Jim Leyland has resigned as manager of the Detroit Tigers today.
The announcement, made this morning, has come as a bit of a shock to some, but if you’ve followed the team in any context over the last few years you shouldn’t be one of them. He has been working off of one year extensions for this reason; he didn’t want to lock himself into a multi year situation in case he felt he was done. In his press conference he cited that by June of this year he felt he was done.
He decided to resign on September 7th, telling GM Dave Dombrowski he was resigning over coffee. Besides Dombrowski, and by association owner Mike Ilitch, only three people knew of his decision before the announcement came down today; his wife, Gene Lamont, and Tony La Russa.
Whatever your opinion is there’s little doubt Leyland was one of the most influential men in recent Tiger history and was one of the most successful managers in the game.
As for his future, he did not eliminate the possibility of staying in the organization in a different role.
Dave Dombrowski said that the next manager does not necessarily need experience managing in the Major Leagues, which certainly is an intriguing thing to hear, though with the way the roster is constructed one would imagine they go with a bigger name than not.