Jim Leyland retired Monday as manager of the Detroit Tigers, though he will remain with the club in some capacity yet to be determined. Like every manager, he had his detractors and his supporters. We believe his supporters far outnumbered his detractors.
Leyland's eight years as the Tigers manager were filled with success. His team had three straight trips to the American League Championship Series, four playoff trips that resulted in two appearances in the World Series, plus a sudden death game for the AL Central Division title in 2009; a .540 winning percentage; and a team that drew over 22.6 million fans to the stadium. In some measure his tenure at the helm was one of the most successful in team history.
While the Tigers' failure to make to the World Series this year is one fans might remember right now, we are certain they will remember the overall success of the team under Leyland's managerial reign.
And for those disappointed not to have the "home" team to root for in the World Series and are looking for someone to root for, we remind you that Alpena native Blaise Ilsley is the bullpen coach for the St. Louis Cardinals.