The Detroit Tigers fired general manager Al Avila on Wednesday, ending a seven-year tenure with no playoff appearances.
“I wish the results would have been better this season,” Avila said in a statement released by the team. “But know there is a lot to look forward to in the coming years.”
Owner Chris Ilitch announced the move with his team mired in another disappointing season. Detroit entered Wednesday at 43-68, last in the AL Central.
“I want to reestablish our momentum and progress towards building a winning team and I am driven to find a talented executive to help us do that,” Ilitch said in a statement before meeting with reporters as the team prepared to host Cleveland.
Ilitch invested millions in the offseason in an attempt to return his team to contention. Assistant general manager Sam Menzin takes over the day-to-day leadership role.
Avila was promoted to general manager on Aug. 4, 2015, after serving as Dave Dombrowski’s assistant.
Avila’s chance to lead the team coincided with a rebuilding process that prevented him from making short-term moves to win.
The Tigers lost, a lot, and Avila attempted to lead a turnaround by drafting and developing players. The results haven’t been what the team hoped for, and now he’s out of a job.
Avila finally got the freedom to spend money this past offseason, but his two biggest investments haven’t panned out.
Javier Báez, signed to a $140 million contract to address a desperate need at shortstop, has struggled in the field and at the plate. Earlier in the offseason, Avila gave former Red Sox pitcher Eduardo Rodríguez a $77 million, five-year contract, but the lefthander went on the restricted list due to personal matters in June and hasn’t worked his way back to Detroit.
Detroit seemed to be poised for a breakthrough after winning 77 games in 2021, its best record since 2016, which was its only winning season under Avila.
Francisco Lindor sparks Mets over Reds
Francisco Lindor scored three runs, tying a franchise record by crossing the plate in 13 consecutive games, and the New York Mets breezed to their sixth straight win, 10-2, over the visiting Cincinnati Reds.
Lindor finished 2-for-3 with a walk and a two-run single in the second inning that increased his RBI total to 82, matching Jose Reyes in 2006 for the most by a Mets shortstop. Lindor reached the mark in his 111th game, 42 fewer than Reyes played that year.
His run-scoring streak is the longest in the majors this season and matched David Wright (July 13-29, 2008) for the longest in Mets history.
Taijuan Walker (10-3) pitched six solid innings to reach double-digit wins for the first time since he went 11-8 for Seattle in 2015. Trade-deadline addition Daniel Vogelbach drove in three runs, Tyler Naquin homered and Pete Alonso had three hits for the NL East-leading Mets.
New York has the second-best record in the majors (73-39) and outscored Cincinnati, 21-5, in the three-game sweep. The Mets have not trailed during their six-game run, winning every game by three runs or more.
T.J. Zeuch (0-1) lost his Reds debut, allowing six runs on six hits and two walks with four strikeouts in four innings. Zeuch, who grew up about half an hour from Cincinnati, is the 57th player to appear in a game for the Reds this season, tying the team record set in 2003. He appeared in 13 games for Toronto from 2019-21.
‘Field of Dreams,’ the sequel
The film “Field of Dreams” gets another tribute Thursday night when the Chicago Cubs take on the Cincinnati Reds in a throwback ballpark in the cornfields of Dyersville, Iowa, a short walk from the field where Kevin Costner, James Earl Jones, Ray Liotta and Amy Madigan filmed the 1989 movie.
The game comes 2 1/2 months after Liotta, who played the ghost of Shoeless Joe Jackson, died in May at age 67.
Each team will wear special uniforms inspired by how the franchises looked in the early 20th century, and Cincinnati first baseman Joey Votto and Chicago outfielder Ian Happ will be on two-way mics for the broadcast on FOX.
The Reds are considered the home team, and the three-game set concludes with games in Cincinnati on Saturday and Sunday.
It’s the second go-round for Major League Baseball at the site in Dyersville — population of about 4,400 — after the New York Yankees and Chicago White Sox put on a show last year in the first MLB game in Iowa.
After Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton rallied New York to the lead in the top of the ninth inning, Tim Anderson lifted Chicago to a 9-8 victory with a dramatic two-run homer, sending the energetic shortstop on a memorable trip around the bases as fireworks exploded through the night sky.
“It looked amazing. It looked packed,” Reds second baseman Jonathan India said. “It’s in the middle of nowhere, which is kind of crazy, to have a game like that. We’re going to go out there and enjoy it.”
Nico Hoerner powers Cubs past Nationals
Nico Hoerner homered to ignite a four-run rally in the seventh inning that sent the Chicago Cubs over power-hitting rookie Joey Meneses and the visiting Washington Nationals, 4-2, Hoerner’s seventh home run ended a shutout bid by Nationals starter Josiah Gray and enabled the Cubs to earn just their second win in 51 games in which they trailed entering the seventh. The Cubs have won four of six and next play Thursday in the Field of Dreams game in Iowa against Cincinnati. Meneses homered in his third straight game for the Nationals, who have lost seven of eight. After making his major league debut on Aug. 2, Meneses, 30, became the first player in Nationals franchise history to homer four times in his first seven games. Danny Espinosa and Geoff Blum each hit three homers in their first seven career MLB games . . . Rowdy Tellez hit a tying homer in the ninth inning and made a key defensive play in the 10th, setting up Willy Adames’ game-ending RBI single that gave the host Milwaukee Brewers a 4-3 win over the Tampa Bay Rays. Adames had struck out in his previous three at-bats before he came up in the 10th following an intentional walk to Christian Yelich. His grounder off Ryan Thompson (3-3) got past diving shortstop Taylor Walls and scored automatic runner Tyrone Taylor from second base. Milwaukee completed a two-game sweep of Tampa Bay and moved within one-half game of NL Central-leading St. Louis. The Brewers are 3-5 since trading closer Josh Hader to San Diego at the deadline. The Rays fell even with division rival Baltimore for the final AL wild card.