The Pirates are heading to Detroit, and Ashley MacLennan of Bless You Boys is here to answer your questions.
What was it like having an owner who was trying to win, and are there any regrets now that the Tigers went all in?
Oh man the Mike Ilitch era was a thing of pure magic, in that you just knew if there was a hole to be filled in the lineup, he would go out and get you the best possible piece to fill it. It really breaks my heart the Tigers weren’t able to win in 2012 or 2013 when they had the perfect team to do it, because you really wanted to see it happen when Ilitch was alive (and when Leyland was still managing). I think, too, though, he spent without much thought of the future, and it meant the Tigers were stuck with a bloated payroll and a lot of really unpleasant contracts in hindsight.
How do you guys like Jordy and J-Hay so far?
I think we are enjoying the pair so far. There hasn’t been a lot to get excited about offensively from anyone, including them, but I’ve been happy enough with the defense, surprisingly so from Mercer who was stepping into a pretty decent SS’s role vacated by Jose Iglesias. I’m certainly not mad about having either one of them.
How long did it take for people to stop posting Eugenio Suárez stats after you traded him to the Reds?
I think we’re still really, really bitter about the Suarez trade, so thanks for bringing that up again.
Are Leyland & Littlefield still working for the Tigers?
You bet they are. Littlefield is the Vice President of Player Development, and Jim Leyland is the Special Assistant to the General Manager (alongside the likes of Al Kaline, Alan Trammell, Willie Horton, and other Tigers greats).
Which player are you most worried about this series, and who is the Tigers’ secret weapon?
Well for starters I’ll say I’m glad I’m not seeing Archer this go-round. He can be an absolute menace through the first five innings. That said, Musgrove’s stuff in two games has just been... woah. I know it’s early, but DAMN he looks good so far. With that said he’ll be facing Matthew Boyd who I think, without a doubt, is the Tigers ace right now and has been just nasty to start the season. That’s going to be a really fun game.
Do you treasure this rivalry as much as we do? *eye roll*
I like the Pirates/Tigers games, I just think it’s so silly how hard MLB tries to push it as a “rivalry.” I will NEVER complain about seeing games broadcast from PNC though. Best view in baseball.