Game 119: Tigers at Red Sox

PREGAME: Tonight offers an awesome pitching match-up with Jeremy Bonderman taking on Curt Schilling. A quick glance at the lineup though reveals something equally interesting. Pudge Rodriguez has been moved to the 6th spot in the lineup and Dmitri Young will be hitting 3rd.

Moving Rodriguez down is certainly warranted. While his offensive output has been fine this year, it hasn’t exactly been prototypical 3-hole level. A similar move last year by Alan Trammell caused massive clubhouse disruption (or least led to it later on).

Game Time 7:05pm

74 Comments

  1. Craig In CA

    August 15, 2006 at 6:36 pm

    Very interesting. It might take a little pressure off Pudge. How about moving Granderson down. We need fewer k’s especially in the first three spots in the order.
    Leyland and Pudge seem to get along and have a good degree of respect for one another. Let’s hope Pudge views it as part of what is good for the team.
    I don’t think we need major surgery. (Dan may disagree, I know there are big picture changes but right now skipper has to deal with the hand in front of him) I do feel a little chemistry was lost when the lineup shuffle began in earnest during the 3rd week in July.

    Go Tigers…..

    Does anyone know if the Mayo Smith Society is still around?

  2. Joey C.

    August 15, 2006 at 7:20 pm

    You know why fielding percentage is a bogus stat? Because nothing is scored the way it should be. If that ball that Infante failed to play in the first-inning isn’t changed to an error, it’s a joke.

  3. Dave

    August 15, 2006 at 7:27 pm

    I believe I agree with the consensus on the Tigers; although haven’t directly commented on suddenly active Dan. Let’s find out.

    First of all, its worth pointing out that I was born and raised in Detroit, have always and still do root for the Tigers. I’ve lived in Chicago (still do) for 13 years. The White Sox are my second favorite team.

    Out here, somewhere in June, there became a small focus on the Tigers and a respect for what they are doing. I mentioned and posted it on this blog. Currently, there’s a feeling that it ain’t over yet, but that the onus is on the White Sox to make up the ground. There’s not a belief that the Tigers will collapse.

    Personally, I’m thrilled the Tigers are doing so well. I hope and expect they’ll hang on to first. The team has overachieved this year, but hasn’t done it through cheap wins. The Tigers have outscored their opponents by over 140 runs over the course of the season and have won via a mix of strong performances among various players. The talent is there, and to some extent has been. The team last year should have finished .500, if they’d kept their head and heart into it. This year, the team has solid pitching (albeit it young and inexperienced in a few cases) that’s made to look even better by a pitcher’s park and generally strong fielding.

    The errors have been mentioned, but also lost is that Pudge has only allowed 9 SBs this year. That’s incredible. Inge is really a surprisingly good fielder at 3rd. He’s not Aurelio Rodriguez, but he’s a lot better than expected.

    This team is doing a great job; they have the best record in baseball. They’re playing better than really anyone expected. Dan makes some points which have some validity; but let’s savor the wins and the season, and realize the Tigers are still in first! The onus is on the other teams to make up the gap.

  4. Jeff M

    August 15, 2006 at 7:28 pm

    Does anyone know if the Mayo Smith Society is still around?

    I don’t know anything about them, but I was able to find a matching site using Google. I won’t post the link on Billfer’s site without permission, but I’m sure you can find them.

  5. Dave

    August 15, 2006 at 7:29 pm

    Oops… hit enter before I wanted to close. I wanted to close by tying back to the initial comment. Leyland has shown he will make some controversial moves. The move of Pudge down with Dmitri finding his stuff makes sense. The “similar move” last year was with a team that was playing .500 ball that really slipped afterwards. I believe (hope) that this team realizes “hey, we’re in first” and Leyland is making moves designed to keep us winning.

