certain pitchers.  Leyland blew that decision.  

There's also the 2009 collapse in September.  The 2008 locker room was as toxic as anything seen this side of John Kuester coached team.  The allegiance to Brandon Inge and now Don Kelly.

I appreciate his time here.  And it's not his fault that Prince Fielder turned into a 300lb statue.  But with the lineup Dombrowski put together over the years, they should have more to show than just two WS appearances with no title.

I Like Burgers

October 21st, 2013 at 10:26 AM ^

It takes a whole lot more than talent to win championships.  A good roster doesn't mean squat.  You see that year in and year out in baseball.  And the Tigers aren't THAT stacked.  Good offense?  Yes.  Good starting pitching?  Definitely.  Good bullpen?  Eh...not so much.  Plus, they lost to the one team that was more talented than them.


October 21st, 2013 at 7:33 PM ^

That does not equal first ballot HOF.  First ballot HOFs do more than win one WS title.  First ballot HOFs get to at least one World Series with Barry Bonds.  First ballot HOFs should be able to have their team prepared to do better than one WS win in two tries.  

Since you mention Dusty Baker.  His winning percentage is higher than Leyland's.  And, like Leyland, he dislikes advanced stats and metrics.  I'm glad he's gone.  We have the best starting rotation and position player on the planet.  I just wish Leyland would've done this last year so we could've grabbed Francona.


October 21st, 2013 at 10:37 AM ^

Worst logic ever?

A managers impact is minimal, Leyland gets no credit for the Tigers recent success. 

He also gets no blame for their postseason failures.

Truth is, DD has built a very good, but not great team. The expectation should never have been WS or bust, the Tigers aren't close to being a good enough team for that to matter.

They have a lot going for them, a historically dominant starting rotation and the best hitter in the game. But they also have many flaws, aun unbalanced lineup, a bad defensive team, a poor bullpen, and horrid baserunning. All those flaws were exposed in the playoffs again, which is why they lost.

I'd rather see DD go then Leyland and I don't like Leyland because he's a poor in game strategist, but he has done a good job managing the clubhouse, and his impact on a game is mostly nonexistent, so whatever.

DD has been able to build a great foundation, but he's been absolutely horrible at filling out the back end of a roster, and his horrible drafting has left us a barren farm system.

Magnum P.I.

October 21st, 2013 at 10:51 AM ^

If we're not a great team based on our roster, then who is? Have you seen Boston's roster? John Lackey? They were essentially in rebuilding mode after the offseason.

St. Louis's roster? Matt Holliday, Allen Craig. Not exactly Cabrera and Fielder.

We have the best offensive player in my lifetime, arguably the three best starters in the AL. We have as much reason to expect WS as anyone.


October 21st, 2013 at 11:00 AM ^

Really?  Ellsbury, Victorino, Pedrioa, Ortiz, Napoli is clearly the best 1-5 in baseball.  Hell, we had to drop our leadoff hitter to 8 in the middle of the ALCS, so yes the Red Sox have a TON of talent.

Lester, Buchholtz, Lackey, and Sale is not a terrible 1-4.  And Uehara is the best closer in the game right now.  Not to mention Saltalamacchia (I love Alex, but Saltalamacchia is significantly better).

I won't bother with the Cards, b/c I need to get a little work done today.  But they have talent up and down the roster too, especially with their starting pitching staff.

Naked Bootlegger

October 21st, 2013 at 10:54 AM ^

DD is known for trading away farm system talent, so I would also argue that some of our farm league depth has been depleted via trades.    And mostly good ones, to boot.   Cabrera for Miller, Maybin, and others?   That was a criminal-level heist that involved two blue-chip prospects - both of which didn't pan out.   Same with the Fister acquistion.  Most other trades involving prospects haven't bitten us too hard (knock on wood for Avisail Garcia, but we got a blue-chip SS in that trade).

As far as drafting, do you recall the absolutely horrendous drafts from the early-90's to early 00's?!    Absolutely no major league talent whatsoever (except maybe Inge?) from top picks.    I'll take DD's drafting strategy any day over those years.    Hell, drafting Verlander alone absolves DD of any perceived draft-day sins, especially compared to the previous empty decade of drafting.   Porcello and Smyly are also big-league level pitchers drafted by DD.  




October 21st, 2013 at 10:29 AM ^

I'm with you. WOOOOO!!!

The roster advantages/payroll that he was given over the rest of a crappy division, and the fact that he won ONE World Series game, couldn't close the division in 06, blew it in 09, badly underachieved in 12 and now again in 13. It's just time for him to go


October 21st, 2013 at 11:33 AM ^

Stop looking at just the big picture and dig down a bit into managerial decisions that didn't work. He did keep hitting Fielder 3rd, a guy who couldn't drive in a run in the postseason, think about that. He kept using Smyly, a guy who has proven he can go long relief, as strictly a situational lefty. The powers that be feel that Smyly can be a starter, yet Leyland thinks he can only pitch to one lefty and then he's done. Constantly taking Peralta's (one of the few guys that were hitting in the postseason) bat out of the lineup before the 8th or 9th inning for Don Kelly. I'm not saying he was miserable or bad, I just feel its time for a change in manager.


October 21st, 2013 at 1:13 PM ^

When did the defensive replacements cost us?

In Game 6, Kelly made a great play running down an Ortiz fly to left that I doubt Peralta would have got to.  That position in the batting order only came up once more the whole game, with 2 outs and nobody on in the top of the 8th.

Leyland has always been good with his defensive replacements late in games, in my opinion.

I do wish he'd stop going lefty-righty so much though.  It should only be brought out when there's a GLARING difference in one particular batter's numbers, or if one of his pitchers particuarly performs poorly against righty/lefty.

Still, he handed a lead to his bullpen in four out of six games, and they blew two of them in rather grandiose fashion.