Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Leyland Outburst Not Helping His Cause

Tiger manager Jim Leyland’s blow up following their loss to Oakland Tuesday night was odd.
He was angry at the bullpen, more specifically at Fernando Rodney. He displayed this anger into all the microphones, so his words are being spread around town in sound bytes.
Where was this early in the season when the Tigers were lethargic and a fire needed to be lit under the players?
If you live by Fernando Rodney, you’re going to die by Fernando Rodney. Don’t blame him. Blame yourself for putting him out there - or your general manager, Dave Dombrowski, for not piecing together a better bullpen.
Pitching was the least of the Tigers problems in that game, anyway. They scored just two runs against a struggling team and let Oakland’s bullpen wiggle out of jams. Also, his team had won its previous three games.
Leyland needs to calm down. Pitching reporters out of his office and blowing up publicly at his players at this late date doesn’t help. It only hurts, making it seem like there isn’t a calm hand at the wheel.
Not exactly the image Leyland should be projecting if he wants a contract extension.

Random Thoughts

- OK, this is going to sound crazy, but I do believe the Lions will win Sunday. Last season, all their worst games were on the road. They were 5-3 at home last season, and two of the losses were close ones to excellent teams - the New York Giants and Dallas. Green Bay was the only team to blow the Lions out at home in 2007, and it was in large degree because of Brett Favre.

- Even without Tom Brady, I see the Patriots winning the AFC East easily. That division just isn’t that good.

- Fears about the Lions not selling out their first two home games are unfounded. They will sell those games out. Packer fans will buy up tickets for Sunday’s game, and the second home game is against the Bears. Fans will drive in from Chicago in droves for that game because the Bears looked really good in their opener at Indy. Of course, that will lead to an bizarre atmosphere at Ford Field, with the road team being cheered as loudly as the home team.


Anonymous Marty said...


I am surprized that you feel the Lions will win the game this weekend. Green Bay won 13 games last year during the regular season, and has almost everyone back. To say that Farve carried the team on his back is assinine, they are just a good team. this division looks like perhaps the strongest division in the NFL, and has for a while. All 3 teams not named the Lions have a very good defense, and only the Bears don't have a respectable offense to go with it. The Vikings have a great running game, although they will probably only be really good if T. Jackson gets hurt and the backup comes in o play. The Lions were the only team that I figured were going to have a losing season this year, but I still thought they were better than last year. I am not so sure now, after that first game where they were worse in every area that I thought they had improved on. They will still have a good passing game, and the offense will be ok, but if they don't stop the other team from doing whatever the heck they want, they will have difficulty winning any game.

Sorry for the rant, I just can't understand why everyone thought that the Packers were such a winnable game. They are really good. I would give the Lions a much better chance against the Vikings in a few weeks, and that is the game most thought they would lose.


3:09 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I was down at Comerica yesterday and the place was a cemetary. The fans are now as disinterested as the players.

9:55 AM 
Anonymous goldrush132000 said...

If the tigers had not performed so well last season and the following mad rush for game tickets that ensued this March, their pockets would surely not of been so well lined.

4:27 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Leyland has to be fit to be tied with the bullpen left to his use. Injuries aside which forced many pitchers out of their comfort zones in the chain of middle relief to set up to closer, Leyland has had some questionable decision making with pitchers brought, in just the same. It will be interesting to see if the Tigers dispose of chuck hernandez and jeff jones and what Leyland's reaction is. If he wants to go, this could be his escape hatch, saying he will go also, and put it on being loyal to the coach whose had the watch on Tigers pitchers regression since he came there in 2006. Tigers pitchers have been taught to nibble and harness the fastball and this has philosophy has blown up in hernandez and the pitchers faces. Too many pitchers can't throw strikes,too many walks, and then other times, with an 0 and 2 count throw a meatball down the middle. Where is the second coming of Johnny Sain pitching coach extrodanaire. Any suggestions for an in house pitching coach, from the Tigers minor leagues Coleman or Matlack, or maybe Mazzone??

5:38 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

You make valid points. I feel like everything went right for Rodgers last week. We'll see if he can handle adversity on the road, say if the Packers fall behind. The Lions played much better at home than on the road last year.

7:32 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

It's understandable under the circumstances. Nobody has been let down more by the Tigers season than their fans, who bought into it totally.

7:33 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

All the more reason they shouldn't cut payroll for next season.

7:40 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

What I don't know is what kind of loyalty Leyland feels toward Chuck Hernandez. They were forced together in 2006. They don't have a long-term relationship he has with most of his other coaches. It'll be interesting.

7:42 PM 
Blogger Barry said...

Hey Pat, maybe JL may be getting angry because he figure out F Rodney might be his closer next year. The only bad point I say about JL is the team had no energy, hopefully he trying the guys fire up next year. Tigers are at a crossroads, they going to blow things up or go after another top free agent. This year relief pitching is slim, K-Rod($75 million) or Fuentes at ($36 million). DD has to take his medicine and find a reliever and if that fails then get Furcal at ss. You can develop Rodney but not if want to win a pennant

8:44 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

I suppose you can look at it that way. Then again, you can also look at it like Leyland is kind of losing his grip on his emotions.

11:11 AM 
Anonymous Gary D. said...


My wife and I moved from Sylvan Lake to Fernley, NV 3 years ago to escape Michigan's "wonderful' weather and we are here on a two week visit with my family and for my 63rd birthday my kids gave me a ticket to the Lions/GB game. We went to Ford Field yesterday and I had a great time booing the Lions. This may be the worst Lions team I have ever seen! I watched you on channel 2 sports talk last might and I agree 100% that Millen has to go...he should have been fired a long time ago...or never hired but Ford has his head up his butt so....

The Lions are the laughing stock of the league every year and especially out west in Raider/49er country and I'm sure getting sick of hearing from my friends what a crappy bunch the Lions are from top to bottom.

Oh and this Kitna....MY GOD! I could play better than him.

So please save me from the beating I know I'm going to take when I get back home! <):-)


A disgusted Lions fan.

Gary D.

9:28 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wish that the fans had some kind of an influence on the decisions our home teams make. I don't understand why we can see what needs to be addressed and the Tigers staff can't.
Who's bright idea was it anyway to make Fernando Rodney a closer? He's not closer material. He doesn't have the mental toughness to be a closer and I have my doubts about him being any kind of pitcher.We need someone that will go in and take care of business. Not this Dr.Jekyll and Mr.Hyde in Rodney that we have right now. I'm hoping he's just a body filling a spot for now and they will seriously go out and try to find a REAL closer. If the pitching situation is not addressed during the off season, we can look forward to pretty much the same thing we saw this season and that my friend is UNACCEPTABLE!!!

12:47 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Rodney always teases the Tigers. He throw in the high 90s and have a few good outings. Then, just when they start to trust him in a key role, he will do poorly. He is the team's closer at this point because there are no other options, really. Farnsworth has been worse.

10:20 AM 

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