Tigers president – Javier Baez’s benching was a ‘turning point’

Detroit Tigers president Scott Harris said his positive response to Javier Baez’s withdrawal from the game last month helped his team play better afterward.

Baez, entering the second year of his six-year, $140 million contract, was forced to play by manager A.J. removed from the game.

After that, the infielder responded by hitting 3 homers for the first time this season while recording a batting average of .321, raising the batting average to .256. The Tigers went 14-11 in 25 games after starting the season 3-8.

“What I learned from the whole benching incident is that AJ did a great job of making difficult decisions in a very pressured moment. You did a great job,” Harris said. said in an interview with MLB Network. on wednesday. “It wasn’t just Hubby’s problem. We wanted to get to a place where we could play cleaner, more competitive baseball with this organization. And it was a real turning point in our season. .

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“Since then, we’ve been playing very aggressive baseball, trying to keep hitting the zone and trying to get better counts on both sides of the ball. And AJ has done a great job. “Choose your position and prepare your players for high leverage moments. I think Javy is one of the leaders of the team. He sets the tone for the whole team. And in those moments. It was really fun to see him react.”

Harris praised Baez for focusing on “really driveable” pitches and setting the tone for other hitters.

Baez appeared in 144 games for the Tigers last season, batting .238 with 17 home runs and 67 RBIs, his first in franchise history. He was ejected in a game against the Blue Jays when he hit a triple, was rounded by a liner to center, and was easily doubled to three outs. It happened after he didn’t run full out of the batter’s box, apparently instead home-running the ball that hit the left field wall.

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After the Tigers won 3-1, Baez said he respected Hinch’s decision and acknowledged the need to show respect for the game of baseball.

As Thursday’s game began, the Tigers (17-19) were second in the American League Central standings, 2.5 games behind the No. 1 Minnesota Twins.

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