Originally written on Tigers Weblog  |  Last updated 11/18/14
I was wrong (again…so I think). On September 27th, prior to game 156, I posted that this would likely be Leyland’s last regular season game in Detroit. Now I’m certain he’ll be here next April. As intolerable as Leyland’s idiosyncrasies, tendancies and hunches are, it is these same foibles that have him in his 2nd WS as a Tiger in 6 years. Take that in for a minute. If you take a close look, it’s really the positives that emerge from his faults (as we see them) that have the Tigers playing for their 5th World Series title. He’s loyal to his players, almost to a fault. Every single one of us has either written, said, or thought “why is ______ still playing?” Likely all 3, and likely multiple times. So how do guys like Peralta and DY, who had career low years, respond? By leading the offense and winning ALCS MVP, respectively, of course. Heck, Phil Coke seemed destined for the island of misfit toys next to Charlie-In-The-Box and the spotted elephant when he couldn’t get lefties out in the 6th inning. Now he’s striking out Raul Ibanez with the deadliest slider you’ll ever see on a 3-2 count. His lineups are crazy…but he gets everyone involved, and keeps players fresh. In the playoffs, we had key contributions from guys like Garcia, Kelly and Worth. Kelly scored a key run, Garcia set Tigers pinch-hitter records, and think about that play Worth made in game 2 of the Oakland series. Santiago doesn’t make that play; Peralta certainly doesn’t. That goodness Worth was ready to play. His bullpen management could politely be called stubbon and is a constant source of derision on the DTW. But let’s credit him for loosening up in the NYY Series, even if it was a game too late. He could have easily, and likely justifiably, used Valverde in game 4, but he stuck with Coke, in a move that I think foreshadows the World Series – go with Coke, or the hot hand (if it’s someone else). He’s an emotional guy, which likely explains his seemingly non-rational decisions. But that emotion forges a bond with his players, and as hard as Mitch Albom tries to fabricate it, you won’t see a better moment than the one we witnessed when he pulled Cabby in the season-ender after Cabrera had clinched the triple crown. About a month ago, I posed a question on here and asked how far would JL have to advance for you to want to bring him back next year. I said 1 series, which he’s eclipsed. Several of you commented that no matter what you wanted him gone next year. Has anyone else changed their mind? A recent Freep poll concluded that 70% of respondents want JL back. Where do you stand now? One final thought: “Sometimes I look around the stadium and I get a tear in my eye,” Leyland said. “I wish I didn’t show it. But to see those people waving those towels? To see them so happy? I truly believe the game impacts their lives.” He’s talking about us.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Jerry Jones: I'm a big admirer of Robert Griffin III

Raiola fined for uneccesarily striking Pats' Zach Moore

Report: Michigan keeping Jim Hackett on as athletic director

LeBron James on Ferguson: 'Violence is not the answer'

Decision on Ray Rice's appeal could come Wednesday

Jaguars coach calls out Blake Bortles: ‘We expect more’

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Jets prevented Ryan from talking about dad's health

Kobe Bryant on 3-11 Lakers: 'We're not a 3-11 team'

Matt Ryan defends beleaguered Falcons head coach Mike Smith

Bill Belichick on similarities between Brady, Rodgers: No. 12

Devon Still accused of not paying child support

Giants reportedly in talks with Max Scherzer, Chase Headley

Ole Miss' The Grove threatened by Mississippi State fan

Is it time for the Redskins to move on from Robert Griffin III?

Top 10 fantasy football turkeys for 2014

WATCH: Coyotes lose in ugly fashion, score own goal in OT

Golden State Warriors are having tons of fun on team plane

Jenn Sterger hints she'll be back in her FSU cowgirl gear for game

Game of the week: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Denver Broncos

Top storyline for each Week 13 NFL game

Floyd Mayweather throws shade at Manny Pacquiao on Instagram

10 greatest Thanksgiving Day games in NFL history

Derrick Rose leaves game with hamstring tightness

WATCH: Ty Lawson drops Kirk Hinrich to the floor

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Should Washington move on from RG3?

Dominic Raiola fined for cheap shots

Game of the week: Kansas City Chiefs vs. Denver Broncos

Rose leaves with injury again

WATCH: Pierce signs for fan during game

Report: McCoy to start over RG3

Braxton Miller headed to Oregon?

10 most one-sided college football rivalries

Pierce: C's Big Three like 'Holy Trinity'

Maclin unhappy with Cooper comments

Post-Week 13 CFB Playoff projection

What has Masai Ujiri built in Toronto?

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.