Quantifying Ol’ Smokey

by Kevin in Dallas on March 21, 2011 · 43 comments

in 2011 Season,Managing & Strategy

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Along with their player forecasts and team breakdowns, Baseball Prospectus publishes “stats” on managers long with a lengthy write-up…”Old Smokey remains one of the league’s better skippers…”

Generally, I think that day in/day obsession with the team grants us better insight then whatever stats BP can come up with, though it is difficult to argue with BP’s algorithmic brilliance and their ability to objectively quantify data, and only data.  Unfortunately, when it comes to managers, the numbers seem to be little more than obscure trivia answers.  With that in mind, I’ve posted some select “manager stats” below.  Pythag is the manager’s 2010 pythagorean expectation (a Bill James invention, read about it here or here), Avg. PC is the average pitch count per game, BQS is “blown quality starts,” REL is relievers used, and Rel w Zero R is relief appearances with zero runs allowed.

BP doesn’t list league averages, so I’ll post the rest of the division for comparison’s sake.

Manager Pythag Avg. PC BQS REL REL w Zero R
Ol Smokey -1 99.8 4 416 242
Manny Acta 0 96.8 4 468 305
Ron Gardenhire 1 93.7 6 465 315
Hillman/Yost 4 96.7 6 332 206
Guillen 2 99.5 11 406

265

Hard to really get much out of that, but interesting fodder none the less.

I do, however, have some more useful figures, courtesy of Baseball-Reference.com.

In 19 years as a manager, JL is 1493 and 1518, for a .496 winning percentage.  (Don’t look for him to get to .500 this year.)  He’s won one WS (’97 with the Marlins) and 2 pennants.  As the manager of the Tigers, he’s fared significantly better, 424-387 for a .523 winning percentage. Sounds pretty good, right?  Not when you look at his second half numbers.  The numbers below reflect Tigers’ records after the All Star break under Leyland.

’06 – 2 games under

’07 – 4 games under

’08 – 14 games under

’09 – even

’10 – 10 games under

Thus, since 2006, Leyland is an astonishing 30 games under .500 after the AS break, and an even more incredible 67 games over before the summer classic.  Looking at one season, maybe two, you can point to player drop-offs or injuries.  But five years is hardly a coincidence.

Continuing, I was shocked to see that JL was in the middle of the pack when it comes to using relievers, part of that is due to his willingness to let Verlander throw so many pitches (I’m not necessarily against that).  Though I did not post it above, his hit & run frequency was also in the middle of the pack for AL Central managers.

So in the end, I’ll leave it up to you guys.  Is Leyland one of the league’s “better skippers?”   Or does he simply have everyone fooled but us?

 
 

{ 43 comments }

TSE March 22, 2011 at 1:40 am

Oh my. I don’t even know what to say. I have seen Leyland make over 1,000 mistakes that I’ve complained about. But who the hell cares what I have to say anyhow, it’s not even worth going into, all I’m contributing is that I think he’s god-awful in every sense of the word. The guy does not understand proper baseball strategy, period (wait apparently I mean comma?), and I’ll take it to my grave and defend it to God if necessary, but I’ve said enough on this subject over the years.

Maske March 22, 2011 at 1:43 pm

Not to send you on a big chase, but I’d like to see his 1st/2nd half comparison before he was a Tiger. (I can’t find a site where I can separate the halves.) I wonder if there’s any difference between contending seasons and the rest.

Managing has to be the toughest to quantify in the numbers, and I’ve always wondered how he stacks up to other perennial winning managers. But I do know this. Our bats need to drive in runners on base to take more of the job out of Leyland’s hands. I’d much rather it be a moot point!

TSE March 22, 2011 at 3:28 pm

Yeah that’s where it gets tricky, because there are no charts that graph a manager correctly. The best way to really have this data would be to have some kind of equivalent to the baseball scorecard for Managers. So every pitch and every situation could be logged and analyzed, but then even if you did that it would become a subjective mess if you had a different person charting each manager for each team. The only true accurate way to get a good scorecard on the managers would be if say I were to score them all, in which case I would have to watch every pitch of every game over the course of a year. However long that would take is the amount of time it would take to get one good year of real and logical and consistent data that is truly accurate and representative. It’s actually not that crazy of a proposition if you think about it. Because with the massive amounts of millions of dollars that teams spend on baseball, you would think that each team would have one person to do this. That’s 162 games x 15, for roughly 2400 regular season games.

