One of the most common jokes I’ve heard about the Detroit Tigers revolves around something about Tigers not being native to Detroit, or someone having never encountered a live tiger in Detroit. Michigan is literally shaped like a mitten, so it gets pretty cold there. Ergo, tigers are smart to not live there. That could also explain why a lot of roadside zoos exist in southern states (well, that and lax animal control laws).
2020 Detroit Tigers: 23-35 (fifth in AL Central)
The Tigers finished dead last last year, 12 games back from first and minus one manager. This was their third and final year under Ron Gardenhire, who retired prior to season’s end due to health issues related to stress, prostate cancer, and a stomach virus resulting from food poisoning.
A couple highlights from their 2020 season (since they didn’t have much else) include:
- Casey Mize almost had a no-hitter during the September 11 game vs. the White Sox. until Yolmer Sánchez ruined it in the sixth inning with a double
- Matthew Boyd almost had a perfect game on September 20, until Carlos Santana ruined it in the fifth inning on a single
- Isaac Paredes hit a grand slam as his first major league home run
- Miguel Cabrera got his 2,000th hit on August 30
- The Tigers hit four home runs in the first inning on August 8 against the Pirates
- Their franchise-record 20-game losing streak against Cleveland was broken when they won 10-5 on August 21
2021 Manager: A.J. Hinch
This is A.J. Hinch’s first job post-suspension for that little infraction of massively cheating with the Houston Astros. The Tigers are stuck with him for three years, rain or shine, but as the Tigers are used to mediocrity, expectations for Hinch aren’t exactly high. Five years before Hinch got the job in Houston he managed the Diamondbacks for two years, before he was unceremoniously fired with a record of 89-123. Hinch’s overall record in Houston was 481-329, but any goodwill or good work he may have done is overshadowed by the whole pesky sign-stealing thing. And the weaselly trying-to-claim-he-had-no-power-and-couldn’t-stop-it thing.
It’s not exactly boding well for him right now with the Tigers still in the AL Central basement. So far, the highlight of Hinch’s season was the standing ovation he got when the team traveled to Houston. He did manage to defeat his old team in the opener, 6-2 (after he was honored by the Astros via video).
I guess he kind of apologized for the cheating, so whatever.
2021 So Far
The Tigers are sitting at the bottom of the AL Central. The also have Nomar Mazara. Need I say more?
Series Matchup: Two Righties and a Lefty
Today is going to be Jose Urena vs. Lucas Giolito. Giolito was originally set for Sunday, but got bumped a couple of days after cutting the top of his middle finger trying to open a glass water bottle, thinking it was a twist off (been there, to be honest). He’s posting a 1-1 record and 5.79 ERA with 26 strikeouts so far this season. Urena is 0-3 with a 4.57 ERA, but has been throwing strikes and inducing grounders lately (after walking nine over 7 2⁄3 in his first two starts of the season).
Wednesday is going to be Casey Mize vs. Carlos Rodón. This is Mize’s third career start against the White Sox (coincidentally, also the team he debuted against). The first two times the White Sox faced him Mize struck out 12 batters over 9 2⁄3 innings. In 2021, Mize is 1-2 record with a 5.23 ERA and 14 strikeouts, which could be chalked up to the regular struggles that young pitchers face when they first come up in the league. Rodón, meanwhile, has been off for a week. His last two starts, against Cleveland, included a no-hitter and a win, giving him a 3-0 record and 0.47 ERA with 24 strikeouts.
In Thursday’s finale Matthew Boyd is going to face off against Dylan Cease. Cease has looked shaky in his four starts this season, definitely lacking confidence. He has not completed five innings in any start, most recently going 3 1⁄3 against the Rangers. Cease has a 0-0 record and 4.15 ERA but is 5-0 against Detroit in his career, so this may be the boost of confidence that Cease needs to get back on track. Boyd, meanwhile, is 2-2 with a 1.82 ERA this season with 22 strikeouts. White Sox fans may remember Boyd as the pitcher that the White Sox met with back-to-back homers to begin back-to-back starts last August (Tim Anderson leading off both times). So it could come crashing down quick for Detroit’s de facto ace.
Why Does Everyone Hate the Tigers?
Well, there are a lot of reasons, including Justin Verlander, Cabrera, and the great brawl of 2000.
