Leyland rants about umpires, accountability

Jim Leyland’s postgame remarks lasted all of about five minutes, but he got in all he wanted. Actually, he didn’t want to say as much about the missed call as he wanted to talk about accountability for it.

Clearly, replay showed that Gerald Laird caught the 0-2 pitch to Mike Aviles before it bounced in the dirt, and replay strongly suggested that Aviles didn’t foul off  the ball in the first place. Home-plate umpire Jeff Nelson made the ruling on the foul tip, while first-base umpire Bill Welke overruled him on whether Laird caught it.

“You guys need to write something and hold people accountable,” Leyland said. “You know what, we’re all accountable in this business. All of us are accountable. And when I say all of us, I mean everybody that’s involved in the game needs to be held accountable. That’s exactly what needs to be done.

“There should not have been a rally in that inning. Now, anybody that saw that, have the nerve to write what you saw and say it, because I’m not going to sit here and rip umpires. But you saw what you saw, clearly saw what you saw. I just saw it for the tenth time. Write it and say something.”

Umpires make mistakes. The problem Leyland and Laird seemed to suggest was that Welke made his ruling from a worse view than Nelson had, even though Nelson asked for help on the call.

Leyland: “I’m sorry. I’m the most patient man in the world with umpires, protect them more than anybody, and I understand the human element involved in the game. But you’re 120 feet away. Clearly, you have to be 110 percent sure. You can’t be guessing at that call. I mean, that’s that simple. I mean, come on. We gave up seven runs. Ok, that’s part of it. We did that. But we all need to be held accountable. Everybody involved in the game needs to be held accountable. Everybody. That’s all of us. And you can figure out who the people involved in the game are.”

Laird: “It’s a tough call. Don’t get me wrong. I don’t understand how somebody from 120 feet sees it better than someone back here, when you can clearly look at the baseball and see if there’s a dirt mark or a scuff. Because if you foul a ball in the dirt, it’s going to make a mark. And I even showed him the ball. There’s no mark.”

Leyland mentioned accountability several times, even during the minute and a half of the interview that made it to television. He did not have an answer, though, for how to hold umpires accountable, preferring to leave that up to the commissioner’s office.

“I don’t have anything to do with that,” he said.

Laird said several times that umpires have a tough job, and he has respect for the work they do. He also sounded less than enthusiastic about the idea for more replay.

“They’ve got the home runs now,” Laird said. “If you have to stop for little things like that, it’s just going to prolong this game, and you’ve already got games that last three, three and a half hours. That would’ve been quick, but then you have to stop every little thing, and that’s going to add up time. Honestly, you’ve just got to hold yourself accountable. I know they have a tough job, and I know they’re doing their best. It’s just seeing it night in and night out.”

Laird seemed more open to the idea of getting umpires together to confer on a call such as that.

“I mean, get them all together. See who has the best view,” Laird said. “I mean, Prince was hugging [the line]. He was behind him. Go ask them all. Don’t put it on one guy. That’s tough on him, because he’s taking all the heat for it.”

But then, one of the problems was that there was a limit to how much heat they were taking on the call from the Tigers dugout. Third-base coach Gene Lamont, the first guy ejected, said third-base umpire Tim Tschida told him enough was enough, and ejected him after the next thing Lamont said.

“Somebody in our dugout was yelling at Tschida. He yelled and I said, ‘Tim, you’re going to have to take some heat when you make calls like that.’ And I said, ‘Well, you cost us three runs.’ And he pretty much told me that was enough, and I said something else, and he kicked me out.”

It was not a profanity, Lamont added.

“I said something more, but it wasn’t cursing or anything,” Lamont said. “It’s kind of the same thing as when Brookie got kicked out the other day, I’d say. I guess when they say enough, you’re not supposed to say anything else.”


Memo to Mr. Leyland- if you’re opposing the use of instant replay, then you are part of the problem that is blocking a solution. There is no reason for MLB to not use true INSTANT replay, with another umpire in the press box to review plays like that, and on fair/ foul, catch/ no catch, safe/ out at any base, etc. No need for a confab, then four guys disappearing down a tunnel for ten minutes just to tell us what we all can plainly see. Just get the calls right, and managers won’t have to come out and argue.

