Michigan Social Media Rejoices As Ilitch Fires Tigers GM Avila
Whenever fans want a manager or executive replaces, it does take on a somewhat blood-thirsty nature. Think Matt Millen with the Detroit Lions, Rich Rodrigues with Michigan, Jim Campbell with the Tigers; more recently Jeff Blashill with the Red Wings. And with Al Avila it was no different. Except now there's social media, and it was hard to escape all the frustration being directed Detroit Tiger management.
Owners don't get fired. But general managers do, so today Tigers owner Christopher Ilitch fired his GM, Al Avila. Whether is was acknowledging the growing restlessness amongst the faithful or simply good leadership, Ilitch decided that enough was enough. Avila was the architect of the rebuild the Tigers embarked on some five years ago, but early this year declared the rebuild was over, and the Tigers were ready to contend again. That hasn't happened. The Tigers are last in the American League Central at 43-69. The Tigers won-lost record under Avila was 404-573.
Some of the young phenoms acquired during Avila's time have not panned out, with Casey Mize need Tommy John (elbow) surgery, and several other pitchers have been hurt. Centerfielder Spencer Torkelson was sent down for lack of hitting production, while hot-hitting Kerry Carpenter was called up to the big club. Some of the promising rookies have been major disappointments and the current struggles have been too much for Tigers fans, who have been very vocal this season. Even the much heralded signing of free-agent Javier Baez has been a disaster, as he's having maybe the worst season of his career.
The next move is critical. Who will be the next Tigers GM who can maybe salvage the rebuild that hasn't quite happened yet.