Leyland ejected, apologizes

What was shaping up to be a long afternoon actually became a short game for Tigers manager Jim Leyland.

First came Miguel Cabrera’s hamstring injury, which forced him out of
the game after two innings. Minutes later, Dontrelle Willis suffered a
third-inning breakdown, walking four batters and hitting another. But
the cap came after Leyland went to the mound to remove Willis from the
game, then was ejected by home-plate umpire Jeff Nelson on his way back
to the dugout.

Leyland got into Nelson’s face to get his ejection’s worth, but said later he was at fault.

“I was wrong,” Leyland said. “I want to apologize. I think what
happened [was] some of our players, including our catcher, thought a
couple pitches were strikes. And I was wrong. I think everybody wanted
it so bad for Dontrelle and you get three runs on the board and you
think there’s a couple close pitches. But when you’re that wild, you’re
not going to get close pitches.

“There were a couple close pitches, but the umpire was right. I was totally out of line, and I apologize for that.”

It marked the second ejection of the season for Leyland, who was tossed
from a game last month at Minnesota after umpire Paul Schrieber put his
hand on Magglio Ordonez’s back to direct him towards the dugout
following a called third strike. That, too, was a game Willis pitched,
but that played nothing into it.

Thursday was a situation where
the support for Willis clearly came into play. He held down Boston’s
offense on a walk and two strikeouts through the first two innings, but
seemingly came apart in the third after hitting Jacoby Ellsbury with an
0-2 pitch. He walked Julio Lugo on five pitches, struck out Chris
Kottaras on a called third strike, then walked Dustin Pedroia, J.D.
Drew and Kevin Youkilis consecutively to bring in two runs.

Somewhere in those pitches was one that Willis thought was a strike,
because Willis said after the game that he let a call get to him.
Apparently Leyland did, too.

“It was silly for me to get thrown out,” Leyland said. “It appeared
that I was frustrated, and maybe I was, maybe a little frustrated for
Dontrelle, I don’t know. You want it so bad for a guy, and everybody
else wants it so bad for him. I overreacted. I’ll pay whatever the
penalty is, obviously.

“You get three runs, you’re pumped up. Looks like you have a chance to
have a good day. And when you get in a situation like that, it’s a
helpless feeling, trust me. Control has not been a problem for
Dontrelle, but today for the first time, after you could see what was
starting to go on for a little bit, you were hoping that he threw a
strike. And that’s a bad feeling. But it’s not an excuse to get run or
anything. I wish I wouldn’t have. I’m kind of ashamed of myself,
really, because it’s not very professional.”

31 Comments

I spent way too long working on this not to post it.
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These are the recent track records of your major league tigers hitters.
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Sardinha – 2 for 24 on season – .083
Laird – 14 for 86 last 30 games – .163
Anderson – 8 for 45 last 18 games – .177
Thomas – 10 for 55 last 16 games – .182
Santiago – 5 for 27 last 8 games – .185
Cabrera – 5 for 27 last 7 games – .185
Polanco – 7 for 37 last 9 games – .189
Larish – 7 for 35 last 16 games – .200
Everett – 5 for 24 last 9 games – .208
Inge – 14 for 61 last 17 games – .230
Ordonez – 25 for 72 last 19 games – .347
Granderson – 15 for 35 last 9 games – .429
Raburn – 11 for 25 last 11 games – .440
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So we basically have 3 players hitting above .230!!! 3!!

To be statistically correct, you’d have to compare them over the same number of games. Taking an average over 30 games (Laird) and comparing it to an average over 8 games (Santiago) isn’t a proper sample. It isn’t too difficult to pick and choose to make the numbers show what you want them to. What is Santiago’s average over his last 30 games? After the hot streak he had a little while back, I bet it’s much higher than .185.

i’m not trying to be statistically correct. i’m saying all but 3 of our hitters are in major slumps and some go back way longer than others.. the smallest sample was 24 at bats.
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if i wanted to be statistically correct, i’d just post their 09 averages.

chad –
No offense, but your stats mean ABSOLUTELY NOTHING other than you picked out what would make each player look bad.

For instance, go back 23 games and Everett is batting 286.
Take Inge back 23 games and he’s batting 256. Better yet, just count Inge’s last 5 games and he’s batting 476!! – what slump?

Not saying that a lot of our players aren’t having a slump. just saying that by selectively choosing the varying parameters you used, the results mean nothing.

