After the Detroit Tigers lost a second-straight matchup against the Cleveland Indians, manager Jim Leyland was quick to defend his team stating that there was no cause for alarm. "As for the talk we've had a big-series hangover," he said, "that's totally false." That may be a true statement, on the part of the heavily-scrutinized manager, but if a post-White Sox series letdown is not the case, surely then it must be the continued intoxicated stupor that is Leyland's managerial style.
During the September 4 contest, the second against Cleveland, Leyland managed to run out utility player Don Kelly at first base (batting sixth) and sat Delmon Young, who is swinging mightily in the last month including having 2 hits in the previous day's game, only to bring him in later as a pinch hitter. Between the two, however, he also used Avisail Garcia, Quintin Berry and Danny Worth.
In the thick of a long, drawn out division battle between Detroit and Chicago, Leyland continues to fall back on his "Triple A" lineups, citing his penchant for "resting and using players by the numbers." As many fans will agree, Jim has a serious misconception when it comes to lineup disbursement.
Detroit was one game out of first, climbed even, and now find themselves slipping backward. Why? Because, once again, Leyland fails to perform the simplest, most effective managerial method - run out your best lineup every game.
Is it not more effective to run your best eight players 6 out of 7 games? These men are professionals. Their job is to perform at a higher athletic level than mere mortals. Granted, players do need rest. However, you have t rest them WHEN they need it, not just throw it at them at your leisure.
Sure, this is the same argument we have all had, dating back to the beginning of Leyland's tenure with Detroit. The difference is that, with a talent pool such as that of the Tigers, and the small window of opportunity that the club may have to win a World Series championship for owner Mike Ilitch, letting these opportunities to advance over a less-talented team slip by can only cause more harm than good.
For a team that, on paper, should be dominating the division - and baseball in general - these types of decisions should not, and cannot be tolerated - by fans and ownership alike.
The author, D. Benjamin Satkowiak, is a successful entrepreneur and published, freelance author, who has tailored works on various sports, health and fitness topics. He currently serves as a Yahoo! Contributor Network "Featured Contributor" and writes on the Detroit Tigers, Detroit Lions, Great Lakes Loons and Notre Dame football.
- Sports & Recreation
- Jim Leyland
- Cleveland Indians