Longtime major league manager Jim Leyland has been named to manage the United States team in next year’s World Baseball Classic.
Leyland, who is currently serving as a special assistant for the Detroit Tigers, managed four teams in 22 major league seasons. Though he’s best known for managing the Tigers and Pittsburgh Pirates, Leyland won the 1997 World Series with the Marlins. He was a three-time Manager of the Year, and retired after the 2013 season with Detroit.
"It's a great honor to be named Manager of Team USA,” said Leyland. “I'm looking forward to working with USA Baseball on this challenge in my career. I'm excited to get started & flattered with this opportunity."
The U.S. team hasn’t reached the final in the first three WBC’s, has been managed by Buck Martinez, former Nationals and Orioles manager Davey Johnson and Joe Torre.
“We could not be happier to have Jim Leyland serve as the manager of the 2017 U.S. World Baseball Classic team,” said Paul Seiler, Executive Director/CEO of USA Baseball. “His tremendous managerial success will produce immediate respect and rapport amongst the players and staff and we look forward to him leading Team USA to new heights in the World Baseball Classic.”
Leyland remains an active participant in the game. He attended spring training and had a long on-field talk with Orioles manager Buck Showalter in Sarasota before one of the final Grapefruit League games.
Former major league managers Marcel Lachemann, Lloyd McClendon, Willie Randolph and Alan Trammell will be on Leyland’s coaching staff. Former Tigers pitching coach Jeff Jones will join Leyland as well.
Randolph was an Orioles coach in 2011.