The Jimmy Leyland era is over as manager of the Detroit Tigers.
Leyland became manager of the Tigers in 2006 and took the Tigers to the World Series that season. The Tigers had finished under the .500 mark for 12 consecutive years prior to Jimmy’s arrival in Motown. He was a breath of fresh air and much needed in Detroit. Leyland spent eight years as skipper of the Tigers compiling a 700-597 record as manager and a lifetime record of 1,769-1,728 as a manager in the big leagues. Leyland accomplished two World Series trips for the Tigers. However, both were losses with last season’s brutal fourgame sweep to the San Francisco Giants. Leyland also led the Tigers to three consecutive American League Central Division titles.
Jimmy brought stability and winning baseball to a town that had been suffering for good baseball. He loved being manager of the Detroit Tigers. He could be a grumpy guy with the media at times and he could — and would — make Tigers’ fans angry with his decisions and doing it his stubborn way. He is leaving on his terms and not being pushed out, which is good.
In his resignation announcement Leyland said: “When it’s time to leave, it’s time to leave, and now it’s time to leave.” I totally agree with him. It was time for Jimmy to leave, in my opinion. He totally butchered this last series against the Boston Red Sox. The decisions he made were mystifying and that is being nice. This Red Sox series should have been a four-game sweep and the Tigers playing the St. Louis Cardinals in the World Series. We know it and he knows it! I ask any Tigers fan if they are angry and frustrated by that Red Sox series and it’s a loud, YES! I had a feeling after the series Mr. Leyland would step down, but that rested a lot on his shoulders.
Please don’t get me wrong. The players deserve tons of harsh criticism for some of their pitiful performances! “Prince of Swing at Air” comes to mind. I am one that is glad Leyland is gone, I am not going to lie. I think he overmanages and is an awful handler of pitching staffs, for one. He was always too stubborn to make changes. He also never explained why he did something, which irritated me to no end! I will end the Leyland era with three statements. The first is, I am glad he is staying in the Detroit Tigers organization in some capacity. Number two: I am glad he won’t be in the dugout any more as skipper of the Detroit Tigers; it’s time for new blood. Third: thanks Jimmy Leyland for bring this Detroit Tigers baseball team back to October baseball the last eight years.
Detroit’s season ended on Saturday night. It was a season in which the expectations were World Series or bust. The bust part won out over the World Series. The demise was the bullpen all season long and it was the demise in October. A lights-out closer was the missing piece in a quest for a world championship. The situation needs to be addressed in the off-season and hopefully, it will be. Why is it when the highpowered Tigers’ offense gets to the postseason it implodes? Prince Fielder should feel guilty about cashing his big fat check the rest of the winter! The thought of wasting all that great starting pitching still irritates me and all Tigers fans! I am sick and tired of the Wait Until Next Year speech for a World Series here in Motown!!
NFL picks are another sore subject for me.
Carolina -6 over TAMPA BAY
San Francisco -16 over J’NVILLE
DETROIT -3 over Dallas
N.Y. Giants +5.5 over PHILA.
Cleveland +7 over KANSAS CITY
N. ORLEANS -12 over Buffalo
Miami +7over NEW ENG.
CINCINNATI -6 over NY Jets
DENVER -13 over Washington
OAKLAND +3 over Pittsburgh
ARIZONA -2.5 over ATLANTA
Green Bay -9.5 over MINN.
Seattle -10 over ST. LOUIS
LAST WEEK: 6-9 SEASON: 44-59-5
BEST BET RECORD: 4-3
BEST BET: NEW ORLEANS