Detroit Tigers: An apology letter to Christoper Ilitch
I was wrong about the Detroit Tigers’ GM search
Dear Detroit Tigers chairman and CEO Chris Ilitch,
Last week, I wrote a piece about how I thought the GM search you were running reeked of incompetence. You tend to keep things pretty close to the vest, but what little information that was released to the public was not very encouraging. It seemed that you weren’t running an actual search, you were just conducting a rushed job where you were going to hire someone that A.J. Hinch was familiar with.
Now, after the organization announced the hiring of Scott Harris as president of baseball operations, it’s time for me to apologize and admit that I was wrong.
Harris is a young, bright analytical mind that comes from a good organization and has worked under some stars in the baseball world. Experts, insiders, as well as some of his former coworkers have praised this hire. A.J. Hinch seems very excited about it. Fans seem pretty excited about the direction of the franchise for the first time since Opening Day.
There hasn’t been this much optimism surrounding the organization in a long time. And to think, myself and many others didn’t give you a fair chance to prove yourself.
Now to be fair, I think we all had our reasons. I, for one, still have nightmares about that press conference you held after you fired Al Avila. That was…not a good look. It seemed to have confirmed what many fans had long feared—that you don’t care about the team.
However, it now appears that you at least care enough to put a sharp mind in charge of running the franchise.
At the end of the day, all us fans want is a winning baseball team. The Phillies and Mariners are both on the verge of making the playoffs, which would give the Detroit Tigers the longest postseason drought in the league, tied with the Angels.
Surely you remember when the team was winning in the early 2010s, right? Or how about 2006? Comerica Park was packed on a nightly basis. Look at what’s happening in Baltimore. After being a laughing stock the past few years, fans are finally starting to pack Camden Yards again. It’s a beautiful sight.
If you truly want to win back the good favor of the fanbase, the Scott Harris hire is a good start. It will take a few years to determine if it was the right move, but this seems like a home run hire on paper.
Once again, I apologize, Mr. Ilitch. I didn’t think you could get it done. I didn’t think you would actually hire a forward-thinking individual to run this organization. But you did, so credit to you.
And so I thank you, for proving me wrong. Personally, I’m not sure it’s ever been easier to admit that I got something wrong. Thanks again, and go Tigers.
Matthew Scheidel, Motor City Bengals Co-Expert