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Monday Tigers News: Futility in our feelings

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We talk bad offense, beef, returns and adjustments.

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MLB: Detroit Tigers at Oakland Athletics
Desperately seeking offense
Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Oof! Amirite? Guys, I’m usually writing this weekly entry on a day where we get a breather. A chance to reflect on the fortunes of our team, be they good or bad. There will be no such reprieve today. This team currently stands in the corner, gloves pulled tightly against it’s skull, shelled up and just taking an absolute pounding from the Kansas City Royals while waiting the towel to be thrown in or the bell to ring. I don’t see Hinch reaching for the towel, and we’ve got one more to go Monday against the boys from the land of barbeque. While we await the awakening of a long slumbering offense, let’s take a look at the news.

An embarrassing offense

Rolling into the final game of a four-game stretch where the offense can’t seem to muster the ability to hit an elephant in the ass with a canoe paddle, Manager AJ Hinch is feeling things.

We’ve been better than this,” Hinch said Sunday. “We’re going to be better than this. Riding this out is very difficult when you’re getting punched in the face every day, taking a loss and not scoring runs. Everybody’s answering questions that comes with these Zooms about the lack of offense. They read it. They hear it. They know it.”

It’s not secret that the offense has been struggling. From Hinch’s perspective, it’s not a case of not caring, it’s a case of grinding until things break the right way. Hinch has the belief that Monday is as good a day as any. Let’s hope.

Cabrera returns

On Sunday, the team welcomed the first start from Miguel Cabrera since April 10th. The hope is that the veteran bat will bring some much needed spark to the lineup. What was set up to be a roar turned into a big yawn as Cabrera went 0-4 with three strikeouts while the offense remained anemic for at least one more day.

I remember when pitchers used to fear Miggy and when every at bat was the possibility for something electric. I’m not operating under the delusion that we’re going to see that Miggy again, but I would like to see a guy who makes me think something could happen when he comes to the plate. That’s not Miggy right now, but it could be.

Trevor’s been busy

All baseball and no Twitter makes Trevor a dull boy. Los Angeles Dodger’s pitcher and noted social media presence/irritant, Trevor Bauer popped up on Twitter on Sunday, and the whole thing is worth talking about.

The story begins back in spring training, when during a game against the Padres, Trevor Bauer pitched an inning with one eye closed. Well, Sunday night, in the meeting of what is shaping up to be one of the greatest rivalries we’re going to see in modern baseball, the Los Angeles Dodgers and the San Diego Padres were facing off, and Bauer was on the mound. Padres budding superstar Fernando Tatis Jr. took Bauer deep on the second pitch of the game, and whilst rounding the bags, covered one eye.

I have graduated to the land of the dad. I don’t wear jeans, my shoes are sensible, polos dominate my office casual attire, I care about my lawn, and I can tell you the price of mulch at the local Ace Hardware. I say this to help explain to those similarly situated that what we have seen from Mr. Tatis is something we call trolling, and Tatis is crushing it. Tatis would later go yard a second time off of Trevor “don’t call me Jack” Bauer.

You might expect this sort of thing to bring out the red-ass tendencies of Bauer, or any other pitcher with such inclinations. In this case you would be mistaken. Bauer, to his credit was all for it, and considering some of his sword gestures after strikeouts, and peacocking after a good inning, he has to be.

What’s this, a pitcher of some repute openly advocating for players to celebrate home runs because it makes the game fun? Welcome to the future Trev, please climb aboard!

Now, on Sunday things seemed to turn in a bit of a new direction, because while he talks a good game, Mr. Social Media couldn’t leave it alone, despite being TOTALLY COOL WITH ALL THIS AND JUST HAVING FUN, YOU GUYS. Someone known only as @fuzzyfromyt on Twitter pointed out that maybe, juuuuuust maybe, Tatis took a peek at the catcher’s hand as he was asking for his pitch leading up to that second homer, thus serving as his own self-contained trashcan bang, allowing him to know what pitch was coming.

