There is no question about it that the Detroit Tigers have some of the most passionate fans in the world. When their team is winning everything is great, but when they start losing, look out!
Throughout the team’s history, the Tigers have had some players that have really managed to get under the fans skin.
Here is a list of Tigers players from 1990-present that really managed to tick the fans of Detroit off.
8. Ryan Raburn
I almost considered making this a top 7 list until I remembered there was a point in time where Ryan Raburn really annoyed me.
Most Tigers fans had no problem with Raburn until he began starting on a regular basis at second base. In 2012, his final season with the Tigers, Raburn hit .171 and though he made it through the season on the roster, he was soon released.
Did Raburn annoy anyone else in his final season, or was it just me?
7. Bobby Higginson
When you take a look at Bobby Higginson‘s career numbers with the Detroit Tigers, they are not that bad. I mean it’s not like he was Brandon Inge or anything.
What really made me dislike Higginson was that he was so bad that the Tigers let him go after playing only 10 games in 2005, but still had to pay him $8.85 million.
It always got my blood boiling that a guy was basically stealing money from the team. At least make him sell peanuts and hot dogs!
6. Juan Gonzalez
When I first heard the Detroit Tigers had acquired Juan Gonzalez before the 2000 season, I have to admit I was a bit excited.
Gonzalez was coming off a four-year stretch where he averaged 43 home runs and 140 RBIs per season, what was not to like?
The problem was that Gonzalez never wanted to play for Detroit and it showed. He refused to play through minor injuries and never embraced Detroit. In his one season with the Tigers, Gonzalez hit .289 with 22 home runs and 67 RBIs in 115 games.
5. Todd Jones
Todd Jones was not given the nickname “the roller coaster” by Tigers announcer Ernie Harwell for nothing.
Statistically speaking, Jones was not awful, in fact, he saved over 30 games for the Tigers in five different seasons. The problem with Jones was the fashion in which he racked up those saves.
When Jones came out to the mound in the ninth inning, fans were almost forced to cover their eyes and hope. Jones was he first of a few closers to really get the fans of Detroit riled up!
4. Prince Fielder
Oh, Prince, what could have been.
When the Detroit Tigers signed Prince Fielder to a mega deal, it seemed to be a match made in Heaven. Unfortunately, the honeymoon with the Tigers and their fans lasted only one season.
Throughout the 2013 season, Fielder seemed almost bored to be playing baseball. Whether or not he had personal issues going on in his life, he just seemed too preoccupied to give baseball 100%.
Following the Tigers elimination from the playoffs in 2013, Prince made various comments that came across as him not caring about the game. Those comments were enough to eventually get him kicked out of town.
3. Brandon Inge
I can guarantee that some of you just swore and will refuse to read anything I ever write again because Brandon Inge is not No. 1 on this list. Just relax, I am sure you will settle down when you see who the top two are.
Inge very well could be one of the most polarizing individuals in Detroit sports history. Either you loved him or you hated him, you defended him or you were willing to buy him a plane ticket to leave town. Regardless of which side you fell, by the end, almost everyone seemed to be on the same page.
Though Inge was solid defensively, his bat was awful and it was amazing he lasted as long as he did.
Did you know Inge managed to hit under .220 in seven different seasons while playing in the Majors? In his first three seasons, he hit .180, .202, and .203 respectively. How do you get a fourth year after that? Seriously, somebody please explain this to me.
2. Jose Valverde
Ladies and gentleman, I give to you, Papa Grande!
Goodness gracious, just writing this gets me upset and brings back some tough memories. I am still convinced that Jose Valverde was Todd Jones dressed up in a costume. Who agrees?
Not only was Valverde completely full of himself, but by the end of his career in Detroit, he stunk at baseball.
In 2011, Valverde had 49 saves, but even then he made fans nervous whenever he came out to the mound. We knew it was just a matter of time before he blew a big game.
By the time 2012 and 2013 rolled around, Valverde was a complete train wreck and Detroit fans were begging to see him go.
1. Joe Nathan
Coming in No. 1 on the list of Tigers players that Detroit fans loved to hate is none other than Joe Nathan.
When Nathan joined the Tigers he was coming off of a great season and was expected to step in and dominate at the closer position. It’s safe to say that never happened.
Everything came to a climax in 2014 when Nathan thought it would be clever to make a profane gesture towards the fans. Yeah, that’s gonna go over well with the people who spent their hard earned money to watch you play. Nathan was never liked in Detroit, but that gesture alone solidified his place atop this list.