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.
Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that the Astros and outfielder Michael Brantley are closing in on an agreement for a two-year contract in the $32 million range.
Brantley, 31, played a mostly full season last year for the first time since 2015. He hit .309/.364/.468 with 17 home runs, 76 RBI, 89 runs scored, and 12 stolen bases in 631 plate appearances. He made the AL All-Star squad for the third time in his career.
Brantley’s health, though, is why he had to settle for a two-year deal as opposed to a longer contract for a player of his caliber. He will take over in left field. In the event Brantley succumbs to injury woes, the Astros have top prospect Kyle Tucker waiting in the wings.
Update: According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, who also reports that the deal is in place, the Astros plan to rotate Brantley between left field, first base, and DH. That opens up some more playing time for Tucker.