Jim Leyland is turning in his fungo, hanging up his cleats and walking away from the diamond. Sources tell Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports that the Detroit Tigers manager plans to "step down" on Monday at a press conference scheduled for 11:30 a.m. ET.
The news comes just two days after Leyland's Tigers were dispatched from the ALCS by the Boston Red Sox in six games. Leyland joined the Tigers in 2006, won two pennants, three division titles and accrued a 700-597 record. He is 68 years old and just completed a one-year contract he signed after reaching the World Series last fall.
Sources: Leyland stepping down as #Tigers manager. Told team after end of ALCS. Team has called news conference for 11:30 AM ET.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) October 21, 2013
I'll note that neither of Rosenthal's tweets say anything about retiring so it'll be interesting to see if Leyland completely rules out a Jack McKeon-like return with another club in a few years or if he's riding off to new non-managing endeavors like some of his contemporaries. With the recent departures of Davey Johnson and Dusty Baker, Terry Collins now ranks as the oldest manager in baseball at age 64.
It's unclear who, if anyone, that GM Dave Dombrowski and the Tigers have in mind as Leyland's replacement. But they'll have to compete against some other high-profile clubs who also have managing vacancies. The Chicago Cubs, Washington Nationals, Cincinnati Reds and Seattle Mariners are all looking for new skippers as well.
If Leyland is in fact done, he'll be writing the final chapter on a stellar baseball life. He managed the Pirates, Rockies, Marlins and Tigers for a total of 22 seasons, going 1,769-1,728 with three pennants and a World Series title with the 1997 Florida Marlins.
- - - - - - -