2018 Detroit Tigers
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2018 Detroit Tigers / Franchise: Detroit Tigers / BR Team Page
Managed by Ron Gardenhire
History, Comments, Contributions
Under new manager Ron Gardenhire, the 2018 Detroit Tigers got off to a rough start. Opening Day had to be delayed by one day, until March 30th, after the original date against the Pittsburgh Pirates at Comerica Park was rained out. They then suffered a heart-breaking loss: after seeing the Pirates score 6 runs in the 8th and 9th innings to take a 10-6 lead, the Tigers managed a near-miraculous comeback against closer Felipe Rivero, scoring 4 ruins in the bottom of the 9th to send the game into extra innings. They though they had the game won in the 10th when Nicholas Castellanos had apparently scored the winning run, but it was overturned after an excessively long video review, prompting Gardenhire to come out in protest and be ejected. Gregory Polanco then hit a three-run homer against an exhausted Alex Wilson in the 13th to give Pittsburgh a 10-7 win. The Tigers had an extra 24 hours to mull over that loss, as the game scheduled for March 31st was also rained out, forcing a doubleheader on April 1st. The Tigers were swept that day, with the Bucs Trevor Williams flirting with a no-hitter in the opener. They finally won their first game on April 2nd, a 6-1 win at home over the Kansas City Royals. Weather continued to play havoc with the schedule, however, as the next day's game was postponed, the third such occurrence in just one week.
On April 12th, the Tigers announced that their new pitching coach, Chris Bosio, had to take a leave of absence because of an undisclosed medical issue. Bullpen coach Rick Anderson took over for him in the interim, with minor league pitching coordinator A.J. Sager helping out in the bullpen. The weather continued to interfere with the early season, as they lost two more games scheduled against the New York Yankees on April 14-15, necessitating a doubleheader on June 4th, as it was the Bronx Bombers only scheduled trip to Detroit that season.
On May 30th, the Tigers added another character to the baseball menagerie: the Rally Goose. This stemmed from an incident that day in which a Canada goose somehow managed to enter Comerica Park and end up on the field during a rain delay. Members of the grounds crew chased it around for a while, but vainly, as they could neither capture the large bird or shoo it away. It did finally take flight, but as it was majestuously soaring out of the ballpark, it banged against a lit sign on the upper deck and fell in the stands. Luckily, there was a veterinarian among the spectators, and the stunned bird was rescued with no major injuries. That was enough for fans to adopt the bird as a lucky symbol for the team. The goose was introduced to fans before the next day's game before being released safely into the wild, and Tigers players brought in a large plastic replica of the bird to put on the dugout railing, while fans began chanting "goose, goose" to encourage the team. It helped that the Tigers won four straight games after the incident, engraving the goose as a clear symbol of luck for the team, pulling the surprising Tigers within two games of .500. However, the Tigers got some very bad news on June 12th, when their best player, 1B Miguel Cabrera, suffered a season-ending injury when he tore a biceps tendon while swinging the bat. He had just come back from missing almost all of May with a hamstring injury, and while the Tigers had managed to play .500 ball in his absence, it was uncertain they could continue to do so given a prolonged absence. Worse, at 35, he was showing clear signs that durability was now a significant issue, after injuries had badly affected his numbers the previous year, and he still had five years to go on his contract, with Detroit on the hook for $154 million.
On June 27th, pitching coach Bosio, who had returned from his early-season absence, was fired for making "insensitive comments" in violation of team policy. Anderson replaced him on a permanent basis this time.
Awards and Honors
- All-Star: Joe Jimenez
- Anthony Fenech: "Detroit Tigers: Miguel Cabrera's season-ending injury bad from all angles", The Detroit Free Press, June 13, 2018. 
- Shawn Windsor: In firing Chris Bosio, Detroit Tigers prove that words still matter", Detroit Free Press, June 28, 2018.