Where’s Jim Leyland When You Need Him?
So Tigers manager Brad Ausmus didn’t see Tyler Collins offer the bird nor a hearty “eff everybody here” to the gathered throng at Comerica Park on Monday. No worries. He had a stern conversation with the youngster after the game.
Then Collins offered up his sincere apologies for losing his head.
And that is a problem.
Look, I’m a bit tardy to the party here and players will make such mistakes from time-to-time, I get that. Collins’ little display won’t be the last, and it certainly wasn’t the first. However, organizations can do something about it, but rarely do.
The Tigers missed the boat here.
Collins needed to be either fined by the team, suspended by the team or demoted to Toledo. To prove a point. (Ed.NOTE: Collins was sent to Toledo last night)
The fans pay exorbitant amounts of money to obtain the right to see a major league game in person. That does not offer license to act a fool (as admittedly, some fans do), but those who do act idiotically are not the majority.*
No, booing is, was and ever shall be a part of the game. Fans aren’t pleased with what they see on the field and they boo. Like it or not, it’s something players simply have to deal with.
You can come into the dugout after the frame and beat the holy hell out of a Gatorade cooler or destroy a drinking fountain or even vent to your teammates, but what you can’t do is make an overt gesture to a fan, a group of fans or all of the fans.
That’s just bad business.
And that the Tigers have not taken any action other than to say something along the lines of “We chatted with him and assume everything will go to plan.”
Why is it so difficult for franchises to simply do the right thing?
It’s about how you conduct yourself. And if a player cannot handle himself correctly, it is on the manager, general manager and owner to remind him that there are consequences for acting foolishly.
If you were at work and found yourself unable to close a deal with some difficult and frustrating clients and decided to conclude your meeting with a big ol’ you’re number one and “F*** everybody here,” you wouldn’t get a talking to, you’d receive a box to collect your things and a map indicating “You are here” with a red path laid out to make your jaunt to the exit easier.
I’m not suggesting Collins (or any other player for that matter) be cut for doing something stupid. I’m merely saying that action needs to be taken, and that action needs to be demotion, suspension or fine. Anything but a stringent talking to. That just doesn’t measure up.
Alas, what’s done is done and the Tigers organization failed.
Collins should be thankful that Jim Leyland is no longer the skipper in Motown.
*Unless you’re in Philadelphia.