Originally written on Fox Sports Detroit  |  Last updated 10/21/14
Mlb_indians_at_a3ae
DETROIT Hall of Fame manager Leo Durocher is famous for saying that nice guys finish last. Seventy years later, Jim Leyland couldn't agree more. "We've got a wonderful clubhouse and a wonderful group of guys, but I wish we had a few more aholes," Leyland said before Tuesday's 6-3 win over St. Louis. "I wish we had some guys who had a meaner streak in them from 7-10 and kept the other personality the rest of the time. "If you look at the best teams in any sport, they have a swagger to them. That's what we need." Leyland isn't questioning his team's talent, but said the mix of injuries, personalities and slumps has left him without the leadership it needs. "I've always said that you can't be a leader when you are hitting .205," he said. "When your stars are quiet, like ours, and you've got some other guys that aren't doing so well, it is hard to find someone who wants to be that rat. A couple dirtballs are all we need." Leyland pointed to the defending champion Cardinals as a team that had the kind of players that he wants, and said that it was something that the 2006 Tigers developed. "When I came here, I got a very talented team that had no idea how to win," he said. "They learned how to win as a team, and they developed that swagger. I'm not going to get into naming names, but the 2006 team had some of those guys." Leyland mentioned Brandon Inge and FOX Sports Detroit analyst Craig Monroe as players who, while not stars, made the kind of plays that helped the Tigers reach the World Series. "You don't have to be a great player, but you can't be afraid of being in front of the camera," he said. "Role players are important in every sport, and some times, you need a guy who might hit .240, but will hit a big home run or will move runners along or will break up a double play. If you look back at 2006, it wasn't the same guys making the plays every game. We had different people doing it every night." Magglio Ordonez was brought up as an example as the type of player he might be talking about, saying that Ordonez had the swagger in a quiet way. Leyland also noted that Justin Verlander shows the kind of desire he wants, but that it is hard for a starting pitcher to be a leader when he's only on the field every fifth day. Verlander, though, thought he fit the bill. "I think as a starting pitcher, you can have somebody who competes and is, for lack of a better word, an ahole on the mound," he said after the game. "I would think that's me." While the manager's terminology changed throughout the discussion, it was clear what kind of player he means someone who doesn't have superstar talent but who makes the most of what they do have. It's the type of player who Larry Brown would say "plays the right way," and that would fit in perfectly on Mike Babcock's checking line. In 2006, that would have been players like Carlos Guillen remember the staredown of Jared Weaver last season? and Placido Polanco. In 2012? Again, Leyland wasn't naming names, but he certainly would like grittier performances from Brennan Boesch, Jhonny Peralta and Ryan Raburn. HALL OF FAME MUSINGS When asked for his thoughts about Roger Clemens being found not guilty of perjury charges, Leyland said that he hopes the verdict will help get both Clemens and Barry Bonds into the Hall of Fame. "They've both gone through our justice system, and they've both been found not guilty," he said. "Roger was the best pitcher I've ever seen, and Barry might be the greatest player of all time. I'd like to see them get recognized for that." When he was reminded that the Hall of Fame's voting standards include sportsmanship and integrity, Leyland pointed out that Clemens and Bonds wouldn't be the first players in Cooperstown with questions about their characters. "You have to remember that the Hall of Fame is the Promised Land, not the Holy Land."
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Memorabilia dealer at center of Todd Gurley scandal fired

Colt McCoy on learning he was starting ‘it’s about f—ing time’

Four Questions for Game 3 of the World Series

Percy Harvin not planning on changing

Ricky Williams: People are let down when I turn down weed

Joe Maddon opts out of contract with Rays

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Randall Cobb: Contract situation played role in slow start

Notre Dame WR faces discipline if he hooked up with porn star?

PGA president calls Ian Poulter ‘lil girl’ for Nick Faldo comments

Belichick declines to address Revis' reported tardiness

Texas mayor delays Halloween for Friday night football game

C-USA hired PR firm to help Marshall’s playoff chances

WATCH: American flag rips during Game 3 national anthem

WATCH: Tony Parker draws foul by simply yelling 'hey'

Video: Tom Izzo takes the stage with KISS on Midnight Madness

Eight NFL records that won’t be broken for a long time

Big trouble for Bruins: Chara out 4-6 weeks, possibly more

Blazers, Seahawks owner Paul Allen gives $100M to fight ebola

'FIFA 15' glitch turns goalie into headless giant with no arms

WATCH: HBO releases trailer of 'The Offseason: Kevin Durant'

Broncos corner snags INT, then takes pregnant wife to hospital

Gurley dressed up as a pirate for Halloween, yelled, 'Free me'

What the return of Luis Suarez means for Barcelona

Nick Saban pens touching letter after high school coach dies

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Trouble for Bruins: Chara out 4-6 weeks

Joe Maddon opts out of contract with Rays

NBA Replay Center debuts next week

World Series win = Giants dynasty?

Reliving the worst college football game of the last 10 years

NFL teams facing must-win scenarios in Week 8

What the return of Luis Suarez means for Barcelona

Programs with a lot on the line this week

Wilson denies rumored Harvin rift

Lakers: Steve Nash out for season

Is Mack Brown SMU's best option?

Are sports leagues finally getting serious about domestic violence?

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.