If you used a DVR and some nifty editing technology, maybe you should be able to do that job in about 4,000 hours or so? So I could do this entire job over the course of one year if I worked 80 hours a week. That’s not terribly difficult to do, it’s not like doing 80 hours a week of hard labor. You could find a good person to do this or train a person to do this well and to your specifications and pay him what, $100k a year? I mean I know for certain that I could find one guy right now that I know of that would be totally fantastic at doing this job with my own direction/training as he is a baseball aficionado and extremely intelligent and this would be right up his alley. I bet he would do 80 hours a week at that job for like $60k cause he has a terrible and low paying job right now and he would have fun doing this job because he loves this kind of stuff like I do. Anyhow, that would be worth a lot of money to have that kind of report, and the Tigers could easily generate that report for somewhere in the neighborhood of a $60k-100k annual expense. And that’s for ALL ML teams, so technically if that was too much money, the Tigers could share that report with other teams; it’s just a matter of how much money do you want to spend to know what your own manager is worth, and if you have to share the info to cut down on the cost, it might make a lot of sense. I honestly wish I knew what team presidents and GMs do all day if they aren’t spending their time to think of this stuff and implement it.

Dre in Chi March 22, 2011 at 4:41 pm

“I’ve said enough on this subject over the years.”

Apparently not.

TSE March 22, 2011 at 4:48 pm

Yes. I just made a rebuttal comment on a new subtopic that the other poster made. What is the purpose of this post by you? It has an illogical foundation and premise to start with, and offers nothing beyond that. I don’t get why you are chiming in with that kind of sentiment?

Dre in Chi March 22, 2011 at 5:10 pm

Illogical? You said you had nothing more to say…then said another 500 words. I just pointed out that, in fact, you had more to say.

TSE March 22, 2011 at 7:36 pm

My first comment was talking just about Leyland and my individual feelings of Leyland himself. My second post was a reply to a subtopic that delved into the concept of the team designing a system of which to evaluate managers and exploring the cost of a hypothetical system. I had no more to say about Leyland directly, that’s the topic I didn’t want to get into was analyzing him, as opposed to analyzing a possible process of which to analyze managers cause that poster wanted to know about stats in general for managers in general, and I was chiming in as well as relating that back to our team.

Dre in Chi March 22, 2011 at 5:50 pm

“The best way to really have this data would be to have some kind of equivalent to the baseball scorecard for Managers. So every pitch and every situation could be logged and analyzed. ”

Bill James disagrees, calls you an amateur:

“It is totally impossible to isolate the correct strategic choice in almost all real-life situations, for the simple reason that all real-life strategic situations involve dozens of variables, many of which have not been thoroughly tested by trial. People who think that they know when a manager should bunt and when a manager should pitch out and when a manager should make a pitching change are amateurs. People who have actually studied these issues know that the answer disappears in a cloud of untested variables.”

http://www.freakonomics.com/2008/04/01/bill-james-answers-all-your-baseball-questions/

TSE March 22, 2011 at 7:38 pm

Bill James for one isn’t the god of baseball, and I disagree with him. So you think he knows more about baseball than me, but that’s YOUR opinion, and I don’t share it.

Second, I wasn’t suggesting that there is a specific exact answer for isolated situations, the proper strategy is never to do the same thing for every similar situation, it’s about having a logical mix, and I said nothing to contradict that. So Bill James doesn’t even disagree with me, you just spoke for him and with improper assumptions and thus your argument is invalid and illogical.

Bill James would not conclude that I’m an amateur if he would do a THOROUGH and complete and unbiased job of analyzing my baseball mind in my opinion. And you guessing that he would make the converse conclusion doesn’t hold any water as you don’t speak for him.

