Tigers Focus Efforts on Leyland

Just a day after the Tigers let go of Alan Trammell as the team's manager, they appear to be close to replacing him. General Manager Dave Dombrowski moved quickly in his efforts, interviewing multiple candidates on Monday – and after just one day of interviews, the Tigers could be on the verge of hiring their new manager by Tuesday.

Dave Dombrowski was quick to praise Alan Trammell (while at the same time announcing he wasn't good enough to perform the job he had hired him to do three years prior), calling him a ‘fine man', and announcing that he has offered Trammell a job as a special assistant to the general manager.

But in typical Dombrowski fashion, he wasn't going to mix words. Dombrowski arrived at the podium to say what he had to say, then went on his way to take care of business; namely, finding a new manager.

He conducted three interviews on Monday, two of which were more of a courtesy than anything – interviewing Tiger coaches Bruce Fields and Juan Samuel before bringing in the likely top target, Jim Leyland, for a Monday night interview.

After speaking with Dombrowski on Monday night, the two planned to continue discussions on Tuesday. From hearing both sides talk, it's apparent that Dombrowski believes Leyland is his man, and Leyland wants to get back into managing and believes Detroit could be his next destination.

He was crystal clear with his intentions when asked for comment. "If it makes sense for both parties, and I emphasize both parties, and I'm offered the job, I'm going to accept it," Leyland said. "I don't know for sure how it will play out."

For now, it's wait-and-see. But Dombrowski made it clear in the Trammell announcement that experience is certainly something Dombrowski would like in his next choice to lead the club.

Experience is one thing Leyland certainly has. He spent fourteen years as a manager, including eleven for the Pittsburgh Pirates where he led the team to three straight division crowns in the early 90's, before payroll constrictions led to the loss of star Barry Bonds and many of the other top contributors.

Leyland is possibly most famous though for leading Dombrowski's Florida Marlins to the World Series championship in 1997, taking a group of talented players and turned them into a championship team overnight.

After two years with Florida, Leyland moved on to Colorado, but after just one year, he walked away, stating he had lost the fire to manage, and was ready to step away.

After six years away from the game though, Leyland appears ready to return. He's got the fire back in him, he misses the game, and as he so eloquently put it, "If I get any managerial job, I'm going to accept that job like it's the first manager's job I ever got. I'm pumped up, ready to roll, and I got energy, I'm ready to put out little fires I didn't put out in Colorado. I'm ready to accept challenges."

Sounds like just the man for the job.

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