Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A HUGE Piece Defending Jim Leyland Against a HUGE Idiot

That is the look I usually get when I'm listening to sports talk shows.  You'd think I'd learn.

On my way home from work, sick of listening to people singing into voice synthesizers over generic drumbeats, and terrified of being left alone with my psychotic thoughts, I once again ventured into the world of sports talk radio. I am a glutton for punishment, it seems.

As luck would have it, they were talking about the Tigers and the upcoming trade deadline. The guy was yammering on about Phil Coke when I tuned in and he was saying how Coke is good for five innings and falls apart after that. He was saying how Coke isn’t going to be successful as a starter.

Now, that’s a bit harsh. In Coke’s 13 starts, he has had six starts of over five innings allowing 2 ER or less. That’s not bad for a #4 starter in his first season starting in the majors. And yeah, Phil’s had six starts where he didn’t look very good. That happens…they can’t all be Verlander. But he’s also had three starts where he hasn’t allowed a run at all.

I assume the host just looked at Phil’s hard-luck 1-7 record and just decided he sucks. They followed the Tiger talk up by saying the Royals are all a bunch of kids with no veterans around that they could possibly trade to a contender before eventually remembering Jeff Francour’s name. Apparently doing a quick check of the roster and seeing the impressive seasons being put up by Melky Cabrera and Wilson Betemit would be too much for them.

My point is, in what other job can you be clueless and wrong most of the time, yet still get paid to be an “expert” on such matters than in sports talk radio? It drives me nuts. And it only seems to get worse when these radio hosts decide to pen a column and spew their ignorant nonsense onto us in written form, too.

And on that note, I give to you, straight from the HUGE show, Mr. Bill Simonson in his latest offering at mLive. Warning…I’m going to be defending Jim Leyland in this piece. I get cranky when I have to defend one of my comic foils.

Are the Detroit Tigers for real?

No. They are a figment of your imagination because you hate your life. They are the Brad Pitt to your Edward Norton.

Will they break our hearts in the second half again?

Porcello looks like a heart-breaker. I bet that kid has seen more strange pussy the past two years than the ladies room toilets at Comerica Park.

Why can’t I trust manager Jim Leyland?

Shifty eyes. Never trust a man with shifty eyes. My father used to tell me that. Then, he’d usually say, “Well, I’m off to go fuck your mom in the ass.” Dad was funny. I wonder what ever happened to him?

I’m trying to figure out if the Tigers are playing good baseball.

Entering the publishing of your Monday article, they were 42-36 and in first place. They’re the second hottest team in baseball after the Red Sox right now. I’d say that might be good baseball. Of course, I have an IQ higher than that of a hamster. Unlike Mr. HUGE…who sounds like he is overcompensating for something…

Is it really a sign you have turned the corner if you're leading the American League Central?

Would you feel better if they were in the AL West? Because they’d be in first there, too. Are you an NL fan? They have a record better than every Senior Circuit team except for three. Even the mighty Yanks and Sawx only have three more wins than Detroit.

What I guess I’m trying to say, is fuck you, asshole.

A very average, no name, Cleveland Indians team hovering at or near the top the first three months of the season may answer that question.

Yes. A team that had the best record in baseball through the first 30+ games until their recent slide. Better than every team in baseball, not just the AL Central. But you don’t know who any of them are, so that makes them a joke. No name power on the Tribe like a DEREK JETER, ADAM DUNN, or a VERNON WELLS. Sure, they suck now, but they are NAMES. Huge names. I see where you’re coming from.

Wait, no I don’t. Die of rectal cancer.

I’m trying to be optimistic


but the ghosts of Leyland-managed Tigers teams with second-half collapses since 2006 still haunt me.

I once thought the ghost of Fernando Rodney was haunting me. I was wrong. Turns out, I was just being mugged by a crackhead.

I just can’t buy into the way this guy writes out his daily lineup card. I never have liked Leyland's style.

Ahh, yes. Jim Leyland’s lineups. Nice that you’ve gotten to this story two months after the rest of the free world. No wonder Jim Leyland hates the press.