Kevin in Dallas March 22, 2011 at 4:29 pm

Maske – check this out. http://www.baseball-reference.com/teams/DET/2010-schedule-scores.shtml. You’ll have to plug in the team and year, but this is where I got the numbers above.

Dre in Chi March 22, 2011 at 5:07 pm

Just to take Ron “best Manager in baseball” Gardenhire for example (sorry to do % vs over/under):

2006: +3 wins vs. Pyth; .547/.645 W% (1st/2nd Half)
2007: -1 win; .511/.459
2008: -1 win; .558/.515
2009: +1 win; .506/.568
2010: +2 wins; .523/.649

I don’t know what to make of this or the data on Leyland. I think GMs have much more to do with a teams performance than the manager does.

Also, to this:

“Looking at one season, maybe two, you can point to player drop-offs or injuries. But five years is hardly a coincidence”

for me, its really about ’08 and ’10 and what happened in those seasons – the other three seasons combine for only 6 games under, which given the age/injury-proneness of some of the key parts of this team, is to be expected. 2010 being freshest in my mind, I can honestly say I don’t think there’s anything a manager could have done differently. I don’t remember off hand if there were any special circumstances in 2008, but over all I still think that Leyland has little to do with affecting the standings at the end of the year. As long as the team likes him, I’m fine with him. I also won’t shed too many tears when he’s replaced…although I suppose I’ll miss his old-school charm with the media.

Stormin Norman $ March 22, 2011 at 5:56 pm

Disclosure: i’m not a big JL fan… the 2nd half fades along with some of his personnel (bullpen) and coaching decisions are my primary beef – and on the other side of the ledger i think one of his best qualities is he doesn’t really care what i, the fans or the media think about him – he’s like a blackjack player that pretty much always plays by the same book.

I’ve also heard that since he’s more of an ‘old school’ type of mgr, he’s not a very good communicator (to his players) or motivator.

A team’s manager and coaching staff certainly matters – as to how much?… i think that depends a lot on the team’s roster and player leadership (or lack thereof).

“Managing is getting paid for home runs that someone else hits” – Casey Stengel
“Good pitching will always stop good hitting and vice-versa” – Casey Stengel

Vince in MN March 23, 2011 at 10:13 pm

I don’t think Pathagorean works for evaluating managers because it is based on player stats over 162 games. Single events (leaving Todd Jones in too long, playing the whole bench in the same game because some regulars need a rest, etc) aren’t taken into account. But a loss (or win) here and there due to bad (or good) personnel utilization adds up over a full season. Sometimes (if the team is really good) the players can overcome a bumbling manager, but I personally would feel a lot better if there was someone competent at the helm and we didn’t have to hope for that.

Brian March 23, 2011 at 10:55 pm

This is exactly why I don’t post on this site any longer. All you guys do is cry about how Leyland did that or why didn’t he do this. All I know is the Tigers have won more games than they have lost since he’s been manager, something that hadn’t happened since Sparky was manager. Walk a mile in his shoes, yeah, cause you won’t. Enough said. This will be my last post here, with all you cry babies. Good bye.

TSE March 23, 2011 at 11:28 pm

But what is their ratio of $/win in that time compared to other managers?

So in a hypothetical baseball season, you think it’s fair to say that Manager A who wins 80 games with a $200M budget would be a better manager than Manager B who wins 79 games on a $40M budget?

Andre in Chi March 24, 2011 at 9:11 am

Misleading to judge managers based on $/win. The most “logical” person to use that metric for comparison is the GM. Or are we going to hold Leyland responsible for money spent but talent not available to him due to long-term injuries or sunk costs?

TSE March 24, 2011 at 10:39 am

No. But without knowing how the money is spent, whether you get good players or bad players, logic would suggest that you are more likely to get a lot more overall talent in terms of players with an extra $160M spent one given year. My question was posed to the other guy w/respect to just those 2 hypothetical budgets. I was not offering that a metric should apply to every manager for every team on a $/win scale. Otherwise we naturally will have times that a small $ discrepancy will be present, and if the team with the higher amount of $ spent had one bust, then it’s not as likely for that manager to have been given a lot more baseball talent to work with than the other guy. In this case, one team only has a $40M budget for their whole team, and the other has $200M. It is theoretically possible that the GM of the larger budget is getting weak value for that extra $160M spent, but I’m willing to bet the odds are extremely unlikely that any manager in baseball would rather have a random GM choose a $200M assortment of players as opposed to a different random GM choose only $40M worth of players to work with.

