Thursday, July 23, 2009

Leyland: If Tigers ran more, they'd be "running into suicide"

        Why don’t the Tigers run more? Jim Leyland hears that question -- and that criticism -- all the time, especially when the Tigers aren’t hitting, or when they are regularly losing by one run.
        “Who do you want to steal?  Cabrera? Ordonez?” Leyland fired back on Thursday.
        “What do you want me to do, squeeze with Miguel Cabrera?
        “I could do a lot of things to make it look like I’m managing, but I’d look stupid,” he continued. “To try to make us into the ‘59 ‘Go-Go Sox’ would be stupid.
        “We’re not a speed team,” Leyland admitted. “You’d be running into suicide.” 
        The statistics don’t lie: Going into Thursday’s matinee against Seattle, the Tigers ranked dead last in the American League in stolen bases with 47.
        Part-timer Josh Anderson, the second-leading base stealer on the team with 13, including 11 in his last 12 attempts, is batting .143 in his last 21 games and having a great deal of difficulty just getting on base.
        “I hear people say, ‘You should steal more, you should bunt more,’ ” Leyland said. “I love our team, but our team is what it is.”
        A team without much speed.


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