Baseball is a game of numbers and superstitions. When a team needs all the help they can get, their fans start to look to the numbers and superstitions for inspiration, just like the players do. In the world of the Detroit Tigers, three good things happened this week. Three is considered a lucky number; so, it is only natural for superstitious fans to start looking for more. Add to it the fact that the three good things happened in just three days makes the superstition even more magnificent.
Jul 14, 2015; Cincinnati, OH, USA; National League pitcher Francisco Rodriguez (57) of the Milwaukee Brewers throws against the American League during the seventh inning of the 2015 MLB All Star Game at Great American Ball Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Wednesday: K-Rod Day
The first good thing was the signing of a seasoned relief pitcher. Al Avila traded a player-to-be-named-later and Javier Betancourt to the Milwaukee Brewers for relief pitcher Francisco Rodriguez. Fans and pundits have applauded Al Avila for this move, showing that he does understand how to strengthen the team while staying within the budget. K-Rod’s contract with the Tigers is for $7.5 million in 2016 and an option in 2017.
Thursday: Buh-bye David Ortiz
As if the addition of an affordable proven closer was not enough good news, the second piece was revealed the very next day when Boston Red Sox DH David Ortiz announced his retirement. While this does not directly affect the Tigers on a daily basis, it sure does lift an albatross from the neck of the entire team. Ortiz has been a nightmare opponent for the Tigers for over a decade pounding in 62 RBIs and 21 home runs. Fortunately, this Tigers killer has asked to not have a farewell tour like Derek Jeter had in 2014. This only adds to the goodness because no Tigers player or fan will want to see the team give a gift to the man who single-handedly destroyed the 2013 Tigers World Series hopes.
Friday: Hello, Old Friend
The third good thing happened today when Al Avila made his second smart move signing outfielder Cameron Maybin. This signing fills the hole in left field and does it affordably. Maybin was originally drafted by the Tigers in the first round of 2005. He moved through the minor league system and played 24 games with the Tigers before being traded through the National League in Florida, San Diego, and Atlanta. He was traded for two left-handed pitchers: Ian Krol and Gabe Speier. This trade has put an end to the “Doug Fister Trade” now that every player Dombrowski acquired on that fateful day is no longer with the team. Maybin will receive an $8 million contract in 2016 and a $9 million team option.
It appears that the baseball gods are shining their light on Detroit, at least for now. Avila is making wise decisions with his trades; hopefully, the trend will continue.