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DETROIT -- A picture of Jim Leylands face stared out from the video board at an empty Comerica Park, next to that familiar Olde English "D" and a message that said simply: "Thank You Jim." After eight seasons managing the Tigers, including three division titles and two American League pennants, Leyland stepped down Monday. His voice cracking at times, his hands wiping away tears at others, he announced his departure two days after Detroit was eliminated by Boston in the AL championship series. "Its been a thrill," the 68-year-old Leyland said during a news conference at the ballpark. "I came here to change talent to team, and I think with the help of this entire organization, I think weve done that. Weve won quite a bit. Im very grateful to have been a small part of that." Leyland made his managerial debut with the Pittsburgh Pirates in 1986, and from Barry Bonds to Miguel Cabrera, hes managed some of the sports biggest stars and been involved in some of baseballs most memorable games over the past quarter-century. In 1992, his Pirates lost Game 7 of the NLCS when Atlanta rallied in the bottom of the ninth inning. Five years later, Leyland won his only World Series title as manager when his Florida Marlins beat Cleveland in an 11-inning thriller in Game 7. Hes experienced some of the highest highs the game has to offer, but also endured difficult rebuilding periods in both Pittsburgh and Florida. After one season with the Colorado Rockies, Leyland didnt manage at all from 2000-05 before Detroit hired him. Leyland led the Tigers to the World Series immediately after taking over in 2006, losing to St. Louis in five games. The Tigers went to the World Series again in 2012 but were swept by San Francisco. Leyland worked under one-year contracts the last couple of years, saying he was content to wait until after the season to address his status. He was reflective late this season, mentioning to reporters that he had already managed the Tigers longer than he had expected they would keep him, but he also said in September that he still loved the atmosphere, the competition and his team. In fact, hed actually told general manager Dave Dombrowski in early September that he didnt want to return as manager. He expects to remain with the organization in some capacity after going 700-597 as Tigers manager. "Im not totally retiring today, Im just not going to be in the dugout anymore," Leyland said. "I hope and pray that you give the next manager the same respect and the same chance that you gave me." Leyland says his health is fine, but its time to stop managing. He said he started weighing his decision around June. "I started thinking this was getting a little rough. I thought that the fuel was getting a little low," Leyland said. "I knew that Id get through it because I knew wed be playing for something." The Tigers figure to contend again next year, which may lead Dombrowski to look for a proven commodity who can come in and manage. Kirk Gibson, who led Detroit to the 1984 World Series title as a player, is now managing in Arizona, but Diamondbacks president Derrick Hall tried to quash any speculation that Gibson would return to the Tigers. "We would not grant permission (to the Tigers to talk to Gibson) if asked because we want him here, and he told me this morning he has no interest in leaving," Hall said. Detroits players found out about Leylands departure after Saturday nights game in Boston, where the Red Sox won Game 6 to take the series. "Youve got your head down, you lost and the seasons over, and then Jim dropped that bomb on us," outfielder Torii Hunter said. "I just had a feeling that it could have been his last year. All year, he was kind of emotional, and I just felt it." Leyland said there was no announcement Saturday because he wanted the focus to be on the victorious Red Sox. However, he was honest about how much this defeat hurt. "With all due respect to the Boston Red Sox -- who earned it, they won it, they deserve to be where they are -- I truly believe the Detroit Tigers should be playing here tomorrow," Leyland said. "This is one thats going to stick with me, this is one that really hurts, because I really felt like we let it get away." When Leyland arrived at the Tigers spring training camp this year, it marked 50 seasons since he first showed up there as an 18-year-old prospect. His playing career never amounted to much, but his accomplishments as a manager over more than two decades have been impressive. He is 1,769-1,728 overall during stints with the Tigers, Pirates, Marlins and Rockies. "I had sent him a text yesterday morning, just to congratulate he and the organization," Boston manager John Farrell said. "Not only on a great team and a great year, and express the respect we have for him and certainly personally have for him throughout his career. To see the announcement today, and listen to him and know that early September this was clearly in his mind, that surprised me." When Leyland took over the Tigers, they had gone 12 years without a winning season. During his tenure, they finished under .500 only once. Detroit has become one of baseballs glamour teams of late, with stars like Cabrera, Justin Verlander and Max Scherzer helping the team win games and draw fans. Cabrera won the Triple Crown and MVP award last year. Verlander won the MVP and Cy Young Award the previous season. "Its been as much fun for me to manage Ramon Santiago as it has Miguel Cabrera, Justin Verlander," Leyland said. "Now in saying that, it was also an honour to manage the Triple Crown winner, an MVP, a Cy Young winner." The Tigers should be able to keep their core of players mostly together for next season, but now theyll need to find a new manager to replace Leyland, who always earned high marks for his ability to keep his veterans focused. "He really cares deeply about his players," utility man Don Kelly said. "When you go out there, the way he