If only it were that simple. That guy in the booth would take longer than you might think. Multiple angles, the desire to get it right, etc. The tag plays are often impossible to judge on replay but are also the ones they get right most often on the field, Mr. Tschida today notwithstanding. I think you can add some replay, but need to limit the types of plays it would involve. I’d argue against the manager’s challenge and against a manager coming out just to lobby for a replay. The latter could be eliminated by a man in the booth, along with being selective on what gets looked at by considering the game situation.
It’s a bigger issue than it might appear.

Rosenthal:Detroit not considering trades.The offensive is OK for front office.

On the same webpage:
“Even Welke acknowledged that the call was missed, telling a pool reporter that “what was crystal clear on video wasn’t crystal clear down the first-base line”

“Even Welke acknowledged that the call was missed, telling a pool reporter that “what was crystal clear on video wasn’t crystal clear down the first-base line”
Really? If it wasn;t clear then why on earth didn’t you just say, “Jeff, I couldn’t tell”?
Game changing moment. Fister strikes him out your out of the inning unscathed PLUS you have a stoked pitcher brimming with confidence the next inning..
Definitely, game changing.
Patrick is right about the replay. You can also have a rule where a manager can ask for ONE during the course of a game. Video reviewer gets final say. Welcome to pro sports Baseball.

BTW—Brad Eldred hit 2 more HRs today and Andy Oliver walked 5 in 3 innings. They had better trade Oliver before he loses ALL his value. He has a great arm and a good repution from that attribute. He will never be a good MLB pitcher.
Raburn should be starting for Toledo against Buffalo on Friday night. Actually I think he will likey get less playing time there then he gets for JL.
Did JL have any coments on him going down looking 3 freakin’ times?

I hope he did not read about the Rays. Maddon used Carlos Peña , 208 , as leadoff to get him going…

Belay that question—I just saw the post game clip.
Instead of having the reporter “ask Ryan Raburn that question”, perhaps it is a prime example of the “accountability” JL conveniently refers to in his tirade. Shouldn’t Raburn be accountable? Shouldn’t JL be accountable for playing him ad nauseum?
Works both ways Leyland.

Leyland has to be irritated as heck with Raburn for making him look like a fool for playing him. How could he not be?

While I like Barry and would like to see him stick, we all can’t forget Josh Anderson or why barry has never been in the bigs until now. Some people talk of him taking over the leadoff spot. I think that would be very ill-advised. He might be more effective batting 9th or possibly 2nd where he can create some havoc bunting with AJ on.. A little too soon for judgement on him.
Now the opposite is true of RR. A little late IMO.
Golly Geez fellas, he’s hitting .069 with 2 strikes on him and ZERO when in a 1-2 or 0-2 count, and under .100 with 2 out and RISP.

Quintin Berry helped us win 3 games. I’ll take it. Remember Matt Joyce.

In all my managing career, I was in that situation Lamont referred to only once; the umpire telling me enough is enough. I stared him down…………and shut up like a good boy.
Regretted it ever since.

The surreal season keeps slip sliding along.
The Raburn option could end up becoming Tig folk lore down the track.

My wife watched the interview with Leyland and said she hadn’t heard yelling that loud in Boston since Paul Revere.

Yeah – boiling point sure came early this season.

Totally agree that should Berry stick around after AJ’s return, he should not lead off. As I said yesterday, ride that pony as long as you can. At the same time I don’t see Eldred as contributing. I think he’s one of those marvelous Triple A players who can never be consistent in the bigs. This might prove out also for Berry after 10-15 games. Finally, the quality of umpiring is abut equal to triple A ball, The days of Chylak, Donatelii, Haller are long gone.

If you like the tradition and nostalgia of human error being part of the game, and the real potential of deciding game outcomes, keep things the way they are. If you like the idea of eliminating a least most of the human error, support some type of instant replay review. After the botched call today on the 3rd strike, I think I’m about ready to accept some form of play review. That call decided the game. With limitations and short time limits it wouldn’t necessarily slow the game down.

