Leyland, in his first season as an American League manager,
sounds shocked at how much difference the designated hitter makes. He's had the 3 weeks of the season so far to experience how the DH makes the bottom of a lineup so much stronger in the AL than in the National League. He's already realized how much of a physical and mental toll that can take on Verlander or any starting pitcher over the season.
He said Monday that in the NL, where he'd done all his prior managing, "a lot of times you have the eighth hitter and pitcher coming up, and you had two or three innings in the game where you could enjoy your cigarette.
"Here, guys hitting ninth are hitting 20 homers and knocking in 80 runs. It's scary.
I noticed this for a few reasons--
***Many watchers respect Leyland & are very interested in what he does this year.
***Pundits with an agenda often don't acknowledge the difference it makes for an
American League pitcher.
***Yesterday a pundit ran an article with an opposing view to Leyland's, clearly just
desperate to create controversy or promote a favorite player's situation.