Looking ahead to the next “Know Your Enemy” series it’s time to ask:— max power (@colleensullivan) April 25, 2021
Why do you hate the Detroit Tigers? pic.twitter.com/qk6mVkUnao
I mean....it’s Detroit. Red Wings, Pistons, Tigers. Don’t matter. We hate them!— Soxsupporter (@Soxsupporter1) April 25, 2021
Besides being obligated to hate Detroit as a division rival and Chicago sports fan....I honestly got nothing.— Bill Koester (@Billy_dk_89) April 25, 2021
They brought in the wall at Comerica, it was better before— Hervey "Mark Mollineaux" Okkles (@bufordsharkley) April 25, 2021
Miguel Cabrera & Justin Verlander, to name a couple reasons. A team I love to hate, but don't really hate, that I hate alot but not really. At least they aren't the Twins, Indians or Royals... but I hate them, kind of, just cause. But man are they good sometimes, jerks.— *AVAILABLE FOR CORPORATE SPONSORSHIP * (@FlatleyPatrick) April 25, 2021
Hate is such a strong word. I have a stirring dislike them for them ever since the brawl back in 2000— El Traficanté (@SpawnofSosa) April 26, 2021
One of my good friends is from the Detroit area so I’ve been to more White Sox/Tigers games than I can count, and the Sox seem to lose every. damn. time. Feels like I saw 20 Tigers wins before I saw a Sox win.— Millennial Sox Fan (@MillennialSox) April 25, 2021
That brawl back in 2000. Detroit threw more cheap shots and sucker punches than any group I've ever seen. Just a trash team.— John Carney (@JohnCarney3) April 25, 2021
I'll never forgive the Tigers for stealing 1 of my all-time favorite players, Chet Lemon, from the White Sox & only giving us Steve Kemp in return. Also, the Disney baseball movie 'Tiger Town' traumatized my childhood when * SPOILER ALERT * the father dies of a heart attack.— pauleywannacracker (@nocrackers30) April 25, 2021
One name: Cabrera— Fit Blonde Tech (@FitBlonde19) April 25, 2021
That POS Robert Fick and has gangster friends (Weaver, Higginson, Palmer, Brocail, & Todd Jones) pic.twitter.com/nNtvU8AjDd— ChiFanDaddy ⚾️ ⚽️ (@ChiFanDaddy) April 25, 2021
Detroit along with the Twins were just filthy against the Sox in the 2000s. Glad they lost the World Series’s...— Chef 50% Vaccinated Eric (@superthisway) April 25, 2021
Prime Miguel Cabrera and Justin Verlander.— Major BS ⚾️ (@BenChiTownKid98) April 26, 2021
2012 season in general. Before last year it was the last time we had a real shot at the playoffs. Went to a game in Detroit that Porcello out-dueled Sale in. It sucked. Hated the stadium too.— White Sox Always (@WhiteSoxAlways) April 26, 2021
Tigers aren't a native species to the Detroit area. https://t.co/sFqB58yc1h— Brad C. (@BradFromTheGo) April 25, 2021
Placido Polanco, that 2006 Tiger team. Verlander of course. https://t.co/XKb8gVssRw— elote jiménez (@el_co24) April 25, 2021
Avi Garcia sucked for us https://t.co/eR7VXOrMS0— slimmy cordero (the president’s son) (@burncada) April 26, 2021
The Sucker Punch brawl of ‘00. https://t.co/y4aRKNZXNL— Carman MikeSox (@michael_sox) April 26, 2021
He already has 1 more HR for them pic.twitter.com/669ii8dvOK— max power (@colleensullivan) April 26, 2021
Have you ever heard someone say that they are going to Detroit for a vacation? I didn’t think so.— Brian (@Spotted_Moo) April 26, 2021
Fick with the sucker punch— Southside Reezy (@WhiteSoxReese) April 25, 2021
Verlander and Miggy.— Father Sean (@sean_janko) April 25, 2021
Because Magglio. Because Kenny Rogers. Because of 2006. Because they are the same fans who like the Wings, Lions, and Pistons.— A.C. Green (@A_C_Green88) April 26, 2021
I’ve never seen a tiger in Detroit.— PatfromtheBronx (@Patinthebronx) April 25, 2021
BONUS BRAWL CONTENT
The 2000 fight, in all its glory: