Sunday, June 2, 2013

Fifty Tigers Whipping Boys from the Past Decade



Whipping boy. Scapegoat. #Fire(Insert Name Here).

Whatever you want to call it, there’s nothing Detroit fans seem to like more than singling out a member of the Tigers and deciding that he is the root of all evil. We all do it.

Perhaps I’m being overdramatic there, but think about it. Can you remember a time when there wasn’t a person on the roster that a good portion of the fanbase was turning on? Even right now, with perhaps the best Tigers team since 1984, there are several guys on the roster that many fans treat like they’re a Twin in Tigers clothing. And, hey, I’m not any different. (Hello, Don Kelly.)

Today I thought I’d take a look at the past ten-plus years of Tigers baseball and identify fifty such names. Fifty guys since the embarrassing 2003 season…it doesn’t seem possible in only ten years, does it? But it is. And I’m sure you’ll find a player or seven that I left off. I know I have more in mind.

Now remember, this isn’t a list of Tigers that I don’t personally like or anything. In fact, I’m a fan of a lot of these guys. But right or wrong, each of these men have drawn the ire of the fans at some point or another in their careers in the D. Many, whether they deserve it or not, are remembered as punchlines.

I present them to you in chronological order from when their “reign of terror” began and what happened to them after leaving Detroit (to the best of my knowledge).

Enjoy.

1. Bobby Higginson, OF (1995-2005)

The Detroit chapter of the BBWAA named Higginson the “Tiger of the Year” in 1997 and 2000. In 2003, he was rewarded with a hefty contract. Sadly, injuries and age were catching up to Bobby by this point and he was a shell of his former self on the field. Many fans turned on Higginson, resenting his high price tag and minimal production on the field. He hit .077 in his final season in 27 plate appearances and retired from baseball. But to this day, he’s my favorite player ever. Bite me.

After Detroit:  Last I heard, he was a partner in a limousine company in Oakland County, Michigan and dividing his time between Michigan and Florida. I have been unsuccessful in my attempts to get the Tigers to schedule a Bobby Higginson Day at Comerica Park. Jerks.

2. Randy Smith, General Manager (1996-2002)

This is my only “cheat” on the list. It’s true that Smith technically falls outside the timeline that I established for this list as he was gone by 2003. But I argue that he should be included because the 2003 team was a direct result of his mismanagement of the organization in the previous seasons. Smith somehow won Baseball America’s Executive of the Year award in 1997 despite his inept rebuilding attempts in Motown. In early 1999, I had the pleasure of meeting Mike Ilitch for a brief moment at an event in Detroit. He smiled, politely shook my hand, and asked me, “How are you doing?” I responded, “I’m good, sir, but I’d be a lot better if you fired Randy Smith.” Smith is remembered for the franchise becoming a joke under his watch and his repeated trades involving Brad Ausmus.

After Detroit: Smith currently serves as the Vice President of Player Development and international scouting with the San Diego Padres.

3. Todd Jones, Relief Pitcher (1997-2001, 2006-2008)

Jonesy is Detroit’s all-time leader in saves and had the honor of throwing the final pitch at Tiger Stadium. But if you ask many fans, what they’ll remember is “The Human Roller Coaster” and how no lead ever quite felt safe with Jones on the mound in the 9th. Sound familiar?

After Detroit: Jones lives in Alabama where he serves as an advisor to the local middle school and high school baseball teams. With his fun personality, I think he’d make a perfect replacement for the clueless Craig Monroe on Fox Sports Detroit broadcasts.

4. Matt Anderson, Relief Pitcher (1999-2003)

Anderson was the first overall pick of the 1997 MLB Draft. His 100+ mph fastball had everyone thinking he was the closer of the future. He never quite panned out and in 2002 tore a muscle in his armpit during a bullpen session on the same day he had taken part in an octopus throwing contest. He never recovered, the story was twisted, and he is now remembered for an octopus ending his career.

After Detroit: As recently as 2011, Anderson hadn’t given up hope of returning to baseball and signed a minor league deal with the Phillies. He was released in April of that year.

5. Dean Palmer, Third Base, (1999-2003)

Palmer had been a feared slugger with the Rangers when the Tigers made a rare big free agent signing with him in 1999. He hit 67 homers in his first two years, but injuries limited him to 57, 4, and 26 games in his last three seasons. He is now remembered as a giant waste of money by the ballclub.

