From The Fans: Dear Jim Leyland...

Patrick BContributor IAugust 20, 2009

ST LOUIS - OCTOBER 24:  Nate Robertson #29 of the Detroit Tigers lays down a sacrifice bunt in the third inning against the St. Louis Cardinals during Game Three of 2006 World Series at Busch Stadium on October 24, 2006 in St. Louis, Missouri.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Now, I am not saying I could manage a team better than yourself.

But please, Tigers fans everywhere are screaming two things very loudly.

  1. Play Alex Avila
  2. Bunt....the....ball.....

I'll be honest and say I got up and walked away for about seven innings of Thursday's walkoff-win over the Seattle Mariners. I'm sickened by the constant popping up of first pitch strikes or swinging at a terrible 2-0 pitch and doing nothing productive with it.

Back to my two shouts. Alex Avila can play. Of the six games he has started as a catcher, you have won four, and one of those losses came at Fenway when Porcello was ejected with a 3-0 lead. At the pace he is hitting (22 AB, .435 BA, 3 HR, 9 RBI), given a regular season he would hit around 60 homeruns and bat in around 140. Now, that's very unlikely to happen, but it goes to show how well the youngster is producing behind the plate.

Your everyday starter, Gerald Laird, is producing absolutely nothing offensively. With 310 at bat's this season, Laird has driven in 25 runs and smashed a mind blowing four homers, all while batting .221.

The numbers are there. The kid has a sweet swing and can absolutely hit the ball. Avila deserves a chance to play.

As to the second shout. I discussed this previously, but apparently you didn't read it.

In the bottom of the 9th, you get your leadoff man on. Whatever you said to Ryan Raburn, the next batter up, was not right, as he popped up the very first pitch right by the visitors dugout.

Please, think about the situation. On deck is Miguel Cabrera, the only Tiger batting over .300 on the season and seemingly the only one to be able to count on for a hit. Coach, why didn't you bunt? It would have put a man on second base with your slugger coming up. I was left to shake my head when Cabrera doubled down the line and nobody scored.

Had the game ended with no runs scoring, this letter would not have been as friendly.

Please take our thoughts into consideration. They might help you win the AL Central, because every game means something. Every situation is critical, and Tigers fans everywhere want to see your team advance into October.