Ex-Detroit Tigers pitcher Joel Zumaya lights into GM Al Avila, 'disgusted' by 2022 season

·3 min read

Turns out Joel Zumaya doesn't just throw heat when he's on the mound, but he also brings it on social media.

Zumaya — a beloved player during the Detroit Tigers' 2006 World Series run known for his 104 mph fastballs — didn't hold back on his Instagram and Facebook, lighting into the Tigers front office and specifically, general manager Al Avila.

"Is there any other true Detroit Tiger Fan as disappointed as I am on how this season is going for the team!!!!," Zumaya's post begins. "WELL I JOEL ZUMAYA # 54 FORMER DETROIT TIGER, truly am disgusted, disappointed, just flat out upset on how this organization has let itself fall into a category which I thought this organization would never see again!!! I’m gonna say this straight out of my mouth, I can’t believe they gave Al Avila a undisclosed extension, blows my mind 🤯🤯🤯🤯."

STAY UP-TO-DATE: Subscribe to our Sports newsletter now!

Avila, a part of the organization for 25 years and named Tigers GM in August 2015, has been criticized for the team's rebuild — which started more than five years ago.

He and others in the Tigers (14-28) front office proclaimed the rebuild was over before the season began.

Instead, Detroit has not only lost, but has failed to be competitive offensively for the vast majority of the season. The Tigers have scored just 114 runs in 41 games. No other team has scored fewer than 151 runs, and more than half the league (17 of 30 teams) have scored upwards of 180 runs.

Zumaya's post shows a graphic of the two worst teams in baseball history: the 1962 Mets who lost 120 games while scoring 617 runs and the 2003 Tigers, who lost 119 games while scoring 591 runs.

The 2022 Tigers are on pace for 439 runs.

As a team Detroit has just five more home runs (22) than Aaron Judge (17) while Boston Red Sox shortstop Trevor Story has driven in more runs (17) in the past five days than the Tigers' leader, Miguel Cabrera (16) has on the season.

"They need to clean house, they need to go through the main office and start removing some of these nerds that have no clue about the good ole game of baseball!!!" Zumaya continued. "The good old English D is to iconic! To great to even let fall to these standards!!! My apologies I come so bold, but as they say once a tiger always a tiger!!!

"I’m entitled to my own opinion and I’m entitled to say whatever I want whether people like it or not!!!! #hatersgonnahate #makedetroitgreatagain #zoom54"

The hard-throwing righty pitched 209⅔ innings with 210 strikeouts, 114 walks and a 2.0 during five seasons with the Tigers. Zumaya was stellar his rookie year: 1.94 ERA in a career-high 62 games, 97 strikeouts and just 56 hits in 83⅓ innings. The Tigers lost the 2006 World Series that season then missed the playoffs the next four years.

Zumaya, who had thrown some of the hardest recorded pitches at the time, was beset by injuries, last appearing in a game in 2010. He retired in 2014 after a 2012 comeback with the Minnesota Twins ended 13 pitches into a batting practice session.

Contact Tony Garcia at apgarcia@freepress.com. Follow him on twitter at @realtonygarcia.

This article originally appeared on Detroit Free Press: Ex-Tigers pitcher Joel Zumaya rips into Detroit GM Al Avila

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting