We may never know what Detroit Tigers manager Jim Leyland said to his players in his post-game tirade after their 11-0 Sunday drubbing in Chicago. I’m sure the culmination of two solid weeks of frustration and embarrassment wasn’t pretty.
What we do know about Leyland’s past philosophy can be summed up in four words: Play all nine innings.
Sounds simple, doesn’t it? But I swear since the 2008 season started the talent-laden Tigers seemed to have forgotten their leader’s message. It’s hard to believe that a team with so many stars could be hanging their heads by the fifth inning — but that’s exactly what was happening.
All that seemed to change in last night’s thrilling come-from-behind-never-say-die victory. Although the pitching wasn’t pretty, the Tigers battled back several times with impressive offensive surges that appeared to be fueled by inspiration.
Who knows? After screaming at his team on Sunday in Chicago, what may have come across the loudest were four simple words.