LAKELAND, Fla. -- After a rash of fielding miscues from pitchers proved costly for the Tigers in the 2006 World Series, they had what might have been the most publicized round of pitchers' fielding practice the next spring. History did not repeat itself this spring with sliding drills.
While Tigers pitchers enjoyed their last round of live batting practice, position players took to the sliding pads. It isn't so much an instructional session as it is a checkup for manager Jim Leyland and coaches to find any reason for concern.
"What you really do it for is to see if you've got somebody who can't slide," Leyland said.
Any particularly ugly slides are referred to baserunning coach Tom Brookens for extra work.
"I try not to look when they're doing that," Leyland said, "but I took a couple peeks and it looked like they were doing all right."