“For all sad words of tongue and pen, the saddest are these, “It might have been.’” -John Greenleaf Whittier
Just 3 short years ago, Brennan Boesch swashbuckling debut splashed across a splendid April evening in Arlington; his slashing stroke on a Rich Harden delivery launching the ball into the left-center gap for a double in his first MLB at bat. A week later, at Comerica Park, Brennan ripped his first dinger – a grand-slam that helped beat the Angels and began a storybook, Chris Shelton-esque first half. At the All-Star break, Boesch’s BA was .336, with 12 HR’s and a .996 OPS.
The 6’3″, 235 lb slugger with surfer-dude good looks had it all – he could hit the gaps or blast it over the fence, ran well enough to take an extra base or steal one, and produced as well vs. southpaws as righties. His outfield defense was a work in progress, but compared to an aging Magglio and pus-armed Johnny Damon, it was positively marvelous. It certainly seemed as if Boesch would be anchoring Kaline’s Corner for years to come.
We as fans can fondly recall Brennan’s brilliant Tiger moments – he certainly gave the ballclub his best, which makes those glimpses of his best so maddening. I have no doubt he will quickly find a new team willing to take him north at the end of the month – and it is a positive referendum on the state of Detroit’s roster that a player with such a skill set is expendable. The organization deserves kudos also – by all indication, Dave Dombrowski exhausted all potential trade avenues, and by releasing Boesch now, his chances of making a major league team by Opening Day are good.