If you’re a true baseball fan, you’ve got to admit it; you’re going to miss Jim Leyland. He’s one of those guys you either love or hate – or maybe love to hate. But deep down inside, we all love the man because we love the sport and he’s been a part of the very fabric of baseball.
It’s a little like one of your favorite stars leaving your favorite soap opera; it will never be quite the same again even if the character was sometimes something of the villain of the piece.
And let’s look at the record of the great man. He steps down from the helm at the Detroit Tigers as manager at the end of the year after no less than 1,769 wins in an amazing 22-year long managerial career.
Now 68-years of age, Jim has been in charge of the Pittsburgh Pirates, the Colorado Rockies and he’s won a World Series with the Florida Marlins. All this occurred before his last his eight seasons with the Detroit Tigers. Jim has proved himself to be the real baseball man during this long, illustrious career. Appropriately gruff when he needed to be, Jim has always been a no-nonsense type of guy – puffing on his old school trademark cigarette.
Jim Leyland has been the kind of manager the players start out fearing but end up loving – and it’s this kind of inspiration that has been key to his success. You have to know him to really get him – and he has that in common with so many great coaches from around the world in all types of sports.
Similarly, Jim Leyland will go down in history as one of the greats; the kind of guy who never, ever feared telling his players off even in the big money era; they did it his way or they took the highway.
* * * * * * * *
Have something you want to say about the Mets? Share your opinions with over 22,000 Mets fans who read this site daily. Send your Fan Shot to GetMetsmerized@aol.com. Or ask us about becoming a regular contributor.