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.

8 thoughts on “ONE TOPIC – TWO TAKES

  1. Holly wrote “the incident validates that the manager does not have control of the team.” Totally agree, Lets talk possible replacements some day.


    • Im with Gary. Would love for you two to run a column – were not like the Detroit majors and have to wait till the end of the season. Lets hears some pros and cons for half dozen top contenders and then select your ” best guess.”


      • Hi, Gary and Jerry – You’ll be glad to know I love this kind of stuff! I already have a list of possible candidates. If Dave hadn’t gotten canned, I would have been talking about this earlier, but now we need to wait another week or so for Avila to settle in and some teams to come to terms. Will have something before the end of August, OK? Thanks for reading – and for the request! – Holly


  2. Another issue might be fatigue. Ausmus seems not to rest his players enough. Kinsler earlier in the season, Wilson used 6 games in a row goes out with shoulder fatigue. How long since Iggy had a break? Could be an issue and adds another question mark to Ausmus’ competence.


  3. I have a gut feeling that Iggy’s lack of effort on one play – probably cost him his opportunity for the gold glove this year and maybe going forward. Those are the things that matter.


  4. when Iggy first came to Detroit he was very humble. Since the All-Star break he has a arrogance about him. He show -boats way to much. Many of his throws to first are just superficial tosses (for lack of a better word). I think his humility has turned to pride. He believes too much in the things everyone says about him.


  5. When something blows up out in the open, It’s an opportunity for management to address issues that have been building. I hope that Ausmus’s evaluation by Avila includes how Ausmus privately addressed the two individuals, and the whole team, about standards of public behavior and on-field effort.


  6. Joe Magrane on MLB showed video of Iggy dogging it on 3 plays prior to his attack on McCann, then told how his old manager, Joe Maddon would handle it by taking the player, Iggy, into his office and show him video of his poor play and ask what he thought of it and what he was going to do about it. That’s what real managers do.


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