Detroit Tigers Send Down Tyler Collins; Flipped Off Fans After Getting Booed Over a Fielding Error
Detroit Tigers’ outfielder Tyler Collins was in the headlines again Wednesday. The Tigers optioned the struggling outfielder to Triple-A Toldeo and activated closer Francisco Rodriguez from the family medical emergency list. Rodriguez had been away from the team since Sunday, dealing with a personal matter.
On Monday night, Collins was all over the news for his actions in the Tigers 7-3 win against the Oakland Athletics at Comerica Park. Unfortunately, those headlines were not for his contributions at the plate, but rather for his regrettable reaction to being roundly booed by the home crowd for losing a fly ball in the lights. Clearly acting out of frustration, he flipped off the jeering fans and shouted obscenities, which only incited their own frustration with Collins and his misplay. Collins apologized repeatedly for his lapse in judgement, citing his embarrassment and frustration, but a mistake like this makes many headlines and will follow a player for a long time.
On Tuesday, he received good news as the league decided not to suspended the outfielder, instead opting to fine him an undisclosed amount. Despite avoiding suspension, the Tigers say that the demotion on Wednesday is in no way linked to the incident Monday night, rather a numbers game with regular players returning and Collins being the odd man out. Normally there would be a lot of suspicion on the timing of the demotion, but with a number or regular players coming back and Collins struggles, it’s likely that no matter what Collins did over the past two weeks, he would be playing in Toldeo.
Collins had been struggling to start the season. He hit .100 in 20 at-bats and was 0 for his last 13 with 5 strikeouts. It’s possible he was pressing at the plate, as starting centerfielder Cameron Maybin is getting close to returning from his wrist injury. Maybin is rehabbing in Triple-A Toldeo and though he banged up his shoulder in a rehab start this past Saturday, he is expected to be ready to join the big club very soon. After acquiring Maybin from the Atlanta Braves, the Tigers are eager to get him back in the lineup.
A young player like Collins needs to make the most out of his opportunities and leave a lasting impression on his coaches and the front office. He left an impression, just not the type he was hoping for. Time will now tell if Collins is able to learn from his mistake. He needs to mature both mentally and at the plate in order to make his way back to the big leagues.
(Detroit Tigers Send Down Tyler Collins)