Throughout the week, there are so many smaller stories hitting the media. They may be bite-size, but often they are just as important as the headline-grabbing news. Sometimes, even more.
And that’s what brings me to today. A way to discuss some of these stories. A way to bring them out in the open for discussion.
And that’s the plan for Mondays. Keeping track of these mighty little bits that hit my radar throughout the week and sharing them with you today because I know one or more will also resonate with you. So, let’s kick off this week’s musings…
Is there another factor that could sway Chris Ilitch to get rid of his GM? If what happened to the Rockies former GM is any indication, then yes. A number of this GM’s players were known to be upset over his comments and promises to them. He was finally fired (or “resigned”).
It seems that Al Avila is following in his footsteps by also angering his players.
This time, Tarik Skubal.
Several years ago, Avila broadcast how no teams wanted Nick Castellanos and how hard it was to trade him. You simply don’t insult and embarrass someone with whom you work. It was so unprofessional.
And it left a bad taste in Castellanos’ mouth.
So now, national reports are revealing that Skubal is none too happy with what’s happening to him. And it has to do with the Tigers broadcasting to every other team that Skubal is for sale.
We don’t know the exact details but reporters say that Tarik heard the stories and reacted unhappily. When asked to clarify, he said “I’m not gonna comment on that. I won’t. I’m gonna keep those (thoughts) to myself, too.”
Earlier that day, Tarik was throwing things in the dugout in reaction to an inning and most probably the pressure of an uncertain future.
But in acknowledgement that he may be gone soon, he made sure to insist that the sports writers reported about how much he appreciated the fans. And he spoke as if he wouldn’t see them again.
Maybe the anger was over the words he heard. Or maybe it was the promise about his role in the rotation and the Tigers’ future. Only now, it appears this team is headed for another rebuild.
Great teams have great coaches and if you’re looking for the best pitching coach of all time, it’s Leo Mazzone, who developed and oversaw the Atlanta Braves pitching program. Over the weekend, he did an amazing interview on MLB Radio about his career and philosophy.
Mazzone just got inducted into the Braves Hall of Fame. He is the first coach ever to be inducted into any team’s Hall and is included on everyone’s list of baseball’s top 10 coaches of all time.
While many Tiger fans bemoan the trade of John Smoltz to Atlanta, he would not be the great pitcher he was if he stayed in Detroit. Leo completely broke down his entire pitching form and rebuild it.
John became a completely different pitcher. Leo deserves full credit. In fact, in his induction speech, Smoltz thanked Mazzone immediately at the beginning of his speech.
In 7 years (1991 – 1998), Mazzone turned out 3 pitchers who won 6 Cy Young Awards – Smoltz, Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine.
But something the interview brought out, piqued my attention. Under Mazzone, the Braves only had 2 home-grown pitchers in 15 years who required Tommy John surgery.
Especially when you consider that at least 1 Tiger per year undergoes the procedure. Turnbull, Mize, Garcia, Fulmer, Faedo and a number of pitching prospects just recently.
Just before the All-Star break, Jeimer Candelario did an interview with multiple reporters gathered around his locker. There were 3 very interesting observations that came out of it.
First of all, the writers for the 2 major Detroit dailies published pieces that went out of their way to paint a positive picture by excluding a lot of material. The national reporters wrote much more, offered substantial quotes and painted a more accurate picture.
It was not a flattering portrait of Candelario. He came across as defensive and unwilling to recognize just how deep a hole he has dug for himself. A few bon mots:
“(It’s) not just on me because not one (person) is gonna do it all. You see LeBron James in the NBA, he’s the best player, and he cannot do it all. It’s a game that takes a lot of people involved to win ballgames and to (have) a successful season.”
“I wouldn’t say I’ve struggled. I’d say I just got to make the plays to win ballgames. Just got to continue to work really hard, and I know everything’s gonna be all right.”
It appears that hitting .191 at the time of this interview does not qualify as “struggling.”
And who knows how many other of his teammates share the same beliefs.
Lastly, right after these stories appeared, Jeimer really picked it up at the plate. Was it the national attention that motivated him?
No, because we found out that during the All-Star break, he went home and spent 3 days with his former hitting coach.
What does that say about Scott Coolbaugh?
Which one of these stories resonated the most with you?
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