I look at where the Tigers are

First place?

and think if Leyland really played the players who give him the best chance to win, like he said a few weeks back, Detroit would be at least 6 games up in the AL Central.

I would LOVE to hear the mathematical formula you put in place to come up with that figure. I bet it was something like, “Durr if Rayburn started less, we’d score 25 runs a game, harf.”

Who is he not playing that he should be? Did Polanco come back and no one told me he’s rotting on the bench? The issue with JL’s lineups that I have is that he continues to bat the #8 and #10 guys in the AL Top Ten in batting average at 7th and 8th in the lineup while keeping the kid that mows his lawn, Don Kelly, at the #2 spot much of the time. People want to see Cabrera and VMart bat with runners on base for a change. That is pretty much the only issue most of us sane people have with JL’s lineups.

How Ryan Raburn can play more last week than Brennan Boesch or Alex Avila is proof Leyland overthinks the game of baseball.

GENE LAMONT: So, Skip. The Giants are coming to town this week. How do you think we should prepare for them?

JIM LEYLAND: Well, a car engine is an internal combustion gasoline engine, which works on a four-stroke system: intake, compression, power, and exhaust. These four strokes are driven by the pistons, which slide up and down inside each of the four, six, eight, or twelve cylinders, depending on engine size. Each cylinder has its own intake valve, exhaust valve, spark plug, and piston. Fuel comes in from the gas tank through the fuel system, where it mixes with air and is atomized. This air/fuel mixture is what feeds into the cylinders and drives them.

LAMONT: Jim, you’re overthinking baseball again.


It seems no one outside of Miguel Cabrera, Victor Martinez and Jhonny Peralta knows they will be in the lineup everyday.

Austin Jackson leads the team in games played. Stupid facts!  But let’s explore further.

Tiger leaders in games played:

Jackson: 78
Cabrera: 78
Boesch: 72
Peralta: 69
Raburn: 64
Avila: 64
Martinez: 63…granted, he was on the DL for a while.

So, no, you’re wrong. If there's anything keeping the starters from playing more often, it's been injuries. There are very few Cal Ripken-types left in the game, you know.

And good for Jim. We need Mig, VMart, and JP playing every day. Jackson, too, for his D. Who cares if Inge sits? And Avila’s a catcher…he can’t play every day. Even Joe Mauer gets a rest here and there when he’s healthy in Minnesota.

Avila hits a homer and drives in four Saturday night and his .300-plus batting average is on the bench Sunday.

Against a tough lefty, while the more-than-capable hitting righty Casper Wells got a start, and Magglio got a rest as the DH to keep him healthy. Oh, but go on with your nonsense…

This after he had four days off in the past nine days. Can someone explain this to me?

Sure thing, your HUGEness. He’s a catcher. He needs time off. Catching wears you out, trust me, I've done it. And it’s not like Jim’s resting him a lot. Only 5 AL catchers have seen more playing time than Avila this year: Carlos Santana (who plays 1B a lot), Miguel Olivo, Kurt Suzuki, AJ Pierzynski (who rapes Cub Scouts), and Matt Wieters (who O fans tell me will be a 1st ballot HOF’er). Avila’s played six more games than Russell Martin who will probably start the All-Star game UNLESS YOU LAZY PRICKS GET OUT THERE AND VOTE AVILA NOW NOW NOW!!!

Leyland has to play Magglio Ordonez and Brandon Inge because of the big money they are making.

Yes, Magglio’s returning health and ability to sting baseballs combined with Inge’s steady D and leadership have nothing to do with it. It’s only the money. Cockwallet. Also, they’ve both been benched more than expected since their returns, for the record. Are you really that upset that Andy Dirks and his .295 OBP is not getting more at bats?

But his baseball love affair with Raburn defies logic.

I’m sick of Raburn’s struggles too, but he had similar numbers this time last year. And he went nuts the 2nd half. He’s shown he can produce and carry a team when he gets hot. I can’t blame Leyland for trying to light that fuse again. Especially when the alternative is Ramon Santiago and his .209 batting average and .551 OPS. Even Raburn’s OPS is higher than that at .568. It’s not like Leyland can shit out a Chase Utley from his ass, you know? He’s playing with the cards he’s been dealt.

