Thursday, October 24, 2013

Saying Goodbye to Jim Leyland.

I will miss Jim Leyland.

I love Jim Leyland.

I've been watching the Detroit Tigers play baseball since the late 1960s, and I can say, without hesitation, that Jim Leyland is my favorite manager to wear the Olde English "D."

I know thats not the popular thing that many Tigers fans want to hear, mainly because those fans think he should've won multiple World Series during his stay in Motown.

Many fans have been very abusive towards Leyland during his 8 years as Tigers manager.

To me, even though every fan has the right to their opinion, I believe every Tigers fan who hated Jim Leyland the past 8 years should become fans of another team.

Maybe they should become a front runner Yankees fan, or become a fan of the Cubs. 

Good luck.

In his tenure as Tigers skipper, from 2006-2013, Jim Leyland took the Tigers to places the team hadn't been to in decades, and accomplished things the Tigers hadn't done in over 100 years.

The Tigers won 700 games while Leyland was the manager.

I know that doesn't sound like a lot, but for me, its worthy of consideration as one of the best tenures in Detroit baseball history.

The Tigers won the World Series in 1984, then won the 1987 A.L. East Division.

It took 19 years of mostly miserable baseball seasons after the '87 season before Jim Leyland showed up in 2006 to make the Tigers part of playoff baseball again.

The Tigers didn't just lose games before Leyland became the manager, they lost baseball games in historic fashion, including an American League record 119 games in 2003.

Between 1988-2005, the Tigers had just three winning seasons..1988, 1991, 1993.

In 1996 the Tigers lost 109 games, 97 games in '98.

In 2002 the Detroit Tigers lost 106 games.

In his 8 years managing the Tigers, Jim Leyland only had 1...1 losing sseason,  in 2008.

The Tigers were 81-81 in 2010.

8 years, 1 losing season, 1 even season.

One Wild Card playoff appearance, 2006.

Two American League Pennants, 2006, 2012.

There's also that infamous Game 163, in 2009, a game the Tigers lost to the Twins, losing out on the Central Division title.

The Tigers won three consecutive American League Central Division Championships, in 2011-2012-2013.

That was the first time the Tigers had been to the playoffs three years in a row since Hughie Jennings led Ty Cobb, Sam Crawford,  and Hooks Dauss to three straight World Series appearances in 1907-08-09.

Jim Leyland,  along with Tigers General Manager Dave Dombrowski, have re-energized the team, the City of Detroit, and Tiger fans all over the country.

Fans like me.

I guess because I've always been a positive fan, I don't get fans who think their teams should always win championships or the season was a failure because they didn't win it all.

To me, watching the Tigers the past 8 years, under Jim Leyland,  was a huge success. 

Jim Leyland resigned Monday as the skipper of the Detroit Tigers. 

He will continue to work for the Tigers,  in a new role in baseball operations. 

If I ever have the chance to meet Jim Leyland, I will darn sure shake his hand and thank him for everything he has done for my team.

Thanks Jim!

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