|Leyland, 67, will return to manage the Tigers next year after again leading Detroit to the World Series. (Getty Images)|
Jim Leyland will return for an eighth year as the Tigers manager.
Leyland, who has led the team to two World Series and three ALCS appearances in his first seven seasons, has agreed to come back for 2013. The team made it official with an announcement on Tuesday.
Leyland, who is 67, had been saying for several weeks that he wants to continue managing, and also that he didn't want to manage any team other than the Tigers. His comments after Game 4 against the Giants on Sunday night seemed to leave some doubt, but Leyland and the Tigers quickly came to an agreement that he would continue.
How long will he continue?
That answer isn't expected to come Tuesday. Leyland has operated under one-year deals for the last few seasons, in large part because he hasn't wanted to make a long-term commitment himself.
The Tigers announced only that Leyland has agreed to a deal for 2013, and also that his entire coaching staff has been invited to return. The Tigers have added Toby Harrah to the staff as an assistant hitting coach.
The news that Leyland is returning will go over well in the Tiger clubhouse.
"I, for one, am extremely glad he's coming back," Justin Verlander said, even before the decision had officially been made.
The Tigers hadn't had a winning season in 13 years before Leyland arrived, and hadn't made it to the postseason since 1987. Leyland has benefitted from increased payrolls, but he has led the team to six winning records in seven years.
"Jim is as fine a manager as there is in baseball," Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski said in a statement.
Leyland, who grew up in nearby Perrysburg, Ohio (and will attend his 50th class reunion this week), originally joined the Tiger organization as a 19-year-old catcher in 1964. He was a minor-league manager with the Tigers from 1972 (when he was just 27 years old) through 1981, when he left to join Tony La Russa's coaching staff with the White Sox.
He later managed the Pirates, Marlins and Rockies. The Tigers brought him back after the 2005 season, to replace Alan Trammell.
"If you can't enjoy managing the Detroit Tigers, you can't enjoy managing anywhere," Leyland said after the World Series.