The guy has no glove and is mired in a season-long slump.

But enough about Derek Jeter. Wocka, wocka, wocka!

How has Raburn not gone back to the minors to see if he could learn how to throw and hit again?

-He’s too old (30) to go back to the minors and get “better”.

-His arm is fine, you cuntlick., his glove is the problem.

-Has a decent proven history in MLB and a new 2 year contract.

-No one in the minors that has his upside. Danny Worth and Cale Iorg suck, people. Will Rhymes might fit in your pocket and be adorable when he runs on a wheel in his cage, but he can’t get a ball past the pitcher’s mound.

-Scott Sizemore was traded for a pile of shit that two teams have decided they’d be better without this year.

Face it, we’re stuck with Ryno until ‘Ol Creaky Knees comes back, unless they try Kelly at second.


The guy is hitting .199 and makes an error every other game and Leyland still stands by the guy.

If only JL would turn on a player every time he hits a rough patch. That’s what a REAL leader would do!

I think part of it is a shot back at the fans and media, because most think Raburn should’ve been shown the bench two months ago.

Two months ago = April 27th. Yes, in less than a month, Jim Leyland should have benched Ryan Raburn (who wasn’t into his big slump yet hitting .247 with 3 HR) right after DD signed him to a two-year deal.

If we get to mid-July and Ryno is still playing like this, then it’s time to make a move. But the guy has shown the past couple years that he’s a second half monster. There’s still plenty of time to let him have another chance to sort it out. Also, as I mentioned, Carlos Guillen’s supposedly two weeks away from returning.

/insert obligatory injury joke

Leyland’s stubborn side will never let the media or fans have a say in how he does his job.

Indeed. In his contract year, Jim Leyland is willing to sacrifice his job and reputation just to piss off the fans and media. You are a half-wit that should be taken to the vet and put down.

Can someone defending Leyland today tell me how he doesn’t run his best nine out there on the lineup card 6 out of every 7 games?

How about the fact that his best 9 haven’t been healthy at the same time this year? Ordonez, VMart, and Inge have all seen time on the DL. Dude, you keep bitching about this “best 9” shit, but you don’t offer a solution. Again, Polanco and Travis Fryman are not on this team to play 2B and 3B.

My only issues with Jim Leyland are where he bats Don Kelly and how he sometimes has brain farts with his bullpen. I want to see Peralta bat second. I don’t want to see Brad Thomas or Daniel Schlereth anywhere near the mound in a close game. But I’m not gonna cry about it, especially when the team is in FIRST FUCKING PLACE.

No team in baseball rests players or starts bad batting averages more consistently than the Tigers have since Leyland has been the skipper.

I bet you made that up. I’ll bet my sweaty left nut on it. You dolt.

Outside of the 2006 American league pennant he has won nothing in Detroit.

Except more games than any manager since Sparky Anderson. Please tell me you’re not pining for the Phil Garner or Luis Pujols years.

Leyland’s teams always have had horrible second halves. His playing for tomorrow system has never paid off for the Tigers, as 2006, '07, [09 and 2010 all included second-half freefalls because he refused to play his best players on a daily basis all season long.

Yup. Not injuries. Not never-before-seen runs by the Twins. Not umps fucking us over by not seeing Inge get hit by a pitch. Not first basemen getting shitfaced with the White Sox. Not any other reason. Just because Leyland sits guys on important days.

He did that with Polanco the last week of the season a couple years ago, annoying me. Other than that, you’re wildly exaggerating things.

If Leyland's style had a track record of working, I would never question one thing about the way he does his baseball business.

*1997 World Series winner
*2006 World Series runner-up
*Made NLCS from 1990-1992
*3-time Manager of the Year

Yes…no track record. Sigh. Now this HUGE show you have. Is it because you are a HUGE jackass? Or maybe a HUGE fountain of misinformation? Perhaps it’s because your opinions are a HUGE waste of time?

