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Jim Leyland Accepts Fan Second-Guessing About Removing Porcello from Shutout

Tigers manager Jim Leyland is an outspoken character who is unafraid to voice his opinion. Last week he said interleague play was flawed, he’s argued against instant replay, and he steadfastly believed that Miguel Cabrera’s alcohol problems wouldn’t affect his play. Now he’s ranting against the fans who call into sports talk radio shows to hear their own voice.

Leyland was asked by WXYT host Jeff Riger about the criticism he’s received for removing Rick Porcello from Sunday’s game after eight innings. Porcello had a one-hit shutout going and had only thrown 84 pitches, but Leyland decided to put in closer Jose Valverde to pitch the ninth. Pitching complete game shutouts are special accomplishments for pitchers, and that’s why some fans were upset. Leyland made it clear he doesn’t care about the criticism. Here’s what he said in response:

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Rick Porcello Should Be Ashamed

I was watching some of the White Sox/Tigers game in the afternoon Tuesday (the first game of a doubleheader) and saw the most rare occurrence. Leadoff man Juan Pierre stepped up to the plate to lead off the 5th and proceeded to launch a home run to right field. This was not some cheap shot that just barely sneaked over the fence nor was it an inside-the-parker like you would expect from Juan. This was a rocket that went clear over the right field fence at Comerica Park.

Not only was the homer Pierre’s first of the year, it was his first since September 15th, 2008. That’s right, Tigers pitcher Rick Porcello served up a dinger to little ole’ Juan Pierre who had gone 811 at-bats without homering in the Majors. 811!

To give you some more perspective on how long it’s been since Pierre went deep, JP was still a member of the Dodgers and the almighty combination of Angel Berroa and Nomar Garciaparra comprised the left side of the team’s infield. Also, the guy who served up that dinger — Marino Salas — hasn’t pitched in the majors since. Porcello gave up seven earned runs and saw his ERA rise to 5.91. Your move, Dombrowski.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Duane Burleson

Video: Kevin Youkilis and Rick Porcello Fight After Youk Charges the Mound

Man, this was about as good of a fight as we’ve had in baseball since Jose Offerman decided to charge the mound toting his bat like it were a mace. Check out this must-see video of Kevin Youkilis charging the mound on Rick Porcello. Youk comes in with a strong charge but it seemed like Porcello got the upper edge:

If you’re asking for my assessment of the situation, it’s Youk who was in the wrong and got what he deserved. By my count, three Tigers had been plunked (Cabrera twice, Inge once) to only one Red Sox player (Youk) by the time Youk charged after getting hit a second time. That’s 3-2 with the Tigers on the losing end. If anyone should have gone, it was Miggy back in the first when he got dosed for the second time in two days. But he held back while Youk couldn’t. Speaking of which, that was a sweet body slam by Porcello. Not bad for a youngster.