Archive for the ‘Jim Leyland’ Category

MLB: NLCS-Los Angeles Dodgers Workout

Yesterday, Jim Leyland stepped down from his position as manager of the Detroit Tigers. Today, the Cincinnati Reds announced Bryan Price as their new field manager. Tomorrow night, the Boston Red Sox take the field under the stewardship of manager John Farrell, a man they wanted so badly they sent a player to the Toronto Blue Jays in order to free him from his contract.

Obviously, there is a lot of value in hiring the right manager for the right job. Despite the limited scope of their duties, it is not a one-size-fits-all role – the “right” person exists for each and every job.

But how much impact does a good manager actually have? When in doubt, follow the money.

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Being a baseball manager is a hell of a job. Not many other occupations in the world allow for more credit when things go well or so much blame when things go poorly.

The Detroit Tigers were eliminated from the 2013 MLB playoffs on Saturday night and the postmortems are well under way. No matter how good a team looks over the long haul, the immediate shortcomings are very front of mind. Where did it go wrong? Most folks don’t need to look any further than the manager.

As far as managers go, Jim Leyland was a good one. Or, more accurately, he was a successful one. Teams with Jim Leyland as their skipper won a whole lot of games over his 22 seasons (1769 wins in total). He claimed a World Series crown with the Florida Marlins in 1997.

But those 1769 wins are counterbalanced by 1728 losses. That lone World Series victory came amid countless playoff appearances (including six different division titles) and just two other pennants.

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Up until I caught a glimpse at this piece of greatness from Carl Skanberg, I was under the impression that Vine was a rather rewardless video tool. An animated Jim Leyland enjoying a breakfast of cigarette, smoke ring donut, and cup of coffee is just about the raddest thing I saw today.

Via Big League Stew

Despite inserting Quintin Berry into the lineup to bat second during the World Series, and thereby make a mockery of baseball, the Detroit Tigers have decided to bring back Jim Leyland for another season. I half-jest about his World Series decision-making, but the flip side of that is that the 67-year-old, who doesn’t look a day over 75, has taken the Tigers to the playoffs three times in the seven years that he’s been in charge, twice going all the way to the World Series.

Obviously, it’s difficult to measure how much of that success is due to Leyland, and how much is due to the rosters that have been compiled for him to use. However, I suppose it’s understandable that a team wouldn’t want to “fix” something that isn’t broken. And despite some glaring holes in the lineup and bullpen, the Detroit Tigers made it all the way to the World Series this season. That’s the type of result that one would assume doesn’t need fixing.

The deal, which will be announced later on Tuesday is most likely for one year, as Danny Knobbler of CBS Sports explains:

Leyland has operated under one-year deals for the last few seasons, in large part because he hasn’t wanted to make a long-term commitment himself.

Down by a run in the top of the ninth inning, with two out, and base runners on first and second, left-handed batter Raul Ibanez was due up for the New York Yankees. Waiting on the pitching mound for Ibanez was left-handed pitcher Phil Coke of the Detroit Tigers. In the history of baseball, this specific pitcher-batter match up had occurred four times previously, with Coke getting the upper hand in all but one occasion, which was a home run in 2009.

During the first two games of this American League Championship Series, these two player faced each other twice. The first occasion resulted in a ground out; the second, a strike out. At the time, both of these plate appearances were thought to be high leverage situations, but they pale in comparison to Tuesday night’s confrontation which would only be slightly hyperbolic to suggest was the most important at-bat of the Yankees season. The outcome of the Coke vs. Ibanez battle would decide the difference between a likely insurmountable 3-0 ALCS lead for the Tigers, and a tight 2-1 ALCS deficit for the Yankees.

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