In a startling development that could derail the Tigers run for the World Series, half of the team has been diagnosed with emphysema, the result of being exposed to second-hand smoke from manager Jim Leyland who can go through eight to 10 packs of cigarettes per game, sometimes more if it’s a tight contest.
“I mean, it’s hard to even see where you’re going in the clubhouse sometimes,” said Miguel Cabrera, one of those diagnosed with the disease. “I hope all the wheezing and coughing won’t take away from our chances in the playoffs.”
Leyland seemed oblivious to the trouble his habit has caused his team.
“Huh, you know I’ve been doing it for 50 years and I ain’t got a disease,” said Leyland. “Let’s just get out there and win.”
The Tigers will now have to change their pitching rotation to one where each starter will pitch one inning of each game, due to the shortness of breath which can accompany the condition. Provisions will be made for oxygen tanks to be provided in the dugout and the bullpen.
“It’s just another hurdle we have to clear,” said Leyland, pointing out that clearing hurdles with emphysema would be a tremendous task. “This team can do it, even coughing up blood, I’m confident in them.”