Sportress of Blogitude

We Should Have Seen This Coming When We Took Away Jim Leyland’s Smokey Treats

You see? Can you now see the repercussions of our obsession with politically correctness? A good man, a respected man – a Marlboro Man – has been suspended from doing the job he loves simply because of outrageous, impulsive actions precipitated by the fact that he isn’t allowed to sneak a heater any longer while practicing his craft.

I am sad to report that Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland has been suspended for tonight’s game against the Tampa Bay Rays in St. Petersburg due to his volatile behavior, including, according to the MLB, “inappropriate and aggressive conduct” during Monday night’s game stemming from a confrontation he had with umpire Marty Foster.

And if you think for one minute that Jim Leyland was going to take this lying down, you got another thing coming, buddy.

Foster contends that Leyland spit on him during the argument, something the crusty old manager vehemently denies. In fact, he is blaming it on the number one crutch of all smokers everywhere when they aren’t allowed to light up and take a trip to Flavor Country: the sunflower seed. Buckle up, because Leyland really lets loose during this rant (via the Detroit Free-Press):

“I had some sunflower seeds, and when I was talking, some sprayed on him, and he indicated that I deliberately spit on him.

“I’m not going to take that from anybody. I’m not going to do it. I’m not going to take that kind of accusation from anybody. That’s a blatant lie.

“Did some of the sunflower seeds spray on his shirt? Yes, they did, without any question,” Leyland said Monday. “But I don’t even spit on the ground.

“And I’m not going to take that. I’m tired of protecting umpires. I’m tired of not being able to say anything. I’m defending myself. If you want to kick me out, that’s fine. I don’t care about that because it sprayed on his shirt, but when you start to accuse somebody of doing something you better be careful.”

Damn! As anybody who chews sunflower seeds can surely attest to, you start yelling with the side of your mouth stuffed with seeds, inevitably some are going to go flying (seeds can move, baby!), so Foster could very well be overreacting by assuming that Leyland deliberately spit the seeds on him.

But more importantly, what are we going to do about poor old Jim Leyland? The guy is clearly cracking and all the warning signs are present: the irritability, the constant need to satisfy his oral fixation, his underachieving job performance, it’s all there, plain as day.

Don’t you see what’s going on here? In the so-called interest of public health, we are depriving Jim Leyland to the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of lung cancer. Maybe emphysema. But that’s his choice, not ours. Just let the guy smoke a damn cigarette in the tunnel every once in a while, for crying out loud. Is it that much to ask? It is? Let me guess, all of you out there are a bunch of self-righteous non-smokers. You people are the worst, man. The worst.

Tigers’ Jim Leyland suspended 1 game, will sit out tonight [Detroit Free-Press]