  6. michael

    August 15, 2006 at 7:41 pm

    So Casey gets on. Monroe takes a ball high and tight. Instead of making Schilling work and throw some pitches he decides to swing at a ball on the outside corner and grounds into a DP. Great at bat! way to work!

  7. Dan

    August 15, 2006 at 8:03 pm

    The first pitch to Ordonez was the one he needed to lift into the outfield to get the sac fly just now. After that, nice pitch by Schilling up high to get a foul ball before finally getting the weak liner to short. Just missed a chance there. Nice at bat by Young just before that…

  8. Dan

    August 15, 2006 at 8:19 pm

    Nice job there by Monroe, getting picked off of first base in a one-run ballgame. That is just awful. You have to be an idiot for that to happen.

  9. Joey C.

    August 15, 2006 at 8:21 pm

    Hey does anybody know Bonderman’s run-support?

    Is it as bad as I think?

  10. Shawn in Tokyo

    August 15, 2006 at 8:23 pm

    Nice, Bondo got out of that inning on only 7 pitches…

  11. Jeff M

    August 15, 2006 at 8:28 pm

    I mentioned earlier in the season that I think Rod says some pretty stupid things for a former player. He just provided a great example: “If you’re not stealing, you shouldn’t have a big enough lead that they’re paying any attention to you whatsoever.”

    Now, there’s no excuse for getting picked off in that situation (although it’s possible that he was stealing, and it was a perfect throw), but Rod’s statement is absolutely false. If you do that, it becomes very obvious when you are attempting to steal. Deception is very important in this game. There are very few players with enough skill to accomplish something when the whole stadium knows what he’s trying to do.

  12. Joey C.

    August 15, 2006 at 8:30 pm

    Rod can say whatever he wants.

  13. Joey C.

    August 15, 2006 at 8:33 pm

    You have to be kidding me. Good god.

  14. Andrew

    August 15, 2006 at 8:34 pm

    Ya’ll are beatin’ on Rod like he stole somethin’. 🙂

  15. Joey C.

    August 15, 2006 at 8:38 pm

    That 6th inning was absolutely pathetic. What the hell was that crap we saw from Infante? Either go or don’t go.

  16. Shawn in Tokyo

    August 15, 2006 at 8:38 pm

    Ok, if Ordonez really wants the Aaron Award, he is not making his case tonight…

  17. Dan

    August 15, 2006 at 8:39 pm

    No excuse to get picked off of third there, whether you’re going or not.

    1st and 3rd, no one out, and we don’t score. That’s your ballgame right there.

  18. Dennis

    August 15, 2006 at 8:44 pm

    wow…this place is starting to feel just like the detnews.com forums…time to find a new board methinks

  19. Shawn in Tokyo

    August 15, 2006 at 8:45 pm

    Props to Bondo…now it’s time for everyone else to get their assets in gear!

  20. Craig in CA

    August 15, 2006 at 8:45 pm

    I am sorry, I am sick. Who sent him on a weak ground ball to 3rd. No excuse. This is rediculous. I’m getting ready to pull up a seat next to Dan…

    Again No excuse. Who’s minding the store.

  21. Joey C.

    August 15, 2006 at 8:53 pm

    NICE!!! Casey did it again!!!

  22. Shawn in Tokyo

    August 15, 2006 at 8:53 pm

    Sweeeet, must have heard my rally cry! 😀

  23. Andrew

    August 15, 2006 at 8:53 pm

    Alright! Sean Casey hits one of those timely doubles he is supposed to be so known for. Here we go Tigers!

  24. Andrew

    August 15, 2006 at 9:00 pm

    Aarghh! Three flippin’ straight strikeouts! Thank goodness they came after the 2 runs.

  25. Joey C.

    August 15, 2006 at 9:01 pm

    Hey Dennis, nobody cares.

    Hey, the Royals are up by one! What are the odds they can hang on?

  26. Shawn in Tokyo

    August 15, 2006 at 9:02 pm

    In Japan, they call that a “Timely Two.”

