A leadership experiment of sorts is playing out in Florida, where two baseball managers separated by 15 years and 2,107 big league games are setting their rosters and lining up their pitching rotations in advance of Opening Day.
At Joker Marchant Stadium in Lakeland, nfl jerseys from china Ron Gardenhire and the Detroit Tigers enter the season with modest expectations and a drastically reduced payroll. When the Tigers said goodbye to Justin Verlander, J.D. Martinez, Justin Upton and several other high-priced veterans, they officially forsook instant gratification for long-range thinking.
Drive 35 miles on Interstate 4 past the Florida Air Museum and a Bob Evans restaurant or three, and the stakes are higher. Aaron Boone, who has never managed a game at any level, is running a New York Yankees team that’s long on home run and star power. One day, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson is rolling into camp for a week of batting practice and bonding with Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge. A few weeks later, Alex Rodriguez arrives and says the New York lineup has a chance to be “record-breaking and put up numbers we have not seen in a long time.”
Beyond the outfield fence on Dale Mabry Highway, a billboard features Judge’s likeness with the words “Breaking Expectations.” The honeymoon period for Boone officially ends with the Yankees’ Grapefruit League finale Sunday against Tampa Bay.
The Tigers are equally diligent in their spring training prep, but there’s a little more room for banter in the manager’s office. After a recent win over Atlanta, Gardenhire kicked back at his desk and mused about his batting order with the beat writers. Gardenhire is no statistical novice, reebok nfl jerseys and he gained a greater appreciation for the importance of advanced analytics as a bench coach under Torey Lovullo in Arizona last season. But he enjoys poking fun at the perception that he’s a stodgy old relic who’s destined to listen to his heart and his gut in the end.