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Article:It's Time To Kick Over The Spread In The Tigers Clubhouse

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You can't beat blogging. It used to be that you would have to wait for the morning papers to read some columnist ripping the locals. Now, you can just sit down at the keyboard and do it yourself. And so, in that vein...

The best measure of just how awful the Tigers were (again) tonight was not the final score (although 5-to-nothing is bad enough) but, rather, the 11-3 margin by which the winning Red Sox out hit Detroit. Detroit managed two measly singles and a one double: the only extra-base hit by Detroit in their last 23 at-bats. And that was it for the Tigers offense tonight as Detroit lost its fifth straight. The Tigers had 5 total bases last night; tonight they had four.

In last nights 6-3 loss to Boston, Detroit's offensive output consisted of five singles. Unless, that is, you want to count as offense the ten (count 'em, ten!) walks handed out by Red Sox pitchers--freebies with which the Tigers did nothing. Nothing at all. It was the same story tonight, except in this one Red Sox pitchers handed out no walks.

Tonight, once again, the highly touted, All-Star-on-paper-only Detroit bats were dead on arrival at Comerica Park.

This after manager Jim Leyland's big shakeup which saw the Tigers yesterday fire (designate for assignment in baseball-speak but it's same thing) their everyday left fielder Jacque Jones and give the job to Gary Sheffield. Jones got dumped because he wasn't producing: Batting Average .165, 1 Home Run and 5 RBI. Sheffield is a huge upgrade: Batting Average .176, 2 Home Runs and 5 RBI.

I don't know how Leyland doesn't go nuts on this club, but he said after the loss tonight that screaming and yelling "doesn't do any good anyway."

I'd be kicking over the spread. You know about the spread, don't you? It's the buffet-style meal set out in the clubhouse for the players and coaches after the game. It could be anything: Chicken, chops, pasta, or sandwiches. Baseball is the only sport with a spread. Players in the NFL, NBA and NHL head out into the night hungry. Ballplayers get fed right there in the clubhouse right after the game. It is not unusual to see them sit there in front of their lockers eating while they are in their underwear, or worse. Yeah, naked guys pigging out. It is not a pleasant sight.

Media people are not allowed to eat from the spread. It used to be that you just knew you couldn't eat from the spread but apparently not all media personnel come equipped with common sense. It must be that some of them were helping themselves. Why? Because now it's written into the Official Media Regulations that reporters and camera operators et. al., are not allowed to eat from the spread. You could lose your credential if you do. When I saw this in the regs, I couldn't believe it. I couldn't believe they had to put it in writing. Like I said, it used to be that you just knew that unless you were a player or a coach or a trainer or an equipment guy, you couldn't eat from the spread.

But I digress.

At some point during the season, in some Major League clubhouse, an angry manager will kick over the spread. He'll be mad as hell and he just won't be able to take it any more and he'll flip the buffet and all that food over. Then he'll kick at it for a while, perhaps stomping his cap into the mashed potatoes while he's at it. And while he's at it, he will scream at his ballclub. Think of the line, "You're all worthless and weak!" from Animal House.

That's what I'd be doing if I were Jim Leyland. Kicking over the spread and screaming at people. Then I'd let the media guys help themselves.

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