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Jacque Jones: Clubhouse Sage?

We have no idea what Jacque Jones will provide for the Detroit Tigers on the field, but on his blog today, Curtis Granderson passed along an anecdote that might indicate what a veteran like Jones could mean to the team off the field. Over the weekend, Jim Leyland called Granderson into his office to inform him that he'd be getting some time off at the beginning of the week. (Amusingly, Curtis thought something else might have been up when he was called to the manager's office.)

Afterwards, Granderson talked to Jones about getting some time off so early in Spring Training:

Jacque Jones' locker is right next to mine and I told him I wasn't playing, and he said "you have to look at it this way -- [Leyland] is resting you now so that come August and September you won't be as tired." Jacque also mentioned that there is really no point for you to get 100 at-bats during spring training. He knows you are working on your stuff to get ready for the season, but you also have to be rested and not peak down here so early.

After hearing Jacque tell me that, it made a lot of sense. There really is no reason now to get all these at-bats this early in the spring, and get worn out before the season even starts. Now that I understand that, I look forward to these off days.

Obviously, the Tigers are hoping for more than locker room wisdom from Jones this season. Some sterling defense in left field, along with left-handed pop from his bat would benefit the team greatly. But that conversation also indicates the sort of team building Leyland and Dave Dombrowski had in mind by bringing in veteran players to help along the still-developing young talent establishing itself on the roster. (And though Gary Sheffield might provide some of that guidance, as well, he's also prone to outbursts that don't offer much of anything useful.)