Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Clubhouse disharmony?

The story many fans have been expecting about broken team chemistry appeared this morning in the USA Today where Jason Grilli and some current Tigers cited clubhouse problems as the reasons for the Tigers poor play this year. Gary Sheffield, Brandon Inge and Carlos Guillen were also quoted. Ian summarizes everything and Billfer analyzes it. Unlike the Tigers perhaps, Ian and Billfer know their roles.

I agree with Billfer that the most disturbing quote came from supposed team leader Carlos Guillen:
"We never said we were going to win 100 games," Guillen says. "All we said was that we have a good team with good players. That was the (sports) media and fans doing the talking. "You don't win games looking good on paper. You've got to do it on the field. "That wasn't fair to us."
How are high expectations not fair for a team with a collection of all-stars and the third highest payroll in the majors? Guillen is not the greatest communicator and may not have expressed himself properly but it didn't sound very good. We had good reason to expect the team to be very successful this year.

Jim Leyland was not happy with any of the comments and he expressed himself in an obscenity laced rant later in the day. Jason Beck has the highlights in his blog. The audio can be found at 971theticket.com. Sometimes obscenity laced tirades can sound nasty but when Leyland does it, it's hilarious. He said the right things and sounded genuine but under control. He responded appropriately harshly to Grilli, Guillen and Inge (or maybe it was Sheffield) without actually naming names except for Grilli. If you don't mind a lot of bleeps, I recommend listening to the audio. I've already listened to it a few times myself.

This stuff is all entertaining but, in the end, it doesn't matter too much to me. Billfer echoed my feelings at the end of his post:
I don’t know what these guys do on a daily basis to prepare. I don’t know how much they care and I know I can’t tell by looking at them what is going on in their heads. I don’t know if they are lazy because of their contracts or if the only thing they care about is winning. I don’t know if they like each other or if they hate each other. I don’t know if they’ve tuned their manager out, or if they are trying too hard, or not trying hard enough. And frankly I don’t care. I just want to see them play some decent baseball damn-it.


  1. Expecting quality performance from yourself and your team is a big part of athletics. I guess it's the mental component of it all and let's face it, baseball is probably one of the biggest sports associated with a that mental part.
    You have to wonder, how many other team leaders, the veterans also feel the expectations have not been fair. These guys should try working for a living and see what expectations are in the real world.

  2. AnonymousMay 21, 2008

    I agree with you Lee. I think it just sounds funny when Leyland goes off like that. Good stuff. Hopefully it sparked something.



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