Jim Leyland certainly has his detractors here in Detroit. Fans complain about his undying faith in seemingly ineffective players (Brandon Inge, Ryan Raburn, Don Kelly to name a few). Fans grumble about his habit of playing hunches in some situations and his steadfast almost stubborn reliance statistical trends in others. As a matter of fact the only thing really predictable about Jim Leyland lately is that he will most likely have a mouth full of food while doing a post game interview.
But the fact is that Jim Leyland has forgotten more about baseball than most if us will ever know and as much as fans may grumble about his in-game strategy he is one of the best in the business.
If you don’t believe me ask the other managers in baseball.
Baseball America recently published their 2013 MLB’s Best Tools List, an annual poll of baseballs managers, and they ranked Jim Leyland as the best manager in the American League.
Apparently the folks who know baseball best think that Jim Leyland is a great manager, the fans in Detroit should start recognizing that fact as well. Leylands greatness this year isn’t just perceived but is backed by performance. He has pushed the Tigers though some adversity this year.
- He fixed the uncertainty with the closer role internally by inserting Joaquin Benoit.
- He has been able to effectively utilize Miguel Cabrera despite a nagging hip flexor injury
- The team virtually seemed undistracted by entire Peralta PED situation
- He handled the Rivera All-Star situation with class
- Most importantly he has his team on a season high 10 game win streak and 20 games over .500
There is a lot to like about Jim Leyland and what he has accomplished this season. Tiger fans should embrace whats good about the team’s manager and grumble a little less when he bats Don Kelly 3rd.