For the first time in many years, we no longer have the luxury of understanding this Tigers team. Even just a little bit.
Sure, we know this team is rebuilding and will probably be bad. But this is such a different team. A different owner, a different roster, a different manager and different goals.
Is it any wonder that we are scratching to learn more about what the future holds based upon this year’s spring training?
It is too soon yet to make any predictions or even educated guesses about anyone associated with this organization. We need to wait at least 5 more days until Opening Day before any clues are revealed.
Given all of this, we still need to throw some meat out there for fans to digest and discuss until the results of this season’s first Opening Day. And I know that Kurt joins me in refusing to write those silly blogs weighing in on who is going to the World Series or prospects already deemed to have starting roles in the lineup when they are still in AA ball.
And if we ever do, you have our permission to come after us with torches and pitchforks. Or put us in an adult care facility.
So to help tide us over until the season begins, here are 5 conversation starters to keep you going until Friday.
I doubt we will hear “That’s baseball!” this year as we did from the former manager and almost all of his players almost on a daily basis to explain away poor performances. There’s a new sheriff in town and he is setting the example by calling out players publicly and holding accountability meetings when play is sloppy. His best quote yet is “You don’t want to hear the explanation” to describe a player who attempted to make excuses as to why he misplayed the ball.
THE FANS HAVE SPOKEN
The pop-up ads are everywhere. Ads telling you that there are still good seats available for Opening Day. And quietly, the Tigers are selling tickets on Groupon. If you can’t sell out Opening Day, especially in Detroit, it’s not a good sign. But it does reveal that fans are now sending a message and demanding more. At least the marketing department has changed the ads that once touted Opening Day showing a big picture of Michael Fulmer as the starting pitcher.
CALL ME BY MY NAME
If you had any doubts about Miguel Cabrera being a leader of this team, you now have proof. In a recent interview with both Miggy and several former teammates, Cabrera has admitted to not knowing many of his teammates’ names through the years and not just this season when many of the faces are unfamiliar. He didn’t know a number of veterans he played with for a number of years. Miggy calls all of the nameless “bro”. Worst of all, he confessed that he didn’t feel the need to learn their names. He also admitted to refusing the team’s medical staff requests over the years to examine him when he was injured because he knew he would be benched. There’s no “I” in “team”, bro.
BIRDS OF A FEATHER
Kudos to the Baltimore Orioles for coming up with an ingenious strategy to build interest in baseball among the young. For the coming year, any adult buying a full-prince ticket will be allowed to bring 2 children with them for free. Families get a price break on tickets and the Orioles fill the seats and sell more concessions. But most importantly, they are building a younger fan base. Studies show that getting more kids interested in baseball at an early age helps to keep them interested in the game as they get older. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.
OK, ladies, I know you are with me. We have men in our lives who can’t remember stuff 24 hours after it happens. But in baseball, players are able to remember HBP transgressions with specific opponents and teams from 2 years ago. This was the catalyst in the 5-man ejection game the other day. Guys, please tell us that there are other ways to get you to remember what we tell you that don’t involve having to throw a baseball.
(Totally Tigers loves your comments! But please remember that responses are only published if they address today’s topic, are respectful and do not exceed the maximum response length. All rules are at: https://totallytigers.wordpress.com/commentsrules/.)