Results tagged ‘ Gerald Laird ’
The incident at a Phoenix Suns game that resulted in the arrest of Tigers catcher Gerald Laird revolved around the wife of NBA player Eddie House, the Arizona Republic reported Tuesday, citing a police report.
Gerald Laird was booked on suspicion of misdemeanor assault. Laird told MLB.com earlier this month that the incident was a misunderstanding that was blown out of proportion, and while he has declined to go into further detail while the case is still pending, he reiterated that to reporters Saturday at TigerFest.
His brother, Yankees prospect Brandon Laird, was booked on suspicion of disorderly conduct. Their uncle, Gregory Collins, was arrested on suspicion of assault. The police report lists Charlsie House as an investigative lead, according to the Republic.
More from the newspaper report:
Authorities said House quickly left the arena’s Verve Energy
Lounge after accusing the Lairds’ 70-year-old grandfather, who was never cited,
of touching her inappropriately.
House said she “did not want any prosecution” and was “reluctant
to give any of her information” to officers, according to the report. A
bartender told police House claimed she was being harassed prior to the fight.
Officers who responded to the fight said Brandon Laird, 22,
shouted derogatory remarks toward House and other women at the lounge before
taking a swing at one of the women. The Yankees’ prospect was booked on
suspicion of misdemeanor disorderly conduct.
The paper cites the police report quoting Laird as telling officers he was just trying to “watch the game and have some fun,” and that the incident involved “some lady inside that was bragging about her husband playing for the Celtics.”
It’s starting to sound more and more like the Tigers’ decision on catching prospect Alex Avila is going to involve how much time he can get as a backup catcher, not how much he could share a starting role with Gerald Laird.
“We know Gerald Laird’s going to be our everyday catcher,” team president/general manager Dave Dombrowski said during his question-and-answer session at TigerFest Saturday at Comerica Park.
So that takes care of that. The main question as far as the starting catching spot, then, is how much more Laird can provide offensively. On that, both Laird and the Tigers are optimistic.
“I think Gerald will hit more than he did last year,” Dombrowski said. “I was surprised that he did not hit as well. Of course, he caught and threw outstanding.”
Laird sounded surprised as well. But he also emphasized that defense and his pitchers were his focus, and they’ll continue to be a priority while he works with hitting coach Lloyd McClendon in Spring Training to hit better.
The difference will be that he already has worked with a lot of his pitchers, and he won’t have to spend as much time learning them.
“I talked with Mac about my offense,” Laird said Saturday. “I want to definitely work in the cages and work a lot in the spring. Because I know I’m capable of having a better year. Obviously, offensively I had a disappointing year, but my biggest thing last year was to come in and get these guys on the same page. With a whole new staff, 13 guys, I wanted them to want to throw to me. That was my biggest thing. And now being familiar with a lot of them, I can put more focus on my offense. I can go to the cage and do that, rather than go to the bullpen all the time and get to know these guys as much as I can.”
Laird said hitting coach Lloyd McClendon has noticed some mechanical tweaks he’d like to make to keep him level in his swing, so that he can get base hits out of some pitches he fouled off last year.
As for Avila, look for him to get a good amount of playing time in Spring Training as the Tigers try to figure out how much more seasoning he needs and whether he’s close enough that he can benefit from staying in the big leagues rather than playing every day at Triple-A Toledo.
“We’re not putting him on [the team yet], and we’re certainly not writing him off,” manager Jim Leyland said. “At the end of Spring Training, we’re going to try to weigh everything out.”
Then Leyland added another factor that probably works in Avila’s favor.
“We know what sometimes would be the best thing for a guy,” Leyland said. “But if he gives us the best chance to win games up here, he’s got to be up here. That’s just the way it is. There’s too much pressure on everybody anymore. You guys, us, Dave, the fans, they want to win. And if we think he’s the best choice to win games, even though his development may not come along as much as you want it to, we have to take him, I think. …
“The best part about it is he’s got a long Spring Training to go with us this year. He needs to catch is all. It’s just a matter of repetition and doing it.”
I know it was a pretty big story when Tigers president/general manager Dave Dombrowski said Tuesday that lefty Phil Coke would be stretched out and potentially viewed as a contestant for the fifth starter’s spot. But manager Jim Leyland indicated he still sees Coke’s future in relief.
“Personally, I’m looking at him more as a bullpen guy,” Leyland said. “I think we’re going to have enough issues when you talk about Galarraga bouncing back and Bonderman bouncing back and Nate Robertson bouncing back and Dontrelle Willis bouncing back. There’s only so many innings.
