Notes: Leyland defers to others
Skipper glad deserving managers earn All-Star coaching spots
PITTSBURGH -- Jim Leyland will feel like he's on top of the world when he's back at PNC Park next week for the All-Star Game. He'll be watching as a fan from the upper deck.
Leyland said early on that he didn't want to be considered for a coaching spot on the American League All-Stars, and he meant it. It wasn't a matter of not liking to do it. He just didn't feel that he deserved it, regardless of his Tigers' record.
"I think that would be totally disrespectful [to the other managers]," Leyland said. "I've been sitting at home, sleeping in my own bed for six years, and these other guys have been grinding it out. I don't belong in the All-Star Game. I should not be a member of the All-Star Game. I think it's tremendous that [Indians manager] Eric Wedge and [Blue Jays manager John] Gibbons are going. I've been to four or five of them."
"Would it be an honor? Yes. Do I hope that I participate in another one at some point? Absolutely. But at this particular juncture, that would be totally disrespectful," he added. "And I respect [White Sox and AL All-Star manager] Ozzie Guillen for not even talking to me about it, because I know he's got to feel the same way, and that's the way he should feel. In fact, I'm a little embarrassed that I'm even going to be around."
As a longtime Pirates manager and a relative icon in Pittsburgh, Leyland wasn't going to go completely unnoticed with the Midsummer Classic. He's scheduled to be at several functions surrounding the game, signing autographs and shaking hands. That's not any quest for attention, rather a request from Major League Baseball to have him there.
As much as he can, though, Leyland is going to keep a low profile. He will not be on the field for any activities. And when the game starts, he won't even be in the lower deck. He has about 30 tickets for family and friends, and this time, he won't have to worry about having a game to manage when everyone gathers at his house.
"I'm going to enjoy it," he said. "I don't even know how long I'll stay at the game or how long we'll stay at the Home Run Derby. I'll take my family to all the functions and walk around town, maybe walk around one of the rivers and have a nice time of it. But in no way, shape or form do I want to be noticed or recognized. I'll be up there in Bermuda shorts, a T-shirt and tennis shoes."
Bad food for Bondo: Jeremy Bonderman was feeling fine on Sunday morning compared to Saturday night, when he could feel a knot in his stomach from the first pitch until his fifth and final inning of work. If only he could figure out what caused it.
Bonderman said he has acid reflux disease, so certain foods can bother him. In this case, though, he doesn't remember eating anything spicy that might set something off. And though he's had stomach problems before, he doesn't remember it being that severe.
"Not like that," he said. "It was knotting up on me a little bit. It happened earlier in the day. I felt all right, though. I got to the first inning of the game and it just knotted back up. I tried taking some antacid pills."
Bonderman said that he could've kept pitching, but Leyland didn't want to take any chances. Leyland said on Sunday that he was worried that Bonderman would try to change his mechanics to compensate for his stomach and end up hurting something else that could really sideline him.
Inge in retrospect: Brandon Inge said on Sunday that he had no hesitation firing home instead of trying for a double play on a seventh-inning ball hit his way in Saturday night's loss. For one thing, he said, Jason Bay's sharp grounder toward the line had turned him to the point that his back was facing second base. For another, he was cognizant of the one-run deficit and how big that second run could be if he couldn't turn the twin killing.
"That would've kept it close," he said.
The ball came in low to catcher Ivan Rodriguez, who tried to move in at the last minute and make a play.
Thames, Bondo earn June honors: Bonderman and outfielder Marcus Thames were selected by media voting as the Tigers pitcher and player of the month, respectively, for June. Thames hit .309 (30-for-97) for the month with eight doubles, eight home runs, 20 RBIs and 18 runs scored.
Bonderman's 2-0 record for June didn't reflect his dominance. He held opponents to a .201 batting average to go with a 1.77 ERA. His 44 strikeouts for the month over 35 2/3 innings tied for the AL lead.
Coming up: The Tigers head from Pittsburgh to Oakland on Sunday night to spend the final week of the first half on the West Coast, starting with a 10:05 ET game against the A's on Monday at McAfee Coliseum. Nate Robertson (8-3, 3.14) will try to stretch his winning streak to four straight decisions. Joe Blanton (7-7, 4.85) will go for the A's.
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.