Blaming Jim Leyland Is Nonsense

Lots of baseball debates are fun, even more fun when beer-fueled. But we’re one game into the Tigers season and we’ve already stumbled across the dumbest debate ever.

Listen, people. It’s a long season. Get a grip.

If you think Jim Leyland made the wrong move pulling Justin Verlander after eight innings for closer Jose Valverde, then we have nothing to talk about. Go away. Don’t waste my time.
The move was a 99.999999 percent no-brainer. Verlander had thrown 105 pitches in the first game of the season and the Tigers had a 2-0 lead over the Red Sox. I don’t necessarily agree with strict pitch limits — Leyland set Verlander’s at 110 — but I do agree with using a closer that was a mere 49-for-49 the previous season.

Of course, there was no way Valverde was going to be perfect in save situations again. And he blew it, although the Tigers rallied to win in the ninth, 3-2. Verlander pitched eight shutout innings. He was spectacular. And while this victory was stolen from him individually, he sure didn’t seem to mind.

If the Tigers had a shaky bullpen, maybe Leyland gives Verlander a shot to close it out. If this was an August game, maybe Leyland gives Verlander a shot to close it out. If Valverde was 39-for-49 instead of 49-for-49 last season, maybe Leyland gives Verlander a shot to close it out.
Baseball is a game of percentages. It’s one reason I hate bunts in most situations, because percentages show, surrendering an out usually isn’t cost-effective.

Here’s what I’m hearing from some fans (not a majority): What if the Tigers had lost that game?!
Here’s my response: What if Verlander had started the ninth, gotten into trouble and lost the game?!

Fans would’ve roasted Leyland for not using his “perfect” closer in an ideal save situation. Stop wasting your breath, and my time, with this nonsense.

More from K) Bob Wojnowski
  • Tbird

    I say it was a mistake because verlander was getting stronger and it made no sense bringing in someone cold off the bench. If it aint broke dont fix it. If verlander had looked like he was struggling or something then yeah I would get him out but he was getting stronger. If you got a pitcher thats dealing then pitch him. plus it was a cold day and it was hard for anyone to get properly warmed up. the more you change pitchers the more your likely to run into one that doesnt have his good stuff.

  • cactusjack

    I say to any and all that watched what unfolded on opening day at Comerica Park Downtown Detroit.HAVE YOU LOST YOUR MINDS,Manager Jim Leyland in a seasoned manager in the National Baseball League,are YOU!!!.Please do not presume to even think you have an ioda of common sense when it comes to managing a major league team.Manager Leyland,and I will say that again so all you MORANS can get it,Manager Leyland made a decision to pull Justin after 8 excellant inings of beautiful work,that’s it,THAT’S IT,nothing more,nothing less,oh,by the way,SHUT UP.

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