Jul 28, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland (10) in the dugout during the first inning against the Philadelphia Phillies at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Jim Leyland Named Best Manager By Baseball America

Jim Leyland certainly has his detractors here in Detroit. Fans complain about his undying faith in seemingly ineffective players (Brandon Inge, Ryan Raburn, Don Kelly to name a few). Fans grumble about his habit of playing hunches in some situations and his steadfast almost stubborn reliance statistical trends in others. As a matter of fact the only thing really predictable about Jim Leyland lately is that he will most likely have a mouth full of food while doing a post game interview.

But the fact is that Jim Leyland has forgotten more about baseball than most if us will ever know and as much as fans may grumble about his in-game strategy he is one of the best in the business.

If you don’t believe me ask the other managers in baseball.

Baseball America recently published their 2013 MLB’s Best Tools List, an annual poll of baseballs managers, and they ranked Jim Leyland as the best manager in the American League.

Apparently the folks who know baseball best think that Jim Leyland is a great manager, the fans in Detroit should start recognizing that fact as well. Leylands greatness this year isn’t just perceived but is backed by performance.  He has pushed the Tigers though some adversity this year.

  • He fixed the uncertainty with the closer role internally by inserting Joaquin Benoit.
  • He has been able to effectively utilize Miguel Cabrera despite a nagging hip flexor injury
  • The team virtually seemed undistracted by entire Peralta PED situation
  • He handled the Rivera All-Star situation with class
  • Most importantly he has his team on a season high 10 game win streak and 20 games over .500

There is a lot to like about Jim Leyland and what he has accomplished this season. Tiger fans should embrace whats good about the team’s manager and grumble a little less when he bats Don Kelly 3rd.

Dick's Sporting Goods presents "Hell Week":

Tags: Detroit Tigers Jim Leyland

  • mwojdylak

    Give me a break, the talent and love of the game these players have is the reason they’re winning. Leyland, when having to make crucial decisions has lost more games than he’s won since joining the Tigers in ’06. His lack of playing small ball in late close/tied games not only a mistake, it cost us the experience. As far as I’m concerned his managing has cost us two if not three World Series. Just think if Tram and Gibby could have enjoyed the upswing of their hard work instead of handing it to Jim and him receiving praise? No sir

    • Tony Fischer

      Thanks for reading!! I understand your point but as it stands in the here and now it is hard to argue against his body of work in 2013. My point was that we as fans should recognize that other major league managers feel the same way. What he has done in other years is debatable but this year he has put it together.

      • mwojdylak

        I understand your point. I believe the other major league managers would also agree Detroit has one of, if not the best team in the league. I think a lot of the praise is being misplaced. Our general manager Dave Dombrowski deserves a lot of the credit.
        1. Not pulling the trigger on trading Porcello (realizing he has the potential to grow into our Ace)
        2. Picking up pieces to sure up the back end of the bullpen acquiring Veras, Jurrjens and Bonderman
        3. Making a deal for Iglesias (solidifying the SS position for potentially years to come)

        Thanks for the article, just a big Tiger fan and feel a little differently

        • Tony Fischer

          I understand and appreciate your passion. Dave Dombrowski does deserve a lot of credit. Heck the entire team deserves credit. But Jim Leyland deserves credit too. I appreciate the spirited debate. All fans need to expect the best from the team.

    • msovacpa

      Oh, you are sooooo right. I mean look at all the post seasons they have been to in the previous 20 years before he got here. Genius.

      • Tony Fischer

        Thanks for reading. Historically he is compare great as well. Do I agree with everything he does….No but it is time for fans to admit overall he is pretty good.

      • mwojdylak

        Yep, just as Mike Illitch decided to start pouring money into the team he yanked the reins away from the manager who drastically turned the team around, Alan Trammell. I understand a novice wouldn’t quite get the subtleties, I’ve been following the team for many years. Thanks for your feedback Bud

        • Tony Fischer

          Oh the old “following the team for years” card. I love that one. Well if you have been following the team for years how do you explain a manager as inept as Jim Leyland having two AL Championships and Two Central Division Championships in eight years. Not to mention taking a team that finished with 91 loses in 2005 (managed by Alan Trammell and propelling them to a world series berth in 2006. No manager outside of Hughie Jennings has had that kind of success. Not even Sparky. To say that Leyland has nothing to do with the success of the Detroit Tigers since 2005 is just lunacy.

          • mwojdylak

            He deserves a little respect Sir, you are right. But what about the major improvement with Tram taking the club from ’03 and winning 43 games to ’04 and winning 72 games was the start of the turn around. Illitch kept putting money into the team after that. Leyland did have better puzzle pieces to work with. Overall, again you are correct, he’s a good manager, not great. And Yes Sir I have been following the team for years, no card need be played! :)

          • Tony Fischer

            I wish it worked out for Tram to but you can’ ignore the debacle that was the ’05 season. Some could argue that Free Agents wouldn’t come here until Leyland arrived.