As part of the SB Nation MLB awards, we are nominating and voting on the funniest Tigers moment in 2014. There were several hilarious moments throughout the season, and the winner of this vote has a strong chance at winning the MLB-wide award when voting takes place in a couple of weeks.
Let's get to the nominees!
Ian Kinsler: Binocular-gate
Ian Kinsler with perhaps the best troll job of all-time right here. pic.twitter.com/KxXFPAbgd7
— Isaac (@WorldofIsaac) September 24, 2014
A meme-inspiring moment is a strong candidate for the funniest moment of the year, and that's exactly what Ian Kinsler's gesture did. On September 24th, Chicago White Sox starter Chris Sale seemed to think that there was a binocular-wielding spy in center field, relaying signs to the Tigers' hitters. Oblivious to the fact that he had struck out 10 batters in six innings, Sale plunked Victor Martinez and the benches emptied. After things calmed down, Kinsler hit an RBI double off reliever Javy Guerra in the seventh inning. Not content with just the 2-1 lead, Kinsler let Sale know that he knew exactly what was coming.
Ian Kinsler: wave to the Texas Rangers' bench
Kinsler was a lightning rod for funny moments in 2014, as his two moments were the first two that came to mind when this category was announced. After some inflammatory comments about the Rangers before the season, Kinsler stirred up more controversy in his return to Arlington. In his first at-bat as a visitor at Globe Life Park, Kinsler homered to left field. On his way around the bases, he paid his respects to his former teammates. Kinsler after the game: "I was just having fun." Sure, Ian. Sure.
Rookie dress up day is always one of the funnier moments of the year, but the Tigers took it to another level in 2014. With a slew of rookies on the roster after September call-ups, they were able to hold a football game that would have challenged the Detroit Lions of the early aughts for starting jobs.
Joba Chamberlain says hello to an old friend
Long-time New York Yankees great Derek Jeter is famous for giving a short nod to former teammates whenever he steps into the batter's box against them. Joba Chamberlain, who played for the Yankees from 2007 to 2013, was well aware of this. Said Joba before the game: "I've seen the [Jeter] head nod every day for seven years and I always said if I faced him, I was going to stick out my tongue." Way to keep your promises, Joba.
Max Scherzer: replay specalist
Replay became a big part of baseball in 2014, though the process seemed to be a bit flawed. Managers would slowly meander their way out to the field after a close call in order to give their replay team a moment to review the play. Most of the time, one of the Tigers' coaches would man the dugout phone and relay a signal to Brad Ausmus. But on one special night in Oakland, replay guru Max Scherzer took over. Naturally, the Tigers got the call overturned. Thumbs up to you, Max.
Bryan Holaday: swimsuit model
Technically this one happened in Spring Training, but that still counts as 2014, right? Several of the Tigers players (and one particularly famous swimsuit model) were having an otherwise uneventful dinner when, suddenly, a one-piece bikini came into the picture. Next thing we know, "Taco Night" was a national sensation.
Austin Jackson knows your secret, Miguel
Miguel Cabrera is an otherworldly talent. The two-time MVP was visibly not himself in 2014, yet still ranked among the best hitters in the game at season's end. After a go-ahead home run in the ninth inning against the Baltimore Orioles in May, Austin Jackson was thinking what the rest of us were: "Is he human?" We still haven't figured that one out.
Any other nominees? What was your funniest Tigers moment in 2014?