October 21, 2013

Jim Leyland steps down as Detroit Tigers manager

Leyland, 68, retires after eight seasons with Detroit, including two trips to the World Series.

By Noah Trister
The Associated Press

(Continued from page 1)

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Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland, right, announces he is stepping down as manager as general manager David Dombrowski, left, listens during a news conference at Comerica Park in Detroit, Monday, Oct. 21, 2013. Leyland is stepping down after eight seasons that included three division titles and two trips to the World Series.

AP Photo/Paul Sancya

click image to enlarge

Detroit Tigers baseball manager Jim Leyland announces he is stepping down as manager during a news conference at Comerica Park in Detroit, Monday, Oct. 21, 2013.

The Associated Press

When Leyland arrived at the Tigers’ training camp this year, it marked 50 seasons since he first showed up there as an 18-year-old prospect. His playing career never amounted to much, but his accomplishments as a manager over more than two decades have been impressive.

He is 1,769-1,728 overall during stints with the Tigers, Pirates, Marlins and Rockies.

“I had sent him a text yesterday morning, just to congratulate he and the organization,” Boston manager John Farrell said. “Not only on a great team and a great year, and express the respect we have for him and certainly personally have for him throughout his career. To see the announcement today, and listen to him and know that early September this was clearly in his mind, that surprised me.”

When Leyland took over the Tigers, they had gone 12 years without a winning season. Under Leyland, they finished under .500 only once.

Detroit has become one of baseball’s glamour teams of late, with stars like Cabrera, Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer helping the team win games and draw fans. Cabrera won the Triple Crown and MVP award last year. Verlander won the MVP and Cy Young Award the previous season.

“It’s been as much fun for me to manage Ramon Santiago is it has Miguel Cabrera, Justin Verlander,” Leyland said. “Now in saying that, it was also an honor to manage the Triple Crown winner, an MVP, a Cy Young winner.”

The Tigers should be able to keep their core of players mostly together for next season, but now they’ll need to find a new manager to replace Leyland, who always earned high marks for his ability to keep his veterans focused.

“He really cares deeply about his players,” utility man Don Kelly said. “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.”

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