Tigers meet after Sunday’s loss

Compared to the news overnight, the day-to-day dealings of a baseball team are minutiae. Still, it’s my job to chronicle it. So if you’ve been looking for some emotion from the Tigers over the course of their slow start, then Sunday’s game was it.

While Jim Leyland talked in his office with reporters after Sunday’s 5-4 loss in Cleveland, the doors to the clubhouse were closed, something that rarely if ever happens after games. A few of the voices inside were loud enough to be heard in Leyland’s office down the hall. The door slamming after one exchange could easily be heard.

Once the doors opened, it was a very subdued, quiet clubhouse, with players and coaches inside. At one point, Brandon Inge and Alex Avila were talking with Joaquin Benoit, who took the loss Sunday with a three-run eighth inning.

Not sure whether it could be called a closed-door meeting, or a session, or a reaction to something else. One player indicated it wasn’t something as formal as a meeting. Suffice to say, it was not a pep rally.

Nobody went into details on what was said.

“It’s good,” Inge said. “It’s one of those [things] I think can unite the team. We’re good, anyway, but I think we’ll be better in the long run for it.”

Said Avila: “After the game, doors are closed. It’s just us, and we’ve just got to figure things out.”

Leyland didn’t say anything about what was going on inside, though the commotion could be heard ongoing while he talked. When asked what he can say to players during struggles like this, though, without putting too much attention on the struggles, his remarks hinted at something.

“All you can do is try to relax guys as much as you can,” Leyland said. “That’s what you try to do. And then at some point, you have to say something else. I mean, all you can do is support them. But at some point, you have to step up. That’s just the way it is.”

18 Comments

Finally! I’ve been waiting to here word of a clubhouse blowout. This team is too good to be performing as they have lately. There is a lot of talent on this team but many are not performing to their potential. The consequence has been a rough start to the 2011 season. Leyland’s words (whatever they were) and player reactions may trigger the Tigers to better play from hear out.

This will be remember as the point where the Tigers as a team decide to either implode under the fire from their own manager or realize that they are a month into the regular season and anything below their all won’t suffice.

Relax?!? Fire their sorry @$$e$ up Jim. Let’s play to potential or you need to go now, and not the end of this season. Mediocrity should never be accepted.

I’m not sure if this team has had a vocal leader up to this point. I really hope this closed door “meeting” was the result of somebody stepping up and taking on that role.

Sorry to say, but you could get rid of half the Tiger players and it would be no loss. Simply picking up Martinez was not enough-granted he definitely will help the team in the long run, but half the players are not everyday players.Why in the world we kept Wells and Kelly I’ll never know! Granted, Kelly can play many positions, but how well can he play them? Send them back and bring up Clete Thomas-he would definitely help the outfield, plus he can bat!

Carol, the difference between Kelly and Thomas is just about nothing, and has no bearing whatsoever on whether the tigers will be a good team this year. They’re both bench players, except that Don Kelly is our only backup 3B. The bigger issue is that Inge, who is getting all the starts at 3rd, looks like an absolute amateur in the batter’s box. He’s well below the Mendoza line, as is Magglio Ordonez, who should no longer be in the lineup at all. If he wants to “get it going” again, he needs to think hard about whether he needs a rehab assignment in Toledo. The #1 greatest problem facing this team is the obscene number of runners left on base IN SCORING POSITION. It’s entirely out of hand.

usually the fans like to see this, shows they care enough to be upset about their performance – too many losses in a row. I would like to be a fly on that wall to see who is taking control. I just hope they figure something out or I will have to find something else to watch on tv this summer or start reading heaven forbid. I watch these guys no matter what usually but I am having a hard time watching them play right now.

Okay, it finally reached a tipping point. After this last stretch of games, I’d have been surprised if there WASN’T a blow up of some kind. Now we see what the reaction is. Some successful teams point back to “we had a meeting” while some go ahead to devour themselves from the inside out. Some have no reaction at all. At least they’re not taking it meekly. Best reality show on TV, I tell ya.

