March 7th, 2007
It seems like a stupid thing to bring up, but for some players who grew up in the north, they can be brutal about midway through spring training. As I mentioned in my notes, Granderson has them worse than most, and he looked it after the game today. A lot of other players get them, too, making it a clubhouse inconvenience once players start getting into the swing of spring games. It’s also nice to mention as a consolation for people stuck in the cold up north who are tired of hearing about the Florida weather.
Other items of note:
- Granderson’s two-strike approach at the plate has been discussed many times already, but he had another solid at-bat with it today. He had a full count against John Smoltz with a runner on second and no outs in the third when he lofted a ball to right, moving the runner to third. The run didn’t come in because Smoltz somehow held onto a Carlos Guillen line drive right at his chest.
- As a side note on the Ilitch story, Leyland pointed out how Ilitch lets those whom he hires do their job, something Ilitch said he learned over the years. "He lets me manage, and I let him own," Leyland said.
- With some of the minor league coaches working with the big club, Leyland has had a chance to talk with some of them. He’s getting to know new Erie manager Matt Walbeck a little. "They tell me he’s real good," Leyland said.
- Good news if you’re watching the Tigers in Sarasota or Port St. Lucie over the next couple days: Pudge will make the trip on both of them. Most of the rest will either be on one or the other. So why Pudge? He wanted to give family a chance to see him play.
Leyland said this morning he has invited Al Kaline to be the honorary manager for the American League All-Stars this July. Kaline said he has accepted. The position is annual honor that the respective managers have used to reward people who have been significant in their careers. Last year, for example, Phil Garner named his old manager Chuck Tanner.
On continuing to spend in the future:
"I guess the best way to word it is we’ll continue to keep the team up there. Whatever it takes to do. It’s so hard to get to a point where you feel like you have a solid organization as far as guaranteed winning and all that. Nothing’s guaranteed in those areas, but it feels good after you’ve been down so long to have a good organization, and I want to protect it."
On his involvement in re-signing players:
"To be honest with you, from here on out, I’m going to rely on Dave a lot and Al Avila and the manager. So I’ve got to get their feelings on all that."
He said re-signing Carlos Guillen will be a priority, but he also cautioned about salaries. "The salaries are really shooting up there now," he said, "and I think we’re probably going to have a run here. The contracts that have been going on here lately are pretty frightening."
It’s a return to relative normalcy today. Granderson is back in the leadoff spot. Guillen is batting second with Polanco out. Leyland is the only manager.
- Granderson, CF
- Guillen, SS
- Sheffield, DH
- Ordonez, RF
- Casey, 1B
- Monroe, LF
- Inge, 3B
- Perez, 2B
- Wilson, C
Ilitch is expected to talk to reporters today, so we’ll see what comes out of that