Detroit sports talk radio started to turn on the Detroit Tigers two games into the 2008 season. Most Tigers fans, however, kept their fears and doubts to themselves until recently.
Now it’s June and the airwaves are full of people complaining about players, management, coaching, ownership, the weather — you name it — and they seem desperate to have someone to blame for the team’s poor performance.
“Fire somebody!” seems to be war chant of the disenchanted. Lately, that somebody has included manager Jim Leyland and pitching coach Chuck Hernandez.
There is no question that some adjustments need to be made. However, firing Leyland isn’t going to right the ship. Time and patience are the best remedies for what ails the Tigers. But fans are short on both when their pre-season expectations are for their team to win a world championship.
Let’s be honest: championships are few and far between for any franchise and an excessive payroll doesn’t mean squat. The Yankees, Orioles, Rangers and Mets have proven time and again that throwing money at high-priced talent doesn’t guarantee anything. In fact, it often does more harm than good.
It’s June 1, and there is a lot of baseball ahead of us. Let’s take a collective deep breath and try to restore some semblance of sanity. Sacrificial firings aren’t going to solve any problems. Perhaps we need to adjust our expectations and appreciate the effort management has put forth. We should have far more confidence in General Manager Dave Dombrowski’s judgement and skill than a bunch of disgruntled talk radio personalities anxious for someone to blame.
2 replies on “Tigers Fans Looking for Someone to Blame“
Firing Leyland would probably only make us worse. I love the Tigers and I love baseball, but I don’t see this team going very far and that to finish at or slightly above .500 would be an accomplishment for them.
There are so many guys playing at new positions and playing at so many different positions on a per game basis, that I don’t see how they will get into a rhythm. Cabrera from 3B/DH to 1B/DH to probably an OF position before the season is over. Guillen will probably have played every infield position except 2B and an OF spot… and DH.
This latest Sheffield injury seems like it could be a blessing in disguise, and that maybe this could actually be the perfect time to part ways. It’s pretty clear the Tigers are going to struggle for 2008, so why not see what some other guys can do. Hell, bring back Clete Thomas and get that kid some more at bats. If anything, he’s at least earned it by his play, not by his name.
I gotta give Leyland credit for trying everything, though it looks like trying everything may be doing as much bad as it is doing good.
Luckily, the only two games I’ve been to have been pretty good and we won both… and Magglio homered at both, but other than that, this season has been a tough one to follow and watch. The Tigers are playing like the Pistons… it seems they expect to win because they made it to the World Series in 2006. Sorry fellas, that’s not how it works.
I’m not normally an advocate of making panic moves, but something needs to be done. The team is currently 10 games out of first, but there is more than enough time and talent to make the playoffs. Leyland has tried everything and nothing has worked. So, like the Pistons, maybe the players need to hear a new voice.
Nearly everything wrong with this team, can be (at least partially) blamed on Leyland. Batters refuse to work the count and swing at a lot of first pitches, the team has no sense of urgency, the pitchers were horribly unprepared to start the season, etc.
If this team had average talent, I wouldn’t take this position. But the team isn’t going to turn around under Leyland (remember, they’ve been playing like this since the 2007 All-Star break, when they were the best team in baseball before adding Cabrera and Renteria.) The worst thing that can happen with a managerial change is they keep playing the way they are. And the best is that they make the playoffs.
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