You could pick one player for 2 games and he might be batting 000, but include the prior 3 games and he’s batting .320 – Does 2 games,5 games, or 20 games represent a “slump” ? Using your method, I could prove that EVERY player on EVERY team has had a batting slump sometime in the past 2 weeks.

We are still in first place by two games. Everyone seems to overlook that.

Moreover and more importantly, the Tigers lead by four games in the loss column. That’s where you make your money.

oh okay! you’re right.. the tigers are hitting the cover off the ball!! whoooo look at those averages. We might score 1000 runs this year.. the bats have nothing to do with why were are 4-8 over the last 12 games..
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it sure makes sense that to show how everett is doing LATELY.. i’d tack on 14 games where he was hitting onto the last 9 when he hasn’t been.. BRILLIANT! I DON’T CARE HOW HE WAS HITTING 23 games ago – 9 games ago..
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I’d say you’d have a valid point if maybe i said raburn for the last 40 games is hitting .230 and ignored that over the last 10 he’s hitting .400.
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I went back for each player and emphasized how they have been doing lately.. If they were sucking it up.. i went back as far as until they werent sucking it up.. If they were hitting good ala raburn, magglio, granderson.. i went as far back until they stunk.. The fact is, the numbers are valid but for some reason you want to ignore it.
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When you talk about a players slumping.. you don’t include before the slump.. When they say laird is 1 for his last 20.. they don’t say.. he’s 10 for his last 30! he went 9 for 10 before a 1 for 20 stretch.. so he’s basically hitting like a .300 hitter right now!

Let’s be statistacally correct. The tigers are 2.5 games ahead. 1 year ago, ………where were they at?

since you guys seems to think that a slump has to be defined for all players as a certain number of at bats for all players no matter how long they’ve been slumping.. i took as close as i could to the last 25 at bats.. I did it before todays game for the original stats i posted so i did it both including today and before today. So inge will be the benefactor of a 3 for 4 day today.. which helped him quite a bit.

Inge – Before 5-25 .200 After 8-25 .320
Thomas – Before 6-26 .230 After 5-25 .200
Santiago – Before 5-27 .185 After 4-24 .167
Ordonez – Before 9-27 .333 After 9-26 .346
Cabrera – Before 5-27 .185 After 5-25 .200
Larish – Before 5-26 .192 After 4-24 .167
Granderson – Before 12-26 .462 After 10-25 .400
Raburn – Before 11-25 .440 After 10-23 .435
Everett – Before 4-25 .160 After 3-26 .115
Polanco – Before 4-25 .160 After 4-26 .154
Sardinha – Before 2-24 .083 After 3-26 .115
Laird – Before 6-27 .222 After 3-24 .125

oops posted my demon squirrel comments in an old blog. i’ll repost cuz i think it was funny. much funnier than the BA stats from above:
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at first, tuesday, i thought the squirrel was a bright spot in a terrible game.
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now, here it is thursday, and i think the squirrel is the angel of death. twice appeared at commerica, twice, ruined the tigers. colorado and boston.
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i hope to hell they have caught this furry demon and have performed multiple exorcisms in all the areas of the field in which the demon squirrel walked, nested, crapped, peed, or got drunk off the consessions after the games late at night.
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tigers need to take a page outta ‘Dodgeball: true underdog story’ by having rick knapp throwing the demon squirrel at the tigers in batting practice screaming ‘if you can hit a demon squirrel, you can hit a baseball!’
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lol…… just a little comedy in an otherwise pitiful week or two of tigers baseball.
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down with squirrels!
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mike

PS- the demon squirrel is also polluting the wings games. this little MF*r needs to be dealt with before the lions go 0-16 again. LOL!!!

Chad,

You are exactly right. The example of a guy being in a 1-20 slump but not having the announcers mention that he was on a 9-10 tear immediately preceding that demonstrates your point well.

If Luke Scott hits no home runs in his next five games, are people going to say, “There goes Luke Scott, he’s on a tear! He has 6 homeruns in his past 15 games!” – I doubt it.

Tigers need to get the big lineup guys producing runs on a consistent basis. This has been an ongoing problem all season.

Chad your point is well taken. I think as well they for the most part have been sucking it up at the plate. As my dad used to say when he was “they couldn’t hit the south side of a barn with a beach ball.” Where at one time in the season they were tops the majors with runners in scoring position I would wonder where they would be know. It can’t be good. I think that they are really missing a healthy Carlos, he was a consistent big league hitter. Speaking of big league hitters Polanco (my Tiger) has been having a miserable year at the plate. Curtis is just starting to pick it up and Magglio. But Magglio still isn’t hitting for any power. Pitching staffs are not afraid of this lineup, plain and simple. I am as frustrated as you and disappointed.