They just can’t seem to be able to decide “how” to implement it (replay). We already see it instantly on the broadcasts. Fans, at the game, can look at their phones and see a slo-mo replay while the umps and coaches argue about it. It’s ridiculous.

Part of the problem with implementing replay has been the umpires’ resistance. They insist on their “authority” not being questioned, which is why we have them personally going down the tunnel to review calls. Nothing could take longer.

But if they actually added jobs by adding one umpire to each crew, that would either let some of the older guys work longer sitting in a press box, or rotate them through that job, giving them a break from field umping. I can’t see them opposing that.

But the main problem has been the traditionalists and guys like Leyland who just don’t want replay. If used properly, reviewing a play on video would be much quicker than going through the players arguing, and the manager coming out arguing. Most calls can be ruled on very quickly. Much quicker than it takes to throw an argument.

This love for the “human element” is like saying they’ve got a right to be wrong. Better to get it wrong than use the technology that is available to get it right.

Its time for an uprising. Im going to the game friday against the skankees and if i see an ounce of shady calls im going to yell refs on the take. Be prepared comerica because this season ticket holder has seen enough of ignorant play calling.

Umpires are right 99% of the time. These guys are good. Only their bad calls are highlighted over and over. Never the good ones. Plus, bad calls even out for teams in the end. Fixing the occasional play that they blow does not justify the extra time that will be involved in replay. Trust me, there will be a LOT of extra time involved.

You don’t replay everything. Like I say, each team could have one request for a replay per game. 5 minutes.
It’ll happen eventually.

One appeal option to each Team Manager is far too logical. The last thing you want is for the umps to get gun shy on decision making or waiting for every play to be reviewed regardless of how small the delay might be assuming the technolgy is working perfectly.

Well my problem is that I am seeing way to many of these calls lately going against us. In all my years so many clumped together and they are magnified right now because they aren’t doing well and we don’t need any more obsticals, ya know. But I truly think that some more limited use of replay wouldn’t lengthen the game, because 5 minutes of yelling by the manager would all go away.

We may set a record for guys being kicked out of games this year, we surely have plenty of them.

Thought I’d update on a cute note – a few weeks back I shared my daughter’s essay about Brennan Boesch, I mailed a copy of it to Brennan and sure enough my daughter got mail from the Tigers. I was hoping for an autographed photo of Boesch, which she did not get, however she got a pin that says world’s best tiger fan, a pencil, a Tiger decal for the car, a schedule, and a picture of the guys celebrating last year. It was good enough for her, she walked on clouds, showed it to the entire family, and took to school today to show her teacher. The letter was not from Brennan, but from someone in their office, saying he read it, appreciated it, and told her to keep doing well in school. If she wasn’t’ the number one Boesch fan before, she is now.

Thanks for making the highlight reel for a 7 year old, who cares much less about the wins and losses and much more about her team.

With the kind of technology we have today, the umpires could just look up at the big screen up there in left centerfield and watch how many dumb mistakes they make. I’m also 100% in favor of technology deciding balls and strikes.
There are so many bad calls in recent years with all the other shenanigans going on in MLB, the integrity of the game is in question, imo. How in god’s name did Jim Joyce get away with that? I’m sick of it.

Well, he cried. That sounds harsh, but it did help him in the public eye.
I’m not against replay but I do want to stress that it isn’t as easy as some would think. Strangely enough, the electronic strike zone would probably be the easiest thing to put in the game.

I can forgive him, but a mistake can be corrected. There’s my beef. It’s not logical. That was a perfect game. No umpire should be given that kind authority without being willing to correct mistakes.

As soon as the umps REFUSED to look at the un-scuffed ball, this went from a bad call to a CROOKED, CORRUPT and FIXED call.

Cazare Sibiel

Nice blog right here! Also your website rather a lot up very fast!
What host are you the usage of? Can I am getting your affiliate link
for your host? I wish my site loaded up as fast as yours lol

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