Best 1,2 Punch in Baseball?
According to Tigers manager Jim Leyland, that would be the Twins’ M&M Boys –Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau.
Leyland was asked on Saturday about his decision to have Joel Zumaya walk the two hitters back-to-back with two outs in the 11th inning of what eventually was an 11-9 win in 16 innings for Detroit.
it’s the best 1-2 tandem in baseball. I believe that, I really do,” Leyland said of Mauer and Morneau. “They’re so good, and they’re so professional and they’re so smart. They
know what to do, and they never panic. And I said I’m just not going to
let them beat me.
“If we get beat, we get beat, but I’m not going to let
them beat me. And I’m not going to do it the rest of the year, if I can
help it. They’re just too good.”
While Zumaya’s control had not been the best of late, Leyland said he was willing to take the risk of the next batter, Michael Cuddyer, drawing a bases-loaded walk rather than seeing either Mauer or Morneau come up with the winning hit.
“I have as
much respect for those two guys during the course of the game,” Leyland said. “They
remind me a little bit, and Gene Lamont talked a lot about them, of
[Craig] Biggio and [Jeff] Bagwell. The tandem of those guys and how professional they
were, they set the tone for the whole team the way they go about their
business with dignity, the way they work
“Obviously, they’re talented.
They’re special. I can’t think of a better 1-2 punch in baseball. One
guy’s going to put the ball in play all the time for sure, and get
hits. And the other guy, you might strike him out once in a while, but
he’s a big-time RBI guy. This team, to me, has never really gotten the
credit. Somehow they seem to get lost in media attention for whatever