  27. Jeff M

    August 15, 2006 at 9:04 pm

    Hey Dennis, nobody cares.

    Dang, Joey. Who pissed in your cheerios this morning 😛

    It’s been a stressful day here, Dennis. Come back tomorrow and give us another chance.

  28. Joey C.

    August 15, 2006 at 9:08 pm

    Man, I’m just tired of all ragging. You know? Don’t call people morons, don’t belittle posts, and don’t write to tell us that we suck. If you don’t like reading and writing here, just go somewhere else. It’s pretty simple.

    And honestly Jeff, it’s more like who’s been pissing in my cheerios all summer! I don’t respond well to heat…

    POLANCO!!!!!!

    WHAT A CATCH!!!

  29. Craig in CA

    August 15, 2006 at 9:09 pm

    Great Catch Placido

  30. Joey C.

    August 15, 2006 at 9:10 pm

    Wow. That was amazing. I hope he isn’t too badly hurt.

  31. Dennis

    August 15, 2006 at 9:12 pm

    actually joey, it’s the last couple of days that have been driving me away, and it’s the same couple of people pissing you off that are pissing me off.

    for what it’s worth (not much around here anymore i’d guess)

  32. Shawn in Tokyo

    August 15, 2006 at 9:14 pm

    See, that’s what I miss out on with gameday. It just says “Fly out to 2B Placido Polanco” and a little red dot shows up.

  33. Joey C.

    August 15, 2006 at 9:17 pm

    Sorry for the snap Dennis.

    Dudes are we gonna see Pudge at 2nd?

  34. Pete

    August 15, 2006 at 9:22 pm

    Holy crap, Pudge is playing second!

  35. Joey C.

    August 15, 2006 at 9:23 pm

    Oh god…I’m honestly hoping we get to see a double-play ball to short. I gotta see Pudge hit the pivot.

  36. Anne

    August 15, 2006 at 9:24 pm

    Let’s hope the Tigs are handling their “flump” better than we are here…:-)

    Wow, Pudge at 2nd. This should be good (I hope). And is Bonderman Da Man or what? Still in, pitch count around 95 in the 8th. AND Youkilis is 0-3 with TWO K’s. Nothing personal, but man I hate that guy. Talk about Tiger-Killer.

  37. Craig in CA

    August 15, 2006 at 9:24 pm

    Hey Guys… From now on I’m keeping this positive.

    Bondo is terrific tonight nice way to work the hitters.

    O.K. Crisp nice speed.

    Let’s get the dp

  38. Jeff M

    August 15, 2006 at 9:31 pm

    is Bonderman Da Man or what?

    Agreed. I was a little down on him after May, because his numbers weren’t really any better than last year, but he has definitely picked up the pace.

  39. Shawn in Tokyo

    August 15, 2006 at 9:34 pm

    OK, Bondo had taken care of Ortiz the first two times up, and we take him out for Ledezma and Ortiz gets a run-scoring single? Whats up with that?!

  40. Kyle J

    August 15, 2006 at 9:35 pm

    I think we’re going to have to play without Placido for a while. A real shame for him to get injured after making such a great play. At least we have a guy who’s near-starter quality in Infante and a utility guy ready to be called up in Santiago.

    As I posted the other day, I was in Boston this weekend and was at Fenway for last night’s game. Thought I’d post a few observations on the city, park, and game for those who haven’t been. (This was my first time.)

    1) First of all, great city. Great historical sites. Great shopping. Great restaurants. Great beers (recommendation: Boston Beer Works across the street from Fenway).

    2) Couldn’t believe how many people were wearing Red Sox garb around town. Tons of those t-shirts with players’ names/numbers on the back. And a lot of diversity in terms of which players. I saw everyone from Mirabelli to Youklis. Saw relatively few Ortiz/Ramirez shirts compared to the lesser stars. To me, this shows how much Boston fans support the whole team.

