May 20th, 2008

Grilli's response

Our Rockies reporter, Thomas Harding, told Jason Grilli about Leyland’s remarks. This was Grilli’s response:

“I think I was mis-noted or misaligned, or what I said was taken out of context. And to get comments from Leyland thinking that I was bashing the Tigers is not what I was saying. It’s pretty interesting because I try to stay fair and objective in my statements. I’m very cautious in what I say. I’m not the GM. I’m not the manager. I don’t know everything. All I was simply saying was I was asked to make a comment about where the Tigers were. I was there for the whole experience, from the end of ’05 to when I got traded over here. All I was doing was making a comparison of what I’ve seen and what I’ve been through. All I was basically saying was the balance and the camaraderie and stuff that I saw in ’06 slowly faded out. That’s all I said. That’s basically in a nutshell summarizing it. That’s basically all I said. I wasn’t throwing anybody under the bus. I love everybody over there. I’ve never had a problem or an issue with any teammate or any coaching staff over there. I’m not here to start a verbal war in the paper just because I’m with a different team, the grass-is-greener-over-here type of thing.”

Highlights from Leyland's rant

Suffice it to say, Leyland read Bob Nightengale’s piece on the Tigers from USA Today this morning, and while he didn’t have a problem with the messenger, he had a problem with some of the players quoted. Here’s some of what he said this afternoon, with the f-bombs removed:

On Grilli, who called the clubhouse “stale and stagnant”:
“I find that hard to believe that that has anything to do with somebody not getting a run in. I mean, would I like this to be a little more close-knit? Yes. Do I buy a lot of people when they start talking about that, and some of it comes from players, I think they ought to look at themselves in the mirror. I think it’s diversionary tactics, and I really take offense to Jason Grilli’s thing about not having Sean Casey. You have to be kidding me. I mean, please. Jason Grilli ought to just worry about Colorado. Jason Grilli’s not here any longer because Jason Grilli didn’t pitch good under pressure situations and didn’t pitch very well in Detroit. You want to tell it like it is? When players want to start talking, I’ll start talking. But I’m very reserved about stuff like that. Jason Grilli ought to worry about Colorado, not Detroit.

“Don’t misunderstand what I’m saying. I miss Sean Casey. But Sean Casey doesn’t have anything to do with the fact that the Tigers are where we’re at. Now let’s get that straight right now. And people want to start talking about things and this and that, what this guy’s doing, what that guy’s doing, they should look in the mirror. They should look right in that mirror, look at themselves and see what they’re doing. And what some of these guys are doing on this club, the last thing they should be doing is popping off in the newspaper. They’re diversionary tactics and they look foolish. You can quote every bit of that. There’s nothing wrong with inside the clubhouse. The problem here is in between the lines. That’s where the problem is. But everybody looks for an excuse, and to me, that’s a weak excuse. Look in the mirror. Are you knocking in runs? Are you getting hits? Are you doing your share? And if you don’t like what’s going on in the clubhouse and you’re a player, then say something about it. Put a name to it. Stick your chest out and put a name to it.”

The other issue he had was with Carlos Guillen. Here’s what Guillen said in the story:

“We never said we were going to win 100 games. 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.”

Here’s Leyland’s response:

“It isn’t fair all of a sudden for people to have expectations? Well, why wasn’t it fair? What are you talking about, it wasn’t fair? You’re supposed to love the expectations. You’re saying it wasn’t fair to have expectations? What are you talking about? I’m a grown man. I can take my heat, and I deserve some for the performance of this club. But you better be careful when you’re a player. If you’re hitting .200 and .220 and striking out or hitting .200 and .215, you shouldn’t be popping off, in my opinion, about other situations. You ought to be taking care of your own business. If they want to play games, I’ll play games, and it won’t be long [before] I’ll put names to it, if they want me to. I’m not quite to that point yet. They want to play games, I’ll play games. I’ll quit protecting some of these guys night after night after night after night. And I’ll put some names to it.”

Overall, though, Leyland’s problem was with current players going off in the press:

“If players want to play games in the press, I’ll play games in the press. And it won’t be very pretty. That’s all bullshit. That doesn’t have anything to do with a guy hanging a slider or missing a fastball right down the [middle], throwing the ball away. That has nothing to do with it. That’s a weak excuse. That’s a lame excuse.”

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