In seven of eight years Jim Leyland was manager of the Tigers they had a winning record and he took them to the World Series twice, both however losing efforts.
I have a mixed reaction to Leyland stepping down. He was a good man for Detroit. Before Leyland came the Tigers were going nowhere and hadn’t had a winning record in 12 years. He was a fiery manager that brought passion and winning to the Tigers.
The one thing I won’t miss is how Leyland used the bullpen. He seemed to micro manage the game and he would take out his relievers after one batter. He should have left them in there a little longer to give them confidence. If they give up a hit to the next batter, take them out. If they get the next batter out, then they can be left in there and their confidence will grow.
However the positives outweigh the negatives.
Now that Leyland has stepped down from being the Detroit Tigers manager, who is going to replace him as their manager?
Here are some potential candidates:
1.) Kirk Gibson- Now he would be a great choice. He used to play with the Tigers and helped them win the 1984 World Series, the last for the Tigers, but he is under contract right now through next season out in Arizona and most likely will not leave to come to the Tigers Plus Gibson has already stated he is staying in Arizona.
2.) Brad Ausmus- He has been a hot commodity around MLB, but no one yet has signed him yet to be their manager of the team. He doesn’t have any previous managerial experience in the big leagues, but he was a smart player in his day and he played three seasons in Detroit.
3.) Don Mattingly- He is pretty unhappy being out in L.A. right now even though they were able to turn around their season, upper management is still not happy with him. He could work and he might not. It could be a stretch to get Mattingly.
4.) Gene Lamont, Lloyd McClendon, and Tom Brookens- I lumped these three together because they were on Jim Leyland’s staff and we know Leyland is sticking around in some capacity, so one of these three may get the next shot to be the manager of the Tigers. However I think it would be best to go outside the organization for now.
5.) Dusty Baker- He got the Reds to the playoffs, but could not get them to the NLCS or beyond. He did well with the Cubs and Giants as well. I got to think though he is almost done managing as well. He is 64, four years younger than Leyland. We need a manager that is going to be around for a while.
Wild Card choices
1.) Joe Maddon- How great would it be to get the Maddon from Tampa Bay? He does great with the pitching staff and is a very energetic guy and has a smart baseball mind. He is locked up through 2015 with the Rays and most likely won’t leave. Maddon loves Tampa Bay.
2.) Mike Scioscia- Another good manager and right now he is stuck with a bad team out in L.A. which seems to have no team chemistry. Is it possible he would like a change of scenery? Maybe, but he is locked up through 2018 with the Angels.
3.) Tony La Russa- This most likely won’t happen, but it would be great to one of baseball’s greatest minds to manage the Tigers. La Russa has come out saying he is done with managing. However, La Russa and Leyland are good friends, so it isn't impossible Leyland could talk him out of retirement.
Out of the Question
1.) Ozzie Guillen- Way too fiery of a manager can’t control his temper or his mouth. Would not be a good fit in Detroit and Tigers fans do not like him.
2.) Charlie Manuel- Did win a World Series in Philadelphia, but it was downhill after that for the Phillies. Has had mediocre success with teams and is older than Leyland.
3.) Alan Trammell- He had a chance in Detroit already and couldn’t get it done. It would nice to see him as a bench coach if Gibson became manager.