More on Brookens: It's about people

One of the things that Jim Leyland pointed out about his new 1B coach, Tom Brookens, was his ability to relate with people, notably with players.

“This guy’s baseball knowledge and his people skills are tremendous,” Leyland said.

I don’t think it’s a chemistry thing with Leyland, but for Brookens, it’s a way of getting his message across.

“I think one of the things that helped me tremendously is I have three young daughters,” Brookens said. “Even though they’re girls — which may be tougher than boys — I can kind of relate to the age bracket that these guys are in. It isn’t like it’s very foreign. And it is important to me, managing and coaching. Fundamentals go to a certain point, and then it’s [about] relating to them, try to get inside the player’s head and have him believe in himself so that he can go out and compete to the best he can.”

Brookens knew the question about being an outfield coach would come up, since he played the outfield for just seven games out of his major league career and he didn’t specifically coach the outfielders in the farm system. But as a minor league manager, he did have to coach them up a bit when roving OF coordinator Gene Roof was elsewhere, and he said he can coach the fundamentals required to be a good outfielder.

“I think handling all those facets in the minor leagues will help me some,” Brookens said. “Certainly my playings days didn’t take me to the outfield much. I know plenty about the fundamentals of the outfield, [such as] footwork, release points, and that’s a lot of what it comes down to, really. I’ve always considered myself a good baserunner. I don’t foresee any real problems with any of those.”

Brookens also noted the irony of getting the call from Leyland that he got the job. Leyland was Brookens’ manager at Triple-A Evansville to start the 1979 season, and he was called up to Detroit that year.

“He was actually the one who called me in [and told him the news],” Brookens said. “It’s a little ironic I get a call from him again to say I’m getting the call again to Detroit.”

Brookens got the job over Roof. Mike Rojas, minor league field coordinator, also was considered.

7 Comments

Brookens was a good baserunner. Not a stealing threat, but a good baserunner. He should have no problem with that facet. Van Slyke worked the outfielders hard and I think we saw big improvements with Granderson and Thames, to name two. I look back and add Craig Monroe to that list too. Brookens is a logical choice to move up the ranks with Detroit.
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That was an interesting question and answer in the previous thread regarding arbitration. It’s an excellent way to go with Polanco. Since we have two Type B pitchers at the back of the bullpen, it makes sense to make every effort to retain one of them. My choice has always been Lyon, but maybe we can get him signed without going to arby. That would be a huge positive going into 2010. It’s my opinion that his strong first half with Arizona in 2008 was just the beginning, and he’s primed to take it to the next level now. And he’s only 30 years old.
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–Rich

Now, only if they would switch Lamont and Brookens! Gene had a rocky season calling the shots at 3rd IMO. Sometimes he seemed he just did not have a good understanding on how to control traffic there.
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Minny is going to be a tough team next year. They picked up a good acquisition in J.J. Hardy and apparently are thinking about Beltre at 3rd.
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ChiSox improved themselves with Teahen who may be ready for a breakout year..
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Meanwhile, back at the ranch………………………….

I knew the stove would be heating up! It was 70 degrees here on Sunday. Great to have Brookens as a coach and he believes in chemistry! Getting into a players head and making them better. Come on, that sounds like he wants to be a manager. Brilliant! Seriously, I like what I am reading. How is our team going to be better than the Twins or White Sox?

The thing about Teahen is that he was traded to the one Central Division team that he wore out last year. He hit .404 against the Sox and .205 against us. He also slumped badly in the 2nd half and his BB/K ratio is not good. The Chicago fans may not show much patience with him. Their one improvement, IMO, remains Peavey.
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JJ Hardy could help the Twins or hurt them, hard to say. It’s tough over here in the AL. I guess Orlando Cabrera wore out his welcome again. He’s a piece of work.
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Our first order of business is dealing with our own players. It’s difficult to know what you need when you’re not sure what you have. Huff and Washburn will certainly be gone, and they’ll both go down in Tigers lore for the wrong reasons. I’d sign Everett and pair him with Santiago again. Try to sign Lyon. Offer Polanco arbitration. Try to acquire at least one starter and shore up the bullpen, as always. Most of our position players aren’t tradeable, so they’ll just have to improve on their 2009 performance. If we hit like we did this season, we’re screwed no matter what.
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There’s always the distinct possibility of that surprise trade too.
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–Rich

Nice article today in the Freep on Gibby wanting to be a ML manager.

I’ll have to look for that article – love Gibby!

Brookens was great with the fans when he was manageing the Whitecaps. He always took time to sign autographs, get pictures, and just chat. I wish him all the best.
Mike-“Minoring In Baseball”
http://burrilltalksbaseball.mlblogs.com

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