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Tigers Manager Picks Tri-Captains

June 22, 1999

DETROIT (AP) _ Manager Larry Parrish doesn’t deny that his latest attempt to shake up the foundering Detroit Tigers might be something of a reach.

Parrish, seeking more vocal leadership in the clubhouse, picked pitcher Doug Brocail, catcher Brad Ausmus and third baseman Dean Palmer as team captains. The move came in the wake of a 2-hour meeting between Parrish, his coaches and the three players following a 6-5 loss Sunday to the Oakland Athletics.

That loss dropped the Tigers (29-40) to a season-low 11 games under .500. They had lost five of six heading into Monday night’s game against the A’s.

``You could say this is a form of grasping,″ Parrish said Monday. ``We’re not winning, and anything we can do to win, we’ll try.″

Parrish wants the tri-captains to exert peer pressure on other players, particularly before and after games.

``We wanted somebody vocal, and that’s Brocail,″ Parrish said. ``We want somebody as a go-between between the pitchers and players, and that’s Ausmus. Then we wanted a senior player, somebody the others respected, and that’s Palmer.″

Palmer, who came to Detroit as a free agent after signing a $36 million, five-year contract last, is not regarded as a vocal player. But Palmer, whose 19 home runs and 44 RBIs easily lead the Tigers, says he’s willing to try anything.

``It’s a role that’s something I definitely accept,″ Palmer said. ``It makes you feel good that the management has that confidence in you. I know I’m going to be here a few years and I want to help this team any way I can. I want to be involved.″

The Tigers were a consensus pick to finish second behind Cleveland in the AL Central but entered Monday in third place, 17 1/2 games behind the division-leading Indians. They’ve also shown no signs of becoming a contender, which was a main goal heading into next season’s move to their new home at Comerica Park.

Parrish thinks the team has accepted losing too easily.

``Anything that gets the club talking baseball will make us a better team,″ Parrish said.

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