“Am I ruling it out? No, I’m not. But you can only give so many innings to so many guys in Spring Training, and the one thing you want to make sure is that you’re getting the guys ready that you know need to be ready.”
That said, he has quite a few relievers, too. And now that he has Jose Valverde at the end of it, he thinks the rest of the bullpen is going to fall into place.
He did not hide his happiness for the Valverde deal.
“Getting a closer was just humongous for us,” Leyland exclaimed. “Now you can kind of work backwards and fill in some holes here and there. Here’s the sixth inning, seventh inning, eighth inning. Now Bonderman comes back, Zumaya comes back. Nate [Robertson] and Willis, you don’t know how that’s going to play out. But with Scherzer, Porcello, Verlander, all of a sudden you look pretty good.”
He also did not hide his hope for another left-handed hitter.
“We’d like to have one,” Leyland said. “It’s just not that easy to find.”
Other Leyland tidbits included his outlook on the catching situation, where Alex Avila’s potential playing time is a looming issue to determine whether or not he sticks with the big club.
“Normally playing time is dictated by performance,” Leyland said. “The better you play, the more you play. We obviously have a pretty solid everyday catcher that was as good defensively last year as anybody in the league but needs to produce a little more offensively. Alex got a little experience — not a whole lot, but some good experience last year.
“I think Gerald put a lot of pressure on himself last year at handling the staff, learning the pitchers. I’m not making excuses for him; but I think he’ll be better offensively this year. I may be wrong, but I believe that. I think last year he really concentrated on getting to know Verlander and the pitchers and make sure he was handling the running game and all those things that he did so well for us. I think he’ll relax a little bit more offensively this year and produce more. We need him to produce some more offensively, there’s no question about that. And he knows that.”
Dave Dombrowski said Monday that he expects to talk with Gerald Laird shortly about the events that led to the Tigers catcher’s arrest last week at a Phoenix Suns basketball game on an assault citation.
Laird can’t say much publicly about the incident at this point, but he hopes to clear up the matter soon.
“It’s been kind of a misunderstanding and a little blown out of proportion,” Laird told MLB.com by phone Monday evening.
According to the Arizona Republic, the 30-year-old Laird was arrested along with his younger brother, Yankees prospect Brandon Laird, after what Phoenix police characterized as a fight in a lounge at the U.S. Airways Center after last Wednesday’s Suns game against the Celtics. The report quoted a Phoenix police sergeant saying that Gerald Laird and a third person interfered with arena security as guards tried to arrest Brandon Laird following the fight.
Dombrowski said Laird left a message with him shortly after the arrest. Dombrowski and his family were on vacation at the time.
“He placed a call to me and we have not talked yet,” Dombrowski said. “I’m sure we’ll be talking, but I was up to date.”
Can’t say what Justin Verlander and Miguel Cabrera — or Carlos Guillen, for that matter — think of the Curtis Granderson and Edwin Jackson trade, but got a sampling from a couple current Tigers.
Why does this matter, you ask? Because it matters to manager Jim Leyland.
“I think one of the big keys is how well our veteran players react to this,” Leyland said Wednesday. “If they react the proper way, with a positive attitude and the proper approach, I think this is gonna work out great. I really do.”
Catcher Gerald Laird, himself the subject of trade rumors this offseason, tried to put a good face on it. He talked with his younger brother Brandon, a Yankees prospect, about the talent coming over from New York.
“It’s tough to lose two guys like that, to lose one of your top of the rotation pitchers and your starting center fielder which was a big part of our success and a big face-of-the-franchise type guy with the community and the team,” Laird said. Obviously, it’s a tough trade because they’re two really good guys. But I’m sure Dave [Dombrowski] and the organization have their mind set on a direction they want to go, and I’m sure they’re making decisions they feel is best for the team.”
It’s a direction change Laird wasn’t completely foreseeing when the Tigers lost their AL Central tiebreaker two months ago.
“You look at it and, yeah, we didn’t get to where we wanted, but we felt like we had a really good year,” Laird said. “We felt like we had a really good core of guys. To lose those two guys, that’s when you think, ‘Wow.’ [Granderson] is a big time player, and he’s definitely going to help New York out. He’s a tough player to lose. The guy is a remarkable talent and a remarkable person. But I feel we have a good group of core guys that I think can help us win.
“It’s one of those things where guys are going to step up now. I’m sure Nate’s ready to bounce back and Bondo. I think we’re still going to be a solid rotation, but to lose a guy like [Jackson], it’s definitely tough.”
With the shift towards youth, Laird said, comes some added responsibility.
“It’s going to be up to the veterans to welcome these guys and help them out as much as we can. The better they fit, the better they’re going to be.”
Laird was playing golf when he heard the news.
