We’ve made no secret of our love for the Detroit Tigers’ social media and PR teams. Throughout a really rough half decade for the team, the folks whose work is to promote players and entertain fans have been a consistent bright spot. Their video series ‘The Offseason’ took it to a new level over the past few weeks.
Sure, it’s too bad that the lockout kept them unable to produce a few more of these, with contact between teams and players forbidden for three months this offseason. It would’ve been cool to see editions on the Tigers two big free agent signings, Eduardo Rodriguez and Javier Báez, as well. However, that desire for more only speaks to what a nice job the series did bringing you into the homes of several of the team’s rising young talents, giving fans a different look at the guys they’ll be rooting for this season, and hopefully for many years to come.
Major League Baseball has changed a lot over the past two decades. Gone are the days when fans could feel comfortable getting really attached to their stars for the long haul. For a pretty traditional baseball town like Detroit, the long-term tenures of greats like Al Kaline, or Alan Trammell and Lou Whitaker from the legendary 1984 squad, were once more the rule than the exception. We got to know those men over years and then decades, as they became permanent fixtures around spring training after their careers ended as coaches, or simply honored alumni of the Tiger clan.
Nowadays, as players are traded constantly, and more teams desperately look to avoid signing big long-term contracts, those days of lifelong Tigers, or any other franchise, are largely gone. Sometimes that can make it hard for fans to connect. Add the fairly ugly strife between owners, Commissioner Rob Manfred, and the players, and the ongoing competitive imbalances in the sport and MLB’s future starts to look bleaker despite the soaring revenues.
Rooting for your town, your region, or the franchise you love is fine, but the personalities beneath are still a big part of the attraction, and the connection point for many fans, particularly younger ones. The trend in recent years is for young, media-savvy players to take matters into their own hands, while teams largely left it to the traditional media to handle the human interest side.
All that is great, but as the players remain the actual entertainment teams are promoting, it’s only more incumbent on the franchises themselves to help fans connect with their players. Particularly for a club like the 2022 Tigers, who are well stocked in talented young players who are also quite likable characters in their own right. Engaging fans both young and old is the way. So we’re happy to see the Tigers’ doing a nice job with this as the organization looks forward to fun seasons of competitive baseball ahead.
Without further ado, take a look at the final installment of the Offseason series. Casey and Tali Mize, who were already featured in one of the four full installments, return for a shorter bonus featurette that sees them whipping up personal sized pizzas in the kitchen. It’s just a little getting to know you time with the young couple, who will likely be a prominent feature of Tigers’ baseball for years to come, hanging out and making dinner in their kitchen.
While Mize is consistently sheepish about his cooking abilities, vowing to develop his grill game this summer, he does a reasonably solid job here, with some assistance from Mrs. Mize, whose bemused expression throughout betrays a lot of snark and one-liners running through her mind that she’s gracious enough to largely save until the cameras are off. In particular we endorse the double layer of cheese, one to seal the sauce to the crust, and a second layer to bind the toppings. It’s science folks, you can’t question the methodology.
Here’s the full featurette released last week.
The other three players featured were Akil Baddoo, Tarik Skubal, and Spencer Torkeson. While Baddoo has personality to burn, Skubal in particular has always come off quiet, intense, but quite low key, and that makes these videos all the more valuable. In the end, what happens on the field is what matters, but it’s nice to get a feel for these young Tigers at home or hanging with friends, as they work toward their major league dreams. Each has a segment on their offseason conditioning and physical therapy as well, giving a pretty good idea what their daily training is like in the offseason.