Last night’s game was a perfect example of how the Detroit Tigers’ owner has no idea what he’s talking about
Does Detroit Tigers’ owner Chris Ilitch watch any of the games? Does he pay attention at all? Does he even care about this team? These are probably all rhetorical questions, but they are still worth asking after his tone-deaf comments yesterday.
In case you somehow missed it, Ilitch was asked about the Tigers during the introductory press conference for new Detroit Red Wings Head Coach Derek Lalonde. Unfortunealty for Lalonde, his new owner’s comments overshadowed what should have been a day all about him.
Somehow, some way, Ilitch said he was pleased with the Tigers progress.
Boy oh boy, where do we begin? The team has regressed in pretty much every facet since last season, where they were supposedly starting to turn the corner. Through 75 games in 2021, the Detroit Tigers were 32-43. Currently, through the same amount of games, they are 29-46.
They are on pace for the second-worst record since 2015, only topped by the 114-loss 2019 team. How can Ilitch possibly think that’s good progress?
Okay, so how about those young guys? Well for starters, Spencer Torkelson is one of the worst hitters in all of baseball. Not a good look for a guy who some scouts were touting as a generational hitting talent when he was drafted.
That’s not to say it’s entirely his fault. He is getting no help from his hitting coaches or the hitting development team. He needs to make an adjustment and he hasn’t been able to do it. He shouldn’t be this bad given his talent.
Then there’s the pitching—the thing the Tigers were supposed to be building their team around. Tarik Skubal started off phenomenally, but struggled in the month of June. Casey Mize is out long-term, and Matt Manning has barely pitched this year. They still have solid depth, but the building blocks have struggled so far.
Then there’s the final part of the statement—where he proves once and for all that he doesn’t know what he’s talking about—”and so on and so forth.” That’s exactly what somebody who’s just making stuff up would say. He might as well have just said “yada yada yada…” How much more tone-deaf could he be?
Last night’s game against the last-place Kansas City Royals was an almost perfect display by the team following the owner’s comments. They lost 3-1 and were being shutout through eight innings. They were 0-for-12 with runners in scoring position. I repeat, 0 (zero)-for-12 (twelve).
The Royals are now just one game behind the Tigers. If they sweep the series this weekend, Detroit will be in last place in the American League Central.
And so I ask once more, what progress is Mr. Ilitch seeing? Perhaps he’s watching the 2021 season on a loop. Who knows at this point?
It’s becoming clear that the longer Chris Ilitch owns the Detroit Tigers, the longer they won’t be competitive. It’s hard to see any meaningful changes happening anytime soon—this includes firing GM AL Avila.
Ilitch is either blind, or he just doesn’t care. Or both.