After Detroit: Palmer’s an assistant coach at a Tallahassee, Florida high school.

6. Eric Munson, First Base/Third Base (2000-2004)

The third overall pick of the 1999 MLB Draft was yet another bust by Tigers management. He had massive power, but hit only .215 in 855 plate appearances in Detroit. He is also the worst fielding third baseman I have ever seen.

After Detroit: Munson bounced around several organizations and saw MLB time in Tampa, Houston, and Oakland. As recently as 2011, he was still playing independent ball. In September of 2011, he joined USC’s coaching staff.

7. Nate Cornejo, Starting Pitcher (2001-2004)

Another first round pick of the Tigers that didn’t work out. Prior to his call-up, Cornejo was considered to be Detroit’s best prospect. However, he went 12-29 with a 5.41 ERA in his Tigers career and is primarily remembered for being a hairless giant disappointment.

After Detroit: Cornejo retired in 2006 while in the White Sox minor league system. No clue where he is now. Possibly living under a bridge and terrorizing villagers somewhere.

8. Brandon Inge, Catcher/Third Base (2001-2012)

Inge is probably the most polarizing player in Detroit baseball history. Loved by some and loathed by many, Inge is sure to get a reaction out of any Tigers fan. He was a great athlete and solid defender, but his weak offense and tendency to sound like a whiner turned many off. Though often mocked by many (including yours truly), Inge is a great person and did more off the field for the Detroit community than any player in recent history.

After Detroit: He caught on in Oakland and hit a memorable grand slam in his first game against the Tigers. He currently plays for the Pirates.

9. Dave Dombrowski, General Manager, (2002-present)

I don’t honestly know how anyone can hate Double D. The man has overseen the rebirth of baseball in Detroit. He brought us Pudge, Magglio, and Cabrera. His trades almost always work out with the Tigers way ahead. Yet every day I see people complaining about him and calling him “DUMBrowski”. I hate our fanbase sometimes.

After Detroit: Still here and rumored to be in consideration to be the next commissioner of baseball when Bud Selig retires.

10. Mike Maroth, Starting Pitcher (2002-2007)

One of the nicest guys ever to play in Detroit, Mike became a national punchline in 2003 for becoming the first pitcher to lose over 20 games since 1980. He would rebound in the following years including a one-hitter at Yankee Stadium in 2004. But sadly, he’ll always be remembered for losing 21 in 2003.

After Detroit: Maroth bounced around several organizations before injuries forced him to retire in early 2011. He is currently the pitching coach for the Lakeland Flying Tigers.
11. Fernando Rodney, Relief Pitcher (2002-2003, 2005-2009)

Rodney inherited the closing job from Todd Jones and despite an amazing changeup, did little to calm the nerves of Tigers fans in the 9th inning. His inconsistency and crooked hat did little to make him a favorite of Tigers fans and he was let to leave via free agency after 2009.

After Detroit: Was a disappointment with the Angels before having a dominant year in 2012 in Tampa. He finished the season with 48 saves and a 0.60 ERA. This year with the Rays, however, he is struggling worse than any season in his career.

12. Jeremy Bonderman, Starting Pitcher (2003-2010)

Bondo was acquired from the A’s and many expected him to be a future ace. He had one of the best sliders I ever saw. But Jeremy was never able to put it all together before missing most of 2008 from having a blood clot removed from his shoulder. He never fully recovered and finished his Tigers career with a 67-77 record and an ERA of 4.89. One of the biggest disappointments of the decade.

After Detroit: After a two year layoff, Bonderman has attempted at comeback in 2013 with the Mariners. He was on the Seattle AAA team with a record of 2-4 with a 4.52 ERA and striking out only 4.7 batters per 9 innings before being called up for his first start Sunday. He got shelled by the Twins.

13. Nate Robertson, Starting Pitcher (2003-2009)

Nate was acquired from the Marlins and failed to impress until 2006, when he began the “Gumtime” craze and had an excellent season. He received a massive pay increase from the team and was never was a decent pitcher again. He was traded back to the Fish before the start of the 2010 season with the Tigers eating the most of the $10 million he was still owed on his deal. He had a mildly popular blog named in his dishonor toward the end of his Tigers career, as well.

After Detroit: He pitched poorly for Florida and later Philadelphia in 2010 and hasn’t been in the majors since. Since his release by Philly, he has toiled in the minors for Seattle, the Cubs, Toronto, and currently Texas. This year he is trying to reinvent himself as a side-armed reliever and is 1-1 with a 2.61 ERA in 20.2 innings at Round Rock of the PCL.

