With free agency just about to hit a frenzy, we take a look at one of the best free agent signings in Detroit Tigers history: Darrell Evans.
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As the Tigers prepare to either keep or lost arguably their best free agent signing in franchise history in Victor Martinez, a strong case can be made for Evans being the best. Maybe 1A. Evans’ veteran presence (and power bat) might have been what pushed the ’83 Tigers on the cusp into the juggernaut that was the 1984 World Champions.
Greg Eno looks at Evans defining moment in Detroit which actually came a couple years after ’84 that perhaps cost the Tigers the 1987 pennant. Receiving a standing ovation after a bonehead play on the bases is not something I can see a crowd of today doing, however Evans remains extremely popular then and now.
When people ask “Who’s Your Tiger?” I still answer Darrell Evans.
Next up we look at a potential trade target for the Tigers, Michael Saunders. I spoke with our friends at SoDo Mojo last week about Detroit being a suitor. Seattle appears to be looking for a infielder with a bat and aside from Ian Kinsler being dealt I don’t see the Tigers have the pieces in place to make it happen. Perhaps Devon Travis, but I don’t see the team trading a young player for a career .231 hitter with injury problems to solve their centerfield woes.
Finally, the Tigers have a new assistant hitting coach to take the place of Darnell Coles.
Free agent signee Darrell Evans’ iconic moment as a Tiger came in failure – Greg Eno, Bless You Boys
"In Game 4, with the Minnesota Twins leading the series, 2-1, Evans was on third base with one out and the Tigers trailing, 4-3 in the sixth inning. Dave Bergman was on second base.Then, in a flash, the inning, the game and perhaps the series turned.Twins catcher Tim Laudner, after a Berenguer pitch, suddenly bolted up and fired a strike to third baseman Gary Gaetti. The fans gasped as Evans, inexplicably trapped off third, tried to scramble to safety. But it was too late. Gaetti applied the tag and the crowd groaned.I can still see Evans from my vantage point in the left field upper deck, on his knees and probably wishing the ground would open and swallow him up after the pick off. The crowd didn’t boo; everyone was just too stunned to do much of anything.Just like that, the whole game’s complexion changed. It didn’t help soothe anyone’s feelings when, moments later, Berenguer uncorked a wild pitch that would have scored Evans with the tying run. But the Tigers didn’t score again in the inning and they lost the game, 5-3. The Twins took a 3-1 series lead.The next day, Evans strode to the plate for his first at-bat of Game 5. He had been the goat, no question, of Game 4. He knew it, the fans knew it.But in one of the most stirring moments in Detroit sports history, the fans rose to their feet and gave Evans a standing ovation, filled with love and forgiveness. The grizzled veteran, nearly overcome with emotion, had to take an extra few seconds to compose himself."
Detroit Tigers in the Market for Michael Saunders? – Nate Williams, Detroit Jock City
"Things wouldn’t improve much over the years, though Saunders would show some potential in 2012. He hit .247/.306/.432 with 53 extra base hits and 21 stolen bases in 507 plate appearances, but was only worth roughly 2 WAR due to some defensive shortcomings in center field.However, injuries have hampered the progress of the former top 100 prospect over the last few years as he has made just 731 plate appearances. Keeping in mind that Saunders is still just 27-years-old, there is an upside still there."
"Newhan managed Single-A Vermont as part of the Oakland Athletics organization in 2014 after spending the previous three seasons in the San Diego Padres organization as the hitting coach for their Single-A team.Newhan, 41, was drafted by the A’s in the 17th round of the 1995 draft and played in eight seasons in the majors. Newhan hit .253 with a .692 OPS in 413 games in the majors."