Detroit Tigers

The Detroit Tigers: Get Ready for the Trash Fire!

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This has absolutely nothing to do with the Tigers’ competitive prospects for 2017. I think they’ll be OK, actually. At least a wild card contender and, if things break right as far as health and all of that, they could easily challenge the Indians for the division. Baseball is hard to predict sometimes and, even if they missed the playoffs in 2016, you never want to bet too much against a team with one of the best hitters in history on the roster.

No, I’m just referring to the aesthetic of their player photos this year. Or video. It’s hard to tell what this little studio is being set up for. Could be for the player intros on the big screen at the ballpark or a media guide. Whatever the case, they seem to be sending a message:

Let’s see . . . industrial hellscape . . . a big box that could easily be a dumpster . . . a tire . . . a fire. I don’t know what the director is going for here, but it all evokes something less than calm competence or a situation that is under control. One might even say that This is Fine.

As far as accuracy goes it certainly evokes the Tigers bullpen in recent years, but again, that may not be something the organization wants to communicate.

Anyway, good luck fighting the C.H.U.D.s or surviving the industrial dystopia or whatever is going on here, Tigers.

 

David Wright isn’t ready to retire

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There’s no doubt that the last three years have put David Wright through the ringer. The Mets third baseman missed the bulk of his 2015 season with spinal stenosis and made it through a month of games in 2016 before undergoing season-ending surgery to repair a herniated disc in his neck. In 2017, a bout of shoulder impingement, rotator cuff surgery and a laminotomy procedure on his lower back kept him off the field for all 162 games.

Despite the continual setbacks, Wright told MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo, he doesn’t believe retirement is in the cards for him this year. “When the end comes, the end comes,” he said Friday. “Hopefully, I’ve got a little more left. But I guess that’s to be determined.”

The 35-year-old last appeared for High-A St. Lucie in 2017, powering through three games with one hit and five strikeouts in 10 plate appearances. His career has advanced in fits and starts since 2015, but you don’t have to do too much digging to find his last great performance with the Mets. Wright earned his seventh career All-Star berth in 2013, slashing .307/.390/.514 with 18 home runs and a terrific 6.0 fWAR in 492 PA. While he isn’t expected to mash at those levels in the near future, if ever again, the Mets believe the veteran third baseman might still have something left in the tank as he tries to extend a 13-year run in the majors.

Per DiComo, the only thing standing in his way is a clean bill of health — not just for the upcoming season, but for the years to come. Wright said he wouldn’t risk returning to the field if it came with long-term implications for his quality of life.

The surgeries are obviously serious stuff, but it just kind of plays with your mind mentally, where you don’t know how your body’s going to hold up,” Wright said. “You don’t know how you’re going to feel a month from now. You don’t know how you’re going to feel a couple weeks from now. You’re hoping that it continues to get better, but you just don’t know.

Given the uncertainty that surrounds his return to the game, it’s a prudent outlook to have.