Open Letter to Jim Leyland

Last may, we made a decision to no longer wear our Tigers hat in public again until Jim Leyland was no longer the manager of the Detroit Tigers. It looks like that isn't going to happen any time soon, so the hat will head back into rotation on an interim basis. But in the meantime, we have a couple requests for the skipper:

- Keep moving guys around to find their comfort zone. You have a knack for solving personnel problems and getting the right guys in the right positions. Very much a positive aspect of your tenure here in Detroit. But. . .

- The Tigers at the plate have a top 10 if not a top 5 offense. Please do not hog-tie it by bunting while down a run in the 4th inning. Jim, you have no idea how many runs the other team will end up with, please do not prevent run scoring for the sake of a 4th inning tie.

- You have no closer. This is actually a good thing. Learn that a closer is not the only guy in the bull pen who can handle the "pressure" of the 9th inning. Sometimes, Jim, facing 3-4-5 in the 8th is more important, and worthy of your top reliever, than facing 6-7-8, just because it happens to be the 9th inning.

- Enough with the LOOGY (Lefty One Out GuY). Your best reliever last season was Bobby Seay, but you refused to use him for more than the one lefty you had him warm up for. Here's a tip: when you did actually leave him in, he was better against rightys than leftys. And a 0.010 benefit from the RHP vs RHH does not overcome the 0.100 drop in talent when you go to someone else.

- Pitch counts. Use them. Know them. Live them. I realize this one will be the hardest to understand, but sending a guy out there to throw 130 pitches every five days does take a toll. It is documented. I know- they used to do it back in the day. But those pitchers, even from the 70's were not facing the batters 1 through 9 they see today. Every pitch is a big one, and it is also proven that pressure pitches take a larger toll than non-pressure pitches.

The Tigers entered play last season prohibitive favorites to win the Central, and finished last. This is directly attributable to the management of the team on the field, costing them countless runs in games that were winnable. The Central is very winnable this season, but they cannot be giving up runs at the plate, and making poor pitching decisions in the late innings.

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