Former Lions quarterback Jon Kitna always said do not put too much emphasis on sideline battles during the heat of the game. They happen quite often.
I always took those words to heart. Professional athletes get frustrated and they do not always take those frustrations out on opponents or the media. They take them out on teammates. We saw it recently when short stop Jose Iglesias shoved catcher James McCann in the dugout when McCann did not like the hustle of Iglesias on a ground ball against the Boston Red Sox.
Angry words were exchanged and Iglesias shoved McCann and needed to be restrained.
It caused the Brad Ausmus haters to turn on him as another sign that he’s lost control of this team and needs to be fired. Ausmus might have his flaws but this is not an Ausmus issue. Fights among teammates is routine. If you judged leaders simply by teammate fights then Chuck Daly, Sparky Anderson and Scotty Bowman were bad coaches also.
We might not have always seen the battles on television but they had to put out pretty intense fires in the dressing room and during practice. It happens.
When I was the Pistons beat writer back in the day I saw it all the time. I saw Red Wings being restrained. And you get at least a couple of fights during training camp every season by every team in the NFL.
The fight was good and bad for the Tigers. It was good because they still care. Fighting each other means they are fighting for something. They are still striving to be good. It is bad because you can tell by Iglesias’ post fight comments that he is still angry and has animosity toward McCann.
Did he and McCann patch things up?
“I don’t care,” Iglesias said.
When asked about the fight.
“I did what I was supposed to do,” he said.
This might not be over and I am fine with that. But the next battle might be behind closed doors.