Yesterday’s debacle for the Detroit Tigers calls for sweeping changes
Every team has an embarrassing loss from time to time. Heck, some teams have one on a weekly basis. But yesterday’s 13-0 loss to the Chicago White Sox marked a new low for the Detroit Tigers, not just as a team, but as an organization.
Alex Faedo started on the mound, and he simply didn’t have it. He didn’t record an out in the fourth inning and gave up seven runs on nine hits. That’s fine, he was due for a clunker anyhow.
But what happened afterward is just flat out unacceptable. The Tigers had not one, not two, but THREE (3) position players pitch from the seventh inning onward. I get that the bullpen is taxed, but that’s just humiliating.
And of course, the offense did nothing once again, getting shutout for the ninth time already this season. Surely after a loss like this, it would call for something to be done, right? Even if it’s just a simple roster move?
No. They did nothing. They lost 13-0, got swept by a struggling White Sox team, made Tony La Russa look competent, and did absolutely nothing.
Okay, maybe they didn’t do nothing. The players got together and held a players-only meeting after the game. It sounded like it was productive. I hope it was, simply for the sanity of the players.
Eric Haase was the most vocal about the meeting, having this to say:
"“No one likes going out there and getting their (butts) handed to them every night. We feel like we’re a better team than that and forever reason we’re not clicking. Kind of get back in the groove…It’s frustrating the first couple times, playing the way we’ve been playing, it’s very old and we want to change that. Getting in the weeds with the negative stuff isn’t gonna be a good path going forward. Hopefully we aired it out and we’re ready to go tomorrow.”"
I really do hope the meeting has a positive effect on the players. It has to be incredibly frustrating going into the season with newfound optimism and having expectations for the first time in forever and not even coming remotely close to living up to them. It’s hard to harp on the players too much.
Who we can harp on, is the front office, specifically everyone’s favorite pizza salesman, Detroit Tigers’ owner and CEO Christopher Ilitch. Just a couple of questions to start out: does he even watch the games? Has he seen the product that’s been put on the field for the last five years? Those are probably rhetorical questions, but this is getting ridiculous.
This team is a disaster. We were promised a contending team for the first time in years, and we have yet another bottomfeeder. The owner continues to sit up in his suite, probably waiting for his next check from the NFL to come in.
That’s not even to mention this fanbase’s favorite whipping boy: Detroit Tigers’ GM Al Avila. He’s been at the helm for seven years now, and he’s had one winning season. Personally, I was willing to wait until Ilitch gave him some cash to spend to fully evaluate the job he’s done. Now that he’s gotten that chance, I’ve seen enough.
Javier Baez was the one shortstop from this free agent class that everyone knew would come back to bite whoever signed him. But Avila signed him anyway. Baez is hitting .188 through 191 ABs as a Tiger. They are likely stuck with him for five more years. You can blame Ilitch for cheaping out on Carlos Correa all you want, but Trevor Story signed with Boston for the exact same contract as Baez.
Avila can’t draft, trade, or sign quality free agents. It’s time for him to go.
A.J. Hinch is not free of criticism either. Yesterday’s postgame press conference was awful. The excuses he pulled out were comical. He was asked why the coaching staff is still intact, and this is what he said:
"“This happens in pro sports all the time (fans wanting coaches fired). (Then it happens), and 24 hours later, you have the same back end of the league team offense. Is that better? Were they bad coaches a week, 10 days ago when we were swinging the bats well against Minnesota? I get it…this is unacceptable. We’re accountable for our performances. What the solution is what he talk about all the time. As long as the messaging in consistent with what we feel is right, that, to us, is where we’re at right now.”"
Congrats, A.J. The team swung the ball well in one series during the first two and a half months of the season. Great job.
This offense is on pace to be one of the worst in MLB history. How on earth can you justify keeping Scott Coolbaugh around? All of the hitters have similar issues. They don’t hit the ball hard, they either beat it into the ground or hit low line drives, and they whiff way too much.
Fan apathy is at an all-time high. It’s been six years since the team had a winning record. They deserve a much better team than this. This season is a lost cause, so it’s time for some wholesale changes.
Start by firing Coolbaugh. You have to do something to show the fans that you care, and this would be a good start. Firing Avila now accomplishes nothing, so wait until after the season to get rid of him.
The roster could use some changes as well. Earlier this season, I was against sending Torkelson down to Triple-A. But at this point, I’m not sure what else to do. He hitting .178 and looks totally lost at the plate. Send him and down and see if he can get some confidence back. Harold Castro, Jonathan Schoop, Kody Clemens, and others can split time at first base.
It may be time to cut ties with Robbie Grossman. I’m not sure what happened in the offseason, but he’s a shell of his former self. Bench him whenever Daz Cameron comes off the COVID IL.
Finally, be as patient as you want to be with Riley Greene. There’s no reason to rush him given the current state of the team. When he feels ready, go ahead and make the call.
The Detroit Tigers are an absolute joke right now. Fans want to see changes, and rightfully so. We’ve been waiting so long for good baseball to return to Detroit. Make some changes. Show the fans that you care.