Monday, November 26, 2012

Why Octavio Dotel was Wrong...and RIght

When the Tigers were making a mockery of themselves in the World Series, Octavio Dotel thought one of the players should address the team.  He thought it should be Miguel Cabrera, presumably because Miggy is one of our best players.  This logic is all wrong.  Being really good at a sport does not make you a leader.  It could make you an on-field example/mentor, but it doesn't make you a team leader.

Was Michael Jordan arguably the best ever on the hard court?  Yes.  Was he a leader?   Not so much.  It's ok for the team's leader to be someone other than the best player.

If Dotel saw a need for a team speech, he should have addressed the team himself.  He obviously felt something needed to be said.  Well, speak up!  You're a veteran player who is also a veteran of the playoffs.  Share your wisdom, in the name of balls and strikes.  Don't wait for someone else to do it.  I don't blame Miggy one bit for declining to have the leadership mantle thrust upon him.  If he doesn't feel it, there is no reason to force it.

A lot of people scoff at team chemistry.  Others felt there was a leadership vacuum this year, largely due to the absence of Victor Martinez.  

I've got double good news for you.  One, Victor Martinez will be back with the Tigers next year.  Granted, we don't know what production we'll get from a guy who has spent as much time off the field as he has, but in the clubhouse, we know his presence will be felt.

Two, Torii Hunter has signed with the Tigers.  Now, Torii himself said he isn't a big rah-rah speech type of guy.  But I have evidence that he is a leader.  In an interview around the time of the MVP award announcement, Mike Trout was asked what Angels player helped him most.  His answer?  Torii Hunter.  He said his guidance was invaluable, especially early on when he was overwhelmed and scuffling.  What do you know about that?  The new guy IS a leader.

So, take heart, those of you who pined for leadership this past season, I think you'll be happy with what you see in 2013.  Now, if only it would hurry up and get here.

No comments: