By Will Burchfield
By the time the Detroit Tigers’ three-city, 10-day road trip came to an end on Wednesday night, general manager Al Avila had heard enough about the team being tired.
“I was promising myself that I’m not gonna make that excuse today because I’m sick and tired of (hearing) how tough of a road trip we had. It’s over and done with. And quite frankly, you gotta go out there and play the game and grind it out, everybody has tough road trips,” Avila said on Friday afternoon.
The Tigers played 11 games in 10 days on the road. Toward the end of the trip, Brad Ausmus lamented the schedule and said the players were suffering from a lack of sleep.
Avila seemed to be frustrated with how the team adopted a woe-is-us personality.
“Again, I didn’t like all the hoopla – or not even hoopla – I guess all the, ‘How tough of a road trip this is,’ whether there was energy level or not,” he said.
Asked if he felt Ausmus manufactured some of that negative energy, Avila replied, “No, no, not at all.”
“Like I said, I was gonna come here and make sure that I didn’t say, ‘You know, it’s been a long road trip.’ I was tired, I was. I left here that (Sunday, April 21) at 12 midnight. The team was still here, they hadn’t left, and then I got home and I went to bed. The next day I was tired and I know they got over there (in Houston) like four hours later, so I didn’t want to come here and start saying that myself. I’m already sick and tired of myself saying it, that’s what I’m sick and tired of,” Avila explained.
Ausmus, for his part, felt the whole topic was a creation of the media.
“I know I got tired of talking about it. It wasn’t ideal, but every team goes through it, every team has to face a stretch of the schedule where it’s not ideal and they lack sleep…The players didn’t like it, but we didn’t talk about. The only reason we talked about it is because we were asked about it,” he said.
The Tigers finished 4-7 on the road, losing the first two series to the Houston Astros and Chicago White Sox before claiming the final series against the Kansas City Royals. They returned home early Thursday morning and opened a six-game homestand on Friday night versus the White Sox.
“Actually we could have come away with two or three more wins easily in my opinion,” Avila said. “We didn’t do that, now we gotta regroup. We gotta have a good homestand, we gotta move forward and hopefully win a lot more games.”