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.