DETROIT - Thursday's bench-clearing melee between the Chicago White Sox and Detroit Tigers had everyone talking.
Everyone except Jim Leyland.
The Tigers manager finally broke his silence before the team's game against the Texas Rangers, and while he wouldn't get into specifics, he did explain his philosophy behind charging the umpires with such enthusiasm.
"I don't stick up for my players when they're wrong. That's number one. Number two is I think they were right. And when you don't stick up for him, you might as well pack your bags," he said.
Leyland said he didn't want to talk with reporters after the game Thursday because he felt anything he might say would harm the team. He cited his comments in Tampa Bay after Fernando Rodney threw at Miguel Cabrera as a reason to stay quiet this time around.
After that pitch, Leyland said there was a price to pay. Rick Porcello plunked Ben Zobrist the next day, and was consequently suspended five games.
Because Leyland didn't talk this time around, he let the players' remarks carry the conversation. And because of that, their appreciation for their manager spoke volumes.
"It says a lot about the skipper," catcher Brayan Pena said. "It says a lot about how he respects his players, his passion for his team, and we (are) very happy to have him."
Alex Avila said he wasn't surprised to see Leyland get so hot, but Thursday was unique.
"He's been my manager for five years, so I've seen him do that quite a bit. That is the maddest I've ever seen him, though," he admitted.
"That's the maddest I've been in eight years. I lost it."
Brad Galli is a Sports Reporter for WXYZ Detroit. Follow Brad on Twitter @BradGalli
Copyright 2013 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
More Tigers News
When the Detroit Tigers introduced new closer Joe Nathan this week, the news conference quickly became about a lot more than Joe Nathan. Is this team in a better position to contend for a World Series than it was before?
Johan Franzen and Tomas Tatar scored third-period goals and the Detroit Red Wings beat the New Jersey Devils 3-1 on Friday. Joakim Andersson also scored and Jonas Gustavsson made 10 saves for Detroit, which has won five of six.
Two years after losing to Wisconsin, the Spartans will have the chance for redemption. No. 10 Michigan State faces No. 2 Ohio State in the Big Ten championship game in Indianapolis on Saturday.
Former Lions great Bubba Baker made it on the football field, now he's making it in the business world. His de-boned ribs brought him to ABC's Shark Tank, trying to woo the five sharks into investing in his idea.