While the Detroit Tigers lost the World Series for the second time in the last seven seasons, one of the key components to their success this year is reportedly sticking around.
General manager Jim Leyland, who has been crucial to the team's turnaround from perennial doormat to perennial contender, will be staying with the team next season. The team announced its decision to keep him around through next year via Twitter:
The #Tigers have extended Jim Leyland's contract through 2013 season.— Detroit Tigers (@tigers) October 30, 2012
The 67-year-old dugout boss took the Tigers to the World Series in his first year in charge (2006) and also led the team to the ALCS in 2011.
Sure, much of the Tigers' success this season can be attributed to the arrival of slugger Prince Fielder to go along with third baseman Miguel Cabrera and one of the most dominant rotations in baseball, but it was Leyland's know-how that helped patch together a relatively solid season from one of the least inspiring bullpens in baseball.
Initially there had been some doubt as to whether the aging skipper would return to Detroit next season; after all, he was the second-oldest manager in the sport last season, trailing only Washington's Davey Johnson.
But the gruff, chain-smoking skipper clearly has no plans to retire quite yet, as he gets back into the hunt for the Tigers' first World Series title since 1984. He'll now be faced with repairing Detroit's bullpen, as well as finding ways to shore up his team's depth at several skill positions.
Given Leyland's success, it's unlikely that many Tigers fans are dreading his return.