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Jim Leyland: The experts are a bunch of idiots

Apr 16, 2012, 9:11 AM EDT

Jim Leyland Reuters

Everyone picked the White Sox to finish down in the pack in the AL Central. Jim Leyland, whose Tigers just dropped two of three to Chicago, doesn’t have a very high opinion of the experts. Chuck Garfien of was at U.S. Cellular Field yesterday, and witnessed what he calls “a classic rant” from the Tigers’ skipper:

“The people who made those picks don’t know anything about baseball. Trust me … If they think the Chicago White Sox aren’t going to be in the thick of this, they’re crazy. They don’t know anything about baseball, people making picks like that. They know nothing about baseball. Nothing. Since 2006 when I got here, this has been one of the best teams in the league every year, and they’ll be right there … They picked us fourth last year. We won 95 games, so don’t pay attention to those people. They just make a pick and they talk, but they don’t know what they’re talking about.”

Leyland had better hope he’s wrong about that. Because the closest thing there was to a unanimous pick in baseball this spring was the Tigers winning the division.

  1. bsbiz - Apr 16, 2012 at 9:23 AM

    Leyland: The experts are a bunch of idiots.

    This is the current leader for the “No Shit, Sherlock” Award of 2012.

  2. sfm073 - Apr 16, 2012 at 9:27 AM

    Duh, buy its still way too early to tell who will be there at the end and who won’t.

  3. yankeesfanlen - Apr 16, 2012 at 9:29 AM

    Since it’s the topic of the morning, maybe Jim Leyland will give Bobby V talking lessons.

  4. nflfollower - Apr 16, 2012 at 9:29 AM

    As a tigers fan, I can say for certain Jim leyland thinks everyone outside of himself and tony larussa are idiots. But whatever, he’s still ok in my book.

  5. kcmaddog1 - Apr 16, 2012 at 9:34 AM

    With a 132 million dollar payroll, this isn’t rocket science!

  6. joshfrancis50 - Apr 16, 2012 at 9:49 AM

    I would pay a lot of money to be able to sit in a bar with Jim Leyland all night smoking, drinking old fashioneds and talking about the greatest generation.

  7. Spiro Agnew - Apr 16, 2012 at 9:59 AM

    What the experts failed to take into account is the combined awesomeness of Robin Ventura and Joe McEwing.

  8. randygnyc - Apr 16, 2012 at 9:59 AM

    Sorry, but I’ll take Leyland’s analysis over the talking heads any day. Most never played MLB. Those that did, did not play at a high level, or for not very long. Leyland has been breathing baseball for decades, and at the highest levels. If he tells you to shut up, then STFU.

    • Detroit Michael - Apr 16, 2012 at 10:48 AM

      I completely disagree. There is no obvious correlation between the ability to play or manage at a major league level and the ability to accurately (or as accurately as possible) predict MLB standings.

    • jwbiii - Apr 16, 2012 at 12:08 PM

      You know that Jim Leyland never played MLB, right?

      You’re saying you’re a Hawk Harrelson fan? Or Tim McCarver or Joe Morgan or Rick Sutcliffe or John Kruk or. . .

  9. professorsparkles - Apr 16, 2012 at 10:00 AM

    Chicago White Sox:
    2006: 90-72
    2007: 72-90
    2008: 89-74
    2009: 79-83
    2010: 88-74
    2011: 79-83

    Maybe Leyland sees a pattern in this and expects them to be around 90 wins again this season, but ‘one of the best teams in the league every year’ might be stretching it a bit.

    And I forget, but did really so many people pick the Tigers to finish 4th last year? They had finished 12 and 14 games ahead of the Indians and Royals, respectively, in 2010.

    I get it, of course. You want to overplay your opponents’ strength in the beginning of the season. Make sure your players don’t take any game lightly, and temper expectations/backlash from the media.

  10. cur68 - Apr 16, 2012 at 10:07 AM

    Best quote from Leyland in a while. This does a few things: first, it acknowledges that the ChiSox are pretty good (never hurts to praise your enemy a bit). It takes some attention away from The Tigers while putting more attention on the Chi Sox. Might get into their heads a bit with more microphones shoved into their faces for quotes on “what are you doing differently this season, Adam Dunn?”. Also it sets up the “We’re the Underdog” speech that’s sure to come, be it from Leyland or his players, the table is set.

    See this Bobby Valentine? This is how a manager talks, ya knucklehead. Talk about the other team, dimwit. Say nice things about them, criticize some nebulous body, make a lot of noise that deflects attention away from your stars and onto theirs. Jim Leland = Yoda. Bobby Valentine = Jar Jar.

  11. yahmule - Apr 16, 2012 at 12:39 PM

    Nicotine is a helluva drug.

  12. witeman10 - Apr 16, 2012 at 1:55 PM

    Hey HBT, how bout a post about the surprising fact that the Tigers currently rank #1 in the entire league in fielding percentage and have committed the least amount of errors as a team. Miguel Cabrera has been suprisingly good at 3rd despite the one error. While this probably is short lived, it does not appear the Tigers defense will be as historically bad as the “experts” projected. proving leyland’s point about the experts even further…

    • jdd428 - Apr 16, 2012 at 5:25 PM

      Just as it is too early to read too much into the White Sox taking two this weekend, it’s also too early to read too much into the Tigers’ defense. I would imagine they won’t be atop the (flawed) fielding statistics when the season ends.

      And while I agree that it’s too early to suggest the White Sox are contenders, I agree with Leyland that Chicago is better than the experts suggested and that the Tigers – while clearly the most talented team in the division – are not a sure thing. They play the regular season for a reason – otherwise we could just use all the predictions and simulations and skip straight to the playoffs.

    • Detroit Michael - Apr 17, 2012 at 10:44 AM

      Besides the small sample size issues, team fielding percentage isn’t very useful at evaluating team defense. For example, the Tigers rank 11th out of 14 AL teams in Defensive Runs Saved according to Baseball Info Solutions, which is far from best in the majors.

      Anyway, let’s let the story play out for a month at least first.

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