Roundtable: Leyland the Right Choice?

Ready to talk Tigers? Want to hear the opinion of the TigsTown staff on some of the hot button topics of the offseason? Welcome to the TigsTown Roundtable! This week's question: Was Jim Leyland the right choice for manager, should the Tigers have looked around more, or should Alan Trammell have been given another shot?

Paul Wezner, Senior Editor
Well, there's not a doubt in my mind that Alan Trammell's time had come at the helm of the Tigers. The players were no longer following him, his talents as a manager were questionable, and it was painfully obvious it just wasn't going to happen with him. Much like Joey Harrington, he still may be successful down the line, but the change needed to be made. Personally though, I thought there could have been a better search that extended beyond Jim Leyland. That's not a knock on Leyland's credentials, but rather the simple fact that the Tigers have to make sure they find the right man for the job this time around, and probably could have stood to look at more than just Leyland, along with a couple courtesy interviews to Bruce Fields and Juan Samuel. Trammell can be set aside, but now Dave Dombrowski has lost his free pass. This hire has to be successful; otherwise it'll be on Dombrowski this time around to explain why the Tigers didn't succeed.

Mark Anderson, Minor League Editor
Dave Dombrowski took the correct first step in getting the Tigers back to a winning level by firing manager Alan Trammell. Unfortunately, his next step did not follow suit. In my judgment, Dombrowski has misjudged (whether by his own misjudgment, or by Mike Illitch's direction) how close the team is to actually becoming a competitive franchise. A manager such as Jim Leyland should be brought in to take a team that is close (much closer than the Tigers) to the next level; a championship level. The Tigers would have been better served to find a young and energetic manager with extensive, successful minor league experience to help lead what is destined to become a much younger Tigers team. While the organization successfully recognized that Alan Trammell was not improving as a manager, they did not correctly assess the present state of the organization. The only thing we can do now is hope this does not end up being a crippling decision.

Jason Avery, Amateur Baseball Editor
I would've liked to see the Tigers take a longer look at Jim Tracy, or maybe Ken Macha (he was unsigned at the time), but Dombrowski had his mind set on Leyland, and it will be interesting to see how the veterans react to him. I think the time was right for change because the clubhouse was rife with dissention and the players had lost confidence in Tram. Is Leyland the right choice, we'll see, but as I mentioned earlier, it will be interesting to see how the veterans will respond to a no-nonsense skipper and will Leyland want to be here for the long haul, or will he bolt as he did with Colorado? On a bright note, I think the coaches he brought in will help the younger players. Chuck Hernandez is a good teacher of changeups, which the power arms need to develop, Don Slaught using video to illustrate his points, so hitters can take that info to the cage to either improve, or get straightened out, and Andy Van Slyke working with Curtis Granderson on playing center field should make an already solid young player even better.

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