It’s not often I’ll nominate the manager of a sub-.500 ballclub for accolades, but you have got to listen to Jim Leyland’s f-bomb-laced response to Jason Grilli and others in the Tigers’ clubhouse whining about poor team chemistry.
You can listen to the audio here. And really, you have to listen to it. the printed quotes don’t do the speech justice for one important reason: Leyland, despite his salty language, never loses his temper. We’ve all seen coaches like Jim Mora lose it, and we’ve seen plenty blame the media for unflattering coverage. But Leyland did neither. He just simply and bluntly laid it on the line for his players. The best quote is when he says that the Tigers problems are not in the clubhouse, they’re between the lines.
Chemistry is an amazing thing in team sports. It matters, and Leyland knows that. But if Detroit is going to turn its season around, it has to start winning. That’s the starting point. funny thing about teams chemistry is this: When teams are winning, everybody tends to get along. Chemistry flows from success, not the other way around. Leyland is a manager who understands this. (I note that the Tigers have put together a couple of wins in the past few days since Leyland laid down the law. No coincidence methinks.