14. Alan Trammell, Manager (2003-2005)

It’s sad that such a Tigers legend would end up on a scapegoat list such as this. But his first year as manager saw the team lose a historically bad 119 games. To be fair, no manager in history could have made that team a winner. After three losing seasons, he was replaced by Jim Leyland. He has received little consideration for managerial jobs since his chance in Detroit. Luckily, the majority of local fans haven’t held a grudge against Tram and he’s still an icon in Detroit.

After Detroit: Trammell has been Kirk Gibson’s bench coach in Arizona since 2010.

15. Jason Johnson, Starting Pitcher (2004-2005)

After moderate success with the Orioles, Johnson was signed to be the ace of the Tigers rotation that they had been lacking. Instead, he went 16-28 with a 4.82 ERA in 66 starts. Another in a long line of starting pitchers that turned out to be busts in Detroit.

After Detroit: Jason would have short stints in Cleveland, Boston, Cincinnati, and Los Angeles. He tried making the Yankees in 2009, but was released in August of that year. Believe it or not, at age 39 he’s still pitching for Amarillo of the American Association of Independent Baseball where he is 1-1 with a 8.40 ERA in 15 innings pitched. He is also the team’s pitching coach.

16. Ryan Raburn, Infield/Outfield (2004, 2007-2012)

Raburn is one of the streakiest players I’ve ever seen. At times, especially in 2009 and 2010, he appeared to be breaking out as a pretty good ballplayer. But long cold streaks and shaky defense made him an enemy of the majority of the fanbase. In 2012, battling injury, a death in the family, and the worst slump of his career, the boo-birds pretty much ran him out of Detroit for good.

After Detroit: Raburn’s in Cleveland and has rebounded to have a hot start with his new club including winning AL Player of the Week a couple weeks ago.

17. Chris Shelton, First Base (2004-2006)

In 2006, “Big Red” hit 9 home runs in the first 13 games of the season after hitting 18 in 2005. Tigers fans thought they were witnessing the birth of a new superstar. But he pretty much fell off the face of the earth after that. Ever since, whenever an unlikely guy starts the season off on a hot streak, you’ll often hear him referred to as a “Shelton”.

After Detroit: Shelton was traded to Texas where he saw little playing time. In 2009, he appeared in 9 games with the Mariners, his last MLB service time. After spending 2010 in the Astros organization, he was signed to, and then quickly released from, a minor league deal with the Mets in 2011.

18. Fernando Vina, Second Base (2004)

Pudge Rodriguez is often credited with being the first noteworthy free agent to sign with Detroit after the 2003 nightmare. But it was actually Vina, a former All-Star and Gold Glover in the NL, that signed first.  Detroit gave him a 2 year, $6 million deal that saw him play in a total of 29 games in 2004 and none in 2005 due to leg injuries.

After Detroit: He tried making the Mariners in 2006, but was cut in Spring Training. After, he became an analyst for ESPN in 2007 before turning up in the infamous Mitchell Report late in the year.

19. Kyle Farnsworth, Relief Pitcher (2005, 2008)

Farnsworth was first acquired from the Cubs and did pretty well with the Tigers. He was another fireballer with that “future closer” tag to him. But after a couple months, he was dealt to the Braves at the deadline. It was his second tenure in Detroit where people got on him. He struggled quite a bit this time. The kicker was that the team had traded the popular “savior of the franchise”, Pudge Rodgiguez, to get him. Farns took a lot of grief from the fans that he probably really didn’t deserve.

After Detroit: He had short stints in Kansas City and Atlanta (again) before spending the past two-plus years in Tampa with his usual on again-off again success.

20. Jason Grilli, Relief Pitcher (2005-2008)

Grilli had a 4.31 ERA in his four years in Detroit. Fans, though, seem to remember him as a human gas can that had an ERA closer to 45.31. A lot of this probably had to do with his poor performances at Comerica Park. In 2007, for example, Grilli had a 7.96 ERA at home compared to his 1.91 ERA on the road. He criticized the Tigers team chemistry on his way out of town cementing his legacy as a villain to most Tiger fans.

