Sep 1, 2015; Kansas City, MO, USA; Detroit Tigers relief pitcher Bruce Rondon (43) delivers a pitch against the Kansas City Royals in the ninth inning at Kauffman Stadium. Detroit won the game 6-5. Mandatory Credit: John Rieger-USA TODAY Sports
Stop the Clubhouse Turmoil
It should not be a surprise that the typically harmonious Detroit Tigers’ clubhouse turned into a toxic cesspool this season. Losing tends to make formerly winning clubhouses fracture.
Nonetheless, there were still too many incidents that happened this season inside the clubhouse and dugout. This does not even take into account the other myriad of issues on and off the field such as Dave Dombrowski’s in-season termination, Brad Ausmus’ firing rumors, fans booing players, players complaining about fans in the media, etc., etc.
It started in the middle of the season during a David Price start. While having an unusually tough start, Price headed to the clubhouse after throwing 99 pitches and didn’t come back. He got out of his uniform and began doing post-start arm exercises. Only problem is that Ausmus wanted him for the next inning. He didn’t come back.
Call it miscommunication at best; call it a player quitting on his team at worst, but it was a troubling sign of things to come.
Following Price’s departure, and the other trading deadline deals, tempers boiled over in front of cameras when Jose Iglesias took exception to something James McCann said and the two needed to be separated by teammates. The next day was interesting as Iglesias was unapologetic and doubled-down.
Say what you want about his managerial skills, but these types of issues didn’t happen under Jim Leyland–or at least not publicly.
More recently was the surprising dismissal of Bruce Rondon, sent home for the rest of the season. More surprising was the fact that Tigers’ players were not surprised and basically said “if you don’t want to be here then you won’t be here.”
Rondon appeared to be going through the motions, something that we as fans have lobbed at this team a lot in the second half. For one player, at least, it seems to have been true.
For the Tigers to be successful, they need to cut out the crap. Players, coaches, manager and the front office need to be on the same page on everything that happens in the clubhouse, in the dugout and on the field.
Which leads us to the next important thing the new manager must do…
Next: O Captain My Captain