With Jim Leyland stepping down as the manager of the Detroit Tigers, the search has already begun for his replacement. Arizona Diamondbacks skipper Kirk Gibson had been listed as an early candidate, but a source in Arizona says that Gibson is "staying here," according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. Gibson, who played for Detroit for 12 seasons, is under team control for three more seasons in Arizona.
Gibson was nationally tabbed as an obvious candidate for the job. He was drafted by the team in the first round in 1978, and led the Tigers to their most recent World Series title in 1984 by hitting .282/.363/.516 with 27 home runs. In 12 seasons in Detroit, Gibson batted .273/.354/.480 with 195 home runs in 1177 games.
Gibson has served as the manager of the Arizona Diamondbacks for 3½ seasons. He has led the team to a 290-279 record (.510 winning percentage) in 569 games, including an NL West division crown in 2011. The Diamondbacks finished at 81-81 in each of the last two seasons.
With Gibson apparently out of the running, San Diego Padres front office executive (and former catcher) Brad Ausmus is the leading candidate for the Tigers job; Ausmus spent parts of three seasons with Detroit as a player. Current Tigers coaches Lloyd McClendon and Gene Lamont, both former managers themselves, may also be candidates for the position.