Leyland itching to return to dugout

Jim Leyland is recharged and ready to give it a go again as a big-league manager. Now all he needs is a chance.

Originally Published: August 22, 2005
By Jerry Crasnick | ESPN.com
Jim Leyland always placed respect for the managerial profession on a par with winning games. It's common knowledge that he didn't get along very well with Tommy Lasorda during their 11 seasons as dugout competitors. But that didn't prevent Leyland from calling Lasorda in Los Angeles one morning, out of nowhere, and saying, "Hang in there, Tommy," after the Dodgers had just lost their ninth straight game. Lasorda was so stunned he nearly dropped the phone.

The same philosophy applies to job hunting. Leyland wants to manage again, worse than people realize. But he would rather wear a nicotine patch than lobby for a position that's currently occupied.

Jim Leyland
Todd Warshaw/Getty ImagesJim Leyland had a 72-90 record in one season (1999) as the Rockies' manager.

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Jerry Crasnick | email

ESPN.com MLB Sr. Writer