Michigan has apparently passed a new law that will make all public places become “smoke free” in May and unfortunately for Tigers manager Jim Leyland “public places” includes Comerica Park.
Leyland learned of the law while appearing on a radio show yesterday and said that he plans to follow the rules, but added:
Is it banned all over? Really … then I’ve got a problem. Houston, we’ve got a problem. I’m not saying that I won’t cheat once in awhile. I’m not going to lie.
Leyland was known for smoking in the dugout during games and, once that became frowned upon, lighting up in the clubhouse ramp between innings. He also once had a quote that must have made cigarette makers smile, saying: “Sometimes, smoking is fantastic.”
If the Tigers have a great April and then struggle once the calendar flips to May, we may know why.
The Arizona Diamondbacks just announced that they are parting ways with Tony La Russa at the end of the month.
La Russa served as the club’s “Chief Baseball Officer” from 2015-16. For the last year he was styled “Chief Baseball Analyst.” That’s a nice way to saying that he was pushed aside when the club fired his hand-picked general manager Dave Stewart and brought in Mike Hazen to run the club a year ago. La Russa was stripped of his powers, but was told he could hang around as an advisor. Most didn’t think he’d actually take the club up on that offer, but he did. By all accounts he was a pretty unobtrusive presence around the team this year, offering counsel and insight when asked but not making things awkward the way having the old boss around might do.
I suppose that can only last so long, however. The Dbacks had considerably more success without La Russa in charge in 2017 than they had with him in charge the previous couple of years. At some point you just part ways. That point is now.