Tigers manager Jimmy Leyland has certainly come a long way since admitting he knew zilch about the team the day he was hired. The Detroit News’ Lynn Henning writes that Leyland has the team sussed out…and they smell like losers.
“We smell like Old Spice,” Leyland said Wednesday during an extraordinary pregame speech in the Tigers’ dugout at Progress Energy Field, where the Tigers beat the Devil Rays, 12-10.
Leyland said he was sitting in his office at Marchant Stadium on Tuesday when the thought struck like a lightning bolt.
“This team has no personality, has no charisma,” he said Wednesday. “This team needs to establish some identity.
“They’re the nicest guys in the world. But they’re kind of like the guy who gets up in the morning and goes to work at 8 o’clock and puts his coffee cup on the desk and at 5 o’clock goes home and the next day he does it all over again.
“I wanna see a fight once in a while, I want to see someone throwing a stool,” Leyland said. “I’ve never been around a nicer bunch of guys. But everybody’s got a little (jerk) in them. This club isn’t showing me any of that.”
Leyland’s words were chock-full of distinctions he sought to strike. He appreciates they’re so courteous they could put Miss Manners to shame. What he wants is for his players, on the field, to be more like characters from South Park, or better yet, baseball’s version of Muhammad Ali.
“When the Yankees take the field, there’s a presence, a smell, an odor,” he said, leading into his “Old Spice” analogy. “I want a swagger. I don’t want us to be tiptoeing out there. I want to see that mean streak when we go to compete.”