Nobody likes a spoilsport unless you’re the Detroit Tigers.
Everybody is familiar with the age-old phrase, but the Detroit Tigers need to fully embrace the spoiler role if they want to further solidify the team as a surprising competitor.
The Detroit Tigers are set to host the Boston Red Sox for a three-game series, and while the two teams are battling in separate divisions, the Tigers could play a pivotal role in being the biggest thorn in the Red Sox backside.
To the surprise of no one, I’m all for it.
The Red Sox are currently battling for the top spot in the AL East, sitting 1.5 games behind the Tampa Bay Rays. There is no question that the Red Sox are going to arrive in the Motor City with a fierce mindset of having to grind out the next few games to get them to where they want to be.
Baseball in August is some of the most thrilling to be a part of, with teams vying for wins to secure a playoff spot and making lucrative additions before the trade deadline.
For what it’s worth, Fenway is probably one of my favorite ballparks. Having seen a beer-induced brawl between Yankees and Red Sox fans, being in a mere high-five distance of Ichiro Suzuki and experiencing all that Boston has to offer, don’t count the Red Sox out.
But did the Red Sox do enough to fill in the gaps?
The 2021 trade deadline was unquestionably a sellers’ market, but other than tacking on reliever Hansel Robels from the Minnesota Twins and injured slugger Kyle Schwarber from the Washington Nationals, the Red Sox sat back as other teams duked it out.
To compare, the Toronto Blue Jays stacked their roster with seasoned pitchers like Jose Berrios and reliever Brad Hand to bolster the bullpen.
Although the Jays are eight games out of contention in the AL East, heavy hitters like Vladimir Guerrero Jr., Bo Bichette, and Marcus Semien won’t make it easy on the Red Sox, who will get a glimpse of the upgraded Jays team at the Rogers Centre following this Tigers series.
The Tigers need to set a precedent before the Red Sox play the Blue Jays.
Currently, the Tigers are third in the AL Central, twelve games behind the leading Chicago White Sox but are only a handful of games shy of reaching .500 this month.
In comparison to both the Red Sox and Blue Jays, the Tigers front office played it lax during the trade deadline, opting to focus more on the future, rather than tweaking the current roster.
Six-year Tigers veteran Daniel Norris was dealt with the Milwaukee Brewers in exchange for right-handed prospect Reese Olson, who was later assigned to the West Michigan Whitecaps roster. That left an open reliever slot on the Tigers 40-man, with Ian Krol reactivated after recently being DFA’d.
All sad trombones aside, the Tigers will not make it simple on the Red Sox.
You’ve heard them mentioned here plenty, but batters like Akil Baddoo and Eric Haase are sure to make it interesting and keep the pressure mounting.
Not to mention, veteran slugger Miguel Cabrera is three home runs short of reaching 500 on the season and fans are eager to see it happen.
Is there a sweeter way to reach that milestone than by spoiling the first-place finish of the Red Sox?
I’d say no.