No one thought they would see the day in which Jim Leyland would step down as the manager of the Detroit Tigers. It’s a tough pill for the people of Detroit to swallow as the manager led this team to two AL Pennants and three Central Division titles. Leyland pulled the Tigers out of baseball’s gutter and into baseball’s elite.
With Leyland now out as the manager, who will be next to fill his shoes? It may not even be possible for shoes to be filled at this point as Leyland was a great manager in this league, but there is one guy in particular who stands out.
Kirk Gibson is one of the top young managers in baseball. The former Tigers player and 1988 playoff hero for the Los Angeles Dodgers is currently the manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks and is under contract through next season with team options for 2015-16. Detroit would need to pry Gibson away from the Diamondbacks, but he seems like a great fit for this team.
Although this acquisition of the 56-year-old former Tiger seems unlikely because Arizona would likely never let him walk, but if the Tigers put the right price out there, it could be possible.
He was a former hitting coach for the Tigers under Alan Trammell. Also a native of Michigan and a former attendee Michigan State University, Gibson would probably love to come back home to manage his hometown team.
The former manager of the year in 2011 will need to desire a departure from the Diamondbacks in order for the Tigers to have a shot at him.
Many people believe his gritty style of play wouldn’t fit Detroit and the veterans on the team, but the Tigers are full of gritty players. We will see if this will happen during the offseason.