After Detroit: He spent 2008 and 2009 in Colorado and Texas. After being out of the majors for a year, he resurfaced in Pittsburgh where he has been amazing out of their pen since 2011. He is currently their closer and leads MLB in saves.
21. Troy Percival, Relief Pitcher (2005)

After saving 316 games in 10 years for the Angels, Detroit signed Percival to a 2 year, $12 million deal to be their closer. After saving 8/11 games with a 5.76 ERA, Percival went down with a forearm injury that ended his season, as well as the next. What a waste.

After Detroit: Percival made a comeback in 2007 and had a 1.80 ERA in 34 games with the Cardinals. Tampa would make him their closer the next year and he’d save 28 games. After returning to the DL in May of 2009, Percival finally retired and is coaching high school baseball, last I heard.

22. Chuck Hernandez, Pitching Coach (2006-2008)

Chuck took the blame when the pitching staff, particularly Justin Verlander, all went to hell in 2008. He hasn’t particularly been missed since leaving.

After Detroit: After serving as the bullpen coach in Cleveland in 2009 and as pitching coach for the Gulf Coast League Phillies, Chuck is now currently the pitching coach for the Miami Marlins. Good luck with that, Chuck.

23. Gene Lamont, Third Base Coach (2006-2012)

Poor Gene could do nothing right while coaching third in the eyes of Tigers fans. He held runners when he should have sent them. He sent them when they should have stayed put. Finally, Tom Brookens took over for him at third in 2013 and is now quickly becoming the most hated coach in Detroit himself.

After Detroit: He’s still here, serving as the bench coach under Jim Leyland. They are BFF, after all.

24. Jim Leyland, Manager (2006-present)

#FireLeyland! Leyland bunts too much. He doesn’t bunt enough. His lineups are weird. He can’t manage a bullpen. He loves Don Kelly too much. And so on. Fans blame Leyland for EVERYTHING. They also forget how miserable this franchise was before he took them to the ALCS three times and the World Series twice since 2006. Give the poor guy an occasional break, why don’t ya?

After Detroit: Oh, he’s still here. Mumbling and spitting food and winning ballgames.

25. Neifi Perez, Infield (2006-2007)

I think Neifi was the first player that the fans wanted shot that Leyland felt the need to defend. He hit .186 in his 54 games with the Tigers, but his one bright spot was saving Verlander’s no-hitter against the Brewers by turning a near hit into a double play.

After Detroit: In 2007, Perez tested positive for amphetamines and was suspended for quite a while for three positive tests. He hasn’t played in MLB since.

26. Lloyd McClendon, Hitting Coach (2007-present)

Another friend of Leyland’s from Pittsburgh, “Legendary” Lloyd takes all the heat from fans when players struggle, but gets no credit from them when they flourish. Poor Lloyd.

After Detroit: McClendon’s still here, but he’s often the subject of rumors in the offseason for managerial jobs elsewhere.

27. Cale Iorg, Shortstop of the Future (Minors-2007-2012)

Technically, Iorg was never a Tiger. But Dave Dombrowski hyped him up to fans as the shortstop of the future, yet it never happened. The guy just couldn’t hit and was released earlier this year.

After Detroit: Iorg has caught on in Baltimore’s minor league system.

28. Gary Sheffield, Designated Hitter (2007-2008)

In November of 2006, the Tigers acquired the power-hitting Sheff from the Yankees for three minor league pitchers. While he had a solid 2007, 2008 saw the former great struggle through injuries. He was released at the end of Spring Training in 2009 with the team still owing him $14 million. Sheff is usually remembered as a flop by Tiger fans, but I always liked him.

After Detroit: Gary caught on for 100 more games with the Mets before retiring and becoming an agent. Oddly enough, he represents Jason Grilli, who we discussed earlier.

29. Jacques Jones, Outfield (2008)

The former Twin star was acquired to be the starting left fielder for 2008 in a trade for Omar Infante. He hit .165 in 24 games before being designated for assignment. A huge disappointment, to say the least.

After Detroit: The Marlins took a chance on Jones after his departure from Detroit and he did even worse there, hitting .108 in 44 plate appearances. He tried catching on with the Reds and back with the Twins after that, but never saw the big leagues again.

30. Edgar Renteria, Shortstop (2008)

The five-time All Star was supposed to be the missing piece at shortstop for the Tigers, but he unfortunately underwhelmed on the field. He did hit two grand slams against the Indians for us, but an OPS+ of 84 and shakier than expected defense led to his departure after his one season in the D.

