Unfortunately, you can’t win everything, all the time. As a fan of the Detroit Tigers, this rings especially loud.
Despite boasting the fifth largest payroll in major league baseball ($162.2 million), my beloved Motor City Bengals were swept by the Baltimore Orioles — a team that ranks 15th out of all 30 MLB teams in payroll — last weekend in the American League Division Series.
Headed by Miguel Cabrera ($21.9 million), Justin Verlander ($20.1 million), and Ian Kinsler ($16 million), the Tigers, in my humble opinion, featured the best roster in baseball.
This was supposed to be their year.
But, unfortunately, everything doesn’t go right all the time. The team’s bullpen, led by Joe Nathan ($9 million), Anibal Sanchez ($15.8 million), and Joba Chamberlain ($2.5 million) imploded.
Star players, such as reigning Cy Young winner Max Scherzer ($15.5 million), failed to shine on the big stage. Several hitters failed to hit the ball — Kinsler went 1-for-12, rookie Nick Castellanos ($500,000) went 1-for-10, and shortstop Andrew Romine ($504,000) finished 2-for-11.
But, perhaps the most blame can be placed on the team’s management. First-year manager Brad Ausmus made many questionable decisions (pulling Sanchez after 30 pitches?!). Third-base coach Dave Clark wore the dunce hat more than once, as well (sending Cabrera home with no one out and Victor Martinez on deck…). Despite all the money, accolades, and experience, poor leadership sunk the ship.
And, while this column has admittedly allowed me to publicly vent, these philosophies also hold many parallels in today’s business environment. Consider a few of the HVAC businesses in your market. They may have the most experienced, hardest working technicians in the state, but if they aren’t afforded proper leadership, it’s all for naught. That company can spend thousands of dollars on the grandest trucks and loudest advertisements, but, if the team is not granted proper guidance, they’ll quickly find themselves out of the game.
We’ve seen it before, and we’ll see it again. Make sure this isn’t the case inside your building.
Step up, lead by example, and make sure your bullpen is well-equipped. You’re only as good as your weakest player. Make sure you coach him up in case he’s needed to hit in a pinch.