As part of the SB Nation MLB awards, we are nominating and voting on the most regrettable Tigers moment from 2014. There were a lot of ups for the AL Central champions, but there were also plenty of downs. The nominees are below, but feel free to add to the list in the comments!
Pulling Anibal Sanchez in Game 2 of the ALDS
An already infamous moment got even worse for Tigers fans after they watched Madison Bumgarner vanquish the Kansas City Royals in the World Series. Brad Ausmus pulled Sanchez after two shutout innings in relief during Game 2 of the ALDS, only to see his bullpen promptly give away the lead in the next inning. The move was second guessed by every armchair manager from Monroe to Marquette, but Ausmus' line of thinking never wavered.
It seemed alright at the time, especially because the Tigers were winning, but let's keep zubaz where they belong: in the early '90s.
Alex Gonzalez, shortstop
It seemed to work on Opening Day when Gonzalez drove in a pair of runs, including the game-winner in the bottom of the ninth inning. After that? Not so much. Gonzalez was worth -0.3 WAR in nine games, which was enough for the Tigers to determine that he needed to go.
(Presented without comment).
Signing Joe Nathan
This "moment" may technically be ineligible for winning the MLB-wide competition because Nathan signed in December of 2013, but his performance in 2014 warrants a mention on this list. Between the 4.81 ERA, the seven blown saves, and the friendly little gesture he gave fans at home after a converted save, Nathan was not a popular man in Detroit. The only thing that made Tigers fans queasier than seeing him come into a game was thinking about the fact that he will be back in 2015.
Bryan Holaday: swimsuit model
Too many bikini models in 1 room #nofilter @KateUpton @jbholaday @Max_Scherzer @JustinVerlander pic.twitter.com/ypLhfQmBAz— Joba Chamberlain (@Joba_44) March 3, 2014
This was also a nominee for funniest moment of 2014, but something tells me that Holaday awoke with a headache the next day and suddenly regretted everything that happened during Taco Night.