Leyland back for next season, coaching staff intact

The Tigers made it official this morning, announcing that manager Jim Leyland has agreed to a one-year contract extension. His entire coaching staff has been invited back, including Toby Harrah, whose title has officially been changed to assistant hitting coach.

The announcement ends what has been months of speculation about Leyland’s future — first whether team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski would extend his contract, then whether Leyland would retire, then whether there would be changes on the coaching staff. As recently as Sunday night, Leyland was far from committal about his return, even as his players sounded far more confident he’d be back.

30 Comments

Dan,
The team didn’t want to hamper your enthusiasm over the winter months.

Congrats Skipper! Good call, for 1 more year. But seriously, Gene shouldn’t be at 3Bcoach anymore.

and maybe a bullpen coach….just someone to manage the bullpen for JL ;)

honestly I feel like 2013 is just an extension of our current push for a world championship. JL and the tigers should separate when the team starts going smallball style instead of longball style. And i’m not talking about incorporating MORE smallball – we need more bunting, stealing but the personnel really dictate the ability to play more smallball. When the personnel change happens JL should go.

This is a business organization. Where are the promotions?? Gene becomes bench coach. Tom moves to third base coach. Raphael coaches first. Same guys just different roles.

Don’t be happy about Jim returning then turn around and start calling for changes in the coaching staff. Nothing will change. Nothing.

It’s like watching a movie for the 8th time.

oh i really didn’t tho because anyone can play 3B coach (yes, any of us probably) Gene Lamont is an advisor as far as i am concerned and I wouldn’t want that to change. Bullpen coach is a joke and I’m just suggesting jim to work on that.

when half of your lineup (e.g. VM, JP, PF, MC, DY(?)) isn’t going to bunt or steal a base (add Alex in there, now)……you aren’t going to be a smallball team

glad Jim is going to be back, wouldn’t mind if McClendon went elsewhere. Hitting has been this teams problem most of the year and it continued into the post season. I dont care if he supposedly fixed AJ, he didn’t fix anything else. (by the way before someone says it Miggy never needed to be fixed.)

Glad to see this settled and Leyland back. As frustrating as some of his decisions this year were — notably where Raburn, Boesch and Valverde were concerned — there’s no on else available right now that I can see doing a better job. (I’m really interested in the idea of Brad Ausmus as a manager but he wouldn’t be the right person to lead this group of guys as assembled at the moment). Leyland has done a lot to help turn this organization around and deserves to stick around as long as he wants to and is capable of having success. And getting to the World Series is a success, no matter how you want to frame it.

I would’ve liked to have seen McClendon gone but I’m not surprised and can’t fault Leyland for sticking by his guys.

Gene Lamont should be gone. The key moment in the World Series was his absurd decision to try to score the run with Fielder. If you have so LITTLE confidence in your offense that you don’t believe you can score a runner from third base with no outs, then you should just forfeit the game and the series to the Giants.

And some of these players need to be in better shape. Someone suggested we need a new conditioning coach of the quaility of Arnie Kander with the Pistons. I was never impressed by the excess adipoose tissue on Valverde. Ridiculous for a professional athlete to be that out of shape. Fielder could use some time with Arnie or someone like him. And maybe all that adipose tissue being carried by Lamont is stopping blood flow to his brain.

I am ok with Leyland coming back, but the decisions to leave Valverde in against the A’s and to even use him against the Yankees are indefensible. As is the decision to put him on the roster for the World Series. I would rather have had Boesch or another pitcher. Take your pick. I won’t disagree. But anybody but Valverde. The stupid decision by Leyland to leave him in against Oakland cost Verlander another 120 pitches on his arm.

The Tigers picked up the options on Dotel and Peralta.

These are good moves, I would like to see them play Worth a bit more especially if Peralta doesn’t have a strong comeback year.

No surprise on Leyland, pretty hard to not want a guy and his staff back that led you to the World Series. Granted this was a frustrating year, but maybe VMart’s leadership can bring back some of the positive things from 2011.

Peralta will play everyday whether he has a strong comeback year or not. I think it’s a good time to trade him.

Definitely looking forward to VMart being back in the clubhouse. I wouldn’t be surprised if Dombrowski ends trying to trade Peralta to go after Stephen Drew if he doesn’t resign with Oakland. Market for middle infielders is limited this offseason and Peralta’s contract is fairly affordable so there should be interest. We need someone with more defensive range while Cabrera is playing third. Especially if we can’t resign Sanchez and end up keeping Porcello.

I don’t think anyone suggested we become a “small ball” team, whatever that means. I think we should add some more athleticism and defense, and some speed. It would most likely require a different manager to make use of it, and my entire view was to upgrade the club, not keep it exactly the same. It really has nothing to do with Leyland himself. I just wanted the club to improve and get into the 21st century.
If I hear one more person say there’s no one better to manage this team, I’ll lose my mind. You hire the same guy you’d hire if Jim suddenly retired. You really think the entire organization goes downhill without Leyland? I don’t think that’s the case. We have good players.
Anyway, it is what it is and next year will be more of the same. I guess some people would like doing the same thing over and over and over. That sounds like a job to me.

see right there: you’d need a new manager to take advantage of those upgrades. when you go for the personnel changes -> then its new manager time.

