"This is a good big-league team — if we perform," Leyland said. "Certainly, I'd rather be 7-3, but if guys get into a groove and perform up to their track records, we'll be fine. We'll win our share of games.
"But up here's it's a moment of truth. You must perform. That's what the big leagues are all about. And this team will perform."
April 10, 2008:
“I’m not going to get down on this club,” Leyland said. “I’ll tell you that right now. I’ll be the most positive person here. I’m not going to sit around and pout because a good Tiger team is not doing good right now. I’m not going to do that. If you’re looking for that, you’re looking in the wrong area.”
“We got a good ball club with a good bunch of guys,” Leyland said. “We’ll play good. Obviously, I hope it starts soon. But we’ll play good.”
May 4, 2008:
"I just think our offense is better than this," Leyland said. "I know it's better than this. I've seen a couple things that surprised me."
Part of the problem, Leyland explained, is that they don't have the speed or athleticism to do some of the tricks a manager might try to manufacture runs, such as hitting -and-running, stealing bases or taking an extra base.
So pardon me if I take the talk about this Tigers team, currently featuring many of the flaws so retrospectively apparent in the 2008 team with the world's largest grain of salt.
I'm not giving up on this team, not by a long shot, but there's going to need to be a rather pronounced transition from playing bad baseball to playing good baseball. It's not like they're losing heartbreakers out there.
Mr. Penny can put the train back on track this afternoon.