December 30, 2010

The '89 Tigers

I remember the '89 Detroit Tigers. They were awful. 

It was only two years removed from the remarkable run to the American League East title. Heck, even 1988 wasn't a bad season: the Tigers finished a game behind the Boston Red Sox in the East. The '89 team was expected to be decent. 

The Tigers hitting and pitching in '88 was middle of the pack, but good enough to compete. An aging Darryl Evans led the team with 22 homers, while Alan Trammell's .311 led the team in average. Trammell also led the team with 69 RBI. So, the offense was ... um, okay. And the pitching was decent. Heck, Walt Terrell had a 3.97 ERA and 16 losses. But four other pitchers won at least 13: Jack Morris, Frank Tanana, Doyle Alexander, and Jeff Robinson. Plus, the bullpen was good with Mike Henneman and Willie Hernandez closing games. Fred Lynn joined for the stretch run. 

But 1989 saw things go terribly bad. Tanana led the team with 10 wins and Jack Morris was 6-14. Charles Hudson and several other guys no one remembers started games for the '89 team. Gary Ward, Ken Williams (yep, him), and Pat Sheridan logged a bunch of at bats. Rick Schu manned third base. And Keith Moreland DHed for the Detroit Nine. Lou Whitaker led in HR (28) and RBI (85). It was a rough year. 

A few free agents, couple of trades, and a rookie helped to change things in 1990, but '89 was a stinker of a season. But, it was also the beginning of the worst period of Tiger baseball. Really ... 

No comments: