There’s a manual — or there’s going to be one. Apparently Binder Brad is all about the rules and the right way of doing things (nerd alert!). He and Al Avila are on the same page on this and are working on putting something in writing, spelling out the expectations for proper Tigers behavior.
According to the news story on this from Katie Strang of ESPN, it will cover on-field play, the right way to respect opponents, and general guidelines for “how to be a good teammate and professional.” Strang reports that this doesn’t mean there will be detailed rules against flipping bats or the like — more like broad (probably vague) statements of how to behave.
Apparently, this is a product of Bossy Brad and the coaching staffs’ planning, but the new GM is on board. And, since Avila stated that they wanted to make sure some guys get the message (and in the usual corporate practice this means everyone gets the new rules), feel free to read into it all the unwritten rules/cultural differences baggage rampant in baseball (which is complicated by the fact that Avila is Cuban).
The most telling and interesting excerpt was this bit on reliever Bruce Rondon:
Despite a disappointing season rife with frustration, the Tigers did not have many fissures within the clubhouse or attitude issues. When a problem did arise, such as when reliever Bruce Rondon was sent home packing in the final weeks of the season for pout-pitching in an appearance, it was dealt with swiftly.
Asked about Rondon, whose actions seemed to rankle his teammates, Ausmus said he does not believe that the damage done is irreparable. He believes the talented prospect could earn back the trust with hard work and the right mindset in spring training.
Hopefully, what this means is that the Tigers won’t find themselves in a Papeldouche situation (remember the little pushing incident between Little Sexy Fire and McCannon this season?). You are on notice, gentlemen. If you act unprofessionally with the Tigers, there will be consequences and repercussions. We’re not having that in this clubhouse (in case you missed that message when we shipped off Mini-Miggy — or you’re one of those rules-arguers who demands to see where the policy says you can’t do something). It’s likely that this move also clarifies that Brad is the Sheriff and he’ll handle player attitudes, so the rest of the team can MYOB. All of which begs the question: if everyone gets along well, why the need for the manual?