Besides, this is a specific Q&A that I’m attempting to do with the other poster to further try and understand his specific comment, it’s not geared towards the OP or the main subject, hence the reply to his bizarre comment.

Dre in Chi March 24, 2011 at 11:20 am

“But without knowing how the money is spent, whether you get good players or bad players, logic would suggest that you are more likely to get a lot more overall talent in terms of players with an extra $160M spent one given year.”

Yeah, I suppose without context, many things are as they would appear on the surface…but that’s why you need context to understand things.

You offered an efficiency metric (wins/$), best applied to GMs, as a rebuttal to Brian’s point of Leyland’s effectiveness (win%) [keep in mind, I'm pretty firmly in the camp of managers having very little to do with team performance when compared to GMs...so I'm not even agreeing with Brian here].

As to your two hypothetical teams, again its an efficiency v. effectiveness argument. Manager A was more effective – he “won” more games. Manager B was more efficient – he had more wins per $. Who’s better? To me, if you’re looking at managers, you’re still framing it wrong by looking at $. I think there’s too much disparity in the league (let alone the Tigers recently) between talent and contracts to just assume that more $ = more talent. Which segues nicely to…

“It is theoretically possible that the GM of the larger budget is getting weak value for that extra $160M spent, but I’m willing to bet the odds are extremely unlikely that any manager in baseball would rather have a random GM choose a $200M assortment of players as opposed to a different random GM choose only $40M worth of players to work with.”

Its not only theoretically possible, but it actually happened in 2008:

Tampa Bay: 97 wins / $43m salary
Yankess: 89 wins / $209m salary

So, was Maddon 5x a better manager than Torre? How about the very next season; same managers, Tampa increases its payroll by 50% and the Yankees reduce payroll by $8m. Result, 2009:

Tampa Bay: 84 wins / $63m
Yankees: 103 wins / $201m

Wins/$ tells you very little about managers…now GMs, that’s a different story.

TSE March 24, 2011 at 11:54 am

I’m not using $/wins to analyze managers, I’m using it just to progress the specific conversation with Brian, it’s one question that when he answers will spawn a follow-up based upon what he says. Right now he owes a yes or a no. When he replies with one of those, then you can see where I was going with that sentiment, but it wasn’t to conclude with a suggestion that $/wins was a metric to analyze managers. I just wrote a long post suggesting exactly how I would analyze managers. And I stand by that as being the best possible way to do so.

As far as your efficiency vs effectiveness paragraph, it just doesn’t make sense to me what you are trying to say. You HAVE to frame it by money, cause that’s ALL the date you have. You only have a win total and the amount of money spent. You have no objective or subjective info about the baseball team other than that, just 2 sets of data, and you should consider all data to make the most logical conclusion. I find it to be completely illogical to infer that Manager A is a better skilled manager. It is possible that such an inference could be made upon learning other data, but the statistical odds, in my opinion, of the subsequent revealing of more info being able to work in Manager A’s favor when he as a MLB GM spending $160M more towards players is just EXTREMELY REMOTE.

And your TB/NY example is irrelevant to anything I’m talking about in my example. That’s a different situation and there are a lot more factors involved. We can look up those actual baseball teams and find out a lot more info, which isn’t allowed within the confines of my hypothetical question posed to Brian in my reply to his post.

Dre in Chi March 24, 2011 at 12:39 pm

“I’m using it just to progress the specific conversation with Brian, it’s one question that when he answers will spawn a follow-up based upon what he says.”

You’re expecting a reply from Brian, who specifically notes he will no longer post here: you are illogical.

