Detroit Tigers general manager Al Avila was recently extended by Tigers ownership, due to their confidence in his ability to lead the team’s rebuild. And as you can expect, the move was met with plenty of criticism from fans and media members alike.
During Friday’s game at Comerica Park against the Boston Red Sox, the announced attendance was 27,181. This year, the Tigers are averaging 18,735 fans per game, good for 25th out of 30 MLB teams. That’s down from 23,212 in 2018, 28,661 in 2017 and 31,173 in 2016.
Avila said fan apathy during the rebuilding process “is a concern” but “we’ve had pretty good fan support here at the stadium. It’s not 30,000 and it’s not 40,000, but if you look across the league, we’re actually doing pretty good for a rebuilding club. I’m really happy and proud of fans here in Detroit. They’re pretty special. We want to do everything we can for them.”
Avila also addressed his criticism from fans and from media members in print and on the radio.
“I’ve got to say that, I think for the most part, when I talk to people in the streets, and fan mail that I get, for the most part it’s been positive and understand of what we’re doing,” Avila said. “(They’re) not liking it. I don’t like it. The guys that cover us on TV and radio, they don’t like it.
“We’re not unique to this situation or this process. What we have to do is have the courage to see it through. Everyday that I show up to work, I’ve got to face that everyday. That’s what we’re doing.”