Is Detroit a first-place team?

/checks standings

Yup. You are familiar with the internet or a newspaper, right?

Is this team in first place today because of anything Leyland has done? I don’t think so.

Agreed. Rafael Belliard is the REAL brains of the operation.

I ask you to think of a Tigers game you went to or watched and thought to yourself what Leyland did was special.

This hurts, but how about the Sparky Tribute game I went to on Sunday. Leyland takes a chance and has Don Kelly pinch-hit for Raburn in the 8th with one out. Kelly singles to center, starting a rally that leads the Tigers to scoring 7 times and come from behind to win. That probably doesn’t happen without Leyland making a move and sitting the righty Raburn against the righty relief pitcher Aaron Heilman.

How’s that, you HUGE fuck?

How hard is it to win in a weak division when you have the payroll and players Leyland has been given since he became manager in Detroit?

Well, when large chunks of the payroll have been tied up on guys like Nate Robertson, Dontrelle Willis, Gary Sheffield, and guys on the DL, I really don’t think you can shit on Jim for that. Though you will, because you are a dipshit blowhard.

I think his teams have underachieved every year he has been manager.

Like 2006 when we had no expectations for the season and made the World Series? Fuck you, Jim Leyland!

I think team president Dave Dombrowski should be irate that Leyland hasn’t won more considering the payroll and farm system Leyland has to work with.

/spits drink on computer screen

FARM SYSTEM? Jesus Tittyfucking Christ, did you say FARM SYSTEM? You mean Clete Thomas, Will Rhymes, Ryan Strieby, Max St. Pierre, Cale Iorg, Andy Dirks, ETC, ETC, ETC?

Justin Verlander is amazing. Other than that, the best guys JL’s had coming from the farm system over his tenure have been the inconsistent Porcello, the Jeckyl and Hyde Boesch, and the just now producing Avila.

REALLY? You brought up the farm system? Holy shit. And I already covered the payroll without mentioning that they have two guys EACH eating up $20 million a year by themselves.

Good gawd, man. The fucking farm system…

Yeah, like Joe Torre would have three-peated with fucking Mike Hessman as the best hitter waiting to come up from his Triple-A team. Fuck me…

Ownership has to be on pins and needles behind closed doors praying that there is not another second-half swoon this year.

Mike Ilitch is one of the best owners in professional sports. He’s not some flaky asshat like the Dodgers or Orioles have. Ilitch is going to play it smart this year…he’s learned from his mistakes, I think.

The good thing about the Tigers in the pennant race again is that it puts pressure on Leyland to find a way to avoid the scary second half stink syndrome.

LLOYD MCCLENDON: You smell that?

TOM BROOKENS: Is that Miguel’s breath?

MCCLENDON: No…it’s the second half stink syndrome.


Look. Much has been made about the Tigers’ second half collapses. They’re annoying, I agree. But to put it ALL on Leyland is overly simplistic and just plain ignorant.

Hey…I just made the connection. MLive is now marketing articles directly toward the ignorant idiots that leave 90% of the comments there! Brilliant!

Coming next Monday, HUGE will write a piece saying how “DUMBrowski should trade Raburn and Thomas to New York for Jose Reyes”.

If he fails again, there is no way he returns next season as the Tigers manager.

Depends on the situation. What is failure? What are the circumstances? Will there be another run of injuries? What is FSD Girl Lauren’s cell number? How low is her self-esteem?

Questions must be answered. A lot can happen the rest of the way.

I hope he proves me wrong and his resting system finally pays off.

Yes, the resting system that I already proved is bullshit this year.

Verlander is Cy Young material

No shit. Stop the presses.

I do love the Tigers.

Like OJ loved Nicole.

That is why Leyland annoys me so much.

You see all this winning we’re doing? FUCK YOU, Jim Leyland!

On the upside, I will say watching Justin Verlander pitch this year is something special.

Special? Like when a butterfly lands on a “slow” child’s finger?

/Dave Attell’d

He has that old-school look of a dominant pitcher who can throw a no-hitter every time he takes to the mound.

