Detroit Tigers' Manager Jim Leyland Resigns

Surprise Announcement Follows Tigers Loss To Red Sox In ALCS

Monday, October 21, 2013
Former Braves Manager Bobby Cox speaking with Jim Leyland.
Former Braves Manager Bobby Cox speaking with Jim Leyland.
- photo by Tim Evearitt

Jim Leyland is stepping down as manager of the Tigers, and he will announce his decision today at a news conference scheduled for 11:30 a.m. ET at Comerica Park.

FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal, who first reported the news, said the 68-year-old Leyland told the Tigers players of his plans after Saturday's loss to the Red Sox in Game 6 of the American League Championship Series. A source confirmed the report to MLB.com.

The decision ends Leyland's eight-year tenure leading the team he grew up with, first as a Minor League catcher and then as a manager in its farm system. This season was his 50th in professional baseball, 22 of them managing at the big league level, the last eight in Detroit.

He built the Pittsburgh Pirates into a perennial contender on a small-market budget in the early 1990s, winning three consecutive National League East titles from 1990-92, then won a long-awaited World Series with the Florida Marlins in 1997, only to watch both teams enter rebuilding projects. After a disappointing 1999 season managing in Colorado, he stepped down and seemed ready for retirement.

For years, however, he dreamed about a chance to manage Detroit. He took the job after the 2005 season and led a Tigers team that hadn't had a winning record since 1993 to heights it hadn't seen since its World Series-winning season of 1984.

The 2006 Tigers, Leyland's first team, won the AL Wild Card and went to the World Series, falling to the Cardinals in five games. It was a Cinderella story for a franchise that had seemed mired in mediocrity, but it was the start of a team that contended just about every year.

Six of Leyland's eight Tigers squads finished with a winning record. Four of them went to the playoffs. The last three won the AL Central title and advanced to at least the ALCS. Though they were swept by the Giants, the Tigers reached the World Series last year. Leyland joined Hughie Jennings from a century ago as the only managers to lead the Tigers to three consecutive postseason berths.

In all three seasons, Leyland worked without a contract for the following year. He had decided to go year-to-year with his deal, he said, following the example of his good friend, former Cardinals manager Tony La Russa, to avoid a long-term commitment if he didn't want to manage anymore or if the Tigers wanted to go in a different direction.

There were no signs that Leyland was ready to call it quits. As recently as this summer, he talked about wanting to manage beyond next year, and he said that his energy level was good. Team president and general manager Dave Dombrowski told MLB.com during the AL Division Series that Leyland was welcome as long as he wanted to manage.

Leyland's 700 regular-season managerial wins are the third-most in Tigers history, trailing only Sparky Anderson (1,331) and Jennings (1,131). His .540 winning percentage as Tigers manager ranks only behind Steve O'Neill (.551 from 1943-48) among managers with at least 500 wins.

Leyland's 1,769 wins overall rank 15th all-time among Major League managers. His eight playoff appearances tie him for seventh on the all-time list, a group that includes La Russa, Bobby Cox, Joe Torre and Hall of Famers Casey Stengel, John McGraw, Joe McCarthy and Connie Mack.

----- Source: MLB.com

Jim Leyland
Jim Leyland
- Photo2 by Tim Evearitt


Lookouts Rally With Six Runs In Ninth To Nip Smokies Thursday, 11-10

KODAK, Tenn. -- Edgar Corcino hit a grand slam in the fourth inning, leading the Chattanooga Lookouts to a 12-11 win over the Tennessee Smokies on Thursday. The magic number for clinching the second-half title is now 13 and the Lookouts have a six-game lead over second place Montgomery The grand slam by Corcino capped a five-run inning and gave the Lookouts a 5-2 lead after ... (click for more)

PHOTOS: Baylor Opens 2017 Campaign With 42-21 Win Over Notre Dame

City Seeks To Be Removed As Trustee Of Confederate Cemetery

Mayor Andy Berke on Friday said he has asked City Attorney Wade Hinton, on behalf of the city of Chattanooga, to file the necessary paperwork "to confirm the city is no longer listed as a trustee of a Confederate Cemetery on East Third Street." Mayor Berke said, “Our action today makes it clear that the city of Chattanooga condemns white supremacy in every way, shape and ... (click for more)

New Superintendent Johnson To Set Up Opportunity Zone For Low Performing Schools

New County School Supt. Dr. Bryan Johnson said he plans to set up an Opportunity Zone for low performing schools. He said in a memo: In our ongoing efforts to improve student achievement I would like to establish an Opportunity Zone that would specifically focus on our Priority schools and schools on the cusp. The initial schools that would receive support through this structure ... (click for more)

Shame On Anyone Planning A Protest At Coolidge Park Thursday Evening - And Response (7)

Whether you're Alt-Left or Alt-Right, Coolidge Park isn't the place to showcase your hate and indifference with one another. Just because it's your right, that doesn't necessarily mean that you should do it. Many have this misconception that this park is named after a President, Nope. It's named after a great man, a true patriot, and Medal of Honor recipient from right ... (click for more)

A Tale Of 3 Properties

Here in Lookout Valley on the far southwest edge of Chattanooga and Hamilton County, trees and rocks are plentiful but sidewalks are as rare as unicorns. It’s a land the governments forget – until tax collection time.  The recent county reappraisal spoke about ‘comps,’ recent sale prices of comparable local properties. But the assessors defined ‘comparable’ to suit themselves, ... (click for more)