Diversionary tactics

That’s how Jim Leyland referred to Justin Verlander’s explanation for his outing Monday. Leyland read Verlander’s comments from after the game, including a remark about umpire Chuck Meriwether’s strike zone being tight early on, and wasn’t buying it.

To him, it’s part of the lesson Verlander is learning from having to deal with adversity for an extended stretch this season. And this was Leyland’s way of getting the message across.

“Every once in a while, you have to be able to say you were [terrible],” Leyland said Tuesday, “and you turn the page and move on. Because diversionary tactics aren’t any good.”

To be fair, Verlander did say he wasn’t locating his fastball, something Leyland has mentioned at times, and that there really wasn’t one turning point so much as the whole outing for him.

Leyland went on to say he felt Verlander was possibly hyped up to face the Yankees, a term Leyland has used for Verlander after games against the White Sox and Indians this year as well. His tempo speeds up too much for Leyland’s liking, and he ended up throwing too many fastballs.

“I think the biggest with Justin,” Leyland said, “is to get in a routine like clockwork in between starts.”

6 Comments

Well JV does have a big type personality and an ego but as a starter you need some of that in your composition. I don’t think JL has any credibility left with his players so any veiled criticism he tosses Verlander’s way is not going to be regarded much. Leyland lost his credibility in the spring when he lost control of the team to Gary Sheffield IMO.
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Was reading something about his take on the fans and whether they will be buying season tickets next year. Saying something about “believing” the team will be better. Who cares what Leyland believes. He doesn’t know enough to realize Inge can’t catch well but can play 3rd with the best in the business. Or to put Sheffield in LF with a bum shoulder that was so bad it kept him from swinging the bat properly. Or that Zumaya didin’t have it, or Grilli (it was the fans that precipitated Grilli’s departure). Or Ordonez in RF. Or announcing Thames was the regular LF only to take him out after he continued to pound the ball. I don’t even want to think of the mismangement of the pitching staff. Or having your top base stealer NOT steal bases or your best bunter NOT bunt. An not have the cajones to tell Polanco he has to hit the ball th RF again. It goes on and on and on.
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If he is left to remain in charge we will see more of the same twisted logic and discord in the clubhouse.
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If they were to get beat out by the Royals then maybe there would be enough of an outcry to prevent him from decimating this team. He is not a good “manager”. He become the company stooge and that is shame.
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As far as the callups go, I though it would be smart to bring up Clevlen, not humiliate him. The kid can run, hit and throw and catch. That’s 4 dimensions compared to Ordonez’ 1 dimension. Might be worth looking at.
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Wilkin Ramirez deserved a look too. A number of pitchers could have been called.
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Renteria is playing the best ball he has in a while but it is not cahmpionship caliber. His range is diminished and he is haveing trouble defensively. Raburn is a marginal player. Thames would provide more value to another team than ours. Inge provides value if he is left to his own devices at 3rd. Be nice if he could hit .260 with some RBIs.
Sheffield needs to be given to Tampa Bay. Maybe the dH spot mighwork for Carlos but it might be ideal for Ordonez if they foolishly don’t trade him for a premier starter.
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This year I hope they give Hessman more of a chance than they have given him before. And if they don’t do that but rather move Inge there then give Ryan a chance behind the plate.
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What happened to this team that was dominating LHP earliy in the season?
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I think Joyce may become a good player–Hope they dont try to frankenstein HIM on third like they did Larish!!
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We fans had a huge letdown this year. Keep yourselves mad about it and refuse to take it anymore–make your voices heard,
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My lineup for tomorrow:
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Granderson CF
Polanco 2b
Ordonez RF
CAb 1B
Thames LF
Renteria SS
Hessman 3B
Inge C
Ryan DH

I couldn’t agree more, and couldn’t say it any better!
Thanks Dan!

Verlander is indeed well equipped in the ego department, and it shows through even during those fun segments FSN does from time to time, such as “which pitcher would make the best outfielder.” He comes by it honestly, having been the best since probably about age 10. You do, however, want your guy to have that, but controlled.
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I saw the televised portion of the interview in question and Justin also made reference to things happening that were “just baseball.” I took that to mean the lack of defensive support he received. As I said after that game, a good pitcher might be able to survive a funky start, but the inning quickly turned nightmarish. Anyway, he at least didn’t point fingers and, as I said before, I’m not defending his performance. And yes, I know I should wear a t-shirt that says “defense” with an olde English D.
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Strangely enough, Verlander started on my last day in Lakeland this past March, against the Yankees, with eerily similar results. Five runs in the first, not an awesome power display, just a staccato of singles, much like they did Monday.
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Too bad we aren’t at the start of the season. The best message JV could receive is when Galarraga starts Opening Day, followed by Miner for the home opener.
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–Rich

Tiger BRASS needs to get some brass, and do what Sarah Palen has done……. MAKE THE HEADS ROLL, THAT SHOULD BE ROLLING !!!!!

Well, I happen to agree with Leyland on this one. Justin is acting like this is the first bad outing he has had all year. The fact is the majority of his outings are a lot like this one, hence his extremely poor ERA. ERA has some but little to do with the defense is. I was at the game on Monday and the fact of the matter is they were hitting him like they knew what was coming. And they may of only been singles but everything was hit fairly hard. Justin Verlander doesn’t and never has accepted the responisibility for his poor outings.
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He might have a point if his ERA was below 4.00 and a poor winning record. But the fact of the matter is his nearly 5.00 era is mostly on him. He isn’t fooling anyone. They are fouling off pitch after pitch after pitch. He needs to adjust after his first two years and I wonder if he knows how. That I share blame with the coaching staff. Or maybe he is another Willis. Boy wonder for a couple of years, then became a head case and is going to lose it. Frankly we probably won’t know until next year.
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And the other thing as Leyland said, he hasn’t had to deal with a lot of adversity, why is it so far stretched that Justin wouldn’t know how to handle it. But I can tell you this for sure, the only games I feel like we even have a chance of winning is if Miner or Galarraga are pitching otherwise we are screwed. Hell I rather have Lambert pitching than Verlander. At least until he figures it out. What I wish is that he would skip his next outing and bring in someone else to make the start. Even if that is splitting Garcia and Willis. Heck is sure couldn’t be any worse than watching JV pitch. Thats torture.

Gruden, thats nearly the perfect post. Which is simply to say, I TOTALLY agree!

The guy “appears” to have what looks like, mindless arrogance about him. Hitters have been teeing off on this guy all season long, regardless of whether he has won the game or not. They ALL know whats coming, and his disposition on the mound and dugout looks as if he truly believes they can’t hit him. His location, may be consistently, thee worst in baseball. Pitchers like this, drive me nuts.

Some guys can be cocky and get away with it. Verlander looks ignorantly overconfident…

They’ve got to give him “one more year”(at best), so long as he gets surrounded by some real pitching tutors of the game. I don’t know who that would be at this point… but someone has got to get up in his grill and take control over this dudes brain. Usually, you would expect that, in part, to be done by the catcher, which, as I’ve said for YEARS, before he came to the Tigers… that THAT wasn’t Pudges strong suit.

I’ll surly guarantee you one thing….. This crap wouldn’t be going on like this if Scoccia was manager!!!! NOT at all!!! Makes very little difference what kind of stuff a guys got…. if you can’t move the ball around…. if you can’t keep hitters off balance(at LEAST SOME of them!!!!), then your gonna get your **** lit in this league, just like a pinball machine!! DING DING DING DING DING DING DING……..

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