I wrote a blog last week about how Eric Haase is one of the best stories in baseball, and a video like this just drives home that idea. Some players fly under the radar, some come out of nowhere, and some are Eric Hasse. No team (including the Tigers) saw this guy coming. He absolutely lit it up in the month of July, collecting big hit after big hit. He currently leads the American League in runs batted in since the All-Star break with 18. And by all accounts, he’s an expert lawn mower and awesome father as well, which is always a plus.
It really is crazy has fast things can change in sports. The trajectory of a person's entire career can change with a stroke of luck. I’ve talked in the past about how Al Avila deserves credit for the Eric Hasse pickup, and while he does to a certain extent, even the Tigers didn’t think much of this guy until a few months ago. Last December, he was put on waivers to make room for free agent signing Jose Urena, a starting pitcher who has put up a 6.19 ERA this season for the Tigers. No one claimed Haase, and you could make a strong argument that he's saved the season since being called up on May 13th. It’s early August, and the Tigers don’t technically have anything to play for. They won’t be making a playoff push, but this is the first time in 5 years that I haven’t come into August begging for a Tigers season to come to a merciful end. Eric Haase is a huge reason for that. He was the best rookie in the month of July by a substantial margin.
I usually roll my eyes when people say a team or a player represents the city that he plays for, but in Eric Haase’s case, I think it would be apropos to say that. This Tigers team isn’t good, but they have several really good individual stories. Fans love an underdog, and players like Akil Baddoo and Eric Haase have been legitimately awesome underdog stories for a team and a fan base that has been so void of hope over the last several seasons. Let's hope they find a few more of them.