Maybe I’m just desperate to spin this Opening Day loss into something positive, but numerous symbolic moments made themselves apparent in today’s game. The Detroit Tigers experienced several stumbles, and I may or may not be about to over-analyze the heck out of the most prevalent among them for the sake of making Kansas City Royals fans and myself feel better after that slightly soul-eroding defeat.
Look at both Tigers errors committed today and consider them an omen. I know that the fill-in shortstop Alex Gonzalez just made himself hero-for-a-day in Michigan, but the guy’s 37 and he hit .177 in 41 MLB games last year. Nobody should expect him to give Detroit what they could have expected from the injured Jose Iglesias this season, either on offense or, more obviously, on defense.
Consistently plugging Gonzalez into their lineup this year weakens a batting order that already raises a lot of questions. I won’t bet against Miguel Cabrera‘s upcoming continued greatness, but Detroit must now put a boatload of pressure on Victor Martinez to protect him in the lineup. Rajai Davis hasn’t hit better than .260 or knocked in more than 50 runs since 2010, and Austin Jackson still strikes out too much and perennially underwhelms.
I don’t want to curse Kansas City by speaking ill of Torii Hunter, but his innocuous error today gives me enough of an excuse to hope he’s finally in decline. Hunter hasn’t posted a fielding percentage above .990 since 2010. I mention that only because I’m forced to root against him while he’s in KC’s division.
As fans in Detroit relish their first victory of the year, fans in KC can only wait patiently and envision revenge until the next game of the series on Wednesday. It’s gonna be a rough off-day.