treats you, you want to run through a wall for him, go out there and get a win. Thats the way he treated me. He treated everybody like that." Wesley Johnson Jersey . On paper, it looks a little like Andre the Giant taking on a midget wrestler. It has all the makings of a rout with the Americans adding an eighth win in nine outings of this biennial event. The Yanks have eight players in the top 15 in the world while the Internationals have just one. Darron Lee Jersey . The All Blacks played their best rugby of recent years when they beat South Africa 38-27 in Johannesburg two weeks ago, clinching the Rugby Championships in a match which has been hailed as one of the best ever played. http://www.authenticjetsfanatic.com/c-3 ... y.aspx.com) - Coming off a pair of tough losses last week, the Syracuse Orange will try to put an end to their first losing skid of the season when they pay a visit to the Maryland Terrapins at the Comcast Center on Monday night in Atlantic Coast Conference action. Mark Gastineau Jersey . After a tight first half, the Croatians took command in Reykjavik after Skulason was dismissed for a professional foul in the 51st minute, but couldnt find a way past Iceland goalkeeper Hannes Halldorsson and his packed defence. Eduardo had a weak shot cleared away from near the goalline after barely a minute for Croatia, whose substitute Ivica Olic forced a fine reaction save from Halldorsson in the 55th. Josh McCown Jersey . Huntington doesnt want to help run the club unless Hurdle is in the dugout. The combination thats returned the franchise to respectability will remain intact for years to come.ANAHEIM, Calif. - Derek Jeter gave the Los Angeles Angels fans something special to remember him by in his final game at the "Big A." And he received something equally special in return. Jeter ended a home run drought of 161 at-bats in his final regular-season game against the Angels, and the New York Yankees kept Hector Santiago winless in seven starts with a 9-2 victory on Wednesday night. Vidal Nuno (1-0) allowed a run and four hits in 6 13 innings, struck out three and retired 14 of his last 15 batters. The left-handers only other victory in seven big league starts was May 13 of last season, when he pitched five scoreless innings of three-hit ball at Cleveland in a 7-0 decision. Unless both clubs meet in the playoffs, this was Jeters swan song against the Halos, who dropped two of three in the Bronx 1 1-2 weeks ago. Jered Weaver, Albert Pujols, Mike Trout and Howie Kendrick carried a 12-foot-long pinstriped paddleboard with Jeters No. 2 and the Yankee logo to the middle of the diamond and presented it to him following a milestone-studded video tribute as the sellout crowd of 44,083 roared its approval. "That was a cool gift. I thought that was awesome. I can use that in my backyard," Jeter said with a grin. "But I dont expect something everywhere I go. I mean, this was a surprise to me. The fans have been awesome here from the first game of the series. Its something that youll remember, and I appreciate it. Ive played a lot of games here in the regular season and post-season, so I have fond memories of playing in Anaheim." It was the second time in two years that the Angels management went out of the way to honour a member of former manager Joe Torres "Core Four." Last season it was Mariano Rivera, who retired as the all-time saves leader and received a painting of himself. "Mos different from me," Jeter said. "I play every day, so I have to go out there and play (after the pregame ceremony). Mo got massaged for five innings and went out on to the bullpen in the seventh, so its completely different." Jeter made it 6-0 in the second with a two-out drive to left-centrre for his 257th career homer and first since July 28, 2013, against Tampa Bays Matt Moore at New York.dddddddddddd In Mondays series opener, the Yankees captain doubled to end a drought of 55 at-bats without an extra-base hit. "Its good to get one," Jeter said. "Im not catching Babe Ruth or anything, but at least youd like to get one. The important thing is that we got a win. It was a good game for us in a lot of different ways." Eleven of Jeters last 12 home runs have been solo shots, including one against Santiago when he pitched for the White Sox in August 2012. "When he came up to the plate the first time, I kind of gave him a little head nod, like Hey, we appreciate what youre doing here. But then you just battle, man," Santiago said. "I felt like I made a good pitch to him his next time up. Hes gotten me in the past on off-speed stuff, so I just went away from that. It was one of the better cutters Ive thrown my last seven starts, and he got me." Jeter got a standing ovation before his final at-bat during the Yankees three-run eighth. He hit a fielders choice comebacker to reliever Cory Rasmus for a force at the plate after a two-run single by John Ryan Murphy, and Carlos Beltran added a sacrifice fly. Santiago (0-6) was charged with six runs, five hits and three walks in 2 1-3 innings. Four of the runs were unearned, the result of errors by Santiago and right fielder Cowgill. NOTES: One day after the publication of Riveras book, "The Closer: My Story," Yankees manager Joe Girardi sidestepped questions about the combustible content — which included Riveras opinion that Bostons Dustin Pedroia was a better second baseman than ex-teammate Robinson Cano. "Those are Marianos comments, and its probably why I chose not to write books," Girardi said. "I had plenty of opportunities with some of my experiences, but right now I just dont think it would be a good idea." ... Jeters first game in Anaheim was May 27, 1996, when he batted ninth and went 0 for 3 with a sacrifice fly and two walks in Andy Pettittes 16-5 win over future Yankee Jim Abbott. Cheap NFL Jerseys Wholesale Jerseys Wholesale NFL Jerseys Jerseys From China Wholesale NFL Jerseys Cheap NFL Jerseys Cheap Jerseys ' ' '


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