Apr 27, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers right fielder J.D. Martinez (28) celebrates after he hits a three run home run in the second inning against the Oakland Athletics at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /
The Detroit Tigers have been floundering lately, but a few positive signs have been peeking through the doom and gloom.
It is important to remember that there are 162 games in the regular season and as of today, the Tigers will be playing their 20th game. There is still 88% of the season left. That is a significant number of remaining games.
It is also important to remember that there are several outstanding players on the team and several who could eventually show up on Hall of Fame ballots.
So, for fans (like me) who are ready to read something positive about the Tigers, here are a few things to keep in mind:
He is young and amazing. As I’m writing this, he just hit a three-run homer. The guy will continue to be in contention for the MVP for the next few years. He’s humble and strong and he’s a Tiger. He’s also really doing well in the two-spot in the lineup.
Apr 12, 2016; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera (24) with his Silver Bat as 2015 American League batting champion before the game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /
Miguel Cabrera. Slump or no slump, the Big Man is always a threat at the plate. He is also a threat on defense surprising the opponents with his powerful arm and underestimated range. I love watching his interactions with players who actually make it to first base. It is crystal clear that Miggy loves baseball and baseball loves him, too.
The growing farm system.
For years, the farm system has been non-existent, even with the number of minor league affiliates. The Toledo Mud Hens have pitchers who could easily fill a spot in Detroit. There are several position players in all minor-league levels who need just a little bit of seasoning before they could also step into spots in the Big League. With affordable tickets, quality stadiums, and fun entertainment, going to minor league games has never been more enjoyable.
Apr 17, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Detroit Tigers second baseman Ian Kinsler (3) celebrates with shortstop Jose Iglesias (1) after hitting a home run against the Houston Astros during the fifth inning at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports /
The double plays.Ian Kinsler and Jose Iglesias are the best double-play combination in baseball. Even if the team is losing, Iglesias usually provides at least one unbelievable play. If he doesn’t, then Kinsler usually does. They are worth the price of admission themselves.
Dan Dickerson. The guy is a brilliant radio announcer. His home run calls are legendary. In my honest opinion, there are very few other radio announcers that exude the joy and personality that Dickerson does in every game.
History. Even though the game is all about the present, each pitch, hit, run, and play, the game is full of so much history. Fans who are tired of the present conditions can always look for a book, blog, or article about the fascinating history of this storied team. May I recommend A Place for Summer: A Narrative History of Tiger Stadium by Richard Bak. It’s not the easiest book to find, but it is worth the read – especially if you love the Tigers.
The food. Comerica Park (and the minor league affiliates) is loaded with tasty choices to eat all through the game. If you aren’t enjoying what you are watching on the field, try out the offerings in the concourse.
Along with food, Comerica Park is full of sculptures, historic displays, and hidden gems. Exploring the park can get any fan’s mind off of the game. Check out these
Apr 16, 2016; Houston, TX, USA; Detroit Tigers catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia (39) celebrates with third baseman Nick Castellanos (9) after hitting a home run during the sixth inning against the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park. Mandatory Credit: Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports /
Nick Castellanos. He might not be the best defenseman to ever cover third base, but his hitting has become inspirational. Who would have ever thought that fans could count on Casty to put the ball in play as often as he is?
Brad Ausmus is trying. He’s been toying with the lineup just enough to show that he is actually trying. There may be more people calling for his firing than not, but the guy appears to be doing what he can to help break the team out of the doldrums. (Moving J.D. to two was a good idea that actually worked – even though Justin Upton is still leading the league in K’s).