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Jim Leland Resigns As Tigers Manager

NEW YORK - JULY 14: Jim Leland of the Detroit Tigers looks on during batting practice during 2008 MLB All-Star Week at Yankee Stadium on July 14, 2008 in the Bronx borough of New York City. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
Jim McIsaac, Getty Images

Jim Leland is stepping aside as manager of the Detroit Tigers in a move that at least some baseball observers considered to be a surprise.

The Tigers were just eliminated from the postseason on Saturday, marking the fourth time in his eight year tenure that Detroit made the playoffs.

Leland said he told players of his decision after being eliminated on Saturday night, and had informed general manager Dave Dombrowski back in early September, according to Tigers.com.

The article indicates that Leland has ”accepted a different position, to be determined, with the club,” :

“It’s not goodbye, because I will be in the organization doing something,” an emotional Leyland said.

“We want to thank Jim for everything he has done over the past eight years to steer the ship and lead our ballclub to some exciting times in this town,” Tigers owner Mike Ilitch said. “Jim has been instrumental in the franchise’s most recent success on and off the field, and we are forever grateful. We wish the best to Jim and his family in the future.”

Ironically, Leland’s lone World Series title came during a short stint with the then-Flordida Marlins. He led the club to a 92-70 regular season record in their 1997 World Series campaign, then, left after the 1998 season in the midst of the team’s decided to dis-arm and basically let their most valuable players walk away. In 98′, one year after the WS title, Leland’s Marlins went 54-108.

Leland, 68, will likely be most known for his days with the Pirates and Tigers.

In Pittsburgh, his teams seemed to always be a force, though never capturing a pennant. With Detroit, ‘Jimmy’ guided the club to a pair of World Series appearances over his eight years.

Considering the team’s success, the announcement seemed abrupt. And factoring in that he is staying with Detroit for a position that is ‘yet to be determined’, it makes you wonder if Leland is battling an illness or if there is an underlying story that both sides aren’t yet publicly talking about.

Leland’s full managerial record at Baseballreference.com

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