    3) On the other hand, they’re pretty hard on their team when they’re playing poorly–as they were early last night. Fair amount of booing when Beckett was giving up the early runs. But also a lot of cheering for third outs in innings in which the Tigers scored; the Sox fans bounce back and forth pretty quickly. Loudest cheering I’ve ever heard at a baseball game for fairly routine plays. They cheer as loudly for a single strike on an opposing player as fans at Comerica cheer for a strikeout.

    4) Crowd is also easily excitable. The first few fly balls Red Sox players hit into the outfield had me really concerned because of the loud cheering, but I quickly figured out that they start cheering loudly on any flyball–even those hit to the middle of the outfield.

    5) Any serious baseball fans knows about it, but I was really taken by how much the Green Monster affects the game. Amazed that the balls Young and Casey hit off the wall were only singles. It’s just strange to see/hear the ball hit that hard with the hitter only advancing to first.

    6) Great atmosphere outside the park. The road outside the park, Yawkey Way, is blocked off and open only to ticket-holders before the game. A couple of huge souvenir shops and a lot of eating options. We got there about an hour and a half early and there was already a big crowd and a great buzz in the air.

    7) Caught a bit of batting practice. Stood out in the right field stands while Ordonez practiced playing balls off the curve around the Pesky Pole. Some fan had a net on a pole he was using to try to get fly balls. Todd Jones took it and was trying to catch flyballs in the outfield with it. This went over well with the crowd.

    8) In general, Fenway is everything you expect it to be. You can feel the history–and see it: cramped seats, peeling paint, etc. I highly recommend everyone try to get there at least once in their life. I know I’ll be going back in a few years when my sons are old enough to appreciate it.

    For those who read all this, thanks for indulging me.

  41. Tater

    August 15, 2006 at 9:35 pm

    My beef was not with taking Bonderman out, though I think a good case can be made for leaving him in — but if you take him out, why Ledezma over Walker??? That made absolutely no sense to me.

  42. Craig in CA

    August 15, 2006 at 9:41 pm

    Did they give an injury report on Polanco?

  43. Joey C.

    August 15, 2006 at 9:42 pm

    Nice post Kyle. I’ve never been to Fenway and I enjoyed reading your impressions. I need to get up there at some point. I hear it’s ridiculously difficult and expensive to go though.

    Shawn and Tater, I’m with both of you. In fact it took me a second or two before I realized I was watching Ledezma and not Walker. Very surprising move.

  44. Jeff M

    August 15, 2006 at 9:47 pm

    Wow, that was a monster hit & run call! Credit where credit is due, Dan?

  45. Paul

    August 15, 2006 at 9:48 pm

    What’s the word on Polanco? I didn’t see the play, just saw it whilst checkin’ the score on line. Thanks in advance.

    Paul

  46. Joey C.

    August 15, 2006 at 9:52 pm

    Adventures with Wily Mo. God is that guy a terrible fielder.

    Monroe has had a pretty rough night.

  47. Jeff M

    August 15, 2006 at 9:53 pm

    What’s the word on Polanco?

    He landed wrong on a tough catch in shallow center. He really didn’t seem to land very hard, but he was down on the ground clutching his shoulder for 5 minutes.

    Regardless of what you think of Leyland, everyone has to admit that that guy yells at the umps longer than anyone I’ve ever seen and he never seems to get tossed.

  48. Kyle J

    August 15, 2006 at 9:56 pm

    Shoulder separation for Polanco.

    Joey C., tickets are indeed pricey (if you can’t get them through the public sale in the spring). I got two for about $120 on Ebay a while back–decent seats, down first base line, about 2/3 of the way up the lower deck. Someone told me after the game that scalpers wanted $100 per ticket outside the park.

  49. Paul

    August 15, 2006 at 9:56 pm

    I love Leyland. I liked him when he was with the Bucs. He is one hell of a manager. Why the Phils didn’t take his offer to manage them is way beyond be. lol.

