About Time Leyland Stated The Obvious
This just a couple weeks after he had an outburst, rather unprovoked by the media, about his bullpen getting heat. Reading between the lines: I think Leyland wasn’t too pleased with Jason Grilli’s performance Sunday.
I do wonder why they keep staying with the same cast of characters in the bullpen instead of trying something different? They have some good young arms in the minor leagues. Why not try one or two? What are they going to do with their rotation when Nate Robertson comes back? It is obvious Andrew Miller belongs in the rotation, and that Kenny Rogers is about to start pitching in the major leagues again. Who goes to the bullpen? And the Tigers may have to bite the bullet and make a trade sooner than ideal because Fernando Rodney as a setup man is a disaster about to happen. He threw 49 pitches in two innings in his last two outings. Hitting is a fickle beast. It tends to come and go on a whim. The Tigers are outslugging teams, but at some point their bullpen has to hold a one-run lead on a consistent basis from the seventh inning on. Right now, it seems like a five-run lead isn’t safe. Glad Leyland finally acknowledges the problem. Maybe now the Tigers will finally do something about it.
- If the Spurs win the NBA title for the fourth time in nine years, does that qualify as a dynasty? I think so. And I also believe, as understated as he may be at times, Tim Duncan is the greatest power forward of all-time. And I believe that is what he is - a power forward. Not a center. Certainly, I’d put him ahead of Karl Malone. With all due respect to the old timers and some truly great centers, but my all-time NBA team would be: Michael Jordan (shooting guard), Magic Johnson (point guard), Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (center), Duncan (power forward) and Larry Bird (small forward). I see only center as debatable (Wilt Chamberlain, Bill Russell). But there are cases that can be made for Oscar Robertson and Jerry West at guard, and Dr. J at small forward.
- Most preseason forecasters have Michigan in the Top Five nationally, some as high as No. 3. My best guess is when the polls come out is they be No.4 - behind USC, LSU and West Virginia. That seems reasonable given Michigan’s returning firepower offensively and departures defensively. I know the Wolverines are going to very good this season. What I am not so sure about is Ohio State. The Buckeyes lost a lot. This is going to be the true test to whether Jim Tressel is really that great of a coach. Great coaches don’t have down years very often. We’ll see what Tressel can do after losing much of his crew. The Buckeyes’ quarterbacks, Todd Boeckman and Robbie Schonehoft, are huge and strong-armed, but lack mobility. And so much of what the Buckeyes have been about revolved around Troy Smith’s mobility. That was especially true in the matchups against Michigan.
- It is more a sign Andrew Miller is ready that he allowed a three-run home run, pitched out of bases loaded jam and survived through difficult times against a tough lineup such as the Mets than it would have been if it had all gone perfectly right Sunday, like it did during his first major league start against the Cardinals. The poise he displayed under pressure means a lot.