Skip to content

Jim Leyland: “it’s time … the fuel was starting to get low”

Oct 21, 2013, 11:49 AM EDT

The Tigers just held Jim Leyland’s press conference. The highlights:

Leyland said he wanted it to be clear that he was not at all forced out. It was all his idea. And the idea had been in his head for longer than many may have expected.

On September 7th, after the game against Kansas City, he met Dave Dombrowski for coffee and told Dombrowski that he was going to step down after the season. Dombrowski wanted him to stay, but Leyland said that “it was time” and that “the fuel was starting to get low.” No players were told. Dombrowski told only owner Mike Ilitch. Leyland told his wife, Tony La Russa and Gene Lamont, each of whose advice he took on the matter.  Leyland wanted to make the time frame of his decision — and the fact that only a couple of people knew — totally clear so that it could not be said that there was any sense on part of the players that they weren’t on the same page as he was. They had no idea that he was going to be gone.

MORE: Is Jim Leyland headed for Cooperstown?

He first informed his players Saturday night after the loss to Boston. There was first silence and then applause. He had nothing but good things to say about his players and reaffirmed, without hesitation, how he was proud of being thought of as a players’ manager throughout his career. He had nothing but the most glowing praise for owner Mike Illitch and Dave Dombrowski. For whom he will still be working, by the way, as Leyland announced that he will be accepting another position in the organization and said he “wanted to retire a Tiger.”

As anyone who has watched the Tigers closely knows, Leyland is an emotional man. He lasted longer in this press conference without crying than I figured he would. But about five minute in he thanked the people of the Tigers organization and then things got awfully misty. You just want to give the guy a hug.

MORE: Who replaces Leyland in Detroit?

Most of the questions/answers after his statements were what you’d expect. But one nugget did come out: Dave Dombrowski does not feel obligated to hire a guy with major league managing experience, saying he didn’t see the point in limiting available candidates.

Oh, and Leyland told a fart joke. Seriously. It had nothing to do with anything, but you can tell the guy is feeling good about his decision.

 

Latest Posts
  1. Video: Joey Butler breaks up Carlos Carrasco’s no-hitter with two outs in the ninth inning

    Jul 1, 2015, 10:38 PM EDT

    Cleveland Indians v Tampa Bay Rays Cleveland Indians v Tampa Bay Rays

    Carlos Carrasco had a no-hitter Wednesday with one strike to go. When this happened …

  2. Carlos Carrasco loses no-hitter with one out to go vs. Rays

    Jul 1, 2015, 10:05 PM EDT

    Carlos Carrasco AP

    We have some history in the works Wednesday night in Tampa Bay.

  3. Video: Manny Machado dives then chucks fadeaway throw to first to nab Shin-Soo Choo

    Jul 1, 2015, 9:32 PM EDT

    Baltimore Orioles v Boston Red Sox Getty Images

    You’re gonna want to see this play that Manny Machado pulled off in Wednesday night’s game …

  4. Jaime Garcia scratched from start with groin issue

    Jul 1, 2015, 8:47 PM EDT

    Jaime Garcia Jaime Garcia

    Cardinals left-hander Jaime Garcia was unable to perform scheduled throwing workouts on Saturday and Monday due to cramping in his left groin — the same issue that drove him from his last start Wednesday night against the Marlins.

  5. Bill Stoneman taking over as Angels’ interim GM

    Jul 1, 2015, 7:21 PM EDT

    angels logo

    Stoneman was the Angels’ general manager in 2002, when the the franchise won its last World Series championship.

  6. Orioles DFA Delmon Young, exploring trade

    Jul 1, 2015, 6:38 PM EDT

    Philadelphia Phillies v Baltimore Orioles Getty Images

    Young was batting just .270/.289/.339 with two home runs in 180 plate appearances this season for the Orioles. The 29-year-old hit .302/.337/.442 with seven home runs in 255 plate appearances last season.

  7. Twins calling up top prospect Miguel Sano for MLB debut

    Jul 1, 2015, 5:23 PM EDT

    Twins Daily Reuters

    One of the best hitting prospects in baseball.

  8. Jerry Dipoto loses power struggle with Mike Scioscia, steps down as Angels general manager

    Jul 1, 2015, 3:13 PM EDT

    scioscia and dipoto angels AP

    For better or worse, owner Arte Moreno is standing with Scioscia.

  9. Must-click link: Baseball Peaked on July 1, 1990

    Jul 1, 2015, 1:30 PM EDT

    Yankees logo

    “The most ridiculous no-hitter in baseball history”

  10. Ervin Santana ready to join Twins after 80-game suspension

    Jul 1, 2015, 1:15 PM EDT

    Ervin Santana AP

    Santana has been “rehabbing” in the minors.

  11. Bobby Bonilla’s isn’t the only deferred money deal in the game. And isn’t even the worst.

    Jul 1, 2015, 12:32 PM EDT

    Bruce Sutter

    Bruce Sutter retired when Ronald Reagan was still president. He’s still being paid by the Braves.

  12. What Yasiel Puig being a pain in the butt means. And what it doesn’t mean.

    Jul 1, 2015, 10:42 AM EDT

    Paul Sancya -- Associated Press AP

    A book is coming out which is telling us just how bad a teammate Yasiel Puig has been. Should we care?

  13. Report: Jerry Dipoto “definitely out” as Angels GM

    Jul 1, 2015, 8:07 AM EDT

    Jerry Dipoto Jerry Dipoto

    It seems that if you battle with Mike Scioscia, you’re going to lose.

  14. And That Happened: Tuesday’s scores and highlights

    Jul 1, 2015, 7:31 AM EDT

    Mike Montgomery Getty Images

    Shutouts are rare in baseball these days. M’s rookie Mike Montgomery has two in a row.

  15. Manny Banuelos expected to make MLB debut Thursday

    Jun 30, 2015, 10:05 PM EDT

    banuelos getty Getty Images

    Banuelos has rebuilt some of his early-career hype this summer with the Braves’ Triple-A affiliate in Gwinnett, Georgia, posting 2.29 ERA and 1.22 WHIP across 82 2/3 innings (15 starts).

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. J. Hamilton (3420)
  2. S. Matz (3368)
  3. H. Ramirez (3298)
  4. B. Harper (3241)
  5. G. Stanton (3111)
  1. M. Moore (3052)
  2. J. Ellsbury (2540)
  3. M. Cain (2514)
  4. Y. Puig (2401)
  5. M. Holliday (2385)