Detroit (Free Press) --Jim Leyland has decided to step down as manager of the Detroit Tigers.
The Tigers called an 11:30 a.m. news conference for this morning. Click the link for updates from the park.
"Ithas been a huge honor to have been the Tigers manager for the pasteight seasons, so many wonderful days and nights at Comerica Park withalmost every seat filled. I can't thank you enough for your support,"Leyland said in a released statement. "When I came here all I wanted wasa chance and you gave me that. I hope you do the same for your nextmanager. My goal coming here was to turn talent into team, and with thehelp of the entire organization, we did that. This is not a good bye,it's a so long, as I will be accepting another position in theorganization yet to be determined. I hope you enjoyed me as much as Ienjoyed you."
Leyland is 700-597 in his eight years with theTigers, a .540 winning percentage. He has guided the team to theAmerican League Championship Series the last three seasons and the WorldSeries in 2012.
Overall, in 22 years as a major league manager,he is 1,769-1,728, for a .506 winning percentage. He previously managedthe Pittsburgh Pirates, Florida Marlins and Colorado Rockies.
Leyland is 14th all-time in games managed with 3,499. He ranks third on the Tigers all-time games managed list with 1,297.
"Onbehalf of the entire Detroit Tigers organization, we thank Jim foreverything he has done for this franchise over the past eight seasons,"Tigers general manager Dave Dombrowski said in the statement. "Jim'stenure will be looked back on as one of the great eras in Tigershistory; an era that included two World Series appearances, four ALCSappearances in eight seasons, three division titles and two AmericanLeague pennants. It has truly been an honor to work with one of thegreat managers in the history of the game."
"We want to thank Jimfor everything he has done over the past eight years to steer the ship,and lead our ballclub to some exciting times in this town," added Tigersowner Mike Ilitch in the statement. "Jim has been instrumental in thefranchise's most recent success on and off the field, and we are forevergrateful. We wish the best to Jim and his family in the future."