By: Kurt Snyder
Every so often, we remind our readers how our writers, Holly and me, are so different, and how our perspectives on baseball come from different inspirations. Holly’s a numbers cruncher and Kurt dabbles in emotions. But together, we are still just baseball fans. It’s a bond that we share.
But there are different kinds of fans. And as we head into June, what kind of fans are we? Below I have outlined 5 factions of fans. You may find you have spent time in each locale. I know I have. Some are nice neighborhoods and others are dumps.
So let’s take a quick tour. But be careful on the way in.
1. The Complainers
You don’t want to be here. There are fans that come here and never leave. In 2015, the complainers have spent the entire season pounding on Brad Ausmus and his perceived inability to manage a baseball team. And I have been one of them. I have spent more time complaining about our manager than I feel comfortable with.
To be fair, I don’t think he was ready to become a manager of a contender, especially a team that has been so close, only to be turned away. We needed a vet to get us over the hump, not a rookie.
See what you do here? It’s just not healthy.
2. The Negative
This is The Complainers’ big brother. Who’s been here? Well, all of us. But, it’s really no fun. The Tigers are never going to win another championship. Not with this manager. Not with Dave Dombrowski. We will never have a good bullpen. Verlander is making too much money. Our offense is so bad.
See, this is an ugly, ugly group of fans. I know them like the back of my hand. I’m leaving but I still have a key just in case.
3. The Trustworthy
You can dabble in this group, visit for a while, but don’t get too comfortable. Trustworthy fans think everything the Tigers do is right. Every move, every transaction, everything the team does makes sense and has justification.
Even in 2015, the Tigers continue to hear from us, the fans, about the Doug Fister trade. But there will always be the trustworthy ones who can somehow find a method to the madness, and still defend a move that just didn’t work out well.
I have spent time here and sometimes run for comfort under this often false shelter of “everything’s gonna be alright.” The Tigers certainly know what they are doing, right? Dombrowski and company have to be smarter than us.
4. The Optimistic
Who doesn’t want to be here? Most of us meet here at the start of the season. No games have been played. Nobody is hurt. All the names look good on paper. It’s going to be a great year. We should all force ourselves to come here as much as we can. People are happy and feel comfort.
If you have visited these last couple days, there is excitement. Verlander is feeling better. Rondon is feeling better. And when he comes back, Victor will be the Victor of old, not just an old Victor.
5. The Hopeful
This is a much more understanding faction of fans. We get that things aren’t perfect. We understand we don’t have the best manager, but we are hopeful the light bulb will go on. Brad actually thought his way through an inning for a change the other night. So maybe there is hope for him.
Cespedes hit a 3 run homer Wednesday, meaning the Tigers finally scored more than 2 runs in a game. Again, more hope. It’s all about discovery here. I think we are discovering that the Central just may be the toughest division in baseball. And we are only a game out of first place.
So what have you learned?
Are you where you want to be? If not, gravitate towards The Hopeful. It’s a tough road to get there, because both optimism and negativity cloud our thinking. Our hope is so conflicted, because we struggle with both emotions. But, we wouldn’t pay much attention if we didn’t care. We wouldn’t watch games. We wouldn’t read blogs. We wouldn’t write blogs.
After 50 games, there is one simple truth. This is a good Tiger team. There is a big time starter working his way back. There is a promising reliever working his butt off to return and impact our bullpen. And there is a trade deadline out there when, in most cases, our GM pulls a rabbit out of his hat.
So hang your hat on all of that. And pin your hopes on a team that has just as much promise as anyone in a year when anyone can win it.