Monday, April 14, 2008

Monday Morning Manager

(my weekly take on the Tigers)

Last Week: 2-4
This Week: 4/14,15: MIN; 4/16,17: at Cle; 4/18-20: at Tor

Mount Leyland exploded yesterday, according to reports.

It erupted in Chicago, moments after the Tigers were bushwhacked by the White Sox, 11-0 -- which came one day after being shutout 7-0. Leyland, the reports said, admitted to yelling at his team.

"I couldn't keep it in any longer," he was quoted.

Screaming and tossing things around and making a spectacle of yourself might feel good from a venting standpoint, but it's anyone's guess as to just how effective it is in shaking a team out of its doldrums. You need talent, first of all, or else all the screaming in the world isn't going to change a thing. The Tigers have that, so that's a step in the right direction. It's not that they need to be reminded of their 2-10 record; it's that sometimes it might be misconstrued as being acceptable to be bad for a stretch, until the manager loses his cool and reminds his players that, no, it's NOT acceptable. Not even close.

Miguel Cabrera, for one, looks like a lost soul. The Tigers' new $151 million man looks like a Double-A player blinded by the bright lights of The Show. He's awful right now -- swinging a wet noodle at the plate and more often than not, unable to drive the ball past the infield.

Well, most of them have been awful, of course. It's amazing that a team this good can come out of the gate in such a fog. I was talking to a friend and colleague over the weekend, and he says that the Tigers are never going to fully recover from this wretched start.

"I think they're done for," he said in an ominous tone. "I think the weight of all that pressure is getting to them."

Strange, but true: the Tigers still have some time here. No one in the division is running away with things. A good week, and they're right back in it. It'll be one of the few times where 6-12 will look good.

How our definition of acceptable changes, huh?



Post a Comment

<< Home