Leyland: Granderson is “everything that’s good about baseball”
High praise from Tigers manager Jim Leyland, who spent a lot of time today talking about a player who is no longer on his team. Here’s the transcript concerning the newest Yankee centerfielder:
Q. For people who don’t see Curtis Granderson every day, what does he bring to a team when he’s at his best?
JIM LEYLAND: Well, I think in my opinion Curtis Granderson is one of the things that’s all good about baseball in today’s baseball world. He is one heck of a player. He has a great face. He’s very bright. He’s very articulate. He’s everything that’s good about baseball. Not to mention a guy that did something that nobody in the history of the game did a couple years ago. Nobody ever. And he hit 30 home runs last year. He’s the total package.
Q. His numbers dropped off a little last year, obviously. What was the difference last year?
JIM LEYLAND: Well, his home runs did not drop off. But in fairness, I think one of the things that happened was if you look at the American League last year, there was some real good left-handed pitching that surfaced in the American League last year. And he got thrown to the wolves because there was a stretch there where that’s all we saw was left-handed pitching, and it was real good left-handed pitching. And that’s his last hurdle, and he will hurdle that.
To me he’s everything that’s good about the game.
Q. How do you describe him as a fielder?
JIM LEYLAND: I think Comerica Park is probably one of the toughest center fields to play. I think that it’s sometimes confusing, balls right at or over your head. I think side to side is not an issue, but that park is — if you look at a lot of center fielders at Comerica Park, they had trouble with certain balls, and I think he’s a very good fielder, to answer your question. And he’s a good thrower. Not a great thrower, but a very good thrower. He’s the total package.