Three Things the Tigers Need In their New Manager
As Shane Victorino prances around the bases in Fenway Park, all Tigers fans can do is shake their head in disbelief. He just made one of the biggest hits of his career, a towering fly ball over the green monster of Fenway Park to put the Sox ahead by three. It was then that the Tigers hopes of reaching the World Series in two consecutive years were shattered.
Two days after the loss to the Red Sox, Jim Leyland announced he was stepping down from manager. Tears clogged his weary eyes during the press interview. “I’m low on fuel,” said Leyland.
Leyland is currently 68 years old and baseball is beginning to wear him out. Now Tigers fans are starting to wonder who their new manager will be. Here are a few key things that the Tigers need to have in their new manager.
1. Someone who has experience and a track record of winning.
There are high expectations for Detroit’s new manager. Leyland has brought a lot of success to the Tigers. He led them to two World Series and won three division titles in eight years. Hiring someone who has a history of winning will ease the criticism of fans. Detroit needs someone who can reach the high levels of success almost instantly. This will keep criticism down and morale high for both players and fans.
2. Someone who knows how to handle a pitching staff.
Leyland wasn’t the best at this. He would often pull pitchers out of the game who were mowing down opposing batters because he seemed more worried about the matchup between the pitcher and the batter.
Many fans were becoming frustrated with the way he managed his pitchers. Bullpen pitching is an area that needs massive improvement in the Tigers organization. If Detroit hires someone who can turn around the bullpen, then the Tigers will have one of the best overall pitching staffs in the majors.
3. Someone who knows how to work with superstar athletes.
The Tigers have a lot of big time players. Detroit had the fourth highest overall team payroll in the majors last season. Having someone who has dealt with superstar players before will eliminate problems in the clubhouse, while keeping players more focused on their job.
Rumors about who will take the place of Leyland have been floating around. Here are some possibilities of who will get the manager position.
He is currently the Tigers hitting coach and has been on the Tigers staff all eight years that Leyland was the manager. He knows the team the best out of any other candidate, which is a big plus. He has previous experience as manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates from 2000 to 2005. He wasn’t very successful with the Pirates, but he didn’t have many good players. The Tigers roster is currently filled with great players.
Kirk would be the ideal replacement for Leyland. Gibson is loved by Tigers fans. He played for the Tigers from 1983 to 1987 and helped the Tigers win a World Series title in 1984. He was a bench coach for the Tigers in 2003. He currently is under contract with the Arizona Diamondbacks as their manager, which dulls the hope of the Detroit fans getting their beloved Gibby back.
Recently fired by the Cincinnati Reds, Dusty Baker seems like a good choice for the Tigers. He has a lot of experience having managed over three thousand games in his coaching career and won over half of these games. He has had successful seasons with the San Francisco Giants and the Cincinnati Reds. He also has experience of managing super-star players. Baker is 64 years old, only four years younger than Leyland. Baker might be a good fit in Detroit, but the Tigers seem to be pursuing someone of a younger age.