Leyland: I [messed] it up

It’ll be in a piece this weekend for the opening day package, but Jim Leyland put losing the AL Central last year on his shoulders when I asked about whether his team handles pressure better now. He wasn’t asked about finishing second in the division, but he went there himself.

"Basically, I [messed] it up at the end. We should’ve won the division. But they’ve been through a lot of stuff now. They’ve been to the World Series, been through blowing the division. When I say that, I say me. But we’ve been through a lot, so those things are all good. I mean, you learn from those things. Had a great start, looked like we should’ve walked away with the division. We didn’t even win it. But we also, at the same time, could’ve caved in, and we went and beat the Yankees in the playoffs. Played our [tails] off, got to the World Series."

When I asked why he places it on himself, he said:

"Well, I just think I probably didn’t get the focus back on the importance of finishing the deal, because I thought it was good to let them — they accomplished something. I mean, some of these guys got their [tails] beat to the tune of a hundred and some games."


Well, that’s Leyland being his usual classy self, putting it on himself, although he does make good points. The Tigers got to experience both heaven and **** in a very few days time.

A lot is made, of course, on that final weekend series with KC, but I remember back to back poor outings earlier that week from both Rogers and Robertson, in the Toronto series. I’d have never expected that to happen at that point.

That was then…………………this is now.

I wouldn’t worry too much about Guillen, btw. He is a professional hitter.

Infante, I wonder about. Is he finally getting a little frustrated, about being a sub? Maybe………..here’s hoping JL finds him some at-bats early this season, we’re gonna need him.

I see us needing to score about 75 to 80 more runs this season. Since I think we can expect lower production from Thames(fewer at-bats), and we won’t have Shelton getting off to such a hot start, we’ll need Casey to drive in 85, and Sheffield to post over 100. If Monroe continues his steady climb upward(that would equal 100 rbi), then everyone else can duplicate ’06(Inge?…….still not sold)and the Tigers will be okay.

To me, those are the three key hitters in ’07. Casey, Sheffield, and Monroe. Ya know Ordonez, Guillen, IRod, Granderson, Polanco, and Inge shouldn’t have too much trouble duplicating their ’06 efforts. After all, they were good, but not career defining.

All the publications seem to have picked the Indians to be their “darlings” this year. I like the position the Tigers find themselves in…………American League champs……………..but still off the radar.

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