“I kind of just shook my head and said wow,” he said.
Reliever Zach Miner, now potentially an elder statemen in a young Tigers bullpen, took a pragmatic look at it.
“I think all of us understand the way the business of baseball works,” Miner wrote in an email. “It would be
naive of any of us players to think we would have the same teammates all of our
career, and if management and the coaching staff feel this was necessary to keep our
team moving in the right direction, then we have to trust their judgment.
being said, it will be hard to replace Curtis and Edwin’s production for our
team, and in my opinion impossible to replace Curtis’ leadership in the
clubhouse, on the field, and in the community.”
Suspensions and fines just came down from Thursday’s hijinks between the Twins and Tigers, and the only suspensions are on the Tigers side. Jeremy Bonderman received three games, which he immediately decided to appeal. Hitting coach Lloyd McClendon, who was acting manager when Bonderman hit Delmon Young with a ninth-inning pitch, was suspended one game, even though he wasn’t thrown out of the game. He can’t appeal, so he’s out for tonight’s game. Bonderman was fined $1500, McClendon $1000, and manager Jim Leyland (ejected earlier in the game) and catcher Gerald Laird (ejected along with Bonderman) were fined $500 each.
Jose Mijares, whom the Twins and Tigers blamed for escalating matters when he threw behind Adam Everett in the eighth, was fined but not suspended.
Former Tiger Bobby Higginson was not at the park and was neither fined nor suspended.
Forgot about this in all the hubbub of yesterday’s game, but Gerald Laird said after the game that he did indeed go online and take a look at the video accusing Twins All-Star catcher and MVP candidate Joe Mauer stealing signs, just to see how legit it was after another reporter asked him about it.
“I looked at it,” Laird said. “It didn’t look like that big of a deal. We watched [Jason] Kubel’s at-bat that at-bat, and it didn’t look like he was really on that many pitches. It was just one of the things that was said, and we took a look at it.”
That doesn’t mean he doesn’t believe the Twins steal signs, of course. But he doesn’t think that was a video catching them in the act.
“It’s part of the game,” Laird said. “It happens everywhere.”
It’s windy, wet and gloomy in Detroit tonight, and the best hope is that the wet part lets up. It very well might, because these clouds look like they’re heading east in a hurry. With the ’84 reunion tonight and no desire on either team’s part to have a makeup doubleheader in such a key series, I’m guessing they wait a while to get this game in if they have to. They might not have to do that, though.
The only real change in the Tigers lineup is the flip of Gerald Laird and Brandon Inge to seventh and eighth in the order, respectively. Clete Thomas is 6-for-12 off Nick Blackburn, but he doesn’t get the start over Magglio, who’s pretty good off Blackburn himself at 4-for-10. Inge is 1-for-11.
- Curtis Granderson, CF
- Placido Polanco, 2B
- Magglio Ordonez, RF
- Miguel Cabrera, 1B
- Aubrey Huff, DH
- Carlos Guillen, LF
- Gerald Laird, C
- Brandon Inge, 3B
- Ramon Santiago, SS
P: Rick Porcello
- Denard Span, CF
- Orlando Cabrera, SS
- Joe Mauer, SS
- Jason Kubel, RF
- Michael Cuddyer, 1B
- Delmon Young, LF
- Jose Morales, DH
- Matt Tolbert, 3B
- Nick Punto, 2B
P: Nick Blackburn
Jim Leyland talked earlier this week about playing Alex Avila at some point this weekend in Chicago, and he seemed to be leaning towards doing it with Eddie Bonine pitching, since they worked with each other at Triple-A Toledo. As expected, Avila is catching Bonine. I would expect Laird will catch Saturday and Sunday for Nate Robertson and Edwin Jackson.
Placido Polanco is the only Tiger who has hit Peavy well (5-for-10) over his career, so matchups aren’t coming into play here. Miguel Cabrera is 2-for-17 against him.
- Granderson, CF
- Polanco, 2B
- Thomas, RF
- Cabrera, 1B
- Huff, DH
- Guillen, LF
- Inge, 3B
- Laird, C
- Santiago, SS
P: Eddie Bonine
- Scott Podsednik, LF
- Gordon Beckham, 3B
- A.J. Pierzynski, C
- Paul Konerko, 1B
- Alexei Ramirez, SS
- Jermaine Dye, RF
- Carlos Quentin, DH
- Chris Getz, 2B
- Alex Rios, CF
P: Jake Peavy
ST. PETERSBURG — The Tigers and Rays went into the series opener with identical records, but while Tampa Bay looks like a playoff longshot at this point, Detroit is almost on cruise control for another postseason berth.