Leyland-to-manage-Tigers-through-2009The Detroit Tigers have a large offseason hole to fill, and it will be difficult to find another manager that matches Jim Leyland. Or even comes close. Coming into a struggling Detroit Tigers team in 2006, Leyland led them to a 95-67 record and an AL Pennant. Something the Tigers have not had since ’87. And by the end of his tenor with the Tigers he had a record of 700-597, 2 AL Pennants, and a ton of new fans. Jim Leyland will go down as one of the greatest Detroit Tigers manager they have ever had.

For fans, this is a problem, for available managers, opportunity. The 2014 Tigers manager position will not be difficult to fill, a team that has been to the ALCS two years in a row, won over 90 games, and been to a World Series, there are not many managers that would turn down the offer.

Who’s Out There: 

Dusty Baker: This is the guy who is #1 on most fans list. He is a manager with experience, postseason experience, and he is loved by fans and players wherever he goes. The negative effect Baker has is he has been a complete postseason flop. Yeah he has won a World Series and he had early postseason success but in the last 10 years he is yet to get past the NLCS in 6 attempts. Dusty Baker is also getting old, keeping the Tigers from signing him to a long term deal, not knowing when he is going to run out of energy just as Leyland did.

Just like everyone else, go ahead call me crazy. Ozzie Guillen: Before you throw a fit hear me out. Ozzie Guillen is a proven postseason winner if you give him a team to do it with. The Miami Marlins were an awful team and Guillen had no players to work with. Here in Detroit Guillen would have a team that he can work with, get to the postseason and work his magic. Also, Guillen is unlike any manager the Tigers have ever had, and any change for the Tigers just might be the right mix to make something happen.

Kirk Gibson: Is out. He has already declared that he is going to stay in Arizona for another year and the Tigers do not have time to wait for someone, they need to win and they need to win now.

Someone In The Organization: If the Tigers do go this route, it has to be someone who is clearly ready. With Torii Hunter going into the last year of his contract, Max Scherzer entering the last year of his affordable contract, and players getting old, If the Tigers are going to win a World Series it needs to be soon and it needs to be with a manager who is a proven winner and who is clearly prepared.

With Leyland gone, the most important piece to complete this team and make us into the World Series competitor is the Manager. We have the players, the hitting, and the pitching, now we need a leader and a couple more chances at the postseason. Going into the 2014 season the Tigers have revenge going for them, revenge on the Red Sox and the rest of the American League. Also seeking revenge against the NL for two World Series losses in the last 10 years. Fans are saying 2014 is the year, but the season starts now with finding a new manager, which I expect them to do within the next month.

Go baseball.