Three home runs. One after another after another. Back-to-back-to-back. From Romine to Kinsler to VMart. All 3 hit home runs in yesterday’s Grapefruit League game versus Houston. Then up to the plate came Miggy.
If you didn’t hear about the game and you don’t know what Miggy did next, let me explain it to you. Well, wait. Let me just give you the headline of the story. “Tigers’ Miguel Cabrera shows another layer of greatness after HBP.”
Now that I have hit you with that bombshell, let me tell you that Miggy was hit in the forearm by a wayward breaking ball. The umpire immediately ejected the Houston pitcher and Cabrera motioned to the Tiger dugout; letting them know to cool their jets, this was not intentional. A good gesture by Cabrera, who could have made a real stink about being hit after the 3 home runs.
But I wouldn’t get too crazy. Another layer of greatness? Holy cow, let’s get a hold of ourselves! Don’t get me wrong, the headline did its job. It drew me in. I had heard about the incident on the radio returning from work yesterday. But then when I read this, I thought he had done something remarkable that I didn’t hear about. Sorry, false alarm!
This is spring training reporting. And to tell you the truth, I don’t blame these writers. It is probably the toughest part of the season to try to write compelling stories about games that don’t count. And sometimes in their attempts to get the fans’ attention, they get a little crazy. Miggy was Miggy. He got hit by a pitch after 3 home runs and didn’t lose his mind over it, knowing it was a breaking pitch. Good little story, but let’s take a breath before we anoint him with “another layer of greatness.”
Jacoby Jones, who is probably a long shot, but still a worthy candidate to compete for the open centerfield position, got the royal treatment himself a few days ago. Jones, after a long run to get there, made a diving catch in centerfield. It was a great play, I would imagine. I didn’t see it actually happen. But after reading the headline of the story, I couldn’t wait to read what else he had done. I couldn’t wait to read what Jones had done to uncover the magic of exceptional centerfield defensive leadership.
The headline? “Tigers’ JaCoby Jones shows commanding presence in center.” Well, shut the front door! Who can compete with that? All these other candidates still hoping to start the season opener in Chicago can make other plans. Because who is going to compete with someone who, in one play, showed commanding presence?
It’s a little much, don’t you think? Jones is a good athlete, there is no doubting that. He’s going to make good plays that impress you and bad plays that don’t. He’s young and will probably start the season in the minor leagues. And I am sure that the words “commanding presence” have never been written in his scouting report.
To be fair, I know these writers are up against it. And if I were in their shoes, I would search for opportunities to feature a particular player to write on and showcase. But let’s not over-dramatize events, and draw overblown conclusions, all in the interests of getting our attention. Just tell us what happened. It’s ok. We all understand this is just spring training. We aren’t expecting the second coming of the Almighty from any of these Tiger players.
So, when Cabrera and Jones or whoever the next prophet is, does something impressive, let’s not turn it into some, ‘turning water into wine’ event. If you want to go over the top, it had better be a head-turner.
I must admit though. In the area of drawing readers in, the writers of these headlines are the best the world has to offer.
If you’re not following us on Twitter (@totallytigersbb), here’s just some of what you missed the past couple days:
– Pics of Miggy looking amazing and at his physical best
– Some intriguing managers going into the last year of their contracts
– More teams retiring numbers of their players not in the Hall
– What players are doing now to prevent injuries
– Surprise benefits that come out of the new IBB policy
– New medical advancements to prevent Tommy John surgery
– Yet more statistical support for JV as the true Cy Young winner in 2016
– Slo-mo breakdown of Miggy’s perfect swing