May 13th, 2009

Leyland ejected from game against Twins

MINNEAPOLIS — Tigers manager Jim Leyland was ejected from Wednesday’s game against the Twins after an unusual seventh-inning scene in which home-plate umpire Paul Schrieber put his arm around Magglio Ordonez to try to end an argument.

Miguel Cabrera’s three-run homer had just given the Tigers an 8-7 lead before reliever Matt Guerrier struck out Ordonez, who disputed the called third strike. Schrieber put his left hand on Ordonez’s back to try to guide him away from the plate and back to the Tigers dugout, but Ordonez — who did not initiate contact with Schrieber — immediately took offense, and the argument heated up.

After the two exchanged words, Leyland burst out from the dugout and got between the two. Instead of diffusing the situation, however, Leyland picked up the protest and had some pointed words to Schrieber, who eventually ejected him. It marked Leyland’s first ejection this season.

Leyland continued to vent after the ejection, walking up and down the dugout and yelling back to Schrieber before finally climbing the steps to the visiting clubhouse at the Metrodome.

Hitting coach Lloyd McClendon took over as manager for the game.

Ordonez was not available for comment after the game. Leyland, meanwhile, bristled when asked if he had any comment on it.

“Did you see what happened? OK, then you write what you saw,” Leyland said angrily. “I don’t have to say a word. You write what you saw. And I hope you all got the guts to write what you saw.

“I don’t need to say anything. Write what you saw. I don’t need to say a word. If you watched the … game, then write what you saw.”

Laird to sit two games

After Tuesday’s 0-for-3 performance extended Gerald Laird’s hitless streak to 21 at-bats, manager Jim Leyland decided to give him some time off. He’ll sit both tonight’s game and Thursday’s matinee before getting back at it this weekend against Oakland.

“I’m getting him away from it for two days,” Leyland said, “because right now he’s beating his head against a wall.”

He isn’t literally doing that, but Laird did get his head shaved. He’d been thinking about doing that anyway, though.

“Obviously, what I had going was not working,” Laird said.

Can the same be said of his approach at the plate? Laird said this afternoon that he’s been getting pitches to hit over the past week or so and missing them. It’s to the point now, he admitted, that he isn’t having good at-bats, let alone results.

“I’ve had some long nights sitting in my room, trying to figure out my swing,” Laird said.

That explains Dane Sardinha’s presence in the lineup. You’ll also notice a lot of left-handed hitters against left-handed starter Glen Perkins. That’s going off the numbers and the stuff. Left-handed hitters are batting .364 (8-for-22) against Perkins this season and .352 last season, compared with .226 this year for right-handed bats.

“The cutter [he throws] to righties is devastating,” Leyland said, “so I’m throwing the lefties. If the numbers play out, lefties should have a better shot.”

TIGERS

  1. Granderson, CF
  2. Polanco, 2B
  3. Thomas, LF
  4. Cabrera, 1B
  5. Ordonez, RF
  6. Larish, DH
  7. Inge, 3B
  8. Everett, SS
  9. Sardinha, C

P: Dontrelle Willis

TWINS

  1. Denard Span, LF
  2. Matt Tolbert, 2B
  3. Joe Mauer, DH
  4. Justin Morneau, 1B
  5. Michael Cuddyer, RF
  6. Joe Crede, 3B
  7. Brendan Harris, SS
  8. Mike Redmond, C
  9. Carlos Gomez, CF

P: Glen Perkins

Bonderman to make rehab start for West Michigan

Tigers right-hander Jeremy Bonderman will begin a Minor League rehab assignment on Saturday with a start for Class A West Michigan.

Bonderman threw a side session Wednesday morning at the Tigers’ spring training facility in Lakeland, Fla., and reported no soreness in his right shoulder. With that, he was cleared to go out on rehab.

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