Tagged: Jim Leyland

Pessimistic About Your White Sox? Listen to None Other Than Tigers Manager Jim Leyland

By Fred Mitchell of The Chicago Tribune:

Tigers manager Jim Leyland can get pretty riled up, even after his team has won a game.

Following Sunday’s 5-2 victory over the White Sox that prevented a series sweep, Leyland adamantly dismissed the many preseason predictions that the Tigers would run away with the American League Central, and that the White Sox would struggle mightily.

“People who made those picks, they know nothing about baseball,” Leyland said.“Trust me. If they think the Chicago White Sox are not going to be in the thick of this, they’re crazy. They don’t know anything about baseball, people who make picks like that … they know nothing about baseball. Nothing!”

Sports Illustrated predicted the White Sox would lose 95 games this season.

“Since 2006 when I got here, this has been one of the best teams in the league every year. And they will be right there,” Leyland said. “They picked us fourth last year and we won 95 games. So don’t pay attention to those people. They pick and they talk, but they don’t know what they’re talking about.”

The White Sox are off to an early 5-3 record, a half-game behind the Tigers (6-3).

“Look at their pitching staff. Look at the arms they throw out there,” Leyland said of the Sox. “Look at some of the arms they bring out of the bullpen. You know, Paul Konerko is one of the best hitters in baseball. You know Adam Dunn is going to do a lot better than he did last year. He got a couple of (doubles) today. I mean, this is a good team. (Alexei) Ramirez is one of the best shortstops in the league. This is a real good team. (A.J.) Pierzynski is one of the best catchers, gets a lot of big hits. I don’t know why anybody would not pick these guys as a solid, solid contender.”

The Tigers are the defending AL Central champs and have added free-agent slugger Prince Fielder to their lineup.

“I mean, we have a good team. Don’t get me wrong. So do they. They’re proving that. The people who make those picks…I don’t pay any attention to that,” Leyland said.


The Perfect Game That Wasn’t: I Like It Better This Way


The baseball world doesn’t need another opinion about Armando Galarraga‘s near perfect game so forgive me for weighing in.
It’s true that the Tiger hurler won’t be officially listed as the 21st major league pitcher to achieve the monumental feat, but what came out of the controversial incident will ironically have far more impact for the pitcher, umpire Jim Joyce and all of baseball.
Point 1: While a perfect game stands among the most cherished accomplished in sports, many who have done it have their names on the exclusive list, but are mostly forgotten. Mike Witt, Len Barker and Tom Browning come to mind. Galarraga, on the other hand, will always be remembered in baseball lore as the guy who got cheated from his moment of glory. In reality, his name will have a more prominent place in the game than most of the others who actually pitched a perfecto.
Point 2:  In the current world of sports, we’re plagued with taunting, overall bad sportsmanship and a lack of accountability. The events of the last two days in Detroit showed us that hope is not lost. What overshadowed Joyce’s mistake was how everyone handled it from Joyce himself to the betrayed pitcher to Tiger manager Jim Leyland to the fans of Detroit. It was a case study of exactly how we’d like the participants to react in a difficult situation. I know I’m old school, but we needed this to help get us back in the right direction regarding athletic behavior.
So my opinion is that Galarraga will be more prominent in history, Joyce will be lauded as an exceptional man who faced the music–which after all is much more significant than being a perfect umpire–and fans everywhere will benefit from the example of their counterparts at Comerica Park.
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