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Jim Leyland doesn't like the redeye flights

Apr 27, 2010, 10:29 AM EDT

Up in the Air.jpgThe Tigers played a night game in Anaheim on Thursday and took a late night flight that got them into Dallas early Friday morning before a game against the Rangers that evening.  Then they played a night game against the Rangers last night and took a late night flight that got them into Detroit early this morning before a game against the Twins tonight.

Jim Leyland doesn’t like it one bit:

“I’m not knocking anybody in general, but you also need to take care of
your product. Two times in five days (red-eye flights). That’s just not
reasonable. That’s no good, just no good. This has been ridiculous, to
be honest with you.”

The wraparound series with the Rangers is perplexing to me, because yesterday probably should have been an offday, what with it being a transition between a west coast trip and the return to divisional play (the next Tigers off-day is May 6th, between games in Minnesota and Cleveland). I know they’re not flying commercial and carrying their own bags and stuff, but even relatively posh travel can be exhausting.

There are so many spinning plates when it comes to doing the schedule — you have to keep teams from two-team cities apart if you can; you have to deal with TV stuff; you have to worry about rainouts; — but tiring out a team with a couple of poorly planned-out stretches of travel can have competitive implications, and that’s unacceptable.

  1. Old Gator - Apr 27, 2010 at 10:46 AM

    I would argue just the opposite – that, like blown calls by umpires, red-eye flights and exhausting schedules should have competitive implications. Are you men or are you just miniature tree sloths? Can you take it? Since when are competitive sports meant to pamper its factotums? If we’re so worried about our jetlagged little heroes, let’s just play all our games with idoru. Since every team is going to have a streak of badly planned schedules and red-eyes that deliver them up to their division adversaries dehydrated, their circadian rhythms gone dissonant, their hormone levels and neuroinhibitors redlining, it all evens out in the end anyway – and you get to take the true measure of “your guys” and see what they’re really made of.
    .
    All I can say for you, Craig, is that you’re lucky this isn’t Gladiator Talk, or you’d be leaving the coliseum to find wussy! painted with sheep’s blood all over your chariot.
    .
    Writing this post wore me out. I’m going to go take a nap.

  2. Bobby Townsend - Apr 27, 2010 at 10:51 AM

    What would the problem be having Monday’s game a day game or the Tigers play a day game in Anaheim on Thursday to avoid these red eye flight. Get-away games should not played at night. The Tigers also lost an hour flying from Dallas to Detroit and two hours flying from Anaheim to Dallas

  3. Brian - Apr 27, 2010 at 10:56 AM

    What a crybaby. He should be happy his team doesn’t play on the west coast. West coast teams have to deal with a lot of travel. This is no big deal. Maybe he’s too old to manage if he has to cry about it.

  4. Robert - Apr 27, 2010 at 11:02 AM

    I heard during a twins broadcast earlier this season that Anaheim won’t schedule afternoon games on getaway days, so ideally the Tigers should have played their last game in LA in the afternoon, but the Angels are a bunch of jerks. They did the same thing to the Twins earlier this month. The jerk store called….

  5. ThatGuy - Apr 27, 2010 at 11:04 AM

    During the Twins vs Angels opening series, the announcers were talking about how the Angels were notorious for doing night games before a team leaves a city, forcing them to do a red eye flight. The Twins didnt get to Chicago until like 6 AM to play a night game the next day.

  6. Matt - Apr 27, 2010 at 11:15 AM

    To reiterate on the Twins thing, I heard it too. The game was Thursday April 8, the opening series of the season.
    The other point to note is that it was apparent the Twins were pissed, and looking forward to the opportunity to respond in kind to the Angels. So perhaps some stathead can check on that.

  7. Will - Apr 27, 2010 at 11:58 AM

    I heard during a twins broadcast earlier this season that Anaheim won’t schedule afternoon games on getaway days

    The Rockies radio announcers made a similar complaint about Houston’s scheduling the other day. I know the Rockies tend to schedule day games to end their series at home. I wonder what the breakdown of day and night getaway games looks like for the majors as a whole?
    WV: Whack University

  8. GimmeSomeSteel - Apr 27, 2010 at 1:02 PM

    The Angels would be smarter to schedule day games on “incoming day” than night games on “getaway day”. How does it help the Angels to have the Tigers tired after they fly from Anaheim to Texas?
    .
    That said, teams can return the favor to send a message to Angels management.
    .
    Leyland, OTOH, sounds like a cranky old man. Like Marty Brenneman on the air here in Cincinnati, who bitches about the schedule every year, all year, he should either deal with it or retire.

  9. Steve A - Apr 27, 2010 at 1:17 PM

    Why should I pay to go see tonight’s game? I know that my team is going to be tired from 12 straight days on the road and 11 straight days of games. All but 2 were night games, also. It’s unacceptable to the fans who are paying to see the best of the best. Instead, we’re paying to see a team most likely sleepwalk through a game against a foe who has been in the city since Sunday night. This is the point that Leyland is making.
    Both the Angels and the Rangers refused to move the last games of the series to day games. I understand the rigors of travel, but the product on the field does suffer. Over the course of a season, there are a lot of competitive imbalances, however, one such at this is avoidable and regrettable.

  10. Robert - Apr 27, 2010 at 1:57 PM

    It is hard for teams to “get back” at the angels, since when teams leave LA they usually lose a few hours, whereas if the Angels are going home, they gain time. Until we get a team in Hawaii that is.

  11. Michael - Apr 27, 2010 at 3:16 PM

    These problems really started arising when MLB fired the people who had been doing its scheduling in favor of “taking it in-house.”
    Now you get this, plus road trips that bounce from Texas to Toronto to Anaheim without a break.
    You’d think that the vast majority of teams now controlling their own facilities would mean much easier and more sensible scheduling, since you don’t have to schedule around other tenants. But it’s only gotten weirder.

  12. HaloFan - Apr 27, 2010 at 4:12 PM

    Please.

    The Angles play their DIVISION across three time zones. A DIVISIONAL road trip may include a flight from Seattle to Texas overnight – far more miles than most Central or East teams rack up on one of their notorious West-to-Home legs.

    The majority of weekday games should be scheduled when, you know, people can actually attend. Compulsory getaway day games for all West Coast clubs is a ridiculous suggestion.

    I understand Leyland’s used to playing the majority of his schedule in parks that are a 45 minute flight from Detroit, but the guy’s got to man up for an occasional West Coast swing. Baby.

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