DETROIT, ROCK CITY – Today marks the final day of the regular season for Major League Baseball, so there’s a bunch of games being played today across the country that no one gives a shit about. One of those non-shit givers is Jim Leyland, Manager of the Detroit Tigers, who showed up to his team’s matchup against the Miami Marlins today “a few drinks in” and continued to drink tenaciously throughout the course of the Tigers 1-0 Loss.
The Tigers have long ago clinched a playoff spot and Sunday’s game could in no way affect their standings heading into their Division Series matchup against the Oakland A’s. Given the game’s meaninglessness, Leyland, 97, officially declared Sunday “Chill Day in Miami” and was seen repeatedly refilling a red solo cup with a slushy, green-tinged mixture from a clubhouse blender. What the concoction was has not been confirmed, however there are reports that a clubhouse attendant was seen on more than one occasion “salting the rim” of Leyland’s vessel.
Leyland, a seasoned veteran of the booze wars, for the most part kept his shit together. The only early sign of impairment was a brief 3rd inning incident where Leyland seemed to be arguing balls and strikes on behalf of the Marlins’ Giancarlo Stanton, but by the end of the game Leyland was obviously intoxicated — and most of the stadium seemed to know. Leyland, who is known to sneak cigarettes in the dugout tunnel between innings, was openly chain smoking on the bench from the 6th inning on; lighting each cigarette off the butt of the last. By the start of the 8th Bench Manager Gene Lamont had taken over game calling duties and the man they call “Grizzled Jim” had exchanged his baseball cap with a cartoonishly large sombrero, potentially stolen from a nearby white-owned Mexican restaurant, and was singing Motown classics to rookies Nick Castellanos and Jose Iglesias, oblivious to the game progressing behind him. “Here’s some real pussy-catchin’ music for you virgins” Leyland was heard to bark at the visibly terrified man-children cowering at his feet before he launched into a surprisingly soulful a cappella version of The Temptation’s 1971 classic Just My Imagination, which culminated in the three men all hugging and crying together cathartically.
The umpires clearly did not give a fuck about Leyland’s antics, as they all just wanted to get home to their own problem drinking habits and catch up on their suicidal ideating in peace. Leyland, who’s sure to be inducted to the Hall of Famer after he dies (or retires I guess, but let’s be honest – it’s probably dies), was last seen running out of Marlins Park naked and howling “I am the one who let the dogs out!” as he disappeared into the Miami night. There are no doubts that he will be in his office at Five am on Monday, drinking coffee blacker than his lungs and breaking down tape on Oakland before any else is even awake.
Oh – and some pitcher you’ve never heard of that’s not that good anyway threw a no-hitter, if that means anything to you. It meant nothing to Grizzled Jim, who’s “got real life shit to worry about.”
David Sharp is Senior Curmudgeon-in-Training for The Whiskey Journal and his spirit animal is the Big Cat. He would like to thank Todd Helton for everything he’s done for the Rockies organization on behalf of himself and problem drinkers everywhere.