First off, this question is coming from someone with with the Kansas City Royals logo displayed in his Twitter profile, so it’s already a check in the wrong box. Second, I can’t tell from looking at this if Tatis was looking for the sign, itching his nose, or taking a moment to call upon the God of Dingers to assist him in exiting the entirety of the yard. This authoritative look by Jomboy Media makes it pretty clear he didn’t see the sign so much as the catcher shifting outside. Third, if he was looking at signs, Will Smith should’ve gotten Jiggy With It and done a better job of making sure Tatis couldn’t see what was up. This is just all in the game.

Anyhoo, ol’ Treverson WHO IS TOTALLY COOL AND JUST HAVING FUN OUT THERE GUYS, decides to toss the beef back on the grill and comes out with the following Tweet:

First off: Daddy? eeeeewwwww. Poor usage of patriarchal terminology aside, this was an instant mistake by Bauer. At the ripe old age of 30 he may as well be father time. Fernando Tatis Jr. is 22, and was born with Twitter preinstalled. Tik Tok runs through his veins. For him, I assume Facebook is like MySpace, something he hears old people talk about but has never personally experienced. Who is Tom? Tatis counters quickly and decisively with a crude, yet effective photoshop portraying Mr. Bauer as a child. Boom goes the dynamite.

Bauer chooses to respond, and is showing immediately why he shouldn’t. Bauer is like Mechagodzilla going up against Godzilla and King Kong. He is doomed to fail. Tatis has won this interaction. You’re not doing better, at least not without some consideration, but Bauer IS EXTREMELY COOL WITH ALL THIS AND NOT MAD YOU GUYS, and so he comes back with the response you can read below:

If this doesn’t derail the train, it’s bouncing all over the tracks. I don’t think Tatis or Machado are going to take any particular offense to this Tweet. I do wonder if this is another example of the kind of thing Bauer is really good at doing that really gets his ass in the jackpot. Not only is it just sad, busted, and tired, but for a guy who likes to pretend to be misunderstood, Bauer running with the assumption that same-sex relationships are something to be embarrassed about or ashamed of, going for laughs on the “hahahah ur gay” line of witty repartee just confirms the impression.

This is the problem with pretending to be cool with the bat flips, K struts, a little beef in the game, and the like. You actually have to be cool with it. A little shade and swag on the field is great, but particularly where Bauer is concerned, these things just get too noxious and just downright dumb too quickly. Once again, he went from portraying the sensible, fun times ambassador for the game he would like to be thought of as, to the cranky, feeble troll we’re quite used to, all in the span of a couple hours. How about we just keep it on the field henceforth...

The return of Nomar

Over the weekend the organization discussed some planning around the start of the minor league season and revealed the timetable for the return of Nomar Mazara. The plan is to plug him in at Triple-A Toledo for the beginning of the minor league season on May 4th, and have him up with the big club around the 9th of the month.

Mazara has been out since April 15 with an abdominal strain. So far he has a pair of home runs in 40 plate appearances, and while his typical ground ball heavy spray chart shows the usual markers of a weak average and on base approach, he’s been scorching the ball with the highest average exit velocity of his career. Any help would be appreciated.

JaCoby’s adjustment

The Detroit Tigers outfielders in 2021 are like spit on a griddle. They’re hopping around all over the place, and you never know who is going to be where at any given time. This is a reality that has been challenging for JaCoby Jones. Jones has gone from guaranteed starter to fighting for playing time and it has been an adjustment.

“It takes a toll on you,” Jones said. “When you’re not playing every day, and other people are having success, and you’re just sitting there on the bench, it’s a tough feeling. ... Just got to stay positive and keep grinding. I mean, it’s still early. I’ve got a long way to go.”

It’s frustrating, I’m sure, but if there’s one thing that’s painfully obvious right now it’s the simple fact that your bat is what’s going to get you into this lineup at the moment. String some hits together, and you’re going to start seeing pretty regular playing time.

Around the horn

Jack Leiter gets lit up. Gary Sheffield says he no longer watches baseball. The history of the organ in major league baseball. Bumgarner throws a seven inning no hitter.

Shohei is awesome

This is a few days old, but we thought it was hilarious. Kudos to you, Lucas Sims. They should’ve called it.