    That sucks for Polanco. Hopefully he won’t miss too much time. This is crunch time for the cats.

  50. Jeff M

    August 15, 2006 at 9:58 pm

    Nice post Kyle. I’ve never been to Fenway and I enjoyed reading your impressions. I need to get up there at some point. I hear it’s ridiculously difficult and expensive to go though.

    I saw a few games out there 5 years ago and I didn’t have to pay much more than face value. It may be more expensive now, but it probably wouldn’t be too bad if you buy the tix early in the season. Kyle was right one. It’s definitely worth experiencing.

    why Ledezma over Walker?

    Good question. I hope someone asks him during the postgame. He has said many times that he expects every reliever to get him big outs from time to time, but I would like to hear his reasoning.

    Go Pudge!!!! Forget Santiago… bring up an extra pitcher. Vance is our new starting catcher! =) j/k

  51. Jeff M

    August 15, 2006 at 10:02 pm

    Excellent play by Inge. I agree with Leyland: he had better get some gold glove votes. I don’t expect him to win, but he should definitely be a finalist.

  52. Shawn in Tokyo

    August 15, 2006 at 10:03 pm

    Sweeeeeet, wrapped up on a SO!

  53. Joey C.

    August 15, 2006 at 10:04 pm

    Jones looks great right now. That’s a nice win.

  54. Cameron in Singapore

    August 15, 2006 at 10:07 pm

    Yes! Two in a row at Boston is a great way to start the rebound after the sweep in Chicago.
    And another timely hit by Monroe, after his “tough night”…

  55. Taylor

    August 15, 2006 at 10:08 pm

    Wonderful.

  56. Joey C.

    August 15, 2006 at 10:12 pm

    Cameron I made that post after that play. That wasn’t a hit. That was an error and I’m sure I expect scoring will be changed to reflect that.

    Then he gets pegged taking too wide a turn at first.

    He had a bad night.

  57. Dan

    August 15, 2006 at 10:12 pm

    Hey, we really dodged a bullet there. Whew! I can’t believe Pudge was playing second base. A 4-6-3 grounder would have been an adventure.

    Awful game from Monroe today. What’s with his passionate hatred of being on 1st base? Picked off of 1st by a righthander in a 1-0 game, hit into a DP, tagged on a throw behind him at 1st for the ole 9-3 putout. Wow. He should have been hustling right out of the box on that play. That’s why it’s important to hustle, especially in that situation. If he’s on his way to 2nd and Pena decides to throw there, great. He probably doesn’t get him. He needed to either hustle out of the box in case of an error (which that was, despite what the official scorer tells you – I suspect that 2B will be changed later tonight) or stay put and play it conservatively with one out. We would have had one more crack at getting that runner in.

    For those of you who are waiting for me to say something nice about Leyland – I think he did a good job making the right pitching moves at the right time today. In other words, he did his job.

    Very nice. Let’s hope the Royals hold their lead. One of the Black Sox runs was scored after a terrible safe call at 1st base, far worse than calling Monroe safe on his brain fart would have been. It was a Don Denkinger-level bad call.

  58. PHT in HK

    August 15, 2006 at 10:13 pm

    Tokyo, Singapore, Hong Kong . . . Now is a good time to be a Tigers fan!

  59. Dan

    August 15, 2006 at 10:19 pm

    Who knows what’s gotten into Todd Jones. I was definitely not a believer before, and I wouldn’t exactly describe myself as ardent now, but I’ll have to change my tune pretty soon if he keeps exhibiting that kind of pinpoint accuracy.

    On Inge and the gold glove: It will go to Joe Crede because those jerks in the booth in Chicago will never shut up about it. I live in Chicago, and man, you should hear these guys. It will go to the guy who has the benefit of the most boosterism. I think a lot of people recognize how good Inge is with the glove, but it won’t be enough. Admittedly, Crede is good, but he’s no Brandon Inge. Inge is having a season on par with Brooks Robinson’s best, and I’m not kidding either. Last time I check he was rating at about 15 runs above average, or about a win and a half with the glove alone, and that was 2/3 of the way through the season.

