Hello from the other side. Of a re-build.
Two decades ago the Tigers were one of the worst teams in baseball. Just under 15 years ago we had a historically bad team.
It’s been about 20 years and now somehow we are back to that place. (I can’t believe I’m old enough to remember things like this. I just celebrated my 34th bday. Please help me mourn. )
Through much of my youth and teens I endured loving a baseball team that, let’s be quite honest, SUCKED. I dare you to name their most well known player since their last World Series win. As I’ve aged I’ve realized that, while I watched crappy teams, I at least got to watch them in a baseball cathedral. For example, I know exactly where I was sitting on the third base line at Tiger Stadium when I turned to my mom and said, “I like their pants.”
AND THEN THEY TORE DOWN TIGER STADIUM.
Closing it was one thing. Tearing down one of baseball’s oldest and greatest baseball cathedrals was like putting salt in the open wounds of Tigers fans all over the state. It’s probably one of the few things I can agree with Yankee fans about seeing as how they also lived through it. We do have one advantage though, seeing as how the new Yankee stadium is awful, and I really have grown to love Comerica. This will be relevant later. I promise.
I watched Cecil hit homers over the roof and into the middle of Trumbull (in person and on TV). I also was lucky enough to have parents who enforced listening to radio broadcasts. And there’s nothing like listening to Ernie on the radio. To this day radio is still my favorite medium for baseball.
So please bear with me while I go through the pain of a re-build yet again. I’ve lived it too many times. I’m a Detroit sports fan. It’s basically my lot in life.
But then I hit my early 20’s and things changed. Within a mere 4 years we went from a 100 loss team to a surprise World Series contender. It helped that I just developed legit crushes on Justin Verlander and Curtis Granderson. I mean, how could you not?! They were both studs and poised to become the next faces of the franchise. It didn’t hurt that we had Papa Jim to lead the way. The mid 2000’s was finally a fun time to be a Tigers fan for the first time in a long time.
ENTER NICK CASTELLANOS
As a top prospect coming out of high school, he was poised to be the next big star for a Tigers team that was starting to slowly age when he got called up in September 2013. It would take a few years for him to reach his offensive potential, but breakout he did in 2017. After breaking mine, and many others’, hearts by trading away Verlander that same year, team execs showed us that we were in for a long, tough ride by fully heading into re-build mode.
Since making his big splash he had constantly been regarded as the top trade prospect for the club. After no one bit last year, and the trade deadline was staring him in the face again this year, he decided to voice some of his, let’s call them, frustrations.
“This park’s a joke. It’s to the point where, how are we going to be compared to the rest of the people in the league for power numbers, OPS, slugging and all this stuff when we got a yard out here that’s 420 feet straight across in center field?” Castellanos said after Sunday’s game.
Now, I am certainly aware that Comerica is by all means a pitchers park. But to me that sounds like some straight up, good old-fashioned, whining buddy. To quote fellow Turf contributor and Detroit lover Violet Jones…..
For real though, bro. Now, I understand that everyone wants to play on a winning team. It must be even harder when the team whose farm system you came up with, and gave you your big shot, was on top when you first joined. No one wants to be on a team that is on the decline. But guess what, Nick? You don’t always get what you want. It’s called life, buddy.
Ok, so the comment on the construction of the park is one thing. But then another hot pile of garbage came out of his mouth. After a multi-run comeback by the Cubs he decided to take a shot at Tigers fans by insinuating that Tigers fans are not loyal or hardcore enough to stick around late in the game for a potential comeback like that.
Big Mistake buddy. Huge.
You can come for our park. Whatever, it wasn’t exactly our choice either. But don’t you dare come for its fans. It’s an unnecessarily cheap shot for a fan base that is bruised already. Pour some salt in our already open wounds while you’re at it. It’s also not exactly like our teams are on the same level of playing field right now. It’s insane to compare oranges to apples. The Tigers are in the bottom basement of their re-build. The Cubs are in an insane race to win a NL Wild Card spot. There is no way the atmosphere at the ballpark will be even close to the same.
Don’t worry though, Nick, we are still watching our team. We may not be at the ballpark in the same volumes but our TVs, radios, and MLB At Bat apps are still tuned in. And, believe it or not, we want you to do well. But take one more cheap shot at us and we start to not be so forgiving.