As fans of the Detroit Tigers, we are incredibly fortunate to watch future Hall of Fame players on a regular basis.
There is little doubt that men like Miguel Cabrera and (most likely) Justin Verlander will be representing the Detroit Tigers in Cooperstown one day. We get to see the intensity of Ian Kinsler and the acrobatics of Jose Iglesias. But are enough people paying attention to them?
According to an editorial by Sports Illustrated’s Tom Verducci, probably not.
Verducci wrote a fascinating piece about Mike Trout titled “Mike Trout is better than ever. So why aren’t enough people paying attention?” He discusses the fact that not enough people are paying attention to Trout. Verducci shows that Trout’s numbers are on par with greats like Ken Griffey, Jr., Lou Gehrig, and Stan Musial.
Some of the Best Are Playing Now
It is common knowledge to baseball fans today that Mike Trout is one of the best, if not the best baseball player in The Show today. So, if people aren’t paying attention to him, what does this mean for our Tigers. If Trout were playing in the 1930s, 40s, 50s, 60s, or 70s, baseball fans (even non-fans) would not be able to get enough of him. When Joe DiMaggio was playing baseball, he was one of the most famous people in the WORLD – and this is before television and the Internet.
So why don’t people know these amazing athletes? According to Verducci, it’s due to the prevalence of notoriety and self-promotion. He mentions Ryan Lochte and Tim Tebow as examples. Why care about Tim Tebow and his desire to play baseball when there are already great players like Miguel Cabrera, Mike Trout, and Mookie Betts out there doing it every day? Tebow puts himself out there, Trout simply plays ball.
Verducci also discusses the statistical similarities between Trout and Griffey, Jr. Those stats show how great Trout is – because he tops The Kid in every single stat. Verducci talks about how Griffey, Jr. became known outside of baseball by getting cameos on television shows and movies. Trout doesn’t do this.
Watching the Greats Come to Town
I had the fortune of attending all three games at Comerica Park when the Los Angeles Angels were in town. I also attended three of the four games when the Boston Red Sox were in town. There was a marked difference between these two series. David Ortiz was given standing ovations during that series and the Saturday game on August 20 was reportedly a sell-out with 37,886 fans in attendance. In stark contrast, on August 27 when the Tigers and Angels played, 33,115 fans were there – remember that the Tigers gave away free hats that night. It was pretty quiet when Trout went up to bat, unlike the madness that ensued with Big Papi. And Trout is much better that Ortiz.
Yes, David Ortiz is a sight to see, but Mike Trout is considered a 100-year player. Trout is only 24 years old and has already hit 25 home runs and 100 runs in his first five seasons.
Are the Detroit Tigers Getting Recognized?
If young Mike Trout isn’t getting the attention he deserves, what about the players in Detroit? We, too, have one of the best players on the planet in Miguel Cabrera. While he did have some controversial moments in his younger days, he has played several years without controversy. But, it seems that he, too, is flying under the radar.
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Many fans have noticed that Cabrera looks like he has lost weight. But, is anyone in the major media noticing? After a quick search to see if anyone has written anything about Miguel Cabrera losing weight, I found one piece from February of 2016. But, the top piece was about Pablo Sandoval who isn’t even playing ball right now.
Verducci is on to something. Some of the best baseball players ever to lace up their cleats are on the field right now giving their all and not enough people are noticing. If we fans can’t appreciate greatness when we see it, then something is wrong. Watch the greats while you can because they aren’t around long enough. Share those moments.
The media does pay attention to the streams on social media. If we, the fans, show that we want to see more of Kinsler, Cabrera, Michael Fulmer, and even Mike Trout, the media will notice. As the great sage, Ferris Bueller, once said: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”