Rich – like me, I’m sure you’re happy to see them breaking from their manager’s “not too high, not too low” mentality. These guys need a fire lit under them, and have needed it for 4+ years now. Leyland’s old line that they’re professionals and know what they need to do just doesn’t cut it. He needs to lead this team, not just fill out the lineup card. Let’s hope they can point back to this as the turning point.

I’m not sure if this is a good sign or not. If they are blaming each other, that will alienate players even more. That means alot of stuff is going on between the players and probably the manager’s decisions. Brandon promised that 2010 would be different because of that game 163 loss. They’d never forget that, etc. etc. etc. Blah, blah, blah.

yeah some early season adversity is not such a bad thing. it tells a manager who his leaders and stand up guys are. have heard it say that “winners play and losers meet.” one of those maneuvers best used sparingly for effect. some announcer said that recently retired Bobby Cox would hold 1-2 meetings per season, felt they were overrated. interesting that the players themselves would have the meeting while leyland in the next room talking with reporters. don’t think leyland has been tossed from a game yet this season, so he still has that in his arsenal of motivating tools…stay tuned.

For all you folks that think that this team has way too much talent to be performing this way, I beg to differ. Are they underperforming? Yes. Do we wish that we could see a more inspired performance on most days? Yes. Does it seem like this team has adopted the mantra of it’s manager —not too high, not too low? Yes, again. But to say that they have way too much talent is wrong I believe. With Miggy being the exception, most of these guys are average to slightly above average ballplayers. That doesn’t mean you can’t win with a group like this. Nor does it mean you shouldn’t expect them to bust their tails night in and night out. This team just can’t throw their gloves out on the field and expect to compete. That’s why I think they need a change at the managerial position. They need a fresh approach to things. This same ol” same ol” attitude needs to change.

It doesn’t matter how relaxed you are if you don’t have any talent. This team is poorly constructed and poorly coached, and that falls on Leland and Dombro. Time to start over.

I get severely angry with this team at times, however to say there is no talant on this team other than Miggy, I find ridiculous. Verlander, Scherzer, Magglio, Jackson and ca Valverde among others are not talented. Are the the most talented team of all times, well no. But look at the red soxs? Did anyone expect them to be performing at that level, and the have an entire team of all stars. Conversely, there are the Indians a team with one all star Grady, and they are beating up on everybody!! Now admittedly this team is lacking something but it isn’t talent! And I can’t believe that everyone is so willing to throw Magglio under the bus when he has done nothing less than always batting above 300 for this team and was doing great until he broke his ankle last year. Should he be moved down till he gets it back, probably, but to think he went from a 300 hitter to a sub 200 because of 8 months of age and an ankle injury without any true opportunity? Well I simply think it is unfair.

I’ve been a Tiger fan since 1956 and in the late 50s we had mid-season managerial changes a couple times and one year traded our manager for the manager at Cleveland. With the changes, the team did better for a while and then came in fourth or fifth place at the end of the season. DD, JL, Ordonez, Guillen, Santiago, and Inge are the management and seasoned veterans from the 06 American League championship team. Their experience and leadership is supposed to push us to first place on Sept 29th. May 2nd is way too soon to panic. The season I want everyone to keep in mind right now is 1987. The Tigers floundered nearly until the All-Star break and then won the division on the last day of the season. That is the result we seek. Look at our current pitching staff and count how many of them pitched for us in 2009. This is a team in transition with three left handed starters at AAA that could be in Detroit to help out by next year if not sooner.

Obviously, gk, if a guy makes it to the big time, he has some talent. We will see how this all plays out.

Semantically speaking, I’m not seeing the difference between “way too much talent to be performing this way” and “underperforming”………………..
I think the “way too much talent” line came from Alex Avila anyway.

You’re right, Rich, it was Avila that said that about talent. I think you can still underperform even if you are only average to begin with and that is point I was trying to make. I basically think that most of the guys on this team are only average when compared to most other big leaguers. And until the Verlanders and Scherzers and Jacksons can do it on a consistent basis they will continue to be average in my book.

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