“If I hear one more person say there’s no one better to manage this team, I’ll lose my mind. You hire the same guy you’d hire if Jim suddenly retired.”

And who is that exactly? Ozzie? Jim Tracy? Sandy Alomar Jr.?

“Anyway, it is what it is and next year will be more of the same. I guess some people would like doing the same thing over and over and over.”

If by doing the same thing over and over you mean making it to the ALCS in back to back seasons, then yeah, I wouldn’t mind seeing this team keep doing that.

Okay, I’ve lost my mind now. My wife can’t tell the difference. :-)
The thing about this season is, many many people complained about the way the team performed all year long. It was some bad baseball being played for months on end. Then the White Sox collapse, Coco Crisp drops a flyball and Derek Jeter breaks his ankle and we’re in the World Series. That’s one way of looking at it.
I just don’t like watching bad baseball on a daily basis, even when we win.
Regarding a Leyland retirement and Dombrowski hiring a new manager, Mr. Dave would find a good one, I have no doubt. Just because I don’t name one doesn’t mean one doesn’t exist. There are many reasons to keep Jim on as manager, but the inability of fans to name a successor isn’t one of them.

Hmm– do you get a ring for finishing second? I’d like to see them make it to the ALCS, too, but come on now. This year was downright excruciating to watch. Some people talk like we blew the competition away to make it there. In reality, we’re lucky the Sox collapsed, we got the first 2 games against the A’s at home, and the Yanks were wore out from their series with Baltimore. It pretty much fell our way right up to the Series. Let’s not get delusional and think if we show up with the same team next year with the same coaching philosophy we will end up in the ALCS–next year that might only be good enough to get us 3rd place in the Central.

Well the new good news is it won’t be the same team. Young and Valverde are out the door and I would be shocked if at least one of Raburn/Boesch don’t follow. Leyland did what he could with the team he had this year — Berry and Garcia had no business playing as much as they did in the playoffs (or even being on the roster as anything more than a pinch-runner) but who else was he supposed to play? Jeff Baker? A lot of that has to be on Dombrowski for not building a better, deeper bench. Danny Worth, Don Kelly and Ramon Santiago are nothing more than defensive stopgaps. Having second base be a black hole for more than half the season didn’t help, nor did Peralta or Avila’s down years at the plate (looking at Dombrowski again for the latter — not having a proper backup catcher after Victor went down the first time in Aug 2011 simply wore Avila down. He looks like he aged 10 years in one off-season). I do think Dirks should’ve played everyday after he came off the DL but that’s water under the bridge at this point.

In 2011 the team in 29-17 one-run games. In 2012, they were 21-27. That, plus the 6 extra blown saves (16 v. 10) does a lot to explain the difference between 95 and 88 wins. Valverde couldn’t have been expected to go 49-49 again but even watching him towards the end of the last season you could see things were going downhill quickly. He should’ve lost the closer’s job earlier in the season, but by that point Benoit and Coke were already struggling so there weren’t many options. It’s those 2-3, 1-2, 3-4 losses back in May (the only month they played under .500) against pitchers like Vargas and Masterson that hurt a lot.

Dombrowski has to focus on improving the corner outfields and getting relief help this winter (hopefully without overpaying for Hamilton or R. Soriano).

Well at least we know the manager situation – right or wrong, happy or mad about it, the deal is set and we likely will have alot of the same feelings next season. I do think we need VMart back to rile the guys up a bit – sure they are big boys that don’t need pep talks all the time, but baseball can be fun, as shown by the Giants and I wouldn’t mind seeing a bit of that fun in the dugout.

During the last few games of the NLCS all anyone could talk about was being ‘cold’ after a long layoff. I wasn’t worried about them being cold, I was concerned about what was comming out of a few pieholes that should know better. The words I was hearing was, ‘we won the ALCS, yeah! I’m so happy we made it to the WS!’ All I wanted to do was puke because really all that means is, “I’m ready for the season to be over so I can go hunting’. Verlanders demeanor in the All Star Game came back to haunt him, the lack of a killer instinct and poor planning in his only start doomed this team. Complain all you want about the poor hitting you want, pitching wins and loses games and this rests nearly entirely on Verlander because the Tigers have the best starting pitching out there. Morris says he’s still learning. It’s the offseason Justing, go to class.

well technically pitching can’t win games because you win by scoring 1 more run than your opponent and you can’t score a run with pitching.

I don’t know, Justin lost us one game, the rest of the rotation in the world series did a good job and had we hit a lick we should have been 2-2 after those 4 games, so I think I respectively disagree on that point – he lost us a game but not the series.

Mr. I may not be able to physically and emotionally clean house and start over again. I love Mr. Dombrowski and you all know how I feel about the rest. That’s my take on it, Rich. This team does reflect the tone set by the manager.

Hoping, praying, and knocking on wood Victor is healthy and can return next year. We really need him.

Move Lamont to bench coach. Leyland likes him as a sounding board, which is good, but he shouldn’t be at 3rd base. Then either get a new 3rd base coach or move Brookens.

And with that bit of news, I just became a Cubs fan. Good grief.

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