Tigers searching for answers after awful start leaves them with majors’ worst mark

Detroit is off to a 2-10 start despite being a favorite to make a World Series run.

;DETROIT (AP) – Edgar Renteria joked that he didn’t know English when asked if he had a moment to talk about the struggling Detroit Tigers.

The reporter then replied in broken Spanish: “You said this was like a Dream Team in Lakeland. Why are the Tigers 2-10?”

In any language, the team with baseball’s worst record and second-highest payroll is stumped for answers.

“I don’t know,” Renteria said Monday before Detroit hosted the Minnesota Twins.

The Tigers were a popular pick during spring training not only to play in the postseason, but to win their first World Series title since 1984.

History is not on their side.

No team that started 2-10, as Detroit did, has won a World Series and just three rallied from such a rough start to even be in the playoffs: the 1951 New York Giants, 1974 Pittsburgh Pirates and 2001 Oakland Athletics.

“All of baseball is surprised and alarmed at what’s going on with the Tigers,” Twins outfielder Michael Cuddyer said. “But nobody in this clubhouse and nobody in this league is writing them off.

“When you know the type of players they have, you know they’re not going to stay down for long.”

That’s what the Tigers are hoping because their payroll is nearly $139 million.

Detroit’s top acquisition – Miguel Cabrera – is not the only one off to a poor start, but his lack of production stands out because the team decided to pay him $152 million-plus over the next eight seasons.

Cabrera averaged 32 homers, 115 RBIs while hitting .318 the previous four seasons in Florida, sensational statistics that just Albert Pujols and Vladimir Guerrero matched in those categories since 2004.

But entering Monday’s game, the third baseman was hitting just .175 with a homer – on opening day – with only one RBI since his Detroit debut.

Cabrera declined comment before facing the Twins, but told reporters Sunday he was embarrassed and felt like everybody was laughing at him.

Detroit manager Jim Leyland said he told Cabrera to just be himself and not to worry.

“He’s obviously pressing,” Leyland said. “A lot of times, not just Miguel Cabrera, but anybody that signs a