A part of me wonders if my excitement about the Scott Harris hire to Detroit is simply because he's not Al Avila. In some ways, this thing was set up for my excitement. But man, oh man, on paper (and I can't believe I'm saying this), I think Chris Ilitch may have hit a home run hiring Scott Harris to be his president of baseball operations. Harris has an incredible track record. He was pivotal to the Cubs' success when they won the World Series in 2016. He was a big reason the Giants won 107 games a year ago. He's young, analytically minded, and sharp as hell. He's everything the previous regime wasn't. I'm genuinely stunned that Chris Ilitch pulled this off, and while we have a long, long way to go before I do cartwheels about the future of the Detroit Tigers, I'm hopeful again. Even if it's just for a brief time, I'm hopeful again.
My feelings towards Detroit sports recently have genuinely changed. There was a brief period where it was almost amusing seeing how bad they were. You can always hold out hope for the future, but this year changed that. As a sports fan, I don't recall a more miserable summer. I haven't missed a tigers game in eight years, and yet the best part of my week as far as summer 2022 was concerned was going on "Money Shots" or "Hot Ice," or the "You Gotta Believe" podcast. Those appearances were fresh reminders that good baseball does exist. It just doesn't live in Detroit. We've been drowning for too long. That can't stand anymore. One can try to poke fun for so long, but eventually, it becomes depressing. And "depressing" has become a keyword around Michigan as far as their professional sports teams have been concerned for way too long.
My biased opinion will always be that Detroit is the most fantastic sports city in America, but it's also one of the great baseball towns in the world. This team has had nothing to play for since May, yet I still read tweets of people talking about Riley Greene's development. I still see people excited that Spencer Torkelson is starting to turn it around. This is who Tiger fans are. This is who they'll always be. Even the diehards die one day, but the next generation will always rock the Tiger's gear because it's all we've ever known. If Scott Harris builds a winner in Detroit, he'll be remembered fondly, not just because he brought a World Series championship parade down Woodward Avenue, but because he got the Tiger back from the dead. I hope we can be reminded one day of what it feels like to matter again. I want to watch another World Series with my dad one day, and this time, let's win the damn thing.
I'm tired as hell of talking about what things can be. And I understand that this is going to take time. Al Avila left this organization in a challenging place, and Scott Harris will unfairly have to clean up his mess, but that's what he'll be paid to do. I'm not going to sit here and make any predictions about the next time the Tigers are going to make the postseason, and I'm sure as hell not going to predict the next time that the Tigers win the World Series, but what I am praying for is to feel genuine excitement again. I'm praying to remember what it feels like to be in late August, knowing your three games back and Cleveland's coming to town. I want this not for me, but for the fans of Detroit. Their loyalty and faith are unwavering. And to quote Batman (which I seem to do in every blog at this point)
"Sometimes the truth isn't good enough. Sometimes people deserve more. Sometimes people deserve to have their faith rewarded."
It will take time. But please, Scott Harris, reward our faith. Just win. Just win. Just win.
Welcome to Detroit.