TSE March 24, 2011 at 2:09 pm

That’s not illogical. It’s my time to invest. Just because a person claims they will not reply any further doesn’t mean that they won’t. Humans often lie and change their minds. Your assertion that I’m illogical is illogical itself. And you assume that I actually expect him to reply, which is an assumption that is not necessarily valid. You can search the word “expect” and see that I never disclosed as such. You are at risk of making a false assumption from your perspective, which is also illogical. That’s 2 violations of logic in one sentence. You haven’t made one post to me on this page that wasn’t littered with illogical garbage. You are going out of your way to shoot yourself in the foot. That’s unfortunate. One could say that you are like the Jim Leyland of the art of debate?

Dre in Chi March 24, 2011 at 2:44 pm

Note the following uses of ‘when’, and not ‘if’:

“when [Brian] answers will spawn a follow-up based upon what he says”; “when [Brian] replies”

So yes, I did assume that you expected Brian to reply.

“You haven’t made one post to me on this page that wasn’t littered with illogical garbage.”

Sorry about that, in the future I’ll refrain from including your quotes in my posts.

Mark in Chicago March 25, 2011 at 5:35 pm

Dre, you’re the best, man!

Dre in Chi March 28, 2011 at 11:57 am

“You should find a hobby that serves a constructive purpose and stop acting like a childish and unsophisticated loser.”

First, I don’t see how name-calling advances the baseball discussion. Second, I paid waaaay too much for a Poli-Sci degree, so you could at least do me the courtesy of calling me a sophisticated loser :)

Mr. X March 27, 2011 at 6:08 pm

Ditto. I don’t like posting here either because it seems like I always get attacked for being optimistic. I love the Tigers, Leyland, DD, and Illich, so sue me . Nobody here has any actual baseball managing experience, but nearly everyone here thinks they can captain a spaceship to the moon and back. It’s a people oriented job. You can’t manage people that hate you. They’ll walk off the job, flatten your car tires, or kick the crap out of you. A baseball manager is a hard man, a decision maker, a cheerleader, a spokesman, a father, someone who’s going to take a bullet for you, and go down with the ship. Leyland is the perfect guy for that job. Winning and losing, is up to the players. Cheering and crying, is up to the fans.

Steve March 27, 2011 at 6:24 pm

I agree Mr X. >>> I like the Tigers and while I don’t agree with everything they do, we are still WAY better off than most clubs with what we have on and off the field. Managing a Big League club is a daunting task.

Lets all stay positive and realistic at the same time. Its March 27th and Baseball lasts for 6 more months. I think the Tigers will be in it till the end in our division. Our hitting is very solid and hopefully our pitching can hold together for the whole year.

I am going to watch the opener this Thursday at BWW with some customers and I will be in Toronto for the 5/6& 5/7 games. Not sure about the D. Maybe some late August games before the kids go back to School

Did anyone else by the MLB TV package this year. I am trying in lieu of MLB EI. I like the portability and the fact you can do radio or TV. Great deal to be able to watch on the Patio.

LETS-GO T I G E R S !!!!!!!!

Steve

PS…… Kevin thanks for doing the site. I appreciate it. Have you heard from Bill?

Vince in MN March 27, 2011 at 6:41 pm

Mr. X,
I for one rather enjoy your rambling expositions. Don’t be a stranger.

TSE March 27, 2011 at 10:34 pm

Well I will say that Leyland’s top strength is being gritty and standing up for his team and his players when the umpires screw them over. That’s one of the hidden agendas in baseball is to throw a fit when baseball justice is perverted, and he always stands up for those principles and fights hard and with honor when those times come about. He’s fantastic in that regard, and I actually like the way he manages the people aspect of the game. He’s no nonsense and gritty and firm and authoritative and he commands a certain amount of respect in that regard. He’s exactly my type of manager on those aspects. Everything that I ever have complained about Leyland on is stuff that he doesn’t even need to worry about. We could have a completely different guy handle all the elements of which he is prone to making too many mistakes at, or working with him to help him maximize his strengths and weaknesses. If I was the GM of the team I wouldn’t fire Leyland, rather I would harness his strengths in a more productive fashion.

