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Inconsistent Pitching Leads To Knapp’s Firing

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DETROIT, MI - MAY 04: Max Scherzer #37 of the Detroit Tigers throws a first inning pitch while playing the New York Yankees at Comerica Park on May 4, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. Detroit won the game 4-0. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

DETROIT, MI – MAY 04: Max Scherzer #37 of the Detroit Tigers throws a first inning pitch while playing the New York Yankees at Comerica Park on May 4, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan. Detroit won the game 4-0. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

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“Just get the job done” was Jim Leyland’s pre-game message — and maybe the postgame message as well.

The subject was why every starter on the Detroit staff aside from Justin Verlander has been inconsistent this season and the topics of looking at video and poor mechanics seemed to strike a nerve with Leyland.

Nobody knew it at the time but the decision had to have already been reached by the manager and his general manager, Dave Dombrowski, that Rick Knapp was through as the pitching coach.

In a move with a touch of irony, Knapp was replaced by bullpen coach Jeff Jones, who himself was dumped when Chuck Hernandez was fired as pitching coach at the end of the 2008 season only to be rehired a short time later.

“Mechanics,” Leyland said. “That’s the old fallback. Just get the job done.

“Everybody thinks video is the cure-all. It has a real place in our game, but it can also be a crutch. Get the job done.

“If a guy strikes out or a pitcher gives up a hit, he runs down to the video room (to look at what happened).

“I could take thousands of pictures of myself, but I’m not very good looking. That’s not going to change.

“It (looking at video) doesn’t make any difference unless you take it to the mound; take it to the batter’s box.”

It thus would seem the message to the firing of Knapp is that Detroit’s pitchers need to take their corrections out the video room door and onto the mound.

Copyright (C) 2011 The Sports Xchange. All Rights Reserved.

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