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 Verlander AND Laird has heated exchange in dugout Monday

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PostSubject: Verlander AND Laird has heated exchange in dugout Monday   Tue Aug 25, 2009 11:17 am

Verlander shrugs off flareup with Laird
Tigers battery has heated exchange in dugout Monday

By Jason Beck / MLB.com

08/25/09 3:21 AM ET

ANAHEIM -- Tigers manager Jim Leyland called Monday a learning experience for his young ace, Justin Verlander. Keeping disagreements out of public view might've been part of the lesson for Verlander and catcher Gerald Laird.

What appeared to be a difference of opinion on pitch selection turned into a seemingly heated verbal dispute between pitcher and catcher in the middle of the Tigers dugout between innings on Monday night in a nationally televised game at Angel Stadium. Both Verlander and manager Jim Leyland chalked it up to the heat of the moment and suggested things had been settled after the Tigers held onto the 10-7 win over the Angels.

"It's one of those things that's in the heat of the battle," Verlander said. "It wasn't going well. He's fired up. I'm fired up. It's nothing."

The problems stemmed from Verlander's sixth-inning demise, when the All-Star right-hander took a 10-0 into the inning and left with two outs and four runs in. Leyland pulled Verlander, who was clearly frustrated as he stepped off the mound and stared at his approaching manager but remained in the Tigers dugout as Bobby Seay struck out Chone Figgins for the final out.

Once Laird came back into the dugout, the two exchanged words. Replays showed Laird standing over Verlander in the dugout pointing toward the mound as he said something to Verlander, who quickly sprung up and answered back. Seay alertly got between the two before anything more could develop.

"That was just one of those things. We're in the heat of the battle," Verlander said. "I said something he didn't like. He said something I didn't like. It's whatever. It's not a big deal. It's the heat of the game. We need to win every game we can the way things are going. That's going to happen over the course of the season. There's nothing even really to talk about. Me and him are fine. It's nothing."

Laird, who has family in the area, left quickly after the clubhouse opened after the game and was not available for comment.

Leyland chalked up the matter as part of a sixth inning in which Verlander needed to take control of the game.

"I think it was some mixup on what they wanted to throw to somebody. You know how that goes," Leyland said. "I think he just got frustrated. It appeared to me he got a little frustrated and he wasn't quite sure what to do.

"It's a good lesson. There's nothing wrong with that. That's one that he's got in his pocket now and he's got in his memory bank for the rest of his career, and I doubt that will ever happen again."

When asked about Verlander's look as Leyland made his move to pull him, Leyland brushed it off, but made his point.

"I don't care about that. I make the moves," Leyland said. "I'll make the pitching changes when I think it's time to make them. But it was time to make it."

If the venue for pitcher and catcher to vent seems familiar for the Tigers, it's the same ballpark where former Tigers catcher Ivan Rodriguez and then-youngster Nate Robertson had a similar disagreement on pitch selection five years ago. That Aug. 14, 2004, dispute actually began on the mound after a Robb Quinlan homer on a 3-0 pitch, then continued into the dugout after the inning.

"Unfortunately in this day and age, everything gets seen," then-manager Alan Trammell said the next day. "Things like that have been happening for 100 years, but in this day and age, it's going to be played up.

Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.


“It takes pitching, hitting and defense. Any two can win. All three make you unbeatable.”    
–Joe Garagiola
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PostSubject: Re: Verlander AND Laird has heated exchange in dugout Monday   Tue Aug 25, 2009 2:22 pm

Boys will be boys...I guess.

Makes me wonder though if Verlander was shaking off Laird because he knew what pitches were hit hard in the past and wanted to avoid making the same mistake. Sometimes I think those things stick with a pitcher and they want a different outcome.
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PostSubject: Re: Verlander AND Laird has heated exchange in dugout Monday   Tue Aug 25, 2009 3:09 pm

At the end, all JV was doing was throwing fast balls as hard as he could! No longer pitching, but throwing because he was upset.


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PostSubject: Re: Verlander AND Laird has heated exchange in dugout Monday   Tue Aug 25, 2009 10:52 pm

I sorta saw him shouting when Laird went out there. He was pretty worked up and looked kinda pissed.

Guess he was.

Let Avila catch more!
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PostSubject: Re: Verlander AND Laird has heated exchange in dugout Monday   Thu Aug 27, 2009 1:12 am

Laird puts Verlander matter behind him
BECK'S BLOG
Posted on August 26, 2009 at 4:30 AM

When Gerald Laird met up with family members after Monday's game, he didn't tell his dad about the, well, animated discussion he had with Justin Verlander in the Tigers dugout in the sixth inning. Then he tuned into Sportscenter. So much for that.

"He didn't know it happened, and then everyone sees it," Laird said. "Honestly, I didn't think it was going to be on [the ESPN broadcast]. It was just one of those things where I thought I was right and [Verlander] thought he was right, we discussed it and after the game we shook hands."

Laird's views on the matter sounded much like that of Verlander Monday night, that it was emotions of the game catching up with them and spilling out in public view when they shouldn't have. And now, it's over.

"It escalated probably more than it needed to," Laird said. "If it wasn't the ESPN game, I don't think anyone would've seen it. It was just one of those things that got caught on TV. I'm sure we'll talk about it today, but we shook hands [last night]. We're friends. We have dinner together all the night. It's just one of those misunderstandings."

Laird said what sparked it came not from pitch selections, but from a point during the sixth when Laird tried to walk out to the mound.

"It was when we went out there and he called me halfway," Laird said. "That was the disagreement right there, just on signs, I think it was. That's it. He just mentioned something. He's a competitor. You don't like to get hit around. I'm sure he got frustrated and went to the dugout. I was frustrated because I want him to do the best he can. I don't want him to give up runs, get hit around. It's just one of those things in the heat of the moment. That's it."


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PostSubject: Re: Verlander AND Laird has heated exchange in dugout Monday   Thu Aug 27, 2009 2:04 am

Sure as hell didn't show it on FSN
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PostSubject: Re: Verlander AND Laird has heated exchange in dugout Monday   Thu Aug 27, 2009 2:04 am

Though I was busy chatting online and on the phone; maybe they showed on FSN
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PostSubject: Re: Verlander AND Laird has heated exchange in dugout Monday   Thu Aug 27, 2009 10:07 am

It was not on FSN Detroit. The ESPN feed used video from the Angels sports network so it showed up on those two, but not Detroit's since they do their own camerawork.


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