Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Much like Barney Fife, Jim Leyland is a bud nipper

Jim Leyland was hired by Dave Dombrowski to smoke cigarettes and kick ass, and if you go from yesterday's outburst, he's all out of cigs.

But will tipping over tables improve the lackadasical attitude the Tigers showed in losing to the Tribe? Is calling them a bunch of "Lollygaggers" going improve their patience at the plate? Probably not.

Is Pudge Rodrigiuez going to change his free swinging ways because Cigarette Smoking Man raised cain? Will Leyland having a nicotine fit make Nate Robertson a better pitcher? Again, no.

But what Leyland did do is what Barney Fife always said is the best policy. That is, to nip it, nip it in the bud. If there was going to be any shrugging off a crap performance and taking a loss as business as usual, Leyland's performance, and I'm sure there was some premeditation to it, said that was no longer the Tigers modus operandi.

It also showed that the clubhouse is not run by Pudge, not by Da Meat Hook, but by Leyland. He most likely also scared the younger players shiatless. I'm sure that Trammell, Garner, Bell, and Parrish had their share of apoplectic clubhouse fits, but none of them had the cred or the gravitas of MLB's most well known smoker. It's much like Sparky Anderson, as when he was upset, you knew it, you listened, and you best took heed.

Now the question is, will Leyland and his bud nipping, help? Leyland may not change the attitudes of the veterans, the older mercenaries that the Tigers have signed over the past couple of years, but there are plenty of young players on the current roster, and being groomed in the Tiger system, whom will be here long after a Dmitri Young or Pudge Rodrigiuez are gone. It's the Sheltons, Bondermans, Grandersons, Verlanders, and Zumayas that Leyland is going to have major influence over, and will continually drive home the point to the future stars of the franchise that acceptance of losing and a lack of effort will no longer be tolerated.

Jim Leyland, bud nipper, is laying the groundwork for the Tigers a year or two down the road. The lessons learned and philosphies taught over this season will hopefully pay dividends in coming seasons. You can bet your single bullet that those who don't buy into Leyland's program won't be here next year.

As Barney Fife would say...

"Don't just mollycoddle them. Nip it! You go read any book you want on the subject of child player discipline and you'll find every one of them is in favor of bud-nipping."


  1. Well,I see the boys lost to Oakland,4-3,last night on two
    Nick Swisher bombs.I think the
    Bengals MUST go 4-5 out West
    and come back to Comerica at
    11-11 to maintain the push from their 5-0 start.

  2. But they went 6-3 on that West Coast trip.They play 24 of their first 38 games on the road.If they continue to
    get terrific pitching,the boys could be tough in the Central all year.