Old school? WTF? Like this?
Is that what you mean? Doesn’t look like JV to me. Justin looks like a drunken frat boy to me.  Whatever.

I do like "V-train" as a nickname I came up with for him.

I’m so brilliant! V-Train. HOHOHOHOHOHOOOOO…the WIT!

/smells own farts


He is a machine. The guy is the front runner for the Cy Young.

It’s a two-man race between him and Beckett. But I’m with you, for once.

I hope Leyland respects the V-train


enough to set up the rotation the next two weeks so Verlander starts the All-Star Game for the American League in Phoenix.

Fuck you, fuck you, fuck you!

I thought you wanted to win games. Like GAMES THAT COUNT! I thought you didn’t want to unnecessarily rest players. And NOW you want to skip JV a day so he can pitch one inning in a fucking MEANINGLESS game that he got to pitch in last year?

You, sir, are a moron. A colossal fucking moron.

Why does every major Tiger site have a good reporter or two and then at least one raving mental patient? Is it the law in Detroit?

Knowing Leyland, he will never go against his crotchety, old set ways.

Thank Allah, Buddah, and Diesel Daigle for that.

The AL Central is sitting there for the Tigers to win.

But we should skip our ace so he can pitch in the All-Star game instead.

/breathes with mouth wide open for ten minutes

Let’s hope these well-rested players deliver in the second half this time around and get to the playoffs.

But what will you have to bitch about then?

Fucking sports radio assholes. They’re all the same. HUGE failures at sports writing.


h2opolopunk said...

I've come to really appreciate your work, Rogo. And your work gets better every passing day.

"Catching wears you out, trust me, I've done it."

At 6'4" you caught? Damn, that must've been hell on your knees.

Thanks again for writing, and keep up the great work.

Greg Eno said...

Hey Rogo: Good job ripping on Simonson.


I look at Jim Leyland and I see a guy who stole a paycheck in Colorado, fucked up THREE NLCS in a row, and has continually allowed a single injury screw up his emotionally fragile team (Polanco in 2006, Sheffield in 2007, to name two), while I see the Twins suffer injuries to guys like Mauer and Morneau in recent years and still find ways to win ballgames.

You say you can't put all of the onus on Leyland for the 2nd half collapses, but who else is the constant in this equation?

I'm with you on Simonson, because he made some very poor arguments (the Verlander All-Star thing was ludicrous). But I won't defend the Marlboro Man as vehemently as you do. Not until he has a winning record post-All-Star game. But unlike other writers, I WILL give Jim his due!!! BTW, the Tigers were even 19-31 to finish 2006!

Greg Eno

Kurt Mensching said...

the constant in the equation is dave dombrowski, who has never had a team in detroit have a better second half than first half.

JacksTigers said...

I know I'm a bitch for saying this, but I'm pretty sure he wasn't 6'4" when he caught.

Michael Wilson said...

You're unfounded hate of Leyland is just as bad as Simonson's.  There are plenty of reason's to be upset at Leyland, making up that he hasn't accomplished anything, or that he walked away from a shitty gig in Colorado is the least of them.

The sad thing is, that you have already been called out on this before and the best you could come up with to replace Leyland were a bunch of even less accomplished managers (that are all currently employed and thus wouldn't actually be available to replace Leyland, how convenient) which is your biggest argument against Leyland.

Go back to your blog that no one reads (and yes after that article I quit going there since I realized how worthless you are, kinda the same reason I quit going to Mlive).

Kyle said...

I think the highlight of this post was reading "wocka wocka wocka"

Chuck Chessor said...

This guy continues to be the absolute worst on the radio and I can't believe they let him write on mlive. 
The Verlander parts are hilarious.....VTrain? WTF....Did you combine Dontelle and Victor's nicknames to come up with that? Or maybe he stole the nickname from some adult film star?
And sitting JV to start the all star team....lets just give up a couple other wins by resting Cabby so he can go drinking with me and my buddies on our fishing trip in September. 
I will never visit mlive.com again......

SRogo said...

