Leyland says yes to Tigers

2-time NL Manager of the Year hired day after Trammell fired


October 05, 2005

Jim Leyland was enjoying his leisurely life working as a major league scout for the St. Louis Cardinals.

The 60-year-old could've been content with his managerial career that included a World Series title, two National League Manager of the Year awards and three division championships.

But he wasn't - so Leyland accepted the challenge of trying to turn around the Detroit Tigers.

Detroit signed Leyland yesterday to a three-year contract to replace manager Alan Trammell, who was fired a day earlier after three seasons.

Leyland found he was regretting his last experience as a manager six years ago in Colorado more than he was reminiscing about leading the Florida Marlins and Pittsburgh Pirates.

"I did a lousy job my last year of managing," Leyland said. "I stunk because I was burned out. When I left there, I sincerely believed that I would not manage again.

"I always missed the competition, but the last couple of years - and this stuck in my craw a little bit, I did not want my managerial career to end like that."

Leyland worked with current Tigers president and general manager Dave Dombrowski during Florida's World Series championship in 1997. Dombrowski decided to fire Trammell last month and knew Leyland would be on his short list if he had enough energy for the job.

Leyland ranks sixth among active managers with 1,069 victories over his 14 seasons. He was a two-time NL Manager of the Year in Pittsburgh, where he won three division titles in the early 1990s on teams that included Barry Bonds.

Palmeiro -- Two-time AL Most Valuable Player Juan Gonzalez says he told congressional investigators that he thinks former teammate Rafael Palmeiro of the Orioles "has always been clean." A release issued by Gonzalez's agent, Alan Nero, said Gonzalez spoke by telephone to lawyers from the House Government Reform Committee about Palmeiro and answered all of their questions. Palmeiro was suspended Aug. 1 by Major League Baseball for failing a drug test. Congress is looking into whether he committed perjury when he testified under oath in March before the Government Reform Committee and said he "never used steroids. Period."

Rangers -- John Hart stepped down as general manager, clearing the way for 28-year-old Jon Daniels to become the youngest GM in major league history. Hart's resignation came two days after the Rangers finished 79-83, their third losing season in four years under Hart and their fifth since winning their last American League West title in 1999. Hart, whose teams won six division titles in his last seven years in Cleveland ending in 2001, will be replaced by Daniels, who at 28 years, 41 days, is about 10 months younger than Theo Epstein was when he became Boston's GM on Nov. 25, 2002. Daniels was promoted from assistant GM, and Hart will remain a team consultant.

More Rangers -- Injured reliever Carlos Almanzar was suspended for the first 10 days of next season for violating baseball's steroids policy. Almanzar is the 10th major league player banned 10 days this year under the sport's new policy, and the second Texas pitcher. Right-hander Agustin Montero was suspended on April 20.

Pirates -- Former Dodgers manager Jim Tracy appears to be the front-runner for the job that opened last month when Lloyd McClendon was fired during his fifth consecutive losing season. Tracy and Pirates general manager Dave Littlefield have ties dating to their days together in the Montreal Expos' organization.

Indians -- General manager Mark Shapiro has promised the team will make its best moneyball pitch to right-hander Kevin Millwood. Still stinging from the club's collapse in the final week of the regular season, Shapiro said that the Indians will offer a multiyear contract to Millwood, the AL's ERA champion, who is eligible for free agency after the World Series.

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