The KC Royals and Detroit Tigers are enjoying (not the right word) very similar franchise trajectories at the moment—trying to decide whether to hang on to the same players who brought about recent success or blow it up and start over again.
Top Five Reasons to (Choose Your Own Adjective, it could be positive or negative, don’t let me influence you) Detroit and the Tigers
- Gran Torino is overrated. Don’t @ me.
- The Pistons taking Darko Milicic over Carmelo Anthony.
- The late Mike Ilitch, who oversaw years of Tigers mediocrity before moving them into Comerica, fielding a perennial contender and leading a revitalization (of sorts) in downtown Detroit.
- Musically, Detroit has given us KISS, Ted Nugent, Insane Clown Posse, Kid Rock and Uncle Kracker. It’s also given us Motown, Jack White, Aretha Franklin, Bob Seger and Eminem, so let’s call it a wash.
- The “Hockeytown” moniker. How’s that going these days?
Opponent Most Likely to start a Brawl?
History of Bad Blood with the KC Royals?
The Mike Sweeney-Jeff Weaver brawl lives on in perpetuity—Sweeney beat the living daylights out of Weaver and also punched Robert Fick for good measure, which is at least part of the reason he’ll live on as a KC Royals legend forever.
That was also 16 years ago. More recent was a Runelvys Hernandez dustup in 2005 which featured three hit batters and Kyle Farnsworth body-slamming Jeremy Affeldt. Which means we’re just about due for a donnybrook, I’d say.
Detroit Player of Whom Much Was Expected and Less Was Produced?
For five years and $110 million, one has to imagine that the Tigers were expecting slightly more than 13-11, 5.42 ERA/5.18 FIP and less than six strikeouts per nine innings from Jordan Zimmermann. The KC Royals, of course, aren’t scheduled to face Zimmermann.
KC Royals Player Most Likely to Light Up the Tigers?
The middle of the order has been pretty good against the Tigers over the years. Salvador Perez (.299/.347/.478, 16 doubles, 12 homers, 48 RBI) has been quite good, and even has 19 walks (most against any opponent), showcasing some patience against the Motor City Kitties. Eric Hosmer might have the edge over Salvy, slashing .294/.351/.477 with 24 doubles, 15 homers and 55 RBI in 105 career games against the Tigers.
Will This Series be Fun?
C-. No Danny Duffy. No Jason Vargas. Jason Hammel has made a career out of getting his butt kicked by the Tigers. Justin Verlander is 22-9 in his career against the KC Royals and will face either Miguel Almonte (cool!) or Nathan Karns (cool, albeit for a different reason) Tuesday. On paper, nothing is coming up Royals. But fortunately, the MLB insists on playing these games on a field rather than on paper.