This week, Detroit Tigers’ manager Jim Leyland announced his retirement. He was an ‘old school’ manager, relying more on his guts than a spreadsheet. His decisions irritated some fans, but not his results.
When you’re 68, working in a young man’s game, announcing your retirement is not a surprise. But there are a few underappreciated qualities about this grizzled veteran that are worth remembering.
Jim Leyland was a baseball man to the core. Raised in Perrysburg, Ohio, the son of a glassworker, he grew up wanting to do one thing: Play baseball.
He was good, very good, so the Tigers signed him up to play catcher in their minor league system. But just to get to the majors, you need to be great – and after seven years battling to get to the big leagues, Leyland realized he wasn’t great. Not as a player, at least.
There's a labor shortage in West Michigan. Construction jobs are going unfilled. We look at what that means for the housing industry and the economy as a whole.
And, after this weekend's loss to the Boston Red Sox, Tigers Manager Jim Leyland announced he's stepping down today.
We found out more about the man who led the Tigers to win the last three AL Central Division titles.
Also, George and Ira Gershwin are important figures in the history of American music, but there has never been a definitive edition of their joint body of work, but now the Gershwin family is teaming up with the University of Michigan to change that.
We spoke to the editor-in-chief of the George and Ira Gershwin Critical Edition to find out more.
First on the show, Bridge Magazine is taking a close look at the challenges Michigan faces as we try to improve our education system.
Jim Leyland is stepping down as manager of the Tigers, and he will announce his decision today at a news conference scheduled for 11:30 a.m. ET at Comerica Park ...
The decision ends Leyland's eight-year tenure leading the team he grew up with, first as a Minor League catcher and then as a manager in its farm system. This season was his 50th in professional baseball, 22 of them managing at the big league level, the last eight in Detroit.
It's not official yet, but talk radio and Twitter are buzzing about the expected announcement that Tigers manager Jim Leyland will announce his retirement decision at an 11:30 press conference this morning.
Michigan Radio's Sarah Cwiek will be at the news conference this morning.
*The headline for this story changed when the information was confirmed by MLB.com. Early reports used the word "retirement." He says he's taking another position with the Tigers, hence the strikethrough above.
BOSTON (AP) - The Boston Red Sox are going to the World Series for the third time in 10 seasons.
Shane Victorino launched a go-ahead grand slam in the bottom of the seventh to lift the Red Sox past the Detroit Tigers 5-2 in Game 6 of the American League Championship Series. Victorino's home run came on an 0-2 pitch and followed an error by shortstop Jose Iglesias to load the bases.
Well, it has been an odd and remarkable week in an odd and remarkable year. Large parts of the federal government are still shut down, and Detroit’s march towards bankruptcy is still proceeding, agonizingly slowly.
Yesterday, however, there was a flurry of good news, most from poor beleaguered Motown itself. The city’s thoroughly corrupt former mayor was sentenced to a record stretch in federal prison.
The Detroit Tigers defeated the Oakland A’s last night to force a deciding Game 5 in their baseball playoff series. The two teams will face off Thursday in Oakland.
Detroit baseball fans have been waiting for the Tigers offense to show itself during this playoff series against the Oakland A’s. During first 3 games of the series, the Tigers scored a combined 6 runs.
Last night, it showed up. The Tigers erupted for eight runs.
The Detroit Tigers had just clinched a division title after a long season, and the Detroit Lions had simply won a game, but the two different ways the head coaches of Detroit's major sports teams celebrate a win does show something about their personalities.
Here's the "Jim Leyland moonwalk" making the rounds online (You can scroll to 1:25 to see the moonwalk, but his heartfelt 'thank you' to his players, staff, and fans is worth watching. - you can follow this link if the video doesn't load below):
And here's the "Jim Schwartz headset throw" going around the net (the Lions had just beaten the Washington Redskins - follow this link if the video doesn't load below):
The Detroit Tigers won their division championship last night, and there’s good news for Democrats in that. This year, they can root for the team to win the World Series. Last year, that wasn’t the case.
You see, there’s an odd quirky way in which baseball correlates to national elections. When the American League wins the World Series, that‘s generally good news for the Republicans. National League wins; good for the Democrats.
