August 16, 2013

Jim Leyland & Justin Verlander


They arrived at the same time. Okay, Leyland really arrived in the '60s and Verlander arrived in 2005. But, for all practical purposes, they arrived in 2006. Leyland, the manager who quit on baseball in 1999 and Verlander, the brash rookie. Leyland made the team. And Verlander made the team. The '06 Tigers shocked the baseball world and arrived in the Fall Classic. They didn't win, but the fact they made it three seasons after a 119 loss season was amazing. 

Verlander has grown into a superstar and Leyland has grown into a Hall of Fame manager. He has his quirks, but overall, the might be one of the top three managers in baseball today. He is loyal to a fault — especially with certain players and coaches. 

I understand the loyalty, though. When you know how someone can perform, what he can do, and how he reacts in certain situations, you have a certain level of comfort. At times it has bothered me that he's so loyal, but in the big scheme of things, it works for him. He's the man in charge. Sure, Dave Dombrowski creates the roster, but Leyland keeps things moving and balanced. 

Today, JV will be throwing the baseball and Leyland will hopefully get to stay in the dugout and let JV shut the Royals down. It's a key game in a key series. Leyland stays even keel at most times. He knows this series could put the Tigers in the best situation possible and that it could bury the Royals. I'm betting that today continues the return of "Must See JV." 

No comments: