Sweaty Men Endeavors

The sports blog with the slightly gay name

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Talking softly, carrying big sticks

To me, the Tigers' clubhouse looked really tense on Sunday afternoon. Following the 7-6 loss to Texas, very few players came out to talk to the media. And those who were at their lockers weren't saying much.

I didn't know what to think. But consider my viewpoint. That was only my third time in a professional locker room, and second in the Tigers' clubhouse. So maybe what I witnessed was relatively normal for that environment.

(And this probably deserves its own post someday, but if you look at it from a distance, the dynamic between athletes and the media in a locker room can be kind of strange.

Media: Does he want to talk? Let's go over there. Oh, wait - he's not talking. Okay, let's wait to see if anyone talks. No one's coming...

Athletes: Please just let me get dressed first. Oh man, they're all looking over here. They're coming over here. Okay, I should talk. But do I want to?)

Justin Verlander refused to talk about Monday's start against the White Sox. Actually, no one wanted to talk about the White Sox.

Bob Wojnowski's column in yesterday's Detroit News captured the atmosphere pretty well.

"I'm almost tired of talking about that, to be honest," Monroe said to Wojo. "Let's just play the games. Who cares what you say before the game. I'm excited about the series and every guy in here is excited."

Again, the whole scenario is pretty new to me, so I didn't know what to think. Was it a good thing that the Tigers seemed irritable? They were mad about the three-game losing streak, and sick of hearing questions about their record against Chicago. Maybe Verlander doesn't usually talk about his next start, but everyone wanted to ask, since it was against the White Sox. Okay. But what if they were tense because the White Sox were in their heads, and they were feeling anxious about the next four games to come?

So much for that, eh?

If this is what happens when Verlander doesn't want to talk about his next start, then maybe he shouldn't face a camera, microphone, or tape recorder for the rest of the season. You're not hearing any talk about whether he tips his pitches today.

This post has been a little too much about me, hasn't it? Let's fix that:

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