We're not going to be about music today.
We're going to be about baseball.
As someone who has spent the better part of ten years in Detroit, watching the
Tigers and getting nauseous, allow me to indicate my perpetual disappointment in the
way their manager, Jim Leyland, handles his pitchers.
Particularly his relievers.
Particularly his closer, Jose (Papa Grande) Valverde.
Your closer is supposed to be your best one-inning pitcher.
A closer's battle ribbons are Saves.
Valverde has garnered a lot of Saves.
But every time Leyland brings him into a game in a Save situation, the 45,000 fans
in Comerica Park have their hearts in their mouths.
Because he almost invariably, immediately, gets himself into trouble.
But because Comerica, the Tigers home park, is so huge, he rarely gives up home runs,
and gets himself out of the trouble he created, just well enough to Save the day.
Just like Mighty Mouse.
But last night, at Yankee Stadium, a much easier park to hit Home Runs in, Valverde
gave up two two-run homers to allow the Yankees to tie up the game.
The thing is, in both instances, those Home Runs would have been easy outs in Comerica.
Just two nights earlier, Valverde did the same thing in Oakland, blowing the Save and the game.
Oakland isn't an easy park for Home Runs either, but far easier than Comerica.
The Yankees have always had a history of having their best pitchers be Lefthanders.
Whitey Ford, Ron Guidry, C.C. Sabathia....
This is no accident.
It's a lot harder to hit Home Runs off a Lefty in Yankee Stadium.
Both the old version and the new.
They've always tailored their park to Lefthanded pitching
There is far more distance to the left field power alleys than to right field.
Any righty is vulnerable there.
Valverde in Yankee Stadium becomes just any other righty.
Both of the Home Runs hit off him last night were easily catchable if they were hit
They were hit to the shallow portions of right field.
So I don't really blame Valverde.
I blame Leyland.
He exposed Valverde to his most major weakness.
So what do you do about it?
Well, the Tigers came back and won last night's game, one which I'd already written
off, by bringing in one of their spot starters.
A guy named Smyly.
He just came in and got the win.
So what do you do for the rest of the series?
If you're Leyland, you sit down with Papa Grande, and you tell him "We're not taking
your job away from you. But we're only going to let you pitch at Comerica. No more
Yankee Stadium for you.
When we're here, Smyly will be the closer.
As a starter, he's capable of going two innings a game.
And if Valverde had any sense, he'd reply "Whatever you say, skipper."
The only question left is "Will Leyland have any sense?"
It's not rocket science.
It's baseball science.
More music on Tuesday.
My books ,"Show Runner" and it's sequel,"Show Runner Two", can be found at the Amazon Kindle Store.
Along with the newer ones, "The Man Is Dead", and "Report Cards".
You can search by typing in my name, Cindy Williams, Laverne & Shirley, The Odd Couple, or Happy Days.
Check them out.
You don't need a Kindle machine to download them.
Just get the free app from Kindle, and they can be downloaded to an IPhone, IPad, or Blackberry.
The paperback, "Mark Rothman's Essays" is still available for people without Kindle.
I have many readings and signings remaining, and the thing about Kindle is you can't sign one.
If you'd like one, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And now, we've got my reading of my "Laverne & Shirley Movie" screenplay on YouTube.
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- mark rothman
- Hi. I am, according to my Wikipedia entry,(which I did not create) a noted television writer, playwright, screenwriter, and occasional actor. You can Google me or go to the IMDB to get my credits, and you can come here to get my opinions on things, which I'll try to express eloquently. Hopefully I'll succeed. You can also e-mail me at email@example.com. Perhaps my biggest claim to fame is being responsible, for about six months in 1975, while Head Writer for the "Happy Days" TV series, for Americans saying to each other "Sit on it."