DETROIT (AP) — Jim Leyland announced Monday he is stepping down as manager of the Detroit Tigers after eight seasons that included three division titles and two trips to the World Series.
Leyland announced his departure two days after the Tigers were eliminated from the AL championship series by Boston in six games.
“I'm going to be 69 years old,” he said at a news conference. “I'm not ashamed of that. I'm proud of it. The fuel's getting a little low.”
Leyland has been working under one-year contracts the last couple years, saying he was content to wait until after the season to address his status. He was a bit reflective late this season, mentioning to reporters that he had already managed the Tigers longer than he had expected they would keep him — but he also said in September that he still loved the atmosphere, the competition and his team.
Leyland was 700-597 with the Tigers. He led them to the World Series immediately after taking over in 2006, losing to St. Louis in five games. The Tigers went to the World Series again in 2012 but were swept by San Francisco.
This year's team had a chance to make it back, but Detroit couldn't take advantage of its standout starting pitching against the Red Sox.
“This one hurt bad, because I thought we let one get away. We did it collectively, there's no one culprit,” Leyland said. “This is one that's going to stick with me.”
When Leyland arrived at the Tigers' training camp this year, it marked 50 seasons since he first showed up there as an 18-year-old prospect. His playing career never amounted to much, but his accomplishments as a manager over more than two decades have been impressive.