By Sean Gagnier
So you think you know more about the Detroit Tigers than manager Jim Leyland? Are you sure about that one?
week was the first time I spoke to Leyland in person and his knowledge
about the game was stunning. The man knows what he is doing, he just
doesn't always show it.
You know what Leyland did on
Wednesday night after the game with Minnesota before the day game the
next day? He stayed up until the early hours of the morning trying to
decide whether to play Quintin Berry or Ryan Raburn, and then he slept
on the couch in his office.
Leyland genuinely stresses
over each decision that he has to make when it comes to his lineup and
his ball team, and yet all he does is catch flak for it. I admit, I have
been one of the people who has called for his job in the past, but
after hearing exactly what goes into one of his decisions, I no longer
believe his job should be in jeopardy.
When asked about Ryan Raburn Leyland had this to say,
had to toss and turn with it today whether to play Berry or Raburn and I ended
up playing Raburn. The thought process is, if Raburn doesn’t help us against
left handers, then we got issues, so you give him the benefit of the doubt to
see if you can maybe get him going a little bit. Peralta, Young and Raburn
gotta do something against left-handed pitching, it’s that simple. It’s that
simple, Jhonny Peralta, Delmon Young and Ryan Raburn gotta do something against
left-handed pitchers, it’s that simple"
does that sound like a person who doesn't know what their talking
about? Not at all. Leyland is smarter than people give him credit for;
he knows that his players are struggling but he also knows that he only
has three extra players on the roster, one of which is a catcher. He is
doing everything he can with what he has.
isn't a stranger to being called out though, he talked about a story
where he was at his own pool and someone began telling him that he was
screwing up the Tigers because he wasn't batting Brennan Boesch second
in the order.
guy kept saying Boesch hits better in the two hole. Well, it seems to
me that wherever I play him Boesch keeps hitting .238, so he's going on
about how Boesch needs to hit second but I told him, my stats show that
hitting him second or f%&#$ing third or eighth the guy is hitting
.238," Leyland said.
guy understands statistics and he knows that his team is scuffling, but
he isn't just sitting around doing nothing, he is trying everything he
can to get this team on a roll and in doing so he may make a misstep,
but what do you expect? He's working with what Dave Dombrowski gave him.