DETROIT (AP) Tigers pitching coach Jeff Jones retired Monday after a 38-year career in professional baseball, saying he was ready to spend more time with his family.
Jones became the team's pitching coach in July 2011 when Detroit fired predecessor Rick Knapp in the middle of the season. Justin Verlander went on to win the Cy Young Award that year, and Max Scherzer followed suit in 2013. Detroit won four consecutive AL Central titles thanks in large part to its starting pitching, but the staff struggled this season as the Tigers sank to last place.
''There have been some great moments that I'll cherish especially being a lifelong Tigers fan,'' Jones said. ''I've been contemplating this for a little while and at this point in my life I want to spend time with my family and grandchildren, and I am looking forward to it.''
Jones remained in his role as pitching coach when manager Jim Leyland stepped down and was replaced by Brad Ausmus after the 2013 season.
Jones was drafted by Oakland in 1977, and the Detroit native pitched in the majors for the A's from 1980-84.
Before becoming the pitching coach in 2011, Jones was the bullpen coach for the Tigers. He also was a pitching coach for Detroit's Triple-A affiliate in Toledo.