Will the Detroit Tigers miss Jim Leyland?

Orioles v/s Tigers April 4,  2011 Opening Day

This April, the Detroit Tigers will start their first season in eight years without manager Jim Leyland in the dugout. Leyland’s career record over his eight years with Detroit was 700-597 and only had one losing record in that time period. Now that Leyland has stepped down, will they miss him? Probably.

Before Leyland arrived in Detroit, the Tigers were on a playoff drought, having not made the playoffs since 1987 In Leyland’s first year with Detroit in 2006, he led the Tigers all the way to the World Series, only to eventually lose in five games to the St. Louis Cardinals. Despite not having won a World Series that year, he brought baseball life back into Detroit.

After missing the playoffs the next four years, the organization did not quit on Leyland and decided to stick with him.

From 2011 to 2013, Leyland went on to lead the Tigers to three straight AL-Central titles, three ALCS appearances, and one World Series appearance ending in a sweep to the San Francisco Giants. The winning culture that Leyland established in Detroit brought over big names like Prince Fielder, Torii Hunter, and recently signed relief pitcher Joe Nathan all with one goal: to win.

With Leyland stepping down and taking a job in the Tigers front office, former Tigers catcher Brad Ausmus takes over a team loaded with talent and an upgraded bullpen which was the Tigers biggest weakness the past two seasons.

While some people think Leyland may offer some input about how the Tigers should be ran as far as their play, Leyland says otherwise stating “I will not interfere with Brad Ausmus’ team.” If Ausmus is a great manager though, how can he lose with this squad? He has two All-Star pitchers in Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer, a revamped bullpen led by Joe Nathan and Joba Chamberlain looking to be better in 2014, and a Triple Crown winner and back-to-back MVP in Miguel Cabrera. All this combined with other pieces are what make Detroit the favorite to make it to the World Series in 2014.

While the Tigers want to prove they can win without Leyland, it would be hard to replace a man who has made himself a legend in Detroit just from the dugout. Even though his future in the Baseball Hall of Fame is up in the air, one thing is for sure. Leyland brought baseball back to the Motor City.

  • rayder409

    The article reads he “only had one losing season” during his eight years here in Detroit…that was ’08 when they were picked by everyone to finish first and yet, finished last… I’m pretty much done bashing Leyland…. he’s done…much of the teams’ success was because of the players while much of the teams’ lack of success can be seen in things like loyalty to players who have no business being on a Major League roster…. Don Kelly and Ryan Raburn to name but a couple… Inge too… Leyland was loyal to a fault to these guys… Papa too…even though Valverde DID warrant every chance after putting up 49 saves…

    • Ryan Dunne

      Don’t even bring Papa into this conversation. He had one year because he could pitch one inning for a whole season and be consistent then. Don Kelly was a great fielder and was not too bad of a hitter. Inge was a great third basemen, his hitting was ok but not great I can agree there. Well a manager has to have some loyalty to his players doesn’t he?

  • http://www.LambertKlein.com Lambert Klein

    Great players makes it easier for any manager.

    • Ryan Dunne

      So what happened to the Angels then?

      • http://www.LambertKlein.com Lambert Klein

        Haven’t really followed them.

        • Ryan Dunne

          Team loaded with great players should make it easier for the manager, haven’t made the playoffs since 2009.

  • Vince in MN

    The short answer is NO.

  • kiss my ausmus

    Leyland s teams became too one dimensional.comerica park is not really a home run stadium.

    • Ryan Dunne

      It’s the biggest stadium in the Majors last time I checked. If we played in Yankee Stadium, a pop fly for Cabrera in Comerica would be a home run in New York.