Tigers mercifully, finally make the right decision with Al Avila

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Detroit baseball fans have sat through nearly a decade of poor management from Tigers GM Al Avila. Finally, ownership pulled the plug.

How many rebuilding years is too many rebuilding years?

Avila wasted the final years of Miguel Cabrera’s career, mismanaged one of the more elite farm systems in baseball, failed to take advantage of high draft picks on a yearly basis AND traded away countless veterans for what can only be described as lacking returns.

Yet, he received chance after chance, and was excused time and time again. Until now.

On Wednesday afternoon, Chris Ilitch and Detroit Tigers ownership announced a change in leadership in the front office.

Avila is, by most accounts, one of the nicest men in baseball. But being a nice guy should not have bought him seven rebuilding seasons.

Detroit Tigers fire Al Avila

22 years with one organization is a long time, and this isn’t to say that Avila wasn’t responsible for some good during his time in MoTown. Avila was in the same front office which oversaw a perennial contender starting in 2005. He also oversaw its downfall, and now its stagnation.

There is no rebuild in Detroit. The Tigers are on the verge of rebuilding their own rebuild. It’s an inverted rebuild, if you will.

While Avila is often the face of fan frustration, the inept nature of this organization starts at the very top. Chris Ilitch has failed to live up to his father’s reputation — both with the Tigers and the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings.

Detroit, as a sports town, has been miserable for far too long. For the Tigers to take a step in the right direction, Ilitch must step out of his father’s shadow and make his own choice — not just the right pick of who to run the front office once Avila departs, but for himself to actually care about the on-field product he puts out on a daily basis.

It’s time the Tigers accurately represented Detroit again. A small step is progress, but not nearly enough.

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