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Why Doug Mientkiewicz wasn't yes-man enough to stay with the Detroit Tigers organization

Toledo Mud Hens manager Doug Mientkiewicz talks Tigers prospect development in his office in Toledo on Saturday, June 8, 2019. Gregory Levinsky, Detroit Free Press

After the 2018 season — a successful one — Detroit Tigers vice president of player development Dave Littlefield called Triple-A Toledo manager Doug Mientkiewicz to lock him down.

Mientkiewicz, considered a potential big-league manager, had just led the Mud Hens to the International League playoffs for the first time in over a decade.

Littlefield pressed for a two-year contract extension. Mientkiewicz, aware other opportunities could arise, preferred to go season-by-season.