    Fingers crossed for Polanco, a key hitter and defender for us. The prognosis is not good. We’ll have to see how all of his plumbing and sinews in that shoulder settle down after a couple of days before we get some images. Not sure…

  60. Jeff

    August 15, 2006 at 10:19 pm

    How kind of you, Dan, to say something nice about Leyland. If Leyland improves his performance in your eyes enough in the last couple months he might be able to scrape out a top 3 finish in the AL manager of the year balloting.

  61. Scott

    August 15, 2006 at 10:30 pm

    now that was a “real” win. We got the big “hit” in the 9th; I think he’d have scored from 3rd regardless, Pena would’ve had to right himself, set himself, then throw. I think it was a run anyway. They didn’t even charge Pena with an error. Monroe was an idiot getting chopped off 1st there; just ridiculous. Infante should’ve been charged an “e” in the 1st inning; no way that’s a hit. Bondo pitched excellent; better than Schilling….a shame he didn’t get the W. And Infante – he was out at home ’cause he didn’t break with the crack of the bat immediately – the fielder fumbled it first, then he ran. Too late to try at that point; dumb base running. Damn shame about Polanco, we need him. A separated shoulder is maybe 3 weeks on the shelf, I’d guess. Well, all teams get injuries; we just gotta play thru it. Good job winning tonight…… 🙂

    Rock on, boys

  62. Jeff M

    August 15, 2006 at 10:32 pm

    Whew! I can’t believe Pudge was playing second base. A 4-6-3 grounder would have been an adventure.

    Yeah, that was interesting. I’m sure the 4-6-3 would have been no big deal, but the 6-4-3 probably would have been a 6-4, E4.

    Awful game from Monroe today.

    Who knows what’s gotten into Todd Jones.
    I’m no Jones fanboy, but I’m pretty sure we can all agree that he’s earned his money so far. Here’s hoping he can keep it up.

    or those of you who are waiting for me to say something nice about Leyland – I think he did a good job making the right pitching moves at the right time today.

    Honestly, that’s the best you can offer? If it weren’t for the H&R call, this game is still being played.

    I think a lot of people recognize how good Inge is with the glove, but it won’t be enough.

    I’m sure you’re right. I just hope he gets a good deal of respect.

  63. Steve

    August 15, 2006 at 10:34 pm

    I am watching the Who-Sox on MLB extra innings now. I love to see them lose one here. Down 4-2 with the B9 left for them.

  64. Scott

    August 15, 2006 at 10:39 pm

    and I forgot to include: Todd Jones right now is really on his game; just pitching perfect right now. That final called K to end the game was a ball right on the black; couldn’t have been better. Just a perfect pitch. Whatever his problem was back in June, well, he’s fixed it nicely. The last 2 nights….both awesome performances…….good job, bud.

  65. Steve

    August 15, 2006 at 10:50 pm

    THHHHHHHHHHhhhhhhhhhhhhe Whitesox lose.

    Bummer, so sad.

  66. Bryan

    August 15, 2006 at 11:06 pm

    Pudge might be able to play second, his throwing accuracy is great and as long as he can get to the ball, routine plays shouldn’t be a problem….

    Just thinking about that..

    Anyways, great game. No errors!! Must be like the first time in several weeks

  67. Craig in CA

    August 15, 2006 at 11:08 pm

    I agree with you rules. This is an added facet to my enjoyment of Tiger Baseball. When I was a young kid growing up in Toledo, I used to sit on the back porch with a scorebook on hot summer nights and listen to Ernie Harwell hanging on every pitch.

    My kids sit with me and enjoy the site as much as I do.

