BRADENTON, Fla. -- Jim Leyland's return to the home of his first Spring Training as a manager set up the question of whether this could be his last spring in the big leagues. He isn't planning on it.
Asked by a writer how he wants to be remembered, Leyland was ready with a quip.
"I don't want to be remembered just yet," he said. "I plan on going for a while."
Leyland's future has not been a topic this spring. He has long since let it be known that he doesn't want to talk about his contract situation. Technically, he enters this spring with the same status he had a year ago, not being under contract beyond season's end.
Last year, it was the pressure of a contract year. This year, it has become the understanding that he's going to go one season to the next. Leyland's comments on Friday were similar to those he made when he signed the one-year extension last August.
"I don't want to be in anybody's hair," Leyland said, "and if I decide not to do it, then there's no issues whatsoever. If they get rid of me, they don't have to pay me for two more years, and if I decide I want to end it at the end of the season, I can end it. There's no strings attached."
He doesn't plan on ending it.
"I'm 67 years old. I feel great right now. I want to continue to do it," Leyland said. "A lot of that probably will depend on them, how we do. At this point in my career, I'm not worried about a long-term career. At one time, that was important, when you were fighting your tail off -- not that I'm still not fighting my tail off. I just think it's better for the organization. They don't have to worry about it.
"I think by taking a one-year thing, we kind of put a stop to the fact that I'm on the hot seat. I've been on the hot seat ever since I got here. I've been on the hot seat for 20 years managing in the big leagues. I don't really give a care about that. I don't consider myself on the hot seat, because I'm never going to change the way I manage. ... If they like it, that's fine. If they don't, they'll find somebody else."