Detroit Tigers: The Jim Leyland Show Is Coming to an End

Adam RandallContributor IIMay 31, 2012

OAKLAND, CA - MAY 13:  Jim Leyland #10 of the Detroit Tigers stands in the dugout during the first inning against the Oakland Athletics at Coliseum on May 13, 2012 in Oakland, California. (Photo by Jason O. Watson/Getty Images)
Jason O. Watson/Getty Images

The Detroit Tigers were picked as one of the top teams to win it all just months ago, but today they sit below .500 at 23-27.

Thus far in the season, the Tigers look unmotivated and lazy, while top players Justin Verlander, Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder are surrounded by subpar .200 hitters.

Unlike most Detroit fans, I don't blame manager Jim Leyland or general manager Dave Dombrowki for the Tigers recent disappointments.

They have simply overstayed their welcome. It's time to wish them good luck, so the Tigers can move on to the next level. No more excuses.

Hopefully, Tigers owner Mike Illich will also come to the realization that it's just time to move on.

The Tigers can't keep waiting for something to happen, and the only logical choice is to make changes in the front office.

The Tigers shocked the league in 2006 when Leyland, in his first season, guided the team to their first World Series appearance since 1984. Unfortunately, things have been up and down since then.

Leyland has compiled a 542-481 record with the Tigers and won one pennant.

Detroit didn't return to the playoffs until the 2011 season, ending a five-year drought.

It's interesting when a World Series team with a roster as talented as the Tigers is unable to make the playoffs for five consecutive years.

If you believe in deja vu, then you have probably noted by now that Ryan Raburn is the new Brandon Inge.

Inge, who was released early in the season after years of disappointment, was sent to the minors and brought back multiple times in hopes of a brighter tomorrow.

Now, Raburn is that player.

Leyland told the Detroit Free Press on Wednesday that, "I would be shocked if he didn't get it going."

Really? I wouldn't be.

The roster could use a minor face lift as well.

Young pitcher Rick Porcello really hasn't lived up to his potential, and another closer in the bullpen couldn't hurt. Its time to give pitcher Jacob Turner a spot in the rotation, as he is the best Tigers prospect in the minors.

The Tigers need to get better at pitching, and hopefully the bats follow.

It's safe to say that Fielder, Alex Avila, Brendan Bosch and the rest of the supporting cast will start hitting better at some point this season, but it won't be enough to take this team to the top.

While it's still early, it's hard to see the Tigers making a miraculous turnaround this year. Expect them to finish third in the AL Central behind Cleveland and the Chicago White Sox.

There are plenty of baseball minds who could come in and turn things around quickly.

Tom Brookens, the Tigers' first-base coach is the most obvious choice from within. ESPN analysts Terry Francona and Tony LaRussa should also garner some consideration.

With Leyland in the last year of his contract, don't expect an extension like in years past but more of a mutual parting of ways when the season comes to a close.