DETROIT – The Detroit Tigers have fired general manager Al Avila after he spent 22 years with the organization and seven years as the GM.
The announcement was made Wednesday (Aug. 10) through the team’s PR Twitter account.
”Once I decided to make a change, I sat down with Al and thanked him for his nearly 22 years of service to our organization,” said Christopher llitch, Detroit Tigers chairman and CEO. “Al’s loyalty and dedication has served as an example to all during his time as a leader in our baseball operations department.”
Avila’s firing comes as the Tigers traipse toward another losing season. Even though Avila and Ilitch both declared the rebuild “over” this offseason, the team has fallen 25 games below .500 and owns the third-worst record in the league.
“I will oversee the search process for our next baseball operations leader, in collaboration with several members of our baseball and business operations executive teams,” Ilitch said. “I want to re-establish our momentum and progress towards building a winning team and I am driven to find a talented executive to help us do that. They’ll be entering an organization with many foundational elements in place and an exciting path forward. Tigers fans deserve winning teams, and I’m highly focused and committed to deliver that to the people of Detroit and Michigan. With new baseball operations leadership will come a fresh perspective toward evolving our roster and maximizing our talent to reach our objectives. To be clear, our goals are to build a team that wins on a sustainable basis, qualifies for the playoffs, and ultimately wins the World Series.”
litch will meet with the media today at a 5:15 p.m. press conference in interview room one at Comerica Park. Until a new leader is hired, all Tigers baseball operations departments will continue operating as they have. Sam Menzin, Vice President and Assistant General Manager will continue as the day-to-day point of contact for the Major League team.
Avila was named Executive Vice President of Baseball Operations and General Manager by Mike llitch on Aug. 4, 2015, after initially joining the organization in 2002 as assistant general manager.
”For nearly 22 years, I have given my heart and soul to this franchise, and I want to thank Mr. and Mrs. Ilitch, along with Chris, for the opportunity and treating me and my family as their own,” Avila said. “We’ve celebrated successes and enjoyed great moments, and I’m proud to have worked with so many talented people in baseball operations and throughout the organization. I’Il cherish our friendships and the successes we all celebrated together. To Tigers fans, you’re the best and you deserve a winner. I wish the results would have been better this season but know there is a lot to look forward to in the coming years. God bless everyone.”