September 9, 2012; Anaheim, CA, USA; Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland (10) walks back to the dugout before the bottom half of the eighth inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-US PRESSWIRE
No lengthy introduction to my column in the Detroit News. Just go read it.
But a few thoughts:
Fans talking about the team is a good thing -- even when they kind of get annoying. In his heart, Tigers manager Jim Leyland knows that. I think he was probably just blowing off steam in front of the media when he went off last week. I'm pretty sure all the towns known for rabidly following a baseball team have the same love-hate relationship between fans and the team. Still, it does get a bit repetitive and annoying.
On the other hand, fans really do have to grasp the idea that this is a professional baseball team. There's a lot more going on than that three hour period that's on their television or radio or computer or whatever. From massaging personalities to finding a matchup that can be exploited to resting players who are banged up, Leyland has a lot more going on than "putting the best nine on the field" for 162 games a year. And it's a long season. If he rests players in the early part of the season, he's giving away games. If he doesn't rest them in the early part of the season, he's criticized for wearing down players.
Talking about a team is great. Just realize that running a baseball team is not as easy as it appears from the comfort of your favorite chair.