"Yes, oh yeah," Dombrowski said when asked if Leyland would absolutely return in 2009. "He's under contract next year."At one point this season, I wrote that he seemed tired and suggested that he might retire after the season. However, it recently became clear that he had no interest in quitting as he asked the Tigers for an extension beyond 2009. Leyland was regarded by many as a genius in 2006 and was considered as a big reason for their success that year. This year, however, some fans blamed him for the miserable season. Personally, I think he got too much credit in 2006 and too much blame by some this year.
I never considered Leyland to be a very good strategic manager but he had a reputation as a great motivator. Given the awful performance of this years team, particularly down the stretch, it makes one wonder how true that is. I wouldn't have been sorry to see him go just because I think a fresh start might be good for the team. Ultimately though I think the impact of baseball managers is overrated and I would rather see them concentrate on changing the roster (especially the pitchers) than the manager.