We knew this day would come, fair NotGraphs readers. We knew that some day, Jim Leyland would no longer be the manager of the Detroit Tigers. The Gods of Baseball have spoken, and they have taken away the last of an already-dying breed. Baseball fans and pundits will remember Leyland for being a stalwart of the game, a manager with a good record of performance on the field. We readers and writers of NotGraphs will remember him for more whimsical reasons — the smoking, the cursing, the dancing, etc. If I’m being completely honest, there are no more fun managers left. Clint Hurdle is kind of fun, mostly for the way his face changes hues, but that’s about it.
There have been and will be more opinions flung through hyperspace about who should replace Leyland. Who will fill his sweat- and bunion-residue-filled shoes? Many will make cases for former managers, current bench coaches, and the like. But who will fill the cultural void left by Leyland? Who will lift our spirits and crack our smiles and give us conversational points when speaking with our dads? Who will manage the Tigers of our souls? The following are some possibilities. (warning: some of these have language that may require headphones if you are viewing in a space with coworkers or children) Read the rest of this entry »