The end of the decade has finally arrived, and with it comes the inevitable best and worst of lists looking back on the ten years that have passed. For Tigers fans, the 2010s started off strong and produced one of the best stretches in franchise history, including three MVP awards, two Cy Youngs and one of the most formidable pitching rotations in modern baseball.
Then came the middle years, and things went downhill from there. Quickly. This dichotomous decade has given Detroit both incredible high and low points, a rollercoaster ride that included an American League pennant and a World Series appearance on the high end, as well as one of the worst regular season records in recent memory and a fire sale of most of the team’s best players on the low end. Nonetheless, there are plenty of positives to look back and reflect upon.
Top Tigers of the 2010s
Leading off the list is Miguel Cabrera, whose tenure with the club began back in 2008 when he arrived as part of a blockbuster trade. He is followed up by Justin Verlander, who became known as “must-see JV” during his meteoric ascent at the start of the decade. In third place is Max Scherzer, who also exploded on the scene once he began to figure things out.
From the middle of the list on, the rankings are a bit murky, as an argument can be made for most of them for a different position. Recently-retired Ian Kinsler took the fourth spot, while J.D Martinez came in fifth, Austin Jackson sits in the sixth slot and Alex Avila came in seventh. Rounding out the list are Victor Martinez, Doug Fister and Jose Iglesias.
Top 10 home runs of the decade
Cabrera’s out-of-the-park shot in June of 2016, took the top spot, with J.D. Martinez’s home run off of Chris Sale in August of the same year coming in second. The next two positions are alternated in the same order between Miggy and J.D., with the former’s clutch home run off of Mariano Rivera back in 2013 taking third, and the latter’s 466-foot drive off Taijuan Walker that hit the top of the camera well above center field earning fourth place.
Rajai Davis’ walk-off grand slam in 2014 (has it really been that long?) came in fifth, with Cabrera’s then-record-setting 466-foot round-tripper at Comerica Park in 2012 got the nod in the six spot. Don Kelly’s 2011 ALDS Game 5 dinger against the Yankees landed in the seventh position, while Cabrera appears again with his comeback home run against the White Sox that same year earned eighth place.
The list culminates with Brennan Boesch’s first major league home run — a game winning grand slam off Joel Pineiro back in 2010 — taking ninth place. There is a two-way tie for tenth place between Brandon Inge’s clutch home run against the Twin in September of 2011, and the infamous Carlos Guillen mash against Jered Weaver. Honestly, that last one should be much farther up the list. Follow the link to watch videos of all the aforementioned home runs.
Miggy makes the MLB All-Decade Team
“One of the best hitters of the decade, plus an iconic figure with four batting titles, two MVP awards and the Triple Crown.”
"One of the best hitters of the decade, plus an iconic figure with four batting titles, two MVP awards and the Triple Crown."@espn put Miggy on its 2010s MLB All-Decade Team ➡️ https://t.co/o26PAhbIzU pic.twitter.com/qeicrvfV63— Detroit Tigers (@tigers) December 27, 2019
Crucial ‘what if’ moments for Detroit sports
The Detroit Free Press published a short video highlighting the “what if” moments from Detroit-area sports over the past decade. The moment it chose for the Tigers? The David Ortiz grand slam during the 2013 ALCS against the Boston Red Sox.
- The Jonathan Schoop and C.J. Cron signings fill huge holes on the Tigers’ roster. Both Schoop and Cron should be massive upgrades over their predecessors.
- Let’s project the Tigers’ lineup with Jonathan Schoop and C.J. Cron. Adding Schoop and Cron lengthens what should be a much improved everyday lineup in 2020.
- State of the blog: What do you want to see from Bless You Boys in 2020? Like the Tigers, we are ready to move forward to next season.
- Tiger pitchers Matthew Boyd and Spencer Turnbull share “inspiring” Uganda trip.
Around the horn
Combating baseball’s three biggest challenges in the 2020s. Jay Jaffe’s 2020 Hall of Fame virtual ballot, along with his one-and-dones list, part I. White Sox agree to deal with Edwin Encarnación. Here are the weirdest baseball moments of the 2010s. Is MLB’s juiced ball influencing the game’s economics? The Reds are reportedly leading in the Shogo Akiyama bidding war.
Baseball is awesome
The best plays this decade has seen pic.twitter.com/gfa9clRpgr— ShitBallPlayersSay (@baseballshit) December 21, 2019