After eight seasons as the manager of the Detroit Tigers, Jim Leyland called it quits Monday…surprising pretty much everyone.
"It's time to step down from the managerial position of the Detroit Tigers and accept another position yet to be determine," the 68-year-old skipper said during a morning news conference. "It's been a thrill. I came here to change talent to team, and I think with the help of this entire organization, I think we've done that. We've won quite a bit. I'm very grateful to have been a small part of that."
Under Leyland's leadership, the Tigers went 700-597 and played in two World Series. With an average of 88 wins in each of his eight years at the helm, Leyland's Tigers were a far cry from the team that lost 119 three years prior to him taking the reins.
"Jim's tenure will be looked back on as one of the great eras in Tigers history, an era that included two World Series appearances, four ALCS appearances in eight seasons, three division titles and two American League pennants," Detroit general manager Dave Dombrowski added. "It has truly been an honor to work with one of the great managers in the history of the game."
So now, naturally, everyone has shifted their attention to who the next manager of the Tigers is going to be. And one of the first names thrown into the proverbial ring…a guy who already has a history with the team's GM.
Enter Dusty Baker.
“I’ve always respected Dave Dombrowski and what Dave has accomplished,” Baker told The Detroit Free Press. “I have the ultimate respect and friendship for Jim Leyland. I’d be flattered and honored to be given such an opportunity.”
Baker isn't alone. Another name being thrown out there is current Arizona Diamondbacks manager, and former Tigers hero, Kirk Gibson.
“I had a conversation with him first thing this morning,” Diamondbacks GM Derrick Hall told The Arizona Republic. “My first inclination was to say I would not grant permission (for the Tigers to interview Gibson) because we want him to stay here. But I asked him, ‘If that’s what you desire, to go interview, that’s different.’ But he said he wants to stay here. That’s all we needed to hear. He’s not going anywhere.”
Some other potential candidates to replace Leyland include guys who have already shared time with him on the bench…Gene Lamont, Tom Brookens and Lloyd McClendon.
Oh, and of course…you know who.
And in case you're wondering, Jose Canseco has zero ties to the Motor City. Matter of fact, I'm pretty sure any one of these guys have as much of a chance to be the Tigers manager as the former slugger does.