Leyland: “There’s a kid that got shortchanged”
Tigers manager and AL All-Star skipper Jim Leyland spoke candidly to local reporters, including MLB.com colleague Jason Beck, on Sunday morning about Josh Donaldson being left off the All-Star team, despite having put together not only one of the best first halfs of any third baseman but, really, any player in the league. Here’s what he had to say:
There’s a kid that got shortchanged, but there was nothing we could do about it. You’ve got Miguel Cabrera, and the players voted [Manny] Machado, and then you’ve got him, and you’ve still got [Evan] Longoria and [Adrian] Beltre. I mean, he just fell in. And it’s too bad, because this kid … I’ll go on record saying this kid’s an All-Star this year but it just didn’t [work out]. I can’t have four third basemen. It’s too bad.
He’s just a good, hard-nosed all-around player, and he’s getting better all the time. He’s growing up right before everybody’s eyes. I was impressed with him last year. We talked about him last year. This kid, I really have a lot of respect for him. I don’t know the kid, but he’s strong, he’s got power. He’s a perfect corner guy, a very hard-nosed guy, and he’s a scrapper defensively. I like him a lot, and he truly could’ve been an All-Star this year. It just didn’t work out.
I’m not defending anything, because I got three picks. And sometimes, whether people want to believe it or not, sometimes those picks may be from teams that don’t have anybody, so you don’t really get any.