Programming note: I’ll be hosting a live chat today at noon, so stop by with whatever’s on your mind during the All-Star break.

While pondering the Twins’ second-half chances, I keep getting reminded that the Tigers have never had a winning record after the break under Jim Leyland. This surprises me, considering he guided them to the World Series in 2006 and to a Game 163 loss to the Twins in 2009. But, with the help of, here’s a look at Detroit’s post-break records under Leyland:

Year: Record (Games lost to AL Central lead)
2010: 33-43 (From 0.5 GB to 13 GB)
2009: 38-38 (Led by 3.5 G, finished 1 GB)
2008: 27-41 (From 6.5 GB to 14.5 GB)
2007: 36-40 (Led by 1 G, finished 8 GB)
2006: 36-38 (Led by 2 G, finished 1 GB, taking wild card)

Of course, it’s worth noting that Detroit hasn’t had a winning second half under any manager since 2000, under Phil Garner. Here are the six seasons pre-Leyland:

Year: Record (Manager)
2005: 29-47 (Alan Trammell)
2004: 30-45 (Alan Trammell)
2003: 18-52 (Alan Trammell)
2002: 24-52 (Luis Pujols)
2001: 30-48 (Phil Garner)
2000: 41-37 (Phil Garner)

Is it a Leyland thing? That’s the question Tigers fans have to be wondering, especially with Leyland in the final year of his contract. To me, he’s always been one of the game’s most respected managers. He led the Pirates to the NLCS three consecutive times and then guided the Marlins to the 1997 World Series title. Here’s a peek at his second-half history, pre-Tigers:

Team: Record
1999 Rockies: 32-44
1998 Marlins: 22-53
1997 Marlins: 42-34
1996 Pirates: 34-41
1995 Pirates: 30-49
1994 Pirates: 12-16 (strike-shortened season)
1993 Pirates: 33-41
1992 Pirates: 47-27 (Lost NLCS to Braves in seven games)
1991 Pirates: 50-33 (Lost NLCS to Braves in seven games)
1990 Pirates: 46-35 (Lost NLCS to Reds in six games)
1989 Pirates: 38-41
1988 Pirates: 36-38 (Team was 49-37 at break)
1987 Pirates: 41-34
1986 Pirates: 28-48

Add it up, and you can see why this could be a storyline down the stretch, especially considering the post-break success the Twins have had under Manager Ron Gardenhire. Of course, the Twins have two other teams to climb past, too, in the Indians and White Sox.

To win, someone needs a strong finishing kick.

Update: As John Lowe reports in today's Detroit Free Press, the Tigers already have new concerns, as Miguel Cabrera strained an oblique muscle in the All-Star Game.

Older Post

Humber finally finds his aim by loosening his grip

Newer Post

Span cleared to begin minor-league rehab