Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland stepping down

Associated Press

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Jim Leyland knew as far back as June that this was going to be his last season managing the Detroit Tigers.

He made up his mind by September, when he told President/General Manager Dave Dombrowski his decision.

He told his players after the season ended Saturday night in Fenway Park and made it official on Monday morning at Comerica Park in a news conference.

Leyland is stepping down after eight seasons as manager to take another, as-yet-undetermined position with the organization.

“When it’s time, it’s time ... and it’s time,” Leyland said during a news conference with Dombrowski at his side.

Pitching coach Jeff Jones was in attendance, along with players Don Kelly and Torii Hunter.

In eight seasons as manager, Leyland helped the Tigers win three consecutive division titles and two American League pennants. The Tigers also made four appearances in the American League Championship Series.

He guided the Tigers to the World Series in 2006 and again in 2012.

“What’s gone on here has been unbelievable,” Leyland said. “We’ve won a lot of games. We’ve had a lot of seats filled. We’ve had a lot of no-hitters, MVPs, Cy Youngs, This doesn’t happen, so enjoy it.”

Leyland’s announcement to step down came two days after the Tigers were eliminated from the ALCS by the Boston Red Sox in six games.

Leyland, who has worked under one-year contracts the past few seasons, said he had contemplated this being his final season since June. He asked to meet for coffee with Dombrowski in Kansas City on Sept. 7 to tell him.

“The conversation basically went like this,” Leyland said. “I said, ‘Dave, I don’t know what your plans are for next year.’ He said, ‘Well, you’re my manager.’ I said, ‘Well, I’m not going to be the manager.’ ”

Leyland, 68, said he was asked back but said he was “low on fuel” and said the trips were getting rough.

He said he told the players after Saturday’s loss, but didn’t want the decision to become public until after the weekend out of respect to the Red Sox.

Cabrera may need surgery

Tigers slugger Miguel Cabrera might need surgery to repair a tear in his groin that limited him in the playoffs.

Cabrera hit .348 with 44 home runs and 137 RBI this season, but he was bothered for the last couple of months by a number of injuries. He batted .262 with two home runs in 11 postseason games.

Dombrowski said Monday that Cabrera was checked by Dr. William Meyers in Philadelphia before the postseason. Dombrowski said Cabrera only agreed to see Meyers when the team promised the third baseman he wouldn’t be shut down.


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