Back, back,…….Back you demon squirrel! Back to the dark evil forest from whenst you came!….. I gave it a shot Mike.

Back, Back,……..BACK you demon squirrel! Back to the dark evil forest from whenst you came! There, I gave it a shot Mike.

Twice actually………..

I was at the game Thursday afternoon. It sure started out good, but then everything fell apart. I didn’t know til I got home that Leyland was even ejected. The biggest excitement was Larish hitting the foul HR which all of us fans out in Right field made a big deal of and they went back and checked the film only to call it foul. We knew, but it got the crowd goin a little it and it was fun.

Red Sox looked good. Good pitching and professional hitting. Tigers didn’t look so good.

I guess the problem here that can’t be ignored is the unraveling of Willis. When does it rear its ugly head again? Can the team afford to risk games on a project? The Willis stroy is an interesting one but when it becomes a sideshwo, you have to know when to draw the curtain. One more start to see?
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The LHP on this team right now are all unreliable with inflated ERAs. This is more a problem in the bullpen than in the rotation since the flexibility in the rotation is one strength the Tigers do have–especially if Bonderman can return effectively.
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The Taiwanese kid is pitching well in Toledo on a staff that has been throwing either poorly or inconsistently. Fu-Ne Ti might be able to bring something to the bull-pens table. Lucas French threw another good game yesterday too.
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I wouldn’t give up on Seay but we need another portsider out there that can get outs. Nate can’t and Willis would never make it as a reliever.
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Marcus can play 1st. I don’t suspect MCab would need to be out too long and could benefit from some days as DH too if needs be. Raburn could play there too if he had to.
This hamstring should not have hamstringed management’s decision making on Larish. If he needs to go down for some sharpening (and smartening) up–just do it.
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Long term solution fort a power RHB is in Erie. but that is hopefully one that is not going to need to be considered.

Still raining here. This cold rain prevented me from making the trip into DC yesterday to see Randy Johnson go for his 300th win. I think no one will ever do this again, and I did want to witness it. As it was, he came onto the field after the game and was surrounded by his family while receiving a real nice ovation from the sparse and wet Washington crowd. Nice moment. I’m sure the people in Arizona were hoping it would be his next start in their ballpark.
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If that drive by Larish yesteday had stayed fair, we’d probably be having entirely different discussions.
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On Willis, I think he gets one more start by default, because of the scheduling. I’d use Miner, but I’m in a minority. At some point, however, the mistake of Dontrelle’s contract will have to be recognized. Until then, I think we’re just wasting games.
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No official word yet, but I expect Cabrera to be back soon, if not tonight. He did that hamstring thing in spring training during a Venezuela game I attended. Since none of our local guys were covering that game, I went so far as to check it out and received word that he was fine. Okay Miggy, way to fake me out. :-)
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Ni is an interesting possibility since he’s pitching well now. I really don’t know how tough he is on lefties. Anyone know?
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–Rich

Rich:

You are right about Johnson. It is significant and we may not see another one for a long, long time. Holliday has an outside shot at it (10 more years at 16 wins/year) and maybe Sabithia (12 more years at 15 wins/year). Nobody else though. In this day and age, agents/teams are not willing to let pitchers pitch into the 7th and 8th innings so they lose some opportunity to get wins there. The exception is the Texas Ranger organization where Nolan Ryna is insisting that pitchers in their system learn to go 8 innings or so. A throw back but you can be sure that agents will be advising clients to steer clear of there. I can imagine the charts already (you’ll be picthing 15% more with that group which will reduce your career by X number of years costing you $Y).

The other pitching record that will NEVER fall is McClain’s 31 wins. Carlton got close but the way the game is played now I doubt pitchers will get 31 opportunities to pitch in a season let alone win them. That record will be there FOREVER.

