Rivalries in baseball are not what they used to be, except for the New York Yankees and the Boston Red Sox. But, with the new family feud brewing between Alex Avila and his father Al, the rivalry between the Chicago White Sox and the Detroit Tigers could become very real and very fun for fans.
On June 13 at 8:10 in at U.S. Cellular Field, the trash talk coming from Alex Avila will be silenced or cheered. In an ironic twist, the first meeting happens to fall on the 13th of the month. Avila’s number with the Tigers was always 13. Now with the White Sox, he will wear #31. Even though #13 is not retired, it was worn by the Chicago White Sox icon Ozzie Guillen. With all of the superstitions in baseball, who will be affected more by the meeting on this ominous date?
Al Avila made it very clear to the Tigers fans that he did not want to have his son on his team as soon as he became the Tigers GM. He also made it clear that he did not want his son to be on the Tigers team when he was originally drafted in 2009. As soon as Al Avila was made the official general manager, it was only time before Alex was finished with the Tigers. He rode the bench for the majority of the season, except for the time that he was on the disabled list.
Alex Avila’s one-year contract is for $2.5 million, which is significantly less than what he made in 2015 with the Tigers. His plate performance dropped below .200 in 2015 and he was eclipsed by rookie James McCann behind the plate. Hopefully, Avila’s trash talk toward his father is all in good fun – especially since Alex Avila no longer seems to have the skilled needed to back up the talk.
What does this minor family feud mean for baseball? Especially for these two organizations? The Detroit Tigers players liked Alex Avila. The young and frequently injured catcher caught for some of the best pitchers in the MLB. Avila’s former teammates will most likely be gracious to him and vice verse. The father and son duo actually do get along with each other, so they should have a warm meeting on that day, too. The small feud should draw
The first game takes place at U.S. Cellular Field, which usually has low rates of attendance. This feud could increase ticket sale for that game and the rest of the series games in Chicago. Avila is a solid catcher with a .995 fielding percentage. White Sox fans where not fond of their former catcher, Tyler Flowers. The fans are looking forward to Avila’s work behind the dish. They are also looking forward to seeing their other new catcher, Dioner Navarro, too.
When the games move to Detroit, Avila will most likely get a warm reception from his teammates, but not from the fans in the seats. The fans did not like Alex Avila and they were not afraid to show it. His departure was not as controversial as Prince Fielder‘s was, but it is unlikely that Avila will get a standing ovation when he is introduced to the CoPa crowd.
It is likely that the first game where Avila plays against the Tigers could be fun to watch. But, after the fans see the same old Avila at the plate, the only joy will be from Tigers fans who are happy to see him gone. Wouldn’t it be funny if the White Sox picked Navarro to catch against the Tigers?