Detroit Tigers fans rejoice in the signing of Eduardo Rodriguez but here comes the cliche machine.
Have you ever been picked last in gym class?
That’s been the attitude towards Detroit and the Detroit Tigers since the beginning of the rebuild, and even for some time before. Fans across Major League Baseball are quick to knock Detroit and rag on a player should they choose to sign with the club.
With the latest report of southpaw Eduardo Rodriguez agreeing to a five-year contract worth an estimated $77 million-plus incentives and an opt-out after two years, there’s been no shortage of reactions ranging from: “Why Detroit?” and “He picked Detroit over Toronto?”
The Tigers desperately needed change and that’s exactly what they’re doing. With the potential of a looming lockout on Dec. 1 because of conversations regarding the collective bargaining agreement, the Tigers are determined to make their picks before baseball business comes to a standstill.
For once, the Tigers are aggressive in the free-agent market, and it’s been a long time coming.
Detroit was one of three teams interested in the lefty, including the Toronto Blue Jays and Los Angeles Angels, as per Jon Morosi. It’s interesting to note that of those three teams, Rodriguez opted to sign with the Tigers and it all might boil down to the fact that he’ll be working alongside ex Boston Red Sox pitching coach Juan Nieves, who is now the assistant pitching coach in Motown.
I don’t think that’s the only reason.
Currently, the Tigers’ starting rotation is stacked with young talent like Casey Mize, Tarik Skubal, and Matt Manning. The addition of a high-tier pitcher like E-Rod, who is undoubtedly ready to bounce back after battling COVID-19 and Myocarditis, further proves that General Manager Al Avila and the front office aren’t playing games when it comes to building a solid, competitive team. Pursuing Rodriguez was the right move at the right time to further bolster the rotation.
Not to mention, manager AJ Hinch has completely revolutionized this Tigers club and reinforces the fact that Detroit is a force that’ll beat you when it counts. Hinch has become somewhat of a mentor to the young team and instilled an infectious competitive and winning spirit within the clubhouse and among the fanbase.
After years of hearing that the front office has money to spend and continuously coming up short, the Tucker Barnhart and E-Rod signings have finally propelled the club into a positive direction, with only one commodity left to cross off their list.
The battle for a shortstop will be the most electrifying one, and from what the Tigers have done so far, fans are expecting at least a top-three shortstop to fill the much-needed gap in the roster and it just might happen.
The fans deserve a team that’s going to contend and to be competitive once again.
Let’s get one thing straight: Detroit might not be your city, but it’s been built and rebuilt by the people who call it home, even when everyone was rooting against them.
It’s got grit, passion, and a baseball-rich history that places can only dream about.
You might know it as the Motor City, Motown, or even The D.
You’ve probably heard all sorts of nicknames and variations, but to many, Detroit is “home.”
So, next time somebody asks: “Why did he sign in Detroit?”
The answer is simple.
Detroit might not be your city, but it’s always been Detroit vs. Everybody, and this time, the underdog comes out on top.
No matter your take and opinion on Motown, one thing is undeniable: you can’t stop Detroit.