During yesterday’s weekly Indians 101 chat with J-Rocc on The Sports Fix, the topic was whether the retirement of legendary manager Jim Leyland will help the Cleveland Indians catch the Detroit Tigers next year.
The answer is yes, and other factors will help the Tribe next year as well.
Leyland is a borderline candidate for the Hall of Fame, and it’s no surprise that he managed to corral the big-money players in Detroit to work together for three consecutive AL Central championships.
However, he told the Detroit players he was leaving right after they lost to the Red Sox in the AL Championship Series, so the Tigers had to deal with an emotional double whammy.
Even if the Tigers had won the World Series, Leyland would have probably retired. At the age of 68, he acknowledged that he was running short of energy.
But even if Leyland had returned, the Tigers wouldn’t dominate the Indians like they did this year. It’s just a statistical rarity for one team to own another like that during the course of a season.
Also, Max Scherzer isn’t likely to go 21-3 next year. This was really Detroit’s chance, and they didn’t get the job done. The Indians might not finish 2014 ahead of the Tigers, but they won’t get dominated like they did this year.
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