July 4th, 2007

Monroe sits

Thames is starting in left field tonight, and while it’s not a full-time shift, it sounds like Leyland will play it by ear leading into the All-Star break. What he does Thursday with C.C. Sabathia on the mound should be telling. Normally the lefty would be a day to rest Sean Casey, but Casey is 4-for-13 with two doubles lifetime off Sabathia, while Monroe is a still-strong 12-for-44 with two home runs.

Oh, and the quote from Eric Wedge suggesting someone from the Tigers might’ve tipped off the umpires on how long Rafael Betancourt takes between pitches? Today Wedge suggested it might’ve been someone with the league rather than the Tigers, and he told Leyland he didn’t accuse them.

Leyland, for his part, could care less:

"I don’t care about any of that silly stuff. This is Major League Baseball, that’s what it is. And I’m supposed to be a Major League manager. I ain’t got time to worry about Betancourt and how long he [takes]. The umpires and the people who want to go home, they might be annoyed, but it doesn’t annoy me one bit. I play the game like I go to a good movie. If it’s a good movie, you stay. If it’s a [bad] movie, you leave. I don’t care how long it takes."

One more time on Sunday night

The Tigers will be on ESPN Sunday Night baseball July 29 with an 8 p.m. ET game against the Angels, moved back from what was scheduled to be a 3:30 p.m. ET start. It’ll be their fifth time on Sunday night, the most allowed for a team in a season under ESPN’s contract.