Skip to content

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

Oct 21, 2013, 11:49 AM EST

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. Phil Coke’s deal with Cubs worth at least $2.25 million if he makes the team

    Mar 5, 2015, 3:25 PM EST

    World Series Tigers Giants Baseball AP

    It’s a minor-league deal with major-league money attached.

  2. Alfredo Simon has some sweet wheels

    Mar 5, 2015, 2:52 PM EST

    Alfredo Simon Getty Images

    Chrome. No, not just the trim. The whole dang car is chrome.

  3. The Cardinals are boring

    Mar 5, 2015, 1:30 PM EST

    Lackey yawn AP

    Just ask them. They’ll tell you so.

  4. Orioles negotiating buyout with Suk-min Yoon one year into $5.75 million deal

    Mar 5, 2015, 1:13 PM EST

    suk-min yoon korea getty Getty Images

    He would then return to Korea, where the 28-year-old was a former MVP.

  5. The Josh Hamilton decision could come as early as next week

    Mar 5, 2015, 11:39 AM EST

    Josh Hamilton Josh Hamilton

    The union and the league are butting heads, but the deadlock should soon be broken.

  6. It’s like the New York Post isn’t even trying anymore

    Mar 5, 2015, 7:53 AM EST

    Alex Rodriguez AP

    I guess it’s spring training for tabloid headline writers too.

  7. Angels, Huston Street expected to exchange offers soon

    Mar 4, 2015, 11:59 PM EST

    huston street getty Getty Images

    MLB.com’s Alden Gonzalez has an update on the ongoing extension negotiations between Angels general manager Jerry Dipoto and veteran closer Huston Street …

  8. Ji-Man Choi suffered a fractured right fibula

    Mar 4, 2015, 11:13 PM EST

    ji-man choi getty Getty Images

    The Mariners won their Cactus League opener Wednesday against the Padres, but it was not a totally problem-free afternoon in Peoria, Arizona.

  9. Suspending Josh Hamilton for a year would be obscene

    Mar 4, 2015, 10:26 PM EST

    josh hamilton getty Getty Images

    Suspending Hamilton for a year would serve no purpose punitive systems are designed to serve. And would most likely not serve Josh Hamilton at all.

  10. Report: MLB panel split on rehab for Josh Hamilton; one-year suspension is in play

    Mar 4, 2015, 9:52 PM EST

    josh hamilton angels getty Getty Images

    A four-person panel appointed by Major League Baseball to decide how Josh Hamilton should be handled following his recent relapse that involved at least cocaine has reportedly reached a stalemate.

  11. Rays sign reliever Jim Miller to minor league deal

    Mar 4, 2015, 9:04 PM EST

    jim miller getty Getty Images

    The deal includes an invitation to the major league side of spring training, though Miller seems doubtful to win a spot on Tampa Bay’s Opening Day roster.

  12. Tim Collins leaves spring debut with tight left elbow

    Mar 4, 2015, 8:21 PM EST

    tim collins getty Getty Images

    Royals reliever Tim Collins missed time last season with a flexor strain in his left elbow and again had an issue with the joint Wednesday in his 2015 Cactus League debut …

  13. Joc Pederson goes 2-for-2 in Cactus League debut

    Mar 4, 2015, 7:17 PM EST

    joc pederson getty Getty Images

    It was an enjoyable first day of Cactus League competition for Dodgers prospect Joc Pederson.

  14. Masahiro Tanaka expected to make his 2015 Grapefruit League debut on March 12

    Mar 4, 2015, 6:22 PM EST

    tanaka getty Getty Images

    He successfully rehabbed a torn UCL in his right elbow last season and the Yankees’ fingers remain crossed that the 26-year-old from Japan will be able to avoid Tommy John elbow reconstructive surgery.

Top 10 MLB Player Searches
  1. M. Upton (2563)
  2. M. Saunders (2306)
  3. G. Richards (2116)
  4. F. Rodriguez (2097)
  5. A. Simmons (2082)