Saturday, June 24, 2006


We can talk all day long about the tactical decisions made by Jim Leyland. Most have good (Thames and Granderson over Logan), but some (Todd Jones still closer?) bad. One thing this team has, as shown by tonight's ninth inning is confidence, something clearly brought in by Leyland and his coaching staff.

How often does a team face one of the top teams in the league down by two, but still feel confident that the game will be at least tied at the end of that inning? You could just feel it coming, and Marcus Thames delivered in a big way. This is undoubtedly a direct result of Jim Leyland's ability to get the best out of his players, and give them confidence even when the team is down. Whereas last year, when the team was losing, they undoubtedly had to deal with the wrath of renouned jerks Kirk Gibson and Juan Samuel, the team now goes by one slogan: "Nine innings." A tear came to my eye when Magglio Ordonez doubled, now the next several minutes will find out if this will be a victory.

Curtis Granderson just reached base the fifth time this game. It's a shame he's not a sparkplug like Juan Pierre.

1 comment:

Lee Panas said...

I think Leyland has helped a lot but it's hard to know how much of the new attitude of the team comes from winning and how much comes from Leyland. If the pitchers were not doing what they were doing this year, the team confidence might be a little different.

I believe that Leyland is the right person for the job and he's been responsible for some of the turn around but it's really hard for me to get away from the idea that he has a lot more to work with than they had the last two seasons.