On Friday afternoon, the Detroit Tigers announced the appointment of A.J. Hinch as their new manager. The former Houston Astros manager becomes the Tigers' 39th manager. Hinch, 46, has a lot of work ahead of him, both on and off the field. The Tigers finished last in their division with a 71-91 record this year.
Hinch managed the Astros from 2010 to 2019. During his time there, he won two World Series rings and appeared in three more. He also led the Astros to the playoffs nine times. Before becoming the Astros' manager, Hinch worked in various capacities with the San Diego Padres, Seattle Mariners, and Tampa Bay Rays.
In a statement, Tigers president and CEO Mike Ilitch said of Hinch: "I am very excited that A.J. will be coaching our team. His experience and success at managing both pitchers and hitters make him the perfect person for the job."
Tigers general manager Matt Klentak added: "A.J. is one of the best managers in baseball and we are thrilled that he will be leading the Tigers' staff. He is a winner who will bring energy to the clubhouse and fans can expect to see him develop a strong relationship with Miggy [Justin Verlander] during his time in Detroit."
On Friday, the Detroit Tigers chose AJ Hinch as their new manager, giving him the opportunity to return to a big league dugout after being sacked by Houston in the aftermath of the Astros' sign-stealing controversy. The Tigers announced that they have reached an agreement with Hinch on a multiyear contract. He will be introduced at a news conference on Saturday.
Hinch was dismissed by Houston on October 3rd, just three games into the season, after it was revealed that the club's pitching coach had been aware that signs were being stolen during games using camera equipment installed in the visiting manager's office. Hinch had no involvement in this scheme and was believed to be unaware of it until later. He has since said that he believes his job was "terminated for cause", suggesting that someone else may have been responsible for the decision to remove him from his post.
The 51-year-old Hinch managed the Tigers from 2006 to 2011, leading them to a World Series title in 2008. He returned to Detroit in January 2017 after two seasons managing the Angels. Under Hinch's leadership, Los Angeles made the playoffs in its first year back in the National League following the 2016 season. But they were swept by the Red Sox in four games.
He spent three years working under Jim Leyland in Detroit, helping the team reach the postseason each year.
The squad has had 48 different managers since its foundation in 1894. A. J. Hinch is the Tigers' current manager, having taken over when Ron Gardenhire abruptly retired on October 30, 2020. Gardenhire's retirement came just a day after he was informed by team president and CEO Dave Dombrowski that he would not be offered a new contract.
Hinch managed the Houston Astros from 2013 to 2015 before being hired by the Tigers in August of 2015. He led the Tigers to a record of 544-502 during his two seasons at the helm before being replaced by assistant GM Andy Dirks in November 2018. Hinch returned to manage the Astros in 2019 but was fired after only one season due to poor performance from his team. He has since returned to manage the Tigers once again.
The Detroit Tigers have had a majority of success under manager Ron Gardenhire, who managed the club for six years between 1991 and 1997 before returning for another stint in 2003. During this time the Tigers won three American League Central titles and made the AL Championship Series twice, losing both matches against the Oakland Athletics. After leaving the Tigers at the end of the 2004 season, Gardenhire did not return until 2010 when he was brought back on an interim basis following the firing of Jack McKeon.
"I'm sure that A.J. is the perfect man for the job as we work to bring a World Series Championship back to Detroit." Hinch was chosen by the Tigers due of his background in player development, analytics, and front office management. He will be the team's senior advisor to baseball operations.
Hinch has spent the last three years serving as the manager of the Houston Astros, leading them to a 101-61 record and their first World Series appearance. Before that, he served as the club's third base coach for two seasons. During his time with the Astros, Hinch has worked with general manager Jeff Luhnow and director of scouting Joe Jordan.
Luhnow said after hiring Hinch that they were looking for someone who could help build on the success the franchise has had over the past few years. He added that they wanted someone who was good with players and could help them get better at what they do. "A.J.'s experience as a manager and his knowledge of our game make him the ideal person for this position," Luhnow said. "His track record of developing young players and his relationship with J.D. [president of baseball operations] and I make him the perfect fit for our organization.
Tigers owner Mike Ilitch said that Hinch was hired because of his history of working with young players and his relationship with members of the Tigers organization.
The manager is A.J. Hinch. He was hired on October 16, 2015 after Jim Leyland was fired. Hinch managed the Houston Astros from 2002 to 2007 and led them to a World Series title in 2005. Before joining the Astros staff in 2001, he managed the Tampa Bay Devil Rays for one season.
He will be taking over for Jim Leyland who finished his third season managing the team with a 79-83 record. Under Leyland, the Tigers made the playoffs for the first time since 1999 but were eliminated by the San Francisco Giants in five games.
Leyland said he decided to quit after three seasons because he was not allowed to manage his own team due to Major League Baseball's rules on coaching changes. He managed the Tigers to a 97-65 record and a first-place finish in 2009. The previous year, they had claimed their first World Series title in 35 years when they defeated the Philadelphia Phillies. Prior to becoming the Tigers' manager, Leyland spent 22 years in the major leagues as a player or coach. He was drafted by the California Angels in the first round of the 1969 draft but chose to play overseas instead.