Cheating aside, the Detroit Tigers got it right with A.J. Hinch

(Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports)
(Thomas B. Shea-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Detroit Tigers have settled on A.J. Hinch as their new manager; cheating aside, they got it right and should be able to reap the benefits.

The baseball offseason has started to get underway, and the Detroit Tigers have already found a way to get involved. After rumors picked up steam quickly following the World Series’s conclusion, A.J. Hinch became a frontrunner for this organization.

The Tigers interviewed Hinch and then were ultimately able to strike a multi-year deal with the skipper. There is a lot to unpack with this hire, and it might take some time for people to come around on Hinch, but looking at the best-case scenario, it was a phenomenal hire.

Frankly, there is a sour taste in my mouth as I write this, the Houston Astros and Hinch got a bit of a slap on the wrist, but that is about it. As the 2020 season unfolded, COVID-19 took center stage, but no one could forget about the Astros and their sign-stealing scandal that rocked the baseball world last Spring.

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However, it has been noted by analysts that Major League Baseball views Hinch (and Alex Cora) as “serving their suspension” and that they have “done their time” for their actions.

While some may not see this as enough of a punishment if the league is going to take this stance, why not hire Hinch?

It may be controversial, and some may hate it, but the success that Hinch can bring to the table shows how the Tigers got it right.

If Hinch can be successful with this Tigers organization, there is a chance that he helps get this team over the hump of the rebuild and helps them turn the corner.

Winning will heal all; those who feel Hinch was the wrong manager to select will come around, it may take time, and it may not be soon. If the Tigers start winning, this fanbase will not bat an eye into the past of Hinch and his actions with the Astros.

Detroit Tigers fans may not be thrilled with the hire, but it will be intriguing to see how A.J. Hinch manages this organization.

So, while the move may not be the favorite of some people, the Tigers got it right. He was able to keep the Astros competitive, elevating them to second and third-place finishes in 2015 and 2016, respectively.

In 2017, the year marked with an asterisk, they won the World Series, and then in 2018, they were eliminated in the American League Championship Series. In 2019 they fell to the Washington Nationals in the World Series.

The Astros were a good ball club, make no mistake there, Hinch was able to help that team get competitive once again, and I am not talking about the 2017 season. In his first season with the Astros, he took them to the American League Divisional Series and achieved second place in the American League West division.

Before that, the last time the Astros finished second in the division was 2006; Hinch was able to manage; now, the 2017-2019 time frame could be skewed, so keeping that aside, there is plenty to be excited about with the hiring of Hinch.

It will take time for some of this fanbase to come around, but if you can put the past behind, put the cheating aside, and go along with Major League Baseball’s view that Hinch “paid the price” with his suspension, this is the right hire.

Personally, waiting to see what Hinch does in a Tigers uniform will be interesting. Seeing whether his success with the Astros was skewed or was a product of his skill set as a manager will be interesting.

It will be interesting to see if Hinch can get things going here in Detroit and find managerial success in leading this team out of the rebuild. Not to mention, Hinch has spoken with Justin Verlander about the successful times in Detroit and the environment this city brings.

Could Hinch coming into Detroit be another selling point to get Verlander back into a Tigers uniform when his contract with the Astros runs out?

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Putting the scandal aside, the Detroit Tigers got this one right. Not everyone will be on board with this, but when the wins start rolling in as the team trudges out of a rebuild, that will change.