Thanks for the kind words and that breakdown.  I remember Bonds shitting the bed in the playoffs before exploding in the World Series he made in SanFran, but I didn't realize how many other guys failed to produce.  Nicely done.

SRogo said...

Yikes.  Easy, dude.  Greg's a good guy.  Can't we all just get along?

SRogo said...

Ha...true, I was just a kid then.  I didn't catch anymore past the age of 14.  Played mostly 1st and 3rd after.  But I still remember being miserable wearing all the equipment, crouching down in 90 degree heat, etc.  Can't imagine what it's like for MLB guys to do it so often.

Pavko1tg said...

I Like the vivid description of Purcey, but you could've just said, 'Dave traded Sizemore for Brad Thomas,' and achieved the same effect...

The Tigers are banking on Guillen being the answer to one of their lineup problems while sticking with whatever guy sucks less (raburn or inge) to fill in at the other spot. 

Lets face the fact boys and girls, you can go on and on and on about how we need reyes and wright (and sure i agree they wouldn't hurt), but if this team truly wants to contend (I'm not just talking about the central, we could win that with what we have now) they need to nab another top pitcher.  Verlander and whoever they pick up pitching 4 times total in a best of seven, with sherzer and porcello filling in the other games, is what is going to bring a championship.  Cut and dry...

SRogo said...

I agree with you, but you may as well say we need to trade for the Easter Bunny.  Which #1ish starter is available?  And what would we give up for him?  Turner is untouchable, I believe.  And I don't think Oliver and two other prospects will cut it for an ace to compliment JV.  We'll see...

Pavko1tg said...

Probably have to give up Oliver, Castellanos, Crosby, and probably another prospect...But you are right who is available is the key...

To clarify that I am not one of these know-nothing baseball fans that commonly reside in Detroit.  I clarify I'm joking before I even say this this. But we will see if anyone takes the bait...
Maybe we can talk Kenny Rogers to coming back 

JacksTigers said...

Im pretty sure a ton of people read his blog.... including you.

Michael Wilson said...

I understand a certain amount of discontent with Leyland.  I even think some of it is justified.  Unfortunately, when Greg wrote a story about this earlier he missed every valid reason.  Focusing on what he did for the Pirates and what happened in Colorado has zero to do with what he is currently doing in Detroit.

Overall, it was a very Henning like article and completely turned me off from his writing, which I used to enjoy.

Michael Wilson said...

You would be pretty wrong, at least as far as me reading his blog is concerned. 

And judging by the complete lack of responses to to any of his articles, especially considering he seems to reply fairly often to the few that do actually have a comment, I doubt he has "a ton of people" reading it.

Greg Eno said...

Hi Michael...

I really don't care how many people are reading my blog. I do it because I enjoy writing, and I find that most of my comments come from Bleacher Report, where I copy and paste my stuff, anyway.

I also write to retain a Web presence, as I am a freelancer who wants to also use my GregEno.com site as a sort of "online resume" (I write about non-sports stuff, too).

I'm also saddened that one "bad" piece on Leyland "turned you off", as if I was turned off by every piece I disagreed with, there are a lot of writers who I enjoy, that I wouldn't read anymore.

But that's OK; again, I write because I love to write---not to count readers. I guess that's what being a writer is all about.

JacksTigers said...

Will you just shut the hell up? Is that a possibility?

opus132 said...

" I see the Twins suffer injuries to guys like Mauer and Morneau in recent years and still find ways to win ballgames..."I think he covered that.  The Twins have a farm system.  We have Cale Iorg and Strieby.

Michael Wilson said...

Nope, I don't really think that is a possibility. 

At least you did get something right in your first post on this article... you are kind of a bitch.

JacksTigers said...

Big man sitting behind a computer.

SRogo said...

Gentlemen. Please stop. This isn't mLive. Thank you.

JacksTigers said...

He called me a a bitch. I'm not gonna sit back and let him do that. There. Now I'm done.

Jay Hathaway said...

Off the top of my head, but I think Wieters in Baltimore is something like 6'5".  Mauer a big boy too, I believe.

Michael Wilson said...

Jack, Actually you called yourself a bitch, I just agreed with you