And I agree with you on your frustrations with posting on this site, there is a lot of potential for this place to be festering with a lot of great activity, but a few bad apples here and there that are always playing games or making personal attacks is not helpful, and the communication interface isn’t really a good setup, plus the site needs to take efforts to get more members, it’s a small population relative to other major Tigers-chat sites. They need to WANT to grow this site in order to actually grow it and create a stimulating and consistent flow of traffic and conversation.

Coleman March 28, 2011 at 12:01 am

There’s a fine balance between a site with a handful of people talking with each other, and a free-for-all with so many posts you are hard-pressed to read them all, even if it was worth it. I think this site has had the perfect balance; lately it has lost a few good members, but it really hasn’t strayed far from what it was.

Increasing the participation is a great idea, I’m with you on that. Could be however that complaining about other posters may not be the best tactic to achieve that end.

Coleman March 27, 2011 at 11:51 pm

Cheering and crying are illogical, I have been told.

stephen March 29, 2011 at 8:30 pm

Mr. X you get attacked because your positions are happily insane. We trash because we love.

Keith_Allen March 30, 2011 at 5:18 pm

It’s not love or happiness that I feel whenever you call me crazy or insane.

Mr. X March 27, 2011 at 8:41 pm

What have the Pirates done since Leyland left? They’ve lost 15 straight seasons. They currently have 19 straight losing seasons. They didn’t get any better since Leyland left.

Afterward, Leyland managed a World Series winner in Florida and a AL Pennant here in Detroit. So to say he can’t manage a winning team after the All-Star break would be false also.

“But five years is hardly a coincidence.”
Injuries and huge drop-offs have plagued this team in the past 5 seasons.

’06- Injuries: Polanco missed 36 games in August-Sept.
Drop-off: Chris Shelton ( 1st half .857 OPS, .595 OPS in 2nd half before he was sent back to Toledo)
Curtis Granderson (1st half .366 OBP , 2nd half .293 OBP)
Zach Miner (1st half 6-1, 2.57 ERA / 2nd half 1-5 6.71 ERA)

’07- Injuries: Rogers, Bonderman, Zumaya, Sheffield
Drop-off: Bonderman (1st half 9-1, 2nd half 2-8 w/7.38 ERA)
Rogers (0 wins in 2nd half)
Sheffield (1st half .973 OPS, 2nd half .624 OPS)

’08- Injuries: Rogers, Bonderman, Robertson, Zumaya, Willis, Jones, Sheffield, Guillen,
Drop-off: Entire team went south after Pudge was traded and Todd Jones retired. Damn Kyle Farnsworth.

’09- Injuries: Bonderman, Robertson,Washburn, Zumaya, Willis, Guillen,
Drop-off: Edwin Jackson (1st half . 7-4 2.52 ERA, 2nd half 6-5 5.07 ERA)
Inge (1st half .876 OPS, 2nd half .542 OPS)
Washburn and Aubrey Huff sucked also.

’10- Injuries: Zumaya, Guillen, Inge, Ordonez, Valverde
Drop-off: Boesch (1st half .990 OPS, 2nd half .458 OPS)
Valverde (1st half 0.92 ERA 19 saves, 2nd half 6.38 ERA 7 saves)

After seeing all this, the 2nd half slides DO look coincidental. Each of the years, a key bat in the line-up impacted the team enough to reverse the course of the ship. Those being Shelton in ’06, Sheffield in ’07, Inge in ’09, and Boesch in ’10.

stephen March 29, 2011 at 8:32 pm

Ha! I wrote previous comment before reading this. Mr. X, I love your cockeyed optimism and restaurant quality rationalizations.

Coleman March 28, 2011 at 12:07 am

What could be possible causes of late-season decline? Two that come immediately to mind are tired/injured veterans, and a burnt out overused pitching staff.

The 2 biggest criticisms of Leyland after his 2nd half record are how he gives veterans too many days off, and how he pulls starters early because of pitch count.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

Dre in Chi March 28, 2011 at 12:24 pm

Clearly, Zumaya’s pitchcount should be an “8″ rotated 90*.