Detroit‘s last two World Series triumphs came in 1968 and 1984, years when the GOP won presidential elections. The Tigers lost the World Series seven years ago, and less than a month later Democrats recaptured Congress. When the Tigers were humiliated in last year‘s series, we knew it meant curtains for Mitt Romney.
Jhonny Peralta said the following about his suspension in a press release this afternoon:
“In spring of 2012, I made a terrible mistake that I deeply regret. I apologize to everyone that I have hurt as a result of my mistake, including my teammates, the Tigers’ organization, the great fans in Detroit, Major League Baseball, and my family. I take full responsibility for my actions, have no excuses for my lapse in judgment and I accept my suspension.
I love the fans, my teammates and this organization and my greatest punishment is knowing that I have let so many good people down. I promise to do everything possible to try and earn back the respect that I have lost.”
Additionally, the Detroit Tigers released the following statement on Peralta's suspension:
"We recognize the suspension of Jhonny Peralta for violating Major League Baseball's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program as a measure taken in the best interest of the game. The Detroit Tigers continue to fully support Major League Baseball's policy and its efforts to eliminate performance enhancing drugs from our game. Per the protocol outline by Major League Baseball's collective bargaining agreement, the Tigers' organization will provide no further comment on Peralta’s suspension."
Nobody can deny that Detroit is in bad shape, especially in terms of city government. Communication between the mayor and the city council has virtually broken down, unless you call searing insults and denunciations communication.
Mayor Dave Bing seems more and more isolated and removed. Many of the city council members seem to be either in a parallel and irrational universe, or determined to drive the city off its own fiscal cliff, into either bankruptcy or some kind of state takeover.
The city has lots of other problems, from public safety to its failing schools, many of which I’ve talked about before, and will probably discuss again. If you’ve been listening to or reading me, you know that nobody could confuse me with Pollyanna.
But there are some very good things happening in Detroit. The downtown is far nicer and more vibrant than 20 years ago. So is the theater district, and Ford Field and especially Comerica Park are first-rate, world-class sports palaces.
Much of this is due to Mike Ilitch, a billionaire who made his money selling cheap pizza, not cars. Ilitch started the revival by renovating the magnificently flamboyant Fox Theater a quarter-century ago. He went on to push through Comerica Park.
And now he has a new project he wants to see finished while he is still alive. The 83-year-old billionaire wants a new, $650 million multipurpose arena that would house his Detroit Red Wings, but also be available for other things as well.
"Severe weather bearing down on the Eastern Seaboard could lead to waves as high as 33 feet on parts of Lake Michigan and dangerous conditions on other Great Lakes. Dangerous conditions are expected along piers and breakwalls in areas including southwestern Michigan. Snow linked to the Hurricane Sandy could fall in parts of Michigan," the AP reports.
Giants sweep Tigers in World Series
"The San Francisco Giants beat the Detroit Tigers 4-3 last night in 10 innings. The Giants swept the Tigers to win their second World Series title in 3 years," the AP reports.
Snyder on campaign trail against most ballot proposals
"Governor Rick Snyder will visit 12 Michigan cities this week to spread his message about the November ballot. He says Proposals Two-through-Six could undermine the state’s economic recovery," Jake Neher reports.
The odds makers are picking the Detroit Tigers, but the San Francisco Giants are a loose bunch.
They fought off three elimination games on their way to the World Series... twice.
Here's one statistic NPR's Tom Goldman pointed out this morning:
"Three times in the past in World Series when a team that's swept its way into the Series, like Detroit did, played a team that went the full seven games, like the Giants did, the team that went seven won every time."
DETROIT (AP) - Max Scherzer capped a stupendous stretch for Detroit's starting rotation, and the Tigers advanced to the World Series for the second time in seven years by beating the New York Yankees 8-1 Thursday for a four-game sweep of the AL championship series.
Miguel Cabrera and Jhonny Peralta hit two-run homers in a four-run fourth inning against CC Sabathia, who was unable to prevent the Yankees from getting swept in a postseason series for the first time in 32 years.
Last night's rain delay of Game 4 of the ALCS reminded me of one of my all-time-favorite George Carlin bits....
...the differences between football and baseball.
"Football is played in any kind of weather... rain, sleet, snow, hail, mud. Can't read the numbers on the field, can't read the yard markers, can't read the players numbers... the struggle will continue.
In baseball, if it rains, we don't come out to play!"
So why can't baseball be played in the rain?
