"This one hurt bad," Jim Leyland said of the Tigers' failed bid to win the 2013 World Series.
In his eighth -- and it turns out, final -- year as the manager of the Detroit Tigers, Leyland may have had his best chance to bring a World Series title to the organization he grew up in. With a six-game defeat in the American League Championship Series, that opportunity came to an end.
The Tigers the best rotation in the postseason and were one of the highest-scoring clubs in the regular season, but were unable score runs when they needed to to get past the Red Sox.
Though Leyland said during his press conference on Monday he believes he'll still be able to get that World Series ring as a member of the organization, the inability to deliver it as the team's manager continues to hurt him days after the loss at Fenway Park.
"I thought we let one get away," he said. "We did it collectively. I'm just as guilty as everyone else. That's what hurt. With all due respect to the Boston Red Sox -- they earned it, they won it -- I truly believe the Detroit Tigers should be playing there (in the World Series Wednesday). This hurts. We let it get away."
But, Leyland wasn't going to let the loss detract too much from the legacy of the 2013 season. It was one of more enjoyable ones for fans and one of the more successful ones for the club. The Tigers won 93 games, drew more than three million fans, had the AL's ERA leader, the likely Cy Young Award winner and a former Cy Young and MVP in the rotation -- Anibal Sanchez, Max Scherzer and Justin Verlander. On top of that, for five months, before his injury, reigning (and possibly the soon-to-be-repeat) MVP Miguel Cabrera had one of the best seasons by a right-handed hitter in the history of the game.
"People think this was a disappointing season, I disagree with that," Leyland said.