By: Eric Thomas

I already turned off Twitter so don’t even try it. I’m leaving my phone in the car tonight. Don’t bother.

You were wrong about Jim Leyland this year. Sorry. They’re very few people that actually wanted Leyland dismissed during the season, but if you were one of them, you were wrong. It’s time for you to pick yourself up, dust yourself off and say it out loud: You were wrong, stop your internal dialog.

Oh I get it; “Fire Leyland” became the fastest growing religion in metro Detroit this summer. There were tithing, tent revivals and probably even feet washings, I don’t know because I didn’t attend. I wrote several blogs over the summer arguing against rush to judgment. I was called an idiot, a sycophant and a charlatan. How did it go? Leyland took the Tigers to the ALCS. He knitted you a clown suit, now put it on.

The argument about relative weakness in the division is gone. The Tigers took on the AL West champion and beat them. Not a Wild Card, the champ. Take your outdated divisional weakness argument and toss it out the window. Others still talk about the payroll. You know who else has a high payroll? The Angels, Marlins, Dodgers and Rangers. You know where they are? Home.

We got calls immediately after the ALDS win. People still want to fire Jim Leyland. But the people who err to bring rationality to these discussions need to tread lightly. The cult of “Fire Leyland” does not answer to intelligence or rational discussion. It’s a religion. They attack dissenters, inquisition-like, and remain steadfast in their convictions regardless of any gathered evidence they are presented. The guy is one of the last four managers in the tournament and people still won’t give it up.

I will say this to the flock, and this is my last attempt: You are making yourself look stupid. If the Tigers reach the World Series you are going to be the person who screamed about the coach the whole year. Your credibility is in tatters already. Don’t make this worse.

We all sit in our assigned seats. I, like most people, watch sports. Trained professionals provide me entertainment, and I enjoy my time spent watching. I offer my opinion about the sports I watch. The other assigned seats, few people get to sit in. Those are the players. They actually get to participate in my entertainment. They can always shut me up.

Look, if you comment on sports, you are always risking the possibility of being the boob who is wrong in the end. The cliché sports movie bit is to have the plucky athlete who is constantly dogged by the media who doubts him or her. The athlete always wins in the end. Except Rocky, he didn’t start winning until the sequels. Sports writers and fans are always portrayed as the foil. You need to accept this. Otherwise you just look like an idiot.

Food for thought. Now twist my words around and take me out of context so that you can excoriate me. You have a religion to uphold.


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