The hubbub over the handshake

By now, you know the deal with Jim Leyland and his handshakes. It’s his way of congratulating his starting pitcher on a good effort. If he gives his starter a handshake on his way into the dugout at the end of an inning, he’s done. It’s the way to tell whether the Tigers are going to the bullpen for the next inning.

The Tigers starters obviously know it, too. On Friday, Justin Verlander tried to circumvent the system, as he put it. His manager didn’t take too kindly to it.

Verlander had just thrown a seven-pitch seventh inning and had 108 pitches on the night. That was clearly enough for Leyland, who was waiting at the dugout steps to greet him like he always does. Verlander was headed that way when he took a right turn and swerves towards the other dugout steps.

“Leyland always stands right there at the end of the stairs,” Verlander said. “He put me back out for the seventh, and I only threw like four or five pitches, so I tried to circumvent the system, and not get the customary handshake that you’re done. So I tried to go the other way and sneak around him, but he was too quick for me and caught me at the bottom of those stairs anyway.”

He was smiling about it. It didn’t become apparent until after the game that Leyland didn’t find it funny.

“You might think that was comical,” Leyland said, “but I don’t think that was comical at all.”

That was all Leyland wanted to say about it, apparently realizing what kind of attention that was about to bring.

“I’m not getting into that,” Leyland said a minute later. “I’ve made my statement about that. Let’s move on. I’m not talking about silly stuff. Let’s talk about baseball.”

Leyland, of course, does his postgame interview before Verlander. When Leyland’s reaction was relayed to Verlander, you could see Verlander genuinely surprised.

“If he wants to be mad, he can be mad,” Verlander said, “but I mean, I wanted to stay in the game. I had a quick inning and I wasn’t trying to play a joke on him. I just wanted to stay in the game. You know he always stands there and sticks out his hand so I figured if I snuck around him he’d let me go back out there.”

If Verlander was trying to send a message, Leyland sent his.

26 Comments

This is why I stick around to watch Jim’s postgamers. You get 50 blah blah interviews and then something interesting happens.

Petty ridiculous kid stuff. Everyone should be laughing about it.

I thought it was very funny and JL could have gone along with it but still get the ball.

Will JL shake Rick’s hand if he has to pull him early today? I’m sure Rick will try his best but sometimes it just doesn’t work out. As for JV, why not let the SOC take you out? 108 pitches is enough. He’s ahead 7-3. His arm is not going to last forever. Those 120+ outings are scary.

Shannon probably shouldn’t have asked the question but I’ll admit I didn’t think much of the entire thing until Jim answered. I can see his side.

Shannon Hogan gets on my nerves sometimes (miss fussy britches) Hope the singing hot dog man doesn’t get canned. I just assumed he was black because of the deep, almost gospel sounding, voice. Her voice is constantly hoarse. Maybe she needs to rest.

Like I said: Rigid. No playfulness allowed or independent thought.

Remember, JV was the one who gave Kelly a “hot-foot”

Uhhh? Hello? Media?
The big story from last night, is not some handshake, it’s Valverde, where the story on this debacle?!?!

DD—Blue Jays need a starter. We could really use Janssen. How about some combination of Crosby,Alvarez and Putkonen?

Thats what i said about a week ago. Give janssen a look. His numbers are pretty strong. Arent ya glad we didnt trade porcello now. Imagine our bullpen without smyly in it. We would of probably lost a few more games without him in our pen.

DD–Not Porcello or Smyly. Crosby = LHP? Seems the Tigers have run through quite a few of those. Oliver, Below, Furbush, etc.

Cleveland change of pitchers? Maybe Rick will have a better shot at it. If the hitting comes around. Masterson tomorrow vs Sanchez?

Sanchez is out with shoulder stiffness.

Speaking of Alvarez–he starts Sunday instead of Anibal.
I bet Drew Smyly is really thrilled about that.

Oops! Now Anibal is out. A start for Smyly? No. Alvarez up. Showcase for Blue Jays? I wonder if Dotel will ever make it back. Another move needs to be made? Putkonen or Ortega?

Smyly has a place on the team but it looks as though it’s in the bullpen. Invaluable.
He may be needed today or tomorrow.

No Sanchez tomorrow. So we have a match up of two lefties. Ours will be Jose Alvarez. We were the last team to have a starter lose a start this season.

I couldn’t care less about the handshake. What bugs me is Leyland leaving Valverde in the game when any little leaguer could see that he should have been pulled. And who did Leyland have warming up when he finally took notice of the fact that there was a problem? Phil Coke, with his 1.000 plus OPS against right handed hitters over last season and this year. What we’re seeing is a management issue.

Well deserved call up for Jose. Go get’em Bulldog. His numbers at AAA are eerily similar to Sanchez’s with the Tigers. We even have the right call up. Doesn’t always happen like this. Raburn gets a start tomorrow for the Tribe??

Amazing that we have another puzzle piece that could not make the Miami Marlins. What’s up with them??

BEN Verlander?

Valverde showed early he has nothing left. The ball was flying but the cold weather kept the ball inside.If he is around in august, be ready for fireworks.

Some data going around that Giambi has hit four homers in the last five games. Stubbs has been on fire, too. Did Valverde have that memo???

Regarding the handshake…who cares…leyland is very playful usually and I know hes been sick and if we have the same thing he probably just wasn’t in the moo5 to chase him around.
.
regarding valverde I find it disconcerting as I did last year when Benoit was giving up all the bombs. There right now is no choice but to root for him and hope he figures it out.

Maybe JL should be mad at his closer that gave up 2 home runs, good thing they had a large margin for error, instead of his starter that was cruising along.

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