As for the boys, its a long season but I am worried about the lack of production. One thing I like about baseball is that statistics allow us a lot of discussion (as the prior posts showed). We saw Binge, a career .220 hitter jump up to .300 level but is now coming back down to career levels. We are seeing Polanco, a career .300 hitter sitting well below that and I’m hopeful that he’ll start creeping back. Hitters, pitchers, players rarely change overnight. Usually a slow steady progression up or down (with the exception of Sheff and Renteria who seemingly fell off the shelf last year). That’s why I have hopes for Mags. But, at the same time I’m starting to wonder if Mags is this years Sheff. Are we going to be talking about how Mags has just got to turn the corner when July hits? You look at his spray chart and everything is to the right or right centerfield. No power. Weak swings.

I don’t think Denny McClain’s 31 wins are a record, just that he is the last guy to win 30. Bob Welch also came as close as Carlton did, winning 27 games for the A’s in 1990.
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Whenever anyone says a record will be there FOREVER, I think they are discounting the fact that baseball goes through changes that are unforeseeable. At one point, Home Run Baker was home run champ with 11, 10, 12 and 9. Who would have thought that, within a decade, someone (Babe Ruth) would top that in ONE SEASON?
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Maybe Mags needs to visit the eye doctor that fixed up Brian McCann!!

While waiting for this never-ending rain to stop (if it was truly never-ending, it wouldn’t stop), I want to mention a guy who’s not only flying under the radar, he’s flying under the ocean.
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Edwin Jackson.
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After his outstanding performance on Sunday in Baltimore, I saw the results of that silly “player of the game” thing that FSN does. E-Jax wasn’t even on the list. No wonder Rod laughs everytime they post those results. Anyway, while everyone on the team has done their part at one time or another so far, Jackson has been pouring it on from Day One. He’s a MAJOR reason we’re in first place right now. Yet when you look at that tag cloud to the right on this page, there’s his name in tiny little letters.
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Where’s the love?
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–Rich

Edwin Jackson is my favorite player on the team! He’s 5-3, but could easily have eight wins. I honestly believe that the best deal Dombrowski’s ever made was Jackson for Joyce. That deal alone made this a playoff-caliber team.
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How’s that for love?

Drummerderr:

You are correct sir. Mr. McClain’s mark, although impressive, pales in comparison to Charles “Old Hoss” Radbourn who won 59 games for the Providence Grays in 1884. He needed to pitch 678 innings to achieve that mark, but it is still a mark that I can now safely say will NEVER be broken.

I think JL was managing the Providence Grays at the time so he may be able to provide the current staff with some stories about Old Hoss (“It was two outs in the ninth and we were playing the Suffolk Southerners when Johnny “Crackerjack” Clarkson came to bat against Old Hoss …”)

Sorry to disappoint guys I read on MI LIVE.com that Cabrera will not play tonight but be availale to pinch hit. YIKES.

By the way I didn’t comment on it early when there was the heading about Laird and his bunt attempt during Wakefields outing the other day. And I agree, it was earlish in the game, they were not down by that much and it is not any Tigers job to make sure that Wakefield gets a no hitter, their obligation is to Mr. Illitch and the Tigers. Don’t care if the freaking Red Soxs were upset or not. (although I am not sure they were anyway.)

sorry I said Wakefield I meant Beckett

Anderson leading off with Clete in the three hole. Look for some hitting and running there. Mags is at clean-up. Curtis fifth and Larish at first. Mags is the DH.

Maybe this will light Mags fire. He becomes the “bopper” by default now so it’s time to hitch up the stirrup socks and start playing big boy baseball. No kidding Mags. Lock and load … right now.

Oh and sklant … I agree completely on the whining about bunting to get on. I never have understood that. If I see the third baseman and first baseman hanging back then I’m bunting. Whether the guy is pitching a no-no or not is not relevant. Like you said. Mr. I is paying the tab and my job, as a hitter, is to get on. Period.

I swear we are averaging like 3+ GIDP per game it feels like.
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They can’t do anything right offensively.
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Get a guy on second inning, GIDP.
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Get leadoff guy on in third, Caught stealing on pitch out
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Get first and 3rd, 1 out in another inning, GIDP.
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Get man on 3rd, 1 out, gets caught between home and 3rd…

Just got back from the game, pretty darn disgusting offensive performances lately. As much as I love em they sure aren’t making me very interested in watching any games. And if I have to listen to these announcers tell me one more time how a sub-par pitcher or a AAA call up is dealing I think that I will vomit. I mean Santana up until today in 18 innings had allowed 31 hits and 8 walks. And you mean to tell me he turned into this unhittable pitcher tonight. Well that to me is just a BULLCRAP. (I’d like to use another word there.)

GK – DISGUSTED IN ROYAL OAK

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