Tony LaRussa announced his retirement today even before all the confetti has had a chance to hit the ground. He said “It’s just time to do something else, and I knew it.” While Leyland calls LaRussa probably the greatest of all time, we are only less than a week removed from what some would call the worst managed game ever in World Series Game 5 by LaRussa.
Has the game passed guys like LaRussa and Leyland by? I say yes.
Sure, the Tigers won 95 games, also won the AL Central for the first time in 24 years, and defeated the mighty Yankees in that breadbox the Bronx Bombers play in, but there were a lot of mistakes made by Leyland whose best days are behind him and even those days were well over 20 years ago.
Mike Ilitch hinted late this year that he is losing patience waiting for a Tigers championship and is ready to spend, does this mean we will finally have a leadoff hitter or a third baseman who can even get a piece of a right handed pitcher. This will remain to be seen, but maybe he should be looking to replace the dried up bucket of skin he calls his manager.
Leyland isn’t even capable of filling out his lineup correctly as he showed us this last year batting anyone with an OPS under .700 in front of our best hitters. Don’t believe me? Check this stat out; Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez were 1-2 this year in batting average with Runners in scoring position. However with that being said, it took until the last week of the season for either player to get to 100 RBI’s. Imagine how many RBI’s they could have had if their manager hadn’t spent the whole season wiping his ass with the 2 and 3 hole of the lineup.
Yet, when asked about his lineup, he jumped down reporters throats, so they stopped asking, while months of Magglio grounding out to 2nd base weakly rolled on.
How about the split squad game, when he started Scherzer and used Fister in relief? Leyland then counters that by using Turner for the next game, even though home field has yet to be established. We lose the Turner game and home field by 1 game and head to the shoe box in NY.
The one player not talked about in the trades made by Dave Dombrowski to save the season was David Pauley, a righty reliever whose best attribute was that he wasn’t Ryan Perry. Pauley had a 2.15 ERA and a Whip under 1 when we acquired him. Pauley was never given a chance to move into a role and was eventually left off the post season roster to make room for Brad Penny, a starter who basically stunk up the end of our rotation the whole year. Imagine anyone else in that 11th inning where Perry didn’t record an out, or in game 6 when Brad Penny gave us 5 ER in 2 inn, to remind how bad he had been all year. That player could have been David Pauley.
Leyland can’t seem to fill out a lineup card properly, make pitching changes correctly, or put together the bottom end of his playoff roster; he’s a .500 manager who should have retired after his destruction of Tigers fans dreams in the 2009 collapse. Do we really have to deal with another year of his ignorance?