Former Detroit Tigers reliever Joel Zumaya brought the heat.
The Detroit Tigers have been a massive disappointment to begin the 2022 season. They are tied for last place in the American League Central with a 14-28 record, and they have the worst offense in baseball, with just 114 runs scored.
Fans are incredibly frustrated. And it seems some former players are, too.
Former fan-favorite reliever Joel Zumaya, known for his dominant 2006 season and triple-digit fastball, among other things, is apparently still bringing the heat. Only now it’s coming via Instagram posts:
Zumaya’s frustrations with the team, and with Al Avila’s 2019 contract extension, definitely mirror those of many fans. But it’s still unusual to see a player outwardly criticize his former employer.
Avila was the assistant general manager for the Detroit Tigers during Joel Zumaya’s entire run with the club, from the 2002 draft until his release after the 2011 season. Most retired players tend to use a bit more tact and diplomacy when discussing former bosses. Joel Zumaya apparently prefers the direct approach.
And his criticism extended to the rest of the Detroit Tigers front office, too.
"they need to clean house, they need to go through the main office and start removing some of these nerds that have no clue about the good ole game of baseball!!!"
The jocks vs. nerds debate in baseball has been settled for about a decade now, but apparently it still rages on in Joel Zumaya’s mind. Maybe if there were more former players in the front office, the Tigers wouldn’t have scored 122 fewer runs than the Los Angeles Dodgers this year.
Curiously, Zumaya doesn’t offer any criticism of the Detroit Tigers players. Perhaps that’s just a bridge too far for a former player.
Maybe he’ll get his wish soon and Al Avila and the rest of the front office will be fired. Or perhaps they’ll turn things around and be closer to the .500 team most were expecting.
Either way, Joel Zumaya probably shouldn’t be waiting for an invite to this year’s holiday party.