Thursday, June 16, 2011
Alex Avila Makes Me Eat Crow...and I Like It.
DNR is hysterical…at least to me.
*They often have agendas.
I do not, unless you count seeing, at first, Nate Robertson, and now Don Kelly shot out of a cannon, directly into a brick wall.
*They get paid, and paid well.
I do this for free because I enjoy it. (Somebody PLEASE pay me…)
*They have inside sources and unlimited access to the team.
I talked to Jamie Walker once.
*And most importantly, they never admit when they’re wrong.
I am happy to, though it RARELY happens.
And when it comes to Tigers catcher Alex Avila…boy was I wrong. Big time.
During the first week of the season, I wrote a piece talking about how I didn’t feel Avila was ready to be handed the starting catching job. Here’s a quote from that piece.
I’ve been against Avila being handed the starting catcher job before proving he can handle it since he came first came up and some started calling him the next Lance Parrish.
To be fair to myself, Alex’s career stats up to that point were awful. I was amazed that we didn’t even have a backup plan I place in case AA wasn’t ready to handle the load. I mean, if the kid was hitting what Raburn is right now, what would our options be? Omir Santos or Max St. Pierre? Yikes. We’d be begging Gerald Laird to come back.
Here’s another quote from that piece.
Alex Avila might be ready one day to be the Tigers’ main catcher. But that day isn’t today.
Rogo, you ignorant slut.
This season, after 57 games, Avila has hit .304 with 9 homers and 38 RBI. His OBP is .367, SLG is .550, and OPS is .917. His OPS+ is 155. His WAR is 2.9. 40% of runners trying to steal have been mowed down. He is currently second in the All-Star voting for catchers behind the idiot Yankee voters choice of Russell Martin. Quite simply, Alex Avila has been amazing.
And good for him. By all accounts, he’s a great and willing student of the game. He’s a super nice guy. He’s open to taking advice, as we’ve heard how Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez have had an unbelievable impact on Avila with the knowledge they’ve shared with him. And the kid has listened and done a great job.
So, I’m sorry, Alex. I was wrong. You are no longer Captain Nepotism. I hereby christen you as AAwesome. Long live AAwesome.
Back to that earlier piece that I wrote, here’s one final quote from it.
Alex Avila is a guy that needs to put it all together in a hurry if this team wants to contend.
He did. And the Tigers are. See? I was right about something after all.