Tigers Rolling After Meeting
Often team meetings are overrated. However, the Tigers meeting in Kansas City sparked them to play good baseball.
They needed it because they were coming apart at the seams. Hang on. That is not quite accurate.
The entire team was not coming apart. Teammates were angry with catcher Pudge Rodriguez who decided a four-day vacation was more important than being with teammates when he was suspended for abuse of an umpire.
Despite what you hear and read, Manager Alan Trammell and President Dave Dombrowski wanted Pudge to remain with the team. But he went over everybody's head and got permission from owner Mike Ilitch.
Rodriguez said he needed down time because he did not get a break during All-Star week.
That caused a rift which increased when Rodriguez's charter plane could not leave Columbia because of bad weather. He was docked a day's pay for being AWOL and shelled out $52,000 in pay. Teammates demanded an explanation from him, in particular pitcher Jeremy Bonderman who served a one-game suspension with teammates.
Pudge apologized. Teammates vented and later Pudge had a more private meeting with Trammell and other members of the coaching staff at the hotel bar.
Tiger players have never turned on one another. They've remained tight. The problem has been Pudge.
Now the super star player is giving teammates more respect and the Tigers are playing good baseball.
But you wonder if this is just the calm in the storm. The Tigers held a $500 a plate charity dinner where hi rollers could mingle with Tiger players. There was not much mingling because only four players showed.
You will hear talk that the streak will save Tram's job. I am not convinced of that. Tram was returning no matter what. Ilitch wants to give a guy he respects another chance.