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Jim Leyland Profanely Blasts ‘Player X’ For His Criticism Of Miguel Cabrera

"You talkin' to me?"

Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland is what we like to refer to in the business as “eminently quotable.”  Just as long as there are no kids around, because when Leyland gets in a huff, he lets the expletives fly, which I personally find utterly endearing – he’s like your cantankerous grandfather – you know there’s a diatribe coming, you’re just not sure of the topic or who it will be directed at.

Well, Leyland has a brand new foil and a target for his nicotine-free wrath: ESPN The Magazine‘s Player X, who is some anonymous yahoo takes rubes like us “behind the scenes” and shows us what it’s like to be a professional basketball player, football player, baseball player, underground badminton death match player, etc. Player X’s most recent super secret, confidential, off the record, on the Q.T., and very hush hush column dealt with a multitude of MLB issues, among them: Albert Pujols, agent Scott Boras and relevant to this story, troubled Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera.

As you may recall, Cabrera continued his troubling battle with the bottle earlier in spring training when he was arrested and charged with DUI last month in a blaze of drunken shame. Apparently, Player X took Cabrera to task for his irresponsibility (not only do I not subscribe to ESPN The Magazine, there is no way I’m paying to become an ESPN Insider – but if you happen to be an Insider, you can read Player X’s column here), something Leyland was none too pleased about.

First, a sampling of Player X’s criticism (via the Detroit Free Press):

“In any group, there’s always the crazy uncle who just can’t seem to figure it out. Cabrera, who’s been charged with DUI, is that uncle. I guarantee any one of his teammates would have picked him up if he’d called. Ditto his GM. …

“But, really, why isn’t Cabrera paying a guy $100 a night to drive him around? Plenty of guys do that. That he didn’t is a slap in his teammates’ faces. Even if it costs $36,000 a year, we have watches worth more than that.”

Not too harsh, but that didn’t stop Leyland from laying into Player X, cussing up a blue streak in the process:

“To me that’s a gutless (jerk) that doesn’t put his name to it,” Leyland said. “If somebody would have said, ‘Hey, this is Jim Leyland and this is what I say, he should do this or this, then that’s fine.

“But when you (another expletive) hide behind somebody else’s expense, that’s chicken (expletive) to me. But you guys know your business more than me. Maybe that’s ethical, I don’t really know. But I’d be (extremely irritated) if I was Cabrera.”

Awesome. I love reading Leyland quotes that have been edited for content and mass consumption.  To decipher them is like playing a game of Profanity Mad Libs, if there were such a thing.

Tigers manager Jim Leyland goes XXX on Player X [Detroit Free Press]