By: Jeff Riger
I imagine when you have managed as many games as Jim Leyland has; you grow to hate some aspects of the game. As good as the gig is, like any job there are major downsides – like the stress, the travel and the general lack of job security. I’m sure Leyland doesn’t love these aspects, but he deals with them and gets paid handsomely to do so.
But there is one thing in his job that he absolutely hates…
The suicide squeeze.
“I hate the play,” Leyland said. “I hate it with a passion.”
Despite the dislike, there are times when Leyland is forced to call for the squeeze.
“Every once in a while I use it,” Leyland said. “I don’t use it very often. I don’t like it. Everybody knows I don’t like it.”
So why the hate?
“Because you just hold your breath that they are going to pitch out or a guy is going to pop it up for a double play,” the skipper explained. “Normally there is a lot more that can go wrong with a suicide squeeze then can go right.”
Leyland used the squeeze over the weekend, and shortstop Jose Iglesias performed it well.
“Iglesias did a job that not many guys can do because he bunted a nasty pitch,” Leyland said. “That’s the other thing – it’s not that easy. He bunted a breaking ball that was down to the ground, it looked to me.”
After talking about his disdain for the play, Leyland did admit that the suicide squeeze is a good option, just not for him.
“It’s a good play, don’t get me wrong,” Leyland said. “A lot of people have used it very successfully over the years but it’s one of those plays, you put it on and you hold your breath.”
Leyland will draw criticism for almost every wrong decision throughout the course of a game – and even some right calls too – but it seems like he believes the suicide squeeze is actually kind of like its name: suicide.
“It’s one of those that you pop it up into a double play then you’re kicking yourself in the fanny as a manager,” he said.
So in case you’ve ever wondered, Leyland hates the suicide squeeze and the above sentences are the reasons why.
Now on to my next pressing question…
Anybody else amazed that Leyland still uses the term “fanny?”