Big and Tall: Jim Leyland Signals to Tigers Dugout for Brad Eldred
It's quite a distance from second base to the dugout, probably a bit too far for a voice to carry. And given his proclivity for cigarettes, Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland surely doesn't have the lung capacity he once did.
Between that and the noise from the Comerica Park crowd over their team breaking out for an 8-0 lead over the Kansas City Royals on Tuesday night, Leyland had to resort to other means to convey a message to the home dugout.
The Tigers needed to replace Andy Dirks, whose left hamstring tightened up after running out a double in the fourth inning. Standing at second base with team trainers and coach Gene Lamont, Leyland had to signal for Dirks' replacement. Did he want Ryan Raburn or Danny Worth to sub in?
Dirks was the designated hitter in Tuesday's lineup, so Leyland wanted another DH. He wanted the big guy sitting on the bench. Brad Eldred, called up from Class Triple-A Toledo when the Tigers released Brandon Inge, got the call.
But how could Leyland clarify that he wanted the 6'5", 275-pound Eldred? He made it clear with hand gestures, reaching one hand high over his head, then holding out both arms wide.
Leyland's hand signals were reminiscent of Ozzie Guillen's call for husky reliever Bobby Jenks during the 2005 World Series.
Hopefully, Leyland never has to signal for Prince Fielder in such a manner. That could be a bit awkward.
But let's see Houston Astros manager Brad Mills try this. What kind of hand signals would he use to call for the diminutive Jose Altuve if he has to come in as a pinch-runner?
Bobby Valentine probably shouldn't try it with Dustin Pedroia. Things are already tense enough between those two.
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