    I was in a Starbucks today and in walked a family of 4 all wearing Tiger hats. We talked they were from Monroe and were out here on vacation. We talked Tiger baseball for 2 minutes and were fast friends.

    I truly believe Tiger fans are unique along with those of a handful of other francise’s.

    I live in the Bay area and the Tiges have alot of folks rooting for them. I am hopeful to see Tiger v A’s playoff games.
    Lets keep this all in perspective …It’s a game and we as fans should be excited that OUR team is in the position they are in.

    One last perspective my 10 year old asked me what I would do if she married a Yankee fan……

    Go Tigers and keep Placido Polanco in our collective prayers.

  68. Jeff M

    August 15, 2006 at 11:18 pm

    my 10 year old asked me what I would do if she married a Yankee fan…

    lol, I’m not sure if I should commend you for raising her with an open mind or flame her for even raising the possibility….

  69. Joey the K

    August 15, 2006 at 11:37 pm

    Hey Craig as long as she don’t marry a White Sox fan!!!

  70. Cameron in Singapore

    August 16, 2006 at 12:52 am

    Joey C.
    My bad…just following the game online so I didn’t know what kind of hit it was.
    Still a great win!

  71. Dan

    August 16, 2006 at 1:48 am

    Jeff M, not trying to be a contrarian here, and I don’t mean to be snarky (I’m thinking about prefacing every post with this, so as not to upset the fragility on the board), but I’ve played 2nd base for years, and I still play it, and most 4-6-3 DPs are far bigger challenges than 6-4-3s, especially for a catcher, who is presumably used to having runners bearing down on him. Just throwing this out there. A 4-6-3 in the hole is quite a challenge for just about any player…

  72. Anne

    August 16, 2006 at 4:31 am

    Hey Craig–everyone in my house knows if you root for the Yankees, you have to sleep in the garage…Marrying a fan would be quite the offense. 🙂

  73. Dave T.

    August 16, 2006 at 10:35 am

    Does anyone know what Leyland was arguing about when Monroe got picked off first (for the 2nd time)
    Was he upset the ump was not in position when he made the call?

  74. Dan

    August 16, 2006 at 1:13 pm

    I think it was just because it was a close call, and he was doing the obligatory “arguing” because, let’s face it, the whole thing was pretty undesirable.

    Jeff, as far as tactics are concerned, I’ll say nice things about Leyland when Leyland does things particularly well. A manager is expected to do an adequate job, and when he does better than that I will be impressed and probably say so. If he does a less than adequate job I will say something about that as well.

    Let’s face it, you don’t LIKE it that I call Leyland out on things, so you jump down my throat even though the comment I made was totally reasonable and polite. You are therefore guilty of exactly the thing I am repeadedly accused of doing. You don’t LIKE my opinion, so the snarkiness commences.

    If you think there is any more than a slight legitimacy to the Manager of the Year Award, then let’s just stop the conversation right there. It’s almost impossible to judge who has done the best job managing in a given year, and vote is almost purely subjective. Like the “Comeback Player of the Year” Award, it is an utter waste of time.

    If you disagree, ask yourself this – why does a different manager get it every year? Doesn’t it stand to reason that the best manager will almost always be the best, year in and year out? Why is it always a first place team, or else a team that nearly missed 1st place? Sure, it’s usualy because they are perceived to have overperformed, and that CAN have to do with the manager, but does it always? Point me to any Manager of the Year award, and I can probably give you a real, concrete reason that the team vaulted forward, and that reason will almost always have something to do with player personnel decisions by the GM. If anything, the emphasis should be on the GM of the Year award. Dombrowski has done far far more for this club than Leyland has. If it weren’t for the obsession with the hit-and-run play and the goofy lineup decisions, the Tigers would probaby be at least a game or two BETTER than where Leyland has us. Am I saying he’s extrordinarily bad? No. But he isn’t special.

    Bobby Cox is, in my opinion, the best manager in baseball over the last decade or so.