Friday, June 19, 2009

Timing Perfect For Leyland Contract Extension

I don't disagree with the Tigers extending manager Jim Leyland's contract, particularly at this critical time. I think two years, through the 2011 season, is the perfect length, too.
The Tigers are in the middle of a pennant race. Leyland is trying to sort out some major issues, not the least of which is the Magglio Ordonez situation.
It's one of those issues players tend to take sides. Leyland has been thrust into a position where he can't have players ignoring him because they don't believe he will be there next season, nor stop playing as hard for him, because they want him out. Knowing he will be there gives Leyland the necessary hammer.
Also, I believe Leyland is a strength for the Tigers, not a weakness. I know last season didn't go well, but a lot of that had to do with an unbalanced roster. Lets face it, often last season Leyland was, in a baseball sense, picking between two poisons.
Leyland has taken three different organizations, and three clubs with much different styles, to the postseason. He has won the World Series. And I don't see all these great candidates out there to replace him.
I know this: There was a major dropoff in the managing skills of the Tigers' managers after Sparky Anderson departed. Buddy Bell and Alan Trammell had never managed before - and it showed in everything from not getting pitchers warmed up in the bullpen on time to ridiculously managing by the book. Luis Pujols was a disaster. His clubhouse was collapsing, and he never seemed to leave his office, prefering instead to perpetually watch The Weather Channel. I'm not exaggerating, either. Phil Garner was a disappointment. He and his staff did some things to seriously hinder the career of prospects such as Brandon Inge and Nate Cornejo. Leyland is, by far, the best manager the Tigers have had since Sparky. He knows how to run a clubhouse and manage a game. He does it by feel and relying on his considerable experience. He will stand up to players if needed.
If he has a team good enough to win it, Leyland will. That's all you can ask, isn't it?



Anonymous Steve Ventimiglio said...

Pat I think Leland is a good Coach, However his health is my concern. That man has go to quit smoking. If he doesn't he will never see the end of the 2011 season.


11:12 AM 
Blogger Fred Brill said...

You're dead-on right Book!

The Tigers had a lot of talent last year and through to now, but it seemed to be scrambled like a rubiks cube - but Leyland only has a couple more turns of the cube to get the colors lined up.

He needs a little help from Dombrowski this year. He didn't get any last year. Lets see what the trade deadline brings.

Sorry Mags.

9:17 AM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Steve Ventimiglio,
I think most people would say smoking is not a good thing, that's for sure.

5:41 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Fred Brill,
The Tigers remain a flawed team, but at least Leyland has a chance with the way they are set up. Seems like he is getting the most from the club.

5:42 PM 

Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home