I found the rules that outline how a game is called (by the home team manager during the regular season, and by the league in a championship series).
Rain affects the game of baseball differently because "it's a game of precision":
As a result, heavy rain makes the ball extremely hard to grip. This actually harms the team on defense dramatically more than the team on offense. If a pitcher is unable to grip the ball, he will throw erratically and will have to significantly slow his pitches. As a result, the batting team will be at a great advantage as it is not significantly harder to swing a bat or run on a dirt track in the rain.
When it's raining, the advantage goes to the offense.
Runs could be scored in bunches while the defense struggles to get three outs. Once an inning does end, the rain might let up, and the opposing team would no longer have the same advantage.
That makes sense to me. Although it does seem like it would be hard to slog through the mud to get on base.
How does this explanation sit with you? Are there any other explanations that you know of?
Miguel Cabrera won baseball's rare "Triple Crown" tonight after finishing up the regular season in Kansas City.
That means he led the American League in home runs (44), batting average (.330), and runs batted in (139).
It's been 45 years since the last player, Carl Yastrzemski, won the Triple Crown while in Boston.
The Associated Press reports Cabrera is the 15th player in Major League Baseball history to achieve the feat. Others on the list include Lou Gehrig, Mickey Mantle, and Ted Williams.
Cabrera's milestone wasn't official until the Yankees pinch hit for Curtis Granderson in their game against the Boston Red Sox. Granderson had homered twice to reach 43 for the year, tied with the Rangers' Josh Hamilton and one shy of Cabrera.
Cabrera went 0 for 2 against the Royals before leaving in the fourth inning to a standing ovation. He finished the regular season with a .330 average, four points better the Angels' Mike Trout, his biggest competition for MVP. Cabrera was the runaway leader with 139 RBIs.
Congrats are pouring in to Cabrera on his achievement, who is on the short list for the MLB's MVP award (the award the Detroit Tigers' Justin Verlander won last year).
You may not have realized this, but the best thing President Obama may have going for him in November is that the Detroit Tigers are having a pretty disappointing season.
That may sound nuts to you, but there is documented evidence of this: Throughout history, whenever the Tigers have done spectacularly well in an election year, the Republicans almost always win. When they’ve disappointed fans, the Democrats usually triumph.
The Detroit Tigers issued a statement by Delmon Young:
"I sincerely regret what happened last night. I apologize to everyone I affected, the Ilitch family, the Detroit Tigers’ organization, my teammates, my family, and the great Tigers’ fans that have supported me since day one. I take this matter very seriously and assure everyone that I will do everything I can to improve myself as a person and player.”
The team also released by Young's attorney, Dan Ollen:
“I represent Delmon Young with respect to the incident that occurred last night. With this matter now in the legal system, Delmon is unable to make any further statements or discuss this matter in further detail. All future press or investigative inquiries should be directed to me. Let me be clear, there are many false allegations regarding the actions of my client and I am confident that the legal process will separate fact from fiction and discredit these reports.”
The Detroit Tigers released this statement regarding Delmon Young's arrest:
We are aware of the situation, however it is our club policy not to comment on pending legal matters. As we understand it, this is an allegation and we need to allow the legal process to take its course. It would be inappropriate for us to comment further at this time. Per a provision in the Major League Baseball Basic Agreement, any allegation that involves alcohol is referred to MLB's Employee Assistance Program.
Detroit Tigers outfielder, Delmon Young, was arrested early this morning in New York on an "aggravated harassment as a hate crime," according to the Associated Press.
The team is in New York for a three-game stand with the Yankees.
Here's what happened according to the Associated Press:
Young was standing outside of the Hilton New York at about 1:30 a.m., where he was staying ahead of a series with the New York Yankees that starts Friday night. Nearby, a group of about four Chicago tourists staying at the hotel were approached by a panhandler wearing a yarmulke. After, as the group walked up to the hotel doors, Young started yelling anti-Semitic epithets, police said.
It was not clear whom Young was yelling at, but he got into a tussle with the Chicago group, and a 32-year-old man sustained scratches to his elbows, according to police.
Both Young and the group went inside the hotel, and at some point, police were called, and Young was arrested, police said.
Police said Young appeared to be intoxicated. He could be arraigned later today.
Delmon Young is the younger brother of former Tiger Dmitri Young.