I wanted to weigh in on this manager search before it becomes a moot point. Or “mute point”, if you’re Rod Allen.
Jim Leyland is gone. I appreciate everything he did to change the baseball scene in Detroit after two decades of misery. If I ever saw the man on the street, I would ask to shake his hand. Thanks for the memories, Marlboro Man.
At the same time, I’m not exactly sad to see him leave. His views on bunting, bullpen usage, and Don Kelly are things that have had me frustrated beyond belief in recent years. And don’t get me going on starting Alfredo Figaro at the end of 2009 in a “must win” situation.
So who should replace him? I have my own dream qualifications in a Tigers skipper.
-A younger manager. I feel a guy in his 40’s has a better chance at relating to the modern MLB athlete than someone in his 60’s. They’re also more likely not to have the “old-school” approach on bunting, batting orders, and drinking prune juice.
-A Latino manager. With so many Spanish speaking players in Detroit, I think a bi-lingual skipper could only help in communication. I’m not exactly sure how “grumble, no-brainer, mumble” translates into Spanish.
-Someone that isn’t scared of math. Leyland openly mocked the use of computers and sabermetrics in his time in Detroit and it blew my mind that a manager would knowingly not use information that could help the team win. Just because it wasn’t a procedure used in the 1970’s doesn’t mean you shouldn’t use it today. Math can be your friend. Is it too much to ask that my team’s manager be smarter than the average bear?
So with all that in mind, I do know who I want to be the next manager of the Tigers. I also have two backup candidates in mind. And I definitely know who I do NOT want to manage the Tigers in 2014 and beyond.