Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Leyland doesn't argue for show: "I'm not going to make a fool of myself."

    If you thought Jim Leyland was merely trying to fire up his struggling, injury-depleted troops when he charged out of the dugout to dispute umpire Marty Foster's obviously erroneous "safe" call at second base on Monday night, then you don't know the Tigers' manager very well.
    Because Leyland doesn't do that. He doesn't believe in it.
    "I'm not like some managers who go out there after the umpires to fire up their team," Leyland insisted last week, before his latest outburst.
    "I've never been a manager who did that. To me, that's just a sign of frustration.
    "If I've got to do that, we've got a horse-manure team," Leyland added.
    "I'm not going to go out there and make a fool of myself if I think the umpire is right," Leyland continued.
    "I'm not going to lie to my players when I think the umpire made the correct call. I'm not going to just put on a show for the fans."
    Monday night, Leyland was convinced Foster was wrong -- on two counts.
    First, the umpire called the sliding B.J. Upton safe when the replays clearly showed rookie Will Rhymes had tagged him out.
    Then Foster accused Leyland of spitting on him.
    That was what really set the Tigers' manager off.
    "That was a blatant lie," Leyland, still seething, told reporters after the game.
    "That's a serious accusation and I'm not gonna accept it," Leyland said. "I'm not going to take that from anybody. I don't even spit on the ground."
    According to Leyland, he had been munching on a mouthful of sun flower seeds when Foster's "safe" call sent him racing out on the field. When Leyland launched his protest, some of the seeds flew out of his mouth and struck the umpire's shirt. But it was unintentional.
    Nevertheless, it is possible the Tigers' manager could be suspended after the incident is reviewed by the commissioner's office.
    "I don't know what they're going to do and I don't give a damn," Leyland said after Monday's game. "I'm tired of protecting umpires. I'm tired of not being able to say anything. When you start accusing somebody of doing something, you'd better be careful. I'm defending myself. If you want to kick me out, that's fine."
    My favorite Leyland ejection occurred in 2006 when he came out of the dugout in the middle of the seventh inning at Yankee Stadium to dispute plate umpire James Hoye's idea of balls and strikes. But just as the argument was warming up, the traditional singing of "God Bless America" began. Leyland stopped in mid-epithet, respectfully stood at attention alongside the the umpire until the song ended, then, knowing he was gone anyway, resumed his tirade.
   
   

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why not?

Leyland makes a fool of himself every time he signs off on a lineup card with Gerald Laird's name on it.

July 27, 2010 at 11:47 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

add to that ryan rayburn. What is leylands obsession with raybrurn? he's barely above .200, 2 HR, not to mention shaky fielding. Why not bring some other talent up and see what they can do? obviously rayburn isn't the answer as we all can see

July 27, 2010 at 4:59 PM 

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