After Detroit:  Renteria wound up in San Francisco where he was the 2010 World Series MVP. Of course. After that, he finished his career in 2011 in Cincinnati.
31. Clete Thomas, Outfield (2008-2012)

Tigers fans love their SCRAPPY outfielders and Clete was a favorite in 2008. Eventually, reality set in and Clete’s numbers fell off a cliff before he was claimed off waivers by the Twins in early 2012.

After Detroit: Clete’s still in the Twins system where he’s hitting .300 with 9 homers in only 35 games for Rochester.

32. Dontrelle Willis, Starting Pitcher (2008-2010)

Willis was acquired in the big Miguel Cabrera deal with the Marlins. Sadly, Dombrowski gave him a 3 year, $29 million extension before he ever threw a pitch in Detroit. Once he did begin throwing pitches, no one knew where they were going to end up. His control disappeared  and his Tigers career ended after 24 games over three seasons where he went 2-8 with a 6.86 ERA and 91 walks in 101 innings.

After Detroit: Arizina, San Francisco, Cincinnati, Philadelphia, and the Cubs would all take looks at Willis with him seeing brief time in MLB with the D-Backas and Reds. Currently, he is 2-2 with a 4.26 ERA and 20 walks in 31.2 innings with the Long Island Ducks in Independent ball.

33. Alex Avila, Catcher (2009-present)

After starting the All-Star game in his first full year as a starter, Avila has regressed quite a bit since then. A sub-.200 average and his father working in the front office have drawn the ire of the fanbase this year with cries of nepotism. Hopefully, Alex can get things figured out.

After Detroit: Still the starting catcher, but many are thinking a stint in Toledo is in his future.

34. Adam Everett, Shortstop (2009-2010)

Everett came to the team with the reputation as an all-field, no-hit player and that’s exactly what he turned out to be. But Tigers fans don’t always accept reality and grew angry at “Opie’s” lack of offense and he was gone after 31 games in 2010.

After Detroit: Everett played in Cleveland for 34 games in 2011. He is currently a special assistant to baseball operations for the Tribe.

35. Alfredo Figaro, Starting Pitcher (2009-2010)

In 2009, with the team fighting the Twins for first place, Jim Leyland let Figaro start Game 161 of the season against the White Sox. He got shelled in 1.1 innings to the surprise of no one. This, of course, led to the famous Game 163 that still haunts my dreams. Alfredo would appear in 8 games in 2010 before the Tigers sold his contract to the Orix Buffaloes of Nippon Professional Baseball.

After Detroit: Figaro has returned to MLB with the Brewers this year and has a 4.06 ERA in 31 innings.

36. Aubrey Huff, Designated Hitter (2009)

Huff was acquired from the Orioles to be the DH in August of 2009. In 40 games, he hit only .189 for the Tigers…quite the letdown. His only significant hit was a pinch hit, game tying three-run homer against the Blue Jays in the 10th inning on September 14th. I happened to be there for that game, actually. He filed for free agency after the season.

After Detroit: Huff signed with the Giants and finished 7th in the NL MVP voting in 2010. He played two more years there and is technically a free agent right now, though his career is probably done.

37. Don Kelly, Infield/Outfield (2009-present)

Don Kelly is the bane of my existence. Jim Leyland looks at him and sees Ken Griffey Jr in his prime. And it makes me crazy. Kelly is a super nice guy and plays everywhere on the diamond. But he is a sub-.200 hitter and doesn’t belong in the majors. But as long as Leyland is around, Donnie’s job seems to be safe.

After Detroit: Still here. Dammit.

38. Gerald Laird, Catcher (2009-2010, 2012)

G-Money has been here both as a starter and as a backup. He’s a nice guy and an okay backup, but many will remember him for two epic fails. One, in Game 163, he went 0-6 with two strikeouts and a double play. Two, in the 2012 playoffs, Laird went a combined 1-21 at the plate. He was awful when we needed him most.

After Detroit: Laird won a World Series in St. Louis the first time he left. Now, he’s in Atlanta as their backup catcher.

39. Matt Treanor, Catcher (2009)

Treanor came to the Tigers in 2009 and went 0-13 before going on the DL and missing the rest of the season. He is probably best remembered for his wife, the amazing volleyball player Misty May-Treanor.

After Detroit: Matt went on to be a backup in Texas, Kansas City, Texas again, and with the Dodgers. LA declined his option for the 2013 season and he is currently unemployed.

