Detroit Tigers: Where AJ Hinch leads, they will follow

Tigers manager AJ Hinch watches action during the ninth inning of the Tigers' 8-1 win over the Red Sox at Comerica Park on Thursday, Aug. 5, 2021.
Tigers manager AJ Hinch watches action during the ninth inning of the Tigers' 8-1 win over the Red Sox at Comerica Park on Thursday, Aug. 5, 2021. /
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Before yesterday’s game, Detroit Tigers manager AJ Hinch made a statement that sent shockwaves throughout the fanbase and ties into the philosophy of Detroit.

Tommey Walker, a local Detroit artist, started the phrase “Detroit vs Everybody” and it has been seen on shirts sold at his shop in Downtown Detroit.  A good majority of Metro Detroit is familiar with this phrase. Apparently, so is Detroit Tigers manager AJ Hinch.

Hinch’s quotes yesterday before the game felt like it was in the same vein as “Detroit vs Everybody”. There are two different versions of the quote floating out there.

Or the one Evan Petzold posted on the Freep yesterday leaving out a key component.

However you interpret the quotes, the message is loud and clear.  AJ Hinch is forcing the Detroit Tigers management into action.

The Detroit Tigers are performing above expectations.

The team is buying into what Hinch is doing with his coaching staff.  After Jonathan Schoop signed an extension with the Tigers, he spoke about Hinch’s faith in him after he got off to a slow start earlier in the season.

The clubhouse has a completely different vibe to it than in the past. Hinch continues to push the right buttons with managing the roster.  The move to put in Victor Reyes in the 8th on Friday night resulted in one of the most exciting plays you will see in a game, the inside-the-park home run.

There can be a series of articles that can highlight all the great moves AJ Hinch has done this season. He has earned the respect of his players and the fans.  The quote to me at least puts pressure on the Tigers front office to make the moves this off-season. What Hinch has done with this roster based on projections is nothing short of a miracle.

I immediately thought of a song when I saw AJ Hinch’s quote. I am a huge fan of pop culture for anyone who is familiar with this band, you may get it or may not as any song is open to interpretation.  To quote the Offspring song “Something to Believe In”  off their 1994 album, “Smash”.

"I believe in a changing of the guardPut our feet on the groundSee it happen in your own backyardEverything breaks downDo you accept what you are toldWithout even thinkingThrow it all and make your ownAnd give me somethingSomething to believe in"

Granted, the Offspring were not talking about a manager taking over the mentally of a baseball team. For so long, we have been told that managers to a degree, do not make a difference.

The Detroit Tigers fanbase has been bought what team management has said since the rebuild has started. AJ Hinch has simply taken the talent given to him and has made it his own. There seems to be a true “changing of the guard” occurring here. The front office has to make sure they are going to keep up with the changes. Hinch has not only put his feet on the ground, but he also continues to set up a winning culture.

Continue to follow along. It’s going to be an interesting ride.

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