In the fourth and final part of this miniseries where we discuss who’s to blame for the Detroit Tigers’ disastrous start, we finally get to the man who’s the main culprit: owner Chris Ilitch.
It may have taken him a bit, but Mike Ilitch wanted to win a championship, and he was willing to stop at nothing in order to get it done. If that meant “spending like a drunken sailor,” so be it .
The same cannot be said about his son, Chris. He took over the team after his father passed away in 2017, and has shown little to no serious interest in fielding a competitive team.
Yes, he finally opened up his wallet this past offseason, as the Tigers spent the fourth-most money of any MLB team. But if he REALLY cared about the team, why is Al Avila still around?
Avila has had seven years now to get this ship steered in the right direction, and here the Tigers sit at 9-22 in a season where they were supposed to be competitive.
In yesterday’s part three of this series, I said that Avila’s seat is probably the hottest it’s ever been. He should be under significant pressure now. Key word there is “should.”
Not to repeat what I said in that article, but the free agents signings from this past offseason haven’t been the problem. It’s the botching of three straight drafts from 2017-19 that’s led to a lack of depth in the Tigers’ organization that’s the main issue. The longer Avila sticks around, the less likely it becomes that Tigers’ will have sustained success.
We’ve established that Avila needs to go. But will he? Will Ilitch buck up and say “that’s enough” and tell him to clean out his desk? As of right now, that seems highly unlikely.
Ilitch has been complacent for quite some time. So he spent money for the first time since taking over the team last offseason, great. But why should he deserve the benefit of the doubt from fans?
Look at this team. They’re completely lifeless. They’re not fun to watch. The team has had one winning season in seven years, and other than last season’s slow start and 2019’s blatant tank job, they’ve never looked this bad.
Change is needed. I don’t expect it to come during the season. If any changes are made, they’ll happen after the season. But something needs to be done. Tigers fans deserve better than this after putting up with years of ineptitude.
If Chris Ilitch really cares about this team, he’ll bring in a new GM. Only time will tell if he actually gives a darn.