Jim Leyland never won a World Series as Tigers manager, but did get the team to the show twice. (Charlie Riedel / AP)
The turnaround expert
I would like to personally thank Jim Leyland for turning around the Tigers. Yes, Dave Dombrowski has a major role in that too, but Leyland was instrumental in setting the tone in the clubhouse. Thank You, Skipper, I wish you all the best.
Dave Sarns, Westland
Big shoes to fill
While I did not always agree with Jim Leyland’s decisions, he is a class act and deserved to go out on his own terms. For the haters, be careful what you wish for. I wonder who his replacement will be?
Sean Delaney, Austintown, Ohio
Yes, Jim Leyland did turn around the tone in the Tigers clubhouse when he arrived. But he was handed all the talent in the world to win a couple of World Series, with six All-Stars and the best starting rotation in all of baseball. The Tigers underachieved because they were fundamentally very weak. That rests squarely on the manager and his coaches.
Paul Peterson, Houghton
Leyland looked the part
Really going to miss him. You spot him in a crowd, take one look at him and you automatically think, that guy’s a major league baseball manager.
John Richards, Bloomfield Hills
I am one of those who will go on record as saying Jim Leyland’s tenure in Detroit was a marvelous run, unprecedented in my life.
Before he arrived, the Tigers were a moribund franchise after a decade and a half of prolific losing I would not wish on any team. Upon his arrival, the lights went on again and suddenly there was at least hope the Tigers would compete every year and mostly, they did.
Steven Figiel, Royal Palm Beach, Florida
Well, the haters got their wish. I hope Jim Leyland is going out because he wants to, and not because he’s tired of the constant bashing by Detroit “fans” in newspapers and sports talk radio. He was in a no-win situation. Every time the Tigers lost it was because of him, and when they won it was despite him. Armchair managers with 20/20 hindsight knew all the answers and Leyland knew nothing after a lifetime in baseball.
Thank you, Jim Leyland, for being a manager players wanted to play for, and for understanding the pain Detroit has been in and doing your best to bring us some joy in an often joyless city.
Matthew Milewski, Orlando
Tale as old as time
Boston had a bullpen. Detroit did not. Boston goes to the World Series, Detroit goes home. End of story.
Gerald and Dolores Maxey, Farmington Hills
After Mike Ilitch reached deep into his pockets searching for that elusive championship, you’d think that the Tigers would be a no-brainer as World Series favorites. But our big guns turned into pea-shooters. As for Alex Avila’s abysmal lack of hitting , do you think he would still be in the lineup if he wasn’t the son of the assistant GM?
Ron Seguin, Lincoln Park
All players wanted to play for Jim Leyland because he catered to them and didn’t make them get in shape. Remember when he said he doesn’t take Prince Fielder out of the lineup because he refuses to come out?
Robert Hindenach, Paw Paw
Detroit's paradigm shift
Jim Leyland — thank you for so many great years as a Detroit Tiger. Despite all of the criticism, you brought winning back to Detroit and you will be missed by many. I wish you the best in the future. This Tiger fan appreciates all of your hard work and dedication to the Detroit Tigers baseball team.
Matt Dodds, Perrysburg, Ohio
Leyland's Golden Age
We have had the best eight years of Tiger baseball under Smokes. His players will miss him the most and be careful what you wish for. Thank you for everything and bringing back Tiger baseball to life.
Trevor S. Glidden, Lawton
Forever a Tiger
I have always been a big fan of Jim Leyland. It’s so easy to be an armchair manager or quarterback and to criticize, but he lived it and we just dreamed about it. We went to two World Series under his reign. Leyland and his staff gave their best to the Tigers organization and their fans, and he will always be a Tiger in my eyes.
Scott Thomas, Toledo
Respect the effort
Jim Leyland is a good and decent man. I have criticized him in the past for the way he has handled pitchers and for his choice of coaches, but never with malice. It’s what they call being a fan. Being a manager is a tough job under the best of circumstances, but I believe that history will treat ol’ Smokes kindly.
Paul Schreibman, Detroit
We've come a long way
I remember talking to my wife back around 2005 and mentioning how amazing it would be for the Tigers to be in the World Series someday. I had no idea it was going to happen twice in the next decade and 2 more American League Championship Series appearances. Leyland brought two AL pennants home to Detroit.
Jon Gebarowski, Howell
Time to clean house
Thanks, Smokes, and please take Dave Dombrowski with you on your way out the door. His lack of offseason moves left the Tigers with no closer, no solid left fielder and gave Leyland nothing to work with.
Randall Van Vlaenderen, Sarasota, Florida