As you point out, many of the criticisms leveled against Leyland seem at odds with many of the potential causes of 2nd-half meltdowns. My issue with most of the criticism of Leyland is that its misplaced. Its perfectly fair to take issue with some decisions, like who makes the team (like taking Rhymes over Sizemore), but I don’t think those decisions tend to be the ones seasons hang on – not when so many of the key players Leyland’s been given have a history of injuries. The blame (if you want to play that game) needs to be placed on Dombrowski, and even then I don’t think its entirely fair to blame him for all the bad that’s happened.

Kevin in Dallas March 28, 2011 at 1:02 pm

Based on the chart above, PC isn’t really the issue. Not in 2010, anyway. Does anyone have a copy of BP 2010? I’m curious to see how Leyland stacked up against everyone else in 2009.

Kevin in Dallas March 28, 2011 at 9:46 am

I email with billfer from time to time, I’m pushing him to write a preview for us so stay tuned. If not this week, I will keep on him. I still have no idea how he was able to find so much time to devote to the site.

As far as the personal attacks go, personally, I don’t think anything on here has crossed the line (as of late). If it ever does, feel free to email me offline kmvela @ yahoo, and I’d be happy to discuss editing or pulling comments.

Mr. X, I don’t have a problem with negative thoughts provided they are objective and qualified (or as qualified as reasonably possible). I feel that it is useful to have the conflicting viewpoints so that we can all be challenged. I’ll gladly admit that I read and consider everyone’s viewpoints.

Finally, I agree with Coleman’s assessment of the site. I have always appreciated the interaction between posters, the high level of analysis within the comments, and the ability to keep a conversation fresh during the course of a game or over a few days. I aim to keep that going into the foreseeable future. 3.5 more days gents.

stephen March 29, 2011 at 8:34 pm

Leyland is 354-352 since 8/06. .500 with this high payroll is unacceptable.

Dre in Chi March 29, 2011 at 9:16 pm

Stephen, remind us all again what part Leyland had in assembling the Tigers he’s managed. Oh, that’s right, he doesn’t sign players, the GM does. “Leyland picks the team though”, fair enough. What gems did he leave rotting away in the minors that would have altered the courses of all these seasons?

Can we please acknowledge the main factor in determining a club’s w/l: talent on the field. Who’s responsible for that: Dombrowski. He’s the one that put this team together; a team whose payroll has not always reflected the talent on the field. Its not fair, with all the long-term injuries and bought out contracts, to say that because of payroll = x, Leyland should have won y. Payroll ideally gets you better talent, and its the talent that wins games, not the manager.

That’s not to say that the organization doesn’t need a change, but looking primarily at the manager to explain the Tigers record isn’t very useful, as there’s little (at least to my knowledge) to suggest they can add or subtract significant amounts of wins.

stephen March 30, 2011 at 3:45 pm

You’re right. Dombrowski should be fired as well. A five-year grace period for the magic of 4/06-8/06 and 10/06 is ample. That’s a year for every good 06 month. Sort of the reversal of how long it takes to recover from a bad break-up.

The Only Tiger Fan in Mississippi March 30, 2011 at 5:22 pm

From the what it’s worth dept, Dan Dickerson was on XM/Sirus Radio’s “First Pitch” this morning and said that he noticed Leyland being very upbeat this Spring about the Tiger’s chances. He said he hadn’t seen such excitement since 2006 [which to me was a team he largely inherited from Alan (who we all know should be in the HOF) Trammell]. They also discussed a little on Leyland’s contract coming up for renewal in 2011 in which Dickerson said that he didn’t think that was impacting the way Leyland is managing the team as he thought he would be extended. Given only three World Series appearances since become a devoted Tiger fan in 1966, I guess I could live with the Tigers being in the WS every five years. Bring it on Boys!!!

TSE March 30, 2011 at 5:47 pm

Well, only the Red Sox and the Yankees in the AL really have any business competing with us, as they are the only 2 teams that consistently spend more money than we do, plus they don’t do a good job of how they spend money so we should be able to outperform them! I think appearing in the WS once every 3 years or better should be the goal, and I see no reason why we can’t easily hit that goal.

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