By: Kurt Snyder & Holly Horning
As is always the way in life and in sports, controversy can really capture the attention of people and fans. So it’s no surprise that the altercation in the dugout between James McCann and Jose Iglesias continues to hang on and be a relevant topic for discussion.
Well, since it’s still being talked about and is still fresh in everyone’s minds, we might as well pose our Thursday questions on James’ and Jose’s little spat.
Did Friday night’s dugout fight between McCann and Iggy help or hurt the team?
Kurt – I am not choosing much of a position on this one, as I am on both sides of the coin. The only good that came out of it was what I discussed on Wednesday and the emergence of a true leader in James McCann.
I can’t express enough how important he will be to this team in the future when the team is looking for answers during a slump. It can’t always be the manager to counsel the players. It’s important to have one of their own to take on the responsibility of picking everyone up by the bootstraps and rallying the troops.
But as good as that was for the Tigers, it really evened out with Iglesias’ embarrassing comments the following day. It is my hope that he just needs to mature. Because it’s a little scary if that is really how he patches things up with his teammates after a disagreement. If that’s indeed the case, he isn’t going to be much of a team player going forward.
I was extremely disappointed and surprised by a character flaw from Iggy that came off as pouty and arrogant. Sure the guy is flashy and confident on the field, but the guy better find the word ‘humble’ and digest the meaning.
You would hope that he will feel pretty silly about his comments down the road. Maybe he does already. But I lost a lot of respect for him that day and until I hear from him again, that position is not going to change.
In the end, I see this as a culmination of frustration built up, not just in these two players, but the whole team. What a horribly disappointing season this has been. The 3 guys we had to give up were on this team to help win a World Series, and from Brad on down, it was a hard pill to swallow in giving them up. So I can excuse the frustration, it was just demonstrated in a place you should never see it on display.
So, did the altercation help or hurt this team? It’s both for me. But mostly it hurt, as it appropriately put the rubber stamp of failure on this season.
Holly – Sometimes, things need to get really ugly before they get better. And it is my greatest hope that the Front Office and Mr. I take this as a wakeup call and make the necessary changes this winter before next season starts.
First of all, I have no problems with teammates calling each other out and getting in each other’s faces. I do take issue when it happens in public and when the media portrays them as a train wreck for all to witness. I also see a problem when a team expends energy fighting itself but lays down like a doormat when they play other teams.
But hopefully, four worthwhile things will come out of the dugout drama – the first being the emergence of James McCann as the first visible and bona fide leader of this team.
The second demonstrates a need for the Tigers to address the lackadaisical play fans have been complaining about for two years. Not surprisingly, the frequency is increasing as Brad’s influence (or indifference) with the team continues to trend steadily downwards – hit balls allowed to pass without much effort, fielders who hold onto caught balls while runners take that extra base, and batters who don’t run it out or remain motionless in the batter’s box while the out is made at first base.
The third issue involves the total absence of leadership by management and veterans. The fight was notable because of who was not involved. Where were the veterans? Where were the coaches? Clark and Omar were on the field and Brad gets a partial pass due to the game in play, but what about Lamont, JJ – and Victor, Miggy, JV and Ian?
I watched, stunned, as Gose grabbed the back of Iggy’s jersey with Lamont who was right there and did nothing. It was a fight started and stopped by the newest guys on the team. No wonder the team has found it difficult to sync their play this year.
And finally, the incident validates that the manager does not have control of the team. He, and most or all of his coaches, are ineffective and indifferent – now solid proof in video form.
Hopefully, Mr. I and Avila will take a lesson out of this failure as they search for a new manager who, along with new coaches, will demonstrate the necessary and proven qualities of team leadership and motivation. Hopefully, they also won’t forget to add players who have a little more McCann in them, and a little less Iggy.