Jim Leyland does right by Brennan Boesch and his team


I am not the biggest Jim Leyland fan out there. In fact I and the staff of DJC are pretty close to calling for him to be fired. He makes highly questionable decisions each and every day. Often times they blow up in his face, or he makes the late innings far more dramatic than they need to be. Today’s questionable moves involved the slumping Brennan Boesch.

Leylanddefended his actions today, as a way to help the slumping Boesch (hitting just .53 with no extra base hits over his last 10 games). Boesch hit second, which should always put him into a position to do something and today he did. Brennan had two base hits, the more important of which was a RBI double that helped the Tigers score three runs in the fourth and ultimately led them to a 7-5 win over the Indians. Their first win over that team in 2012, and a win that avoided a series sweep.

Personally I think it is the Mangers job to find ways to motivate his players, to find creative ways to get slumping players to perform better, and that is what I saw today. I didn’t seeLeylandbeing reckless (at least not in this regard), I saw him doing something constructive that ultimately led to at win. In fact I wish he could find a way to truly motivate this team. I see a team under performing, wilting in the national spotlight, and playing pretty flat with poor fundamentals. For me Leyland’s biggest failure this year (and in others) is not finding ways to keep his team motivated and playing well.

That seems like a pretty odd thing to say about a guy who made his name inDetroitfor an angry tirade in mid April of 2006 his first year with the club. That speech helped lead the Tigers all the way to a World Series apperance, and it is something we have not seen or heard about so far this year. One has to wonder ifLeylandhas lost some of his edge, if the clubhouse has begun to tune him out, or if his one year contract makes him unable or unwilling to let fly with an angry tirade or two when the team is not playing well.

That is a hard thing for most Coaches to do, to know when it is time for a tirade or time to set back and let things unfold. As someone with baseball and football coaching experience (while very limited in comparison to a guy likeLeyland) the time when I would have gone off on this team has already passed. In my experience players (even highly paid players) respond well to stuff like that, and most players worth a damn always want to keep their coach happy. The point is a well placed verbal tirade can often fix a team ills.

For todayLeylanddid a good job, and not just because the team won. He got Boesch to produce and in a season going horrible wrong we have to take a day by day approach to this team right now. Today it’s good, as for tomorrow we shall see.

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