Originally posted on It's Always Sunny in Detroit  |  Last updated 5/10/12

LAKELAND, FL - FEBRUARY 21: (EDITOR'S NOTE: IMAGES HAVE BEEN DIGITALLY DESATURATED) Manager, Jim Leyland #10 of the Detroit Tigers poses for a portrait during Photo Day on February 21, 2009 at Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland, Florida. (Photo by Nick Laham/Getty Images)

Tigers skipper Jim Leyland is known to some as the “Wizard of Woodward” and known to others as the “Wretch of Wrongness” based on the decisions he makes on a nightly basis.  Baseball managers have to make countless decisions game-in and game-out – his batting order, who will be available out of the bullpen, when to bunt, when to hit and run, when to make a pitching change, when to scratch yourself, this, that and the other thing.

Leyland’s quirks include his unwavering loyalties to guys who struggle mightily (Brandon Inge, Ryan Raburn); about how he often plays for the three-run home run;  how he repeatedly lets a reliever proverbially “cook himself” by leaving him in after it’s obvious he doesn’t have “it” that night; why he chooses to talk like his mouth is full of melonballs; how he plugs the replacement in to the starter’s position in the lineup despite it not making sense; why he’s constantly cranky-looking.  The gamut is endless.

Leyland admitted Wednesday that he doesn’t mind whether or not you agree his decisions.  His main concern is that you’re talking.  Before Wednesday’s game in Seattle – a game in which he’s giving outfielder Andy Dirks a night off despite Dirks having four two-hit games in a row (four!), Leyland had this to say:

“I want them (Tigers fans) to second-guess.  I want them to be involved, because that means they’re talking about the Tigers, they like the Tigers. We’ve got emotional fans, but one thing they can’t forget: We’re emotional, too. Trust me, we live and die with a loss more than they do. Trust me. It’s just that we can’t carry it over like they can.”

Leyland’s strategy (which often seems like he’s throwing darts in his head) is a magnet for second-guessing.  And with his team having the fifth highest payroll in the Major Leagues and hovering around .500, he deserves it.

With his admission, it almost seems like he’s stirring up the second-guessers with some of his calls.  But hey, if he likes it, more power to him.  If someone wants to pay me millions of dollars to wear baseball pants and be a key topic of Detroit sports radio mayhem, you could second guess me all you want.  And I totally wouldn’t sound like I have a mouth full of melonballs.


[Jim Leyland doesn't mind when fans second-guess his decisions: 'I want them to be involved']  MLive.com

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