40. Jarrod Washburn, Starting Pitcher (2009)

Washburn was acquired from Seattle at the 2009 trade deadline to be the missing piece of the pitching puzzle. However, he was a huge disappointment and went 1-3 with a 7.33 ERA in 8 starts.

After Detroit: Washburn never pitched in MLB again, instead retiring to Wisconsin to spend more time with his family.
41. Brennan Boesch, Outfield (2010-2012)

After mixed results with Detroit his first two seasons, Boesch regressed quite a bit in 2012. His poor defense and long swing quickly got on the nerves of Tigers fans. He was released in March of 2013. But give the man credit...ladies loved buying his shirseys.

After Detroit: Boesch caught on with the Yankees where he’s hitting .275 with 3 homers in 53 plate appearances.

42. Phil Coke, Relief Pitcher (2010-present)

Coke was a piece of the Granderson deal and has had mixed results in the bullpen. He was great against the Yankees in the 2012 Playoffs, but has been a miserable failure in 2013. Much of this is due to his inability to get right-handed hitters out.

After Detroit: Still here. Still blowing games when his manager refuses to take him out against righties.

43. Daniel Schlereth, Relief Pitcher (2010-2012)

Another piece of the Granderson deal, the son of ESPN’s Mark Schlereth was initially hyped as a future Billy Wagner type pitcher. But Billy had some control. Schlereth had none and appeared in 73 games for the Tigers before being non-tendered after the 2012 season.

After Detroit: Schlereth is 2-0 with a 0.93 ERA in 9.2 innings for Baltimore’s AAA team.

44. Scott Sizemore, Second Base (2010-2011)

The super-popular Placido Polanco was let go to free agency after the 2009 season and Sizemore was promoted as the second baseman of the future. He wasn’t ready and after making trips between Detroit and Toledo, he was eventually traded to Oakland.

After Detroit: Sizemore has ripped up his left ACL twice and as a result, has missed last season and will miss this one, too. Poor guy.

45. Brad Thomas, Relief Pitcher (2010-2011)

The Australian lefty reliever put up a 4.59 ERA over 61 games out of the Tigers pen and was quickly made into villain in the eyes of Tigers fans with his inability to get batters out.

After Detroit: Thomas has found success in the Chinese league as the closer of the Brother Elephants. He was dominant last season and returned this year as not only their closer again, but also their pitching coach.

46. Jose Valverde, Relief Pitcher (2010-present)

Papa Grande is another in a long line of “roller coaster” closers for the Tigers. After being perfect in save situations for the team in 2011, he struggled for much of 2012 before falling apart at the end of the season. He was brought back this May and pitched well until blowing up again against Baltimore over the weekend.

After Detroit: He is still here for now, but won’t be for long if he doesn’t find a second pitch.

47. Brad Penny, Starting Pitcher (2011)

Penny went 11-11 with a 5.30 ERA as the team’s 5th starter in 2011. But he is probably most remembered among fans for how…slowly…it…took…for…him…to…pitch.

After Detroit: Penny briefly pitched in Japan before joining the Giants for 22 games in 2012. He is currently a free agent.

48. Brayan Villarreal, Relief Pitcher (2011-2013)

Villarreal has looked amazing at times, but a lack of composure and bouts of wildness have resulted in him being demoted to Triple A and as the early season scapegoat of Tiger fans in 2013.

After Detroit: Time will tell if he can bounce back to his 2012 form.

49. Delmon Young, Outfield/Designated Hitter (2011-2012)

The MVP of the 2012 ALCS was acquired from the Twins in August of 2011. His lack of discipline, poor defense, and off the field problems made him unpopular with fans despite his postseason heroics. He left via free agency after the 2012 season.

After Detroit: Delmon is now a Phillie and is hitting .215 in 104 plate appearances.

50. Quintin Berry, Outfield (2012)

The speedy career minor leaguer got a chance at the majors last year when Austin Jackson went down with injury. He started off well, but after the All-Star break cooled down considerably. Many fans loved his speed and enthusiasm, while others were quick to point out his long swing and awkward routes he took to fly balls. He didn’t make the team out of Spring Training this season and was quite upset about it.

After Detroit: Berry was DFA’d earlier today. If no one claims him, expect him to return to Toledo.

And there you have it. I hope you enjoyed this miserable trip down memory lane. As long as there are Tigers and Tigers fans, there will be whipping boys, scapegoats, and punchlines.

See you in another ten years for the next fifty.

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