The best way to describe the vibe around the Tigers right now would be best described as “weeping and gnashing of teeth”.
There is panic, there is angst, there is trolling, there is bitterness.
Here is what the Tigers should do about:
Nothing. Not a damn thing.
Here is why:
- Expectations are too high. Part of the reason there is so much panic is because there was so much buzz. Do you think the Tigers are a 100 win team? If so, why? Perhaps you think we are better than the 95 win team last year. Yes, we added Fielder, but we have lost Victor Martinez. Are we forgetting how good Victor was last year? Sure Prince is a stud but he is still a marginal improvement over Victor. Perhaps the reason you think we should have more wins is because we get a full season of Fister and Delmon. Unfortunately these things essentially cancel out any any improvement. I know there is a lot of Brad Penny hate, but he did eat innings and win 11 games. Sure we had 95 wins last year, but we had a 12 game winning streak and honestly, some good luck. We won the division by 15 games, but the second place Indians were 2 games below .500! Well get to that below. Also, this team is not better than the Rangers or the Yankees or even the Rays. We’ll have to play significantly above our average to win a World Series. Stop acting like this is the 1992 Olympic dream team. (Now, next year when Victor comes back….)
- Progression to the mean. Many of your favorite Tigers are under performing. Let’s list the hitters: Avila, Young, Boesch, and Raburn. THEY WILL GET BETTER. Unfortunately Dirks and Jackson WILL GET WORSE. Baseball has natural variation (I’ll avoid the word luck). Things go up and down. Same thing on the pitcher side.
- The core has to produce or we’re screwed anyway. If Cabrera, Fielder, Verlander, Fister, Scherzer and the other core guy don’t perform there is NOTHING YOU CAN DO TO FIX IT! You can’t trade these guys, you can’t demote them. They are your team! If they suck, the Tigers suck. Frustrating, yes. Anything you can do to fix it, no? The good news is these guys are GOOD BASEBALL PLAYERS, they don’t suck, that’s why they have big expectations!
- The central still sucks. Which team in the central would you bet your children on to finish over .500? IT IS STILL THE TIGERS! Who has the best chance to win 90 games? THE TIGERS.
Now don’t get me wrong. Should they tweak the batting order? (swap Boesch and Young) Yes. Should they look to add someone at the trade deadline? Yes. I just don’t feel the Tigers need wholesale changes to have success. They just need to play. We’ve seen flashes of it, and those flashes will turn into more consistent play.