Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Leyland In A Precarious Situation

Tiger fans seem are wondering when the other shoe is going to drop - and Jim Leyland starts ripping into his team.
It sure worked in 2006, didn’t it? Why won’t he do it now?
I think the main reason is he doesn’t want to present the feeling he is panicking. A leader needs to stay cool in these situations, exuding more of an air of confidence than the message a blow up sends.
The problem comes with what seems like, for reasons I don’t fully understand, a complacent team. I know the old baseball adage about a team that isn’t hitting doesn’t look like it is trying. But the Tigers have taken this to the extreme. They are not only not hitting well, they are giving away at bats away and playing sloppy baseball in the field, and while running the bases.
Leyland is in a precarious situation,. So many of his players have long-term contracts that they are secure - regardless whether he comes down hard on them.
The best thing he can do is speak individually to players on a daily basis (his strength) and appeal to their professionalism (this is a team of proven players, who have had team success before, either in Detroit or elsewhere, and shown they care in the past). Then, like the rest of us, all he can do is hang on during what has been incredibly bumpy ride.

Random Thoughts

- It’s interesting how so many hockey pundits - especially those in Canada - think so little of the Red Wings. I have a feeling the Wings will surprise them this postseason by reaching the Stanley Cup Finals.

- I really enjoyed the Pistons celebrating their history this season. But John Salley on the all-time team? That seemed odd.

8 Comments:

Anonymous Andrew Winkle said...

Book,

It's probably wise on Leyland's part not to go off like he did in '06. That '06 Tigers team hadn't seen a winning season in at least a dozen years. This Tiger's squad is predominantly veterns and has produced two winning seasons.

So much for my brother-in-law Fred's thought about Jason Grilli being a key to the Tigers fortunes. I wonder who will be playing in Detroit longer this spring, Grilli or the Red Wings? I'm leaning toward the Wings.

I'm wondering if Curtis Granderson will become the Tigers' Roy Hobbs. Pat, there maybe even a role for you in this summer stock production. Know any shady gamblers?

One thing is certain, this hardball season's drama has already become a surreal fantasy.

2:52 PM 
Blogger Trevor said...

No doubt about it, Leyland is in a real catch-22, especially with everyone remembering the now legendary '06 rant/results.

Prior to March 31, was there a cancer in this clubhouse that went unchecked? Leyland said he had no concerns about Inge being a problem (and his play, at least, certainly hasn't been) and obviously no one Tiger can be blamed for the current situation. Still, though, it's always tantalizing to speculate on the things we fans will never really know.

5:34 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Andrew Winkle,
LOL about the Wings-Grilli comment. Great point - these guys aren't going to go for the yelling stuff. They have been through too much in their careers to not know it usually doesn't mean much. But having said that, it's almost like Leyland is under public pressure to do so.
Caputo

5:39 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Trevor,
I was in the clubhouse a lot the first week when they were home and I didn't detect any issues. This isn't like '05 when that really hurt the team. I just think they are playing poorly and maybe an unbalanced roster is the biggest cause.
Caputo

5:40 PM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

everyone needs to relax with a Kwame Mug.
go tigers orange Kwame Shirts I saw them at opening day, wow what a fun day

10:38 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Anonymous,
Ohhh-kay.
Caputo

10:38 AM 
Blogger Fred Brill said...

I think I felt my ears pop last night from the simultenous sighs of relief.

The win was great - but even greater was:
* The quality start by Bonderman
* The great work by the bullpen - save Jones' scary final out
* The bats came back.
* The double plays were happening for us not against us.
* Leyland's gut instincts were back.I loved the sac bunt by Clete.

I realize it was only one game - but I think that was valuable on almost every level.

You were right, Book. Leyland didn't have to make a scene.

Now I did predict we take two from Boston, lets hope tonight goes as well.

And then lets go beat the snot out of Chicago.

1:10 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Fred Brill,
We'll see what happens tonight. I think the pitching matchup might be in favor the Tigers.
Caputo

2:33 PM 

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