DETROIT — Jim Leyland didn’t make any promises Sunday night, but he sounds like a man who is planning to keep his job.
Speaking to local writers after his Tigers were swept in the World Series, Leyland acknowledged that he still wants to manage.
“I like to manage, and contrary to what some people think, I think I’m pretty good at it,” he said. “A lot of people might not agree with that, and I’m not the best but I’m not the worst.”
Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski said during the playoffs that Leyland, whose contract expired with the season, would be welcome back. Leyland made it clear Sunday that he has no interest in any other job.
“I can give you this tonight — I will not be managing anybody else but the Detroit Tigers next year, unless it is the Mount Lebanon Tigers in Pittsburgh,” he said. “I’m not looking in any way, shape or form to go anyplace else. This is my last stop.”
As far back as when they clinched the American League Central, Leyland has been very emotional when talking about the difficulties of managing through an inconsistent season. The Tigers were expected to run away with the division but didn’t clinch until the final week.
Then they got hot in the playoffs, despite their closer falling apart, and made it to the World Series, only to get swept by the Giants.
“I think some of the punches I took this year were certainly fair,” he said. “A lot of them were not, but that’s part of this business. This isn’t a job for the weak of heart, especially when you have passionate fans like we have in Detroit.
“They are into it, and thank God for that. They are great, and we got to the World Series. That’s pretty good.”
Leyland also pointed to his record with the Tigers — he is only the third manager in their 111-year history to take them to multiple World Series.
“I think, since 2006, we’ve changed the culture around here,” he said. “We’ve been to two World Series in seven seasons. That’s not bad.”
Still, Leyland insisted that Sunday night was no time to be making decisions about anyone’s future.
“We’ll talk about some things in a day or so, and I’m sure there will be some announcements,” he said. “I showed this season that I could take a lot of beatings. I got put against the ropes quite a few times, and I survived it all right.”