Jim Leyland to manage United States of America in 2017 World Baseball Classic

Jim Leyland is heading back to the dugout. 

The former Major League Baseball manager will manage the United States of America in the 2017 World Baseball Classic, according to Jon Morosi of FOX Sports.

Manager Jim Leyland #10 of the Detroit Tigers reacts during Game Four of the American League Division Series against the Oakland Athletics at Comerica Park on October 8, 2013 in Detroit, Michigan. (Oct. 7, 2013 - Source: Rob Carr/Getty Images North America)

 Manager Jim Leyland #10 of the Detroit Tigers reacts during Game Four of the American League Division Series against the Oakland Athletics at Comerica Park on October 8, 2013 in Detroit, Michigan.
(Oct. 7, 2013 - Source: Rob Carr/Getty Images North America)

"It's a great honor to be named manager of Team USA," Leyland said. "I'm looking forward to working with USA Baseball on this challenge in my career. I'm excited to get started and flattered with this opportunity."

The 71-year-old currently serves as the special assistant to Detroit Tigers general manager Al Avila

Detroit Tigers President CEO General Manager David Dombrowski (L) and Jim Leyland speak during a press conference to announce Leyland's retirement as manager of the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on October 21, 2013 in Detroit, Michigan. (Oct. 20, 2013 - Source: Leon Halip/Getty Images North America)

Detroit Tigers President CEO General Manager David Dombrowski (L) and Jim Leyland speak during a press conference to announce Leyland's retirement as manager of the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on October 21, 2013 in Detroit, Michigan.
(Oct. 20, 2013 - Source: Leon Halip/Getty Images North America)

Who Will Coach With Leyland?

Leyland has named Jeff Jones, Marcel Lachemann, Lloyd McClendon, Willie Randolph and Alan Trammell to the United States 2017 coaching staff. The World Baseball Classic is a two-week tournament involving 16 national teams. 

History of Team USA in the WBC

Buck Martinez, Davey Johnson and Joe Torre are former Team USA managers for the World Baseball Classic. The event in 2017 is the fourth installment of the tournament. The United States have never finished above fourth place. 

In the 2009 World Baseball Classic, the United States reached the semifinals and lost at the hands of Japan, 9-4. Japan continued on to win the 2009 WBC over South Korea. The United States, in the 2006 World Baseball Classic and the 2013 World Baseball Classic, were eliminated in the second round. 

Leyland's Managerial Achievements 

Leyland is 1769-1,728 (.506) during his 22-year managerial career with the Pittsburgh Pirates (1986-1996), Florida Marlins (1997-1998), Colorado Rockies (1999) and the Tigers (2006-2013). Leyland won 1990 National League Manager of the Year, 1992 National League Manager of the Year and 2006 American League Manager of the Year. The future Hall of Fame manager coached the 1998 All-Star Game (National League), 2007 All-Star Game (American League) and 2013 All-Star Game (American League). Last but not least, Leyland won the 1997 World Series with the Marlins. 

He will look to take Team USA farther than they ever have gone before. A good showing in the WBC would put the exclamation point on Leyland's already great career. 

"We could not be happier to have Jim Leyland serve as the manager," USA Baseball CEO Paul Seiler said in a statement. "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."

Last Hurrah for Leyland

I’m not ever going to manage again,” Leyland said. “I don’t want anybody to get the idea that I’m going to manage again. I’m not. I was asked if I would do it and I said I would be glad to. It’s a great honor.”

Manager Jim Leyland #10 of the Detroit Tigers hits a ball before Game Two of the American League Championship Series against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on October 13, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Oct. 12, 2013 - Source: Jared Wickerham/Getty Images North America)

 Manager Jim Leyland #10 of the Detroit Tigers hits a ball before Game Two of the American League Championship Series against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on October 13, 2013 in Boston, Massachusetts.
(Oct. 12, 2013 - Source: Jared Wickerham/Getty Images North America)

The Only Question Left

What happens if Miguel Cabrera of Venezuela comes to the plate with the tying run on base in the late stages? 
I already told Miggy I’m going to walk him,” Leyland said.

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