It’s not your fault. Well, it’s kinda your fault.
After the Detroit Tigers came up just short of the playoffs, general manager Al Avila stated that he is more than happy to take all of your blame.
“Well, of course, I take all the blame,” he said Wednesday in a teleconference to announce manager Brad Ausmus would return for a fourth season. “Because at the end of the day, I make those decisions and you've got to put a lot of the blame on myself.
“The guys that we brought in, let's say they didn't perform for whatever reason, that's on me. Those are things that I've got to take the blame for.”
Avila is definitely not wrong. His signings left something to be desired; in particular, Mark Lowe and Mike Pelfrey were unmitigated disasters.
But I would give him an incomplete instead of a failing grade. First, I think the expectations were a bit high for Justin Wilson. His 2016 numbers were nearly identical to his 2014 season. There is no way to predict Jordan Zimmermann’s injury, especially considering he has not been hurt in five years. And sure, Justin Upton was awful for a while. He also nearly carried the team to a playoff spot. Let’s not pass too harsh of judgement on Avila for 2016.
That said, I don’t have a lot of confidence in him. This is probably a combination of being spoiled by former GM Dave Dombrowski and scarring from Mark Lowe’s ERA, but I am going to need some more data points before I feel comfortable with the 2016 Winter Meetings.
Tim Tebow update (because you need one)
And I call this piece "What It Feels Like Being A Mets Fan" by Tim Tebow pic.twitter.com/BAATUX3pMd— Clemzingis (@TheClemReport) October 11, 2016
I was all set to just have that picture with no commentary but he also spent time during the game comforting a sick fan. And while I still think this is a publicity stunt, Tim Tebow seems like a nice guy.
The year of Cleveland
First the Cavaliers win the NBA championship, and now the Indians are on to the ALCS? What is going on? This was a city that hadn’t won a championship in 52 years and now their teams are, as they say, en fuego.
The ALDS was what we call a “rooting for a meteor” situation, but I ended up rooting for the Red Sox to lose. I have surprisingly limited ill will for the Indians despite their proximity. Plus, Boston has been way too spoiled. The fact that Josh Tomlin somehow shut them down was icing on the cake.
Farewell to Big Papi
Tigers fans have a very conflicted relationship with David Ortiz. He is unequivocally awesome, but also a harbinger of so much sadness. Regardless, he is a legend of the sport and will be missed. I’m excited for him to take Dave Dombrowski’s gig.
Dombrowski: "David Ortiz can have any job in this organization he'd like." #RedSox— Steve Buckley (@BuckinBoston) October 11, 2016
Justin Verlander also shared a quality Papi memory.
Always loved competing with @davidortiz over the years! Sometimes he got the better of me and sometimes I got the better of him. I felt like it was always an epic battle when he stepped in the batters box. Congratulations my friend on such an amazing career! You will be missed by all but I will mostly miss our exchanges where it mattered most... between the chalk lines. #thankspapi
Game 3 ridiculousness
Good God, was Game 3 of the Giants-Cubs NL division series absolutely absurd. USA Today’s Bob Nightengale, always one for understating, labeled it the greatest win in the Giants’ six-year, three-championship run. That’s a bit much, but it sure was fun. Also this:
And then Game 4 might have topped it. Congrats, Cubs.
For your free time.
The Tigers will not retain hitting coach Wally Joyner. The Braves retained Brian Snitker as manager. The Marlins paid for Jose Fernandez’s funeral and made a donation to his church. Good work, Marlins. The Orioles probably won’t resign Mark Trumbo. Here are 2016’s top plays for the Tigers.