Well it’s either a sad day or happy day for Detroit Tigers fans depending on who you talk to because Jim Leyland has resigned as the Detroit Tigers manager. While he definitely has had his faults in his career with the Tigers, no one can deny that he has done some great things for the Tigers as well. He led the Detroit Tigers to a couple of American League pennants and while he came up short in winning a World Series, he still changed the face of one of the worse teams in baseball.
Now of course with him resigning, the first thing that most people think about is his legacy and if he is a possible Hall of Famer. I believe he is a future Hall of Famer especially when you consider his impressive 22 year legacy but I think it will take time for the Hall of Fame committee to induct him. Now for those saying he isn’t, let’s just think about what he has accomplished.
Leyland is one of the more accomplished managers in baseball. He won three Manager of the Year awards, his first one in 1990 and he also won in 1992 and 2006. He made the postseason eight times. He led the Detroit Tigers to the World Series in his first season with them in 2006 and he led them back again in 2012. He also led the Miami Marlins to a 1997 World Series and won. He is 15th all time in managerial victories. I mean come on this man definitely deserves to be in the Hall of Fame and keep in mind I don’t consider myself to be Leyland fan but I respect what he has done.
Like I said earlier, while I respect what he has done, I still think the Hall of Fame committee will be slow to induct him. Mainly because while he did have some great moments, he also has some flaws on the resume. As much as he did for the Tigers, he was never able to help them win a World Series Championship. He also had some bad moments with the Pittsburgh Pirates when they lost their league championship in 1992, plus he really struggled early on to make the Pirates a better team. However, after that, there isn’t much I can say against him.
While he wasn’t a perfect manager, no one in the Hall of Fame was a perfect manager or even player for that matter. He was loyal to a fault and believed in making his teams better and he did that with four teams. I think he deserves at some point to be inducted, it probably just won’t be anytime soon.
Now let’s move on to a topic that I’m sure most Tiger fans are concerned about which is who should replace Jim Leyland as manager. While many Tiger fans felt this year might be the last chance to win a World Series Championship, some feel there is still enough talent to make a run at the World Series once again next season. However, you have to be cautious because the Tigers are a better team than they were before Jim Leyland but finding and integrating a new manager can be difficult. The right manager could take the Tigers to the next level but the wrong one could destroy what Leyland has built.
I honestly want a manager with prior postseason experience and while most people would be quick to say Dusty Baker because he has that experience, I don’t necessarily want him. While I respect Dusty Baker, I don’t want Baker, I just want someone with his type of experience. Off the top of my head, my first choice would be Arizona Diamondbacks Skipper Kirk Gibson but that could be a long shot since he is still with Arizona and I have no doubt they want to keep him but I feel he would be a real good fit for the Tigers.
Now some fans and experts think the Detroit Tigers should go with someone within the Tigers organization as the next manager. For me the only person I could see becoming the next manager from within the Tigers organization is Third Base Coach Tom Brookens, mainly because he has a good relationship with the players and seems like future manager material.
From what I have heard, a lot of people seem to be high on Brad Amus who most Tigers fans remember as the former Tigers catcher. He could also be another good fit but I don’t know if he wants to come back to Detroit, plus I know other teams have had interest in him recently as a manager.
If I had to throw a wild card out there, I wouldn’t mind hiring Tony Pena. I know he is currently with Yankees, which is why I considered him to be a wild card because Tigers won’t be able to acquire him but he would be what I would want in a manager for the Tigers. He has experience seeing that he was the manager of the Kansas City Royals where he won AL Manager of the year in 2003. He has learned from Joe Girardi since being with the Yankees and he understand the division and how to win. Like I said, he is just a wild card that I wanted to throw out there, not saying they will get him because obviously they won’t and can’t.
Nonetheless, Time will tell when it comes to the Detroit Tigers next manager but as I said before, Tigers must be very aware of who they hire to be the next manager.
Written by LBeasley, Sports Contributor for Radio One Detroit
Listen to LBeasley’s Radio Show, “Sports Talk with L-Beasley” every Mon, Wed & Fri from 6-8pm (ET) on LBeasley.com