By:  Kurt Snyder

Monday night, I attended my first game of the season. It was everything you wanted as a Tiger fan. A well-pitched game by our ace, Jordan Zimmermann (yep, you heard me), two big home runs from Miggy and one from VMart. Good pitching, good hitting, nice night, good company, baseball. Life’s simple.

Unfortunately, the feel good win was marred by the much-publicized fly ball lost in the lights by Tyler Collins. Heck, I didn’t even know it was a promotional night at the ballpark, but following the botched play in centerfield, there was a free bird for everyone attending.

What a nice surprise! But I’m not sure the guy one section over even got a bird, because he kept yelling at Collins the rest of the night. I just shook my head. Come on man, it’s just a bird!

My brother didn’t even know what happened. I didn’t have the heart to tell him that he was in the bathroom when the birds were handed out. It kind of describes his golf game, actually.

But seriously, what was Collins’ deal? Here was a play that happens several times over the course of a season all over the league. Players lose fly balls in the lights all the time. Once it’s lost, it becomes real difficult to find it again. But the whole play was one big debacle. Collins lost the ball, Upton picked it up, went to throw, dropped the ball, then couldn’t find it and eventually the ball was thrown wild to the infield, with Jordan Zimmermann working hard to run it down before any damage was done.

If Collins thought the resulting boos were directed completely at him, then he needs to get ahold of himself. Give the fans a little credit. We are walking into the park these days, at least the true blue baseball fans, a little ticked off.

The team’s not playing well; a team loaded with high-priced talent and high expectations again, is still floundering towards the end of April. Everyone is frustrated. The team plays with little enthusiasm, little emotion and may be playing a little tight or even a lot tight. This is a big year for them, with maybe more pressure than ever to win.

Justin Upton for one has a lot to prove and he knows it. It may take him awhile to settle in and realize all we want in this town is what he’s done his whole career, nothing more. But he may be trying to do too much.

Mike Pelfrey came in with the reputation as the Tiger pitcher no one wanted. Fans everywhere predicted his demise and labeled him a bad signing. So far, they are right.

And the fans boo. Why wouldn’t they? They’ve been waiting a very long time for things to fall in place. But instead, the Tigers annually fall apart. Tiger fans don’t need many reasons to get upset. They get to witness poor base running at an alarming rate. The lineup full of offense and All Stars can’t hit a lick lately and they have a manager who few think has the intestinal fortitude to infuse his team with the much-needed energy to really contend.

This team is constantly behind the 8 ball and they have far more to worry about than what Tyler Collins does or doesn’t do. He won’t find his name ever mentioned as one of the top 5 issues with the Tigers. He should find solace in the fact that he is hardly a blip on the screen.

So lighten up Tyler, it’s not about you. In fact, if I am Collins, I would thank my lucky stars that I am hearing boos in Detroit instead of Toledo. He needs to save the ‘finger pointing’ and take advantage of the time he’s here. Because he’s just Cameron Maybin away from a trip back to Toledo, if not an outright release.


  1. Emotional reaction he said. Did not act maturely. He was not benched or reprimanded that I have read about. Perhaps that is the type of spark Ausmus is looking for to re-ignite the passion and winning? Mr. I is down with that type of reaction from a nobody towards the funding fanbase? Al Avila too? One of the mega-buck veteran starters should have bent his ear.


  2. If I were the owner, Collins would never step on the field again wearing a Tiger’s uniform. That would hold true for any player. How do you explain to kids that adults can act like that with no consequences at the same time you are telling them that actions have consequences? Short of exposing himself, is there anything Collins could have done that would have been worse?


  3. Nice to see “The Bird” make it’s return to Detroit after 40 years. Kurt you are right in that there is more pressure to win now than ever before. Because of that, the pressure year in and year out has worn out the veterans I believe. They care but as usual they press and get in their own way. Mike Ilitch deserved better….


  4. Amazing how fans call players all sorts of names, but the players have to take it. If the fans can dish it out, they should be able to take it, turn about is fair play. Collins should not have any discipline at all.


    • Mike Kilbourn, reread Mike Ciampa blog. Home run Mike. Another example of Ausmus,et all, blowing an opportunity to show leadership. Kurt, you and everyone and their brother are blaming Tiger performance on “tightness.” Kurt, A whole column after viewing your first game in person dedicated to ” the Finger” was weak and “tight.” Sorry, just saying.


      • By your standards then the police should be free to slap you for infractions and bank clerks forgiven for cheating you. In this case, the fans are the customers and deserve some respect. Having said that, this is not a shooting offense (other than Ty shot himself) and management surely recognizes that this is a 20 year old who hasn’t yet figured out just how fortunate he is.


    • Mike. Players are stifled from expressing their emotions right? Bryce Harper. It’s a sport – for entertainment. If all acted this way unfettered, it would be the end for baseball. Strike out. Flip off the owner. Drop a ball and grind your junk in a hecklers direction. No problem. Would you pay $200 for that? Every good company and job has a handbook and code of conduct for a reason.


  5. I have nothing in my own life experiences that would give me any insight of how Ty felt or his reaction. When I was Ty’s age I never did anything foolish or dumb. The real test for Ty is to understand what a privilege it is to be a major league player and to work on improving his skills and that his life will hopefully be more than just playing baseball.


  6. Collin’s gesture tells us something about his character. Management’s response tells us something about the organization’s character. Nothing about this incident impresses me but it’s over and we move on. I just want to know what significant changes will be made to put this team on a winning path. And when?


  7. I forgive Tyler Collins! I, however, am in the vast minority and that’s the way most Detroit fans roll. Indignancy is in no short supply around these parts. So, it just might be in everyone’s best interests if the Tigers could trade him (he has some talent/potential) and then Tiger fans (not me) can boo the hell out of him every time he performs in Comerica Park as a visitor.


  8. Well said, Kurt, and you should attend more home games so you can analyze the Tigers better than on TV. Do your seat offer you a full view of the Tigers dugout?


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