DETROIT -- Tigers manager Jim Leyland has talked on and off for most of the summer about trying to get Prince Fielder a day at designated hitter. Leyland was already thinking about it before Fielder took hit-by-pitches in each of the last two games. He did it on Tuesday.
The decision, Leyland said, dated back to last week. He knew he was going to rest Delmon Young, who's 3-for-20 with five strikeouts in his career off Indians sinkerballer Justin Masterson, so he used the occasion to pitch Fielder about getting out from first base for a night.
"I've talked to Prince five times this year about getting him off his feet," Leyland said. "This was set up four days ago. This is not a shock to anybody. Prince knew he was DHing. He's ready for the DH spot tonight. ...
"This was set up last week that this would be the day. If Delmon wasn't going to play, that would be a good day for him to DH. He said, 'I'd like to DH that day.' And I said, 'You got it.' That was it. That's how that all came about."
In other words, if Young was going to sit regardless, Fielder opted for that game to DH, preferring not to cost somebody a spot.
The fact that Young sits in the midst of a 15-for-34 tear with five doubles, four homers and 12 RBIs, however, made it a source for debate on talk radio. Leyland didn't particularly care.
That said, he still seems to be fascinated by the lineup debate in general. When asked about the critiques, he went into detail about them.
"I don't mind the second-guessing, but I've never been in a place where they talked about the lineup so much -- who plays, who doesn't play," Leyland said. "What they need to do is, they need to email you guys their lineups, and then you guys can bring them in here to me, and I will be sure to write that down and put them on my big card and that's who I'll play.
"They don't know [anything] about the lineup. They have no idea who's nagging, who's hurting, who hits who, who doesn't hit who."