Did Leyland have to make sure Cabrera went to bed on time instead of going out drinking without Garcia on Friday night after the game? Did he fail to get the big hits? I'm not even sure it's a big league manager's job to motivate; these are millionaires before they ever swing a bat.
Here's a thought: maybe the Tigers' current administration actually believes in honoring their employees for longstanding service (something rare in business today.) The other day I bought my 30 year-old daughter (who is a big Tiger fan) a birthday present. (No, a night with Rick Porcello wasn't available.) I bought her a 1979 Tiger Yearbook.
I was stunned by how many of the guys on that team or involved in the organization are still with them.
- Leyland was manager of the Evansville Tripletts (boy does he look funny with "long" hair and no cigarette.)
- Gates Brown was the hitting instructor: today I understand he still works for the Tigers as a kind of guest relations guy. My brother's company has a suite, and he said he is always at the games, signing autographs and telling kids stories. Willie Horton is still involved as well, isn't he?
- Jim Campbell was congratulating Al Kaline for his induction in the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame, and Kaline was broadcasting with old Tiger third baseman George Kell.
- Of course, it's not a perfect world. Alan Trammel had his shot at managing the Tigers, but now he's a bench coach in Chicago. Would it be impossible for him to come back to Detroit someday?
Trivia question - Who was "Boots Day?"
Interesting note: Kirk Gibson didn't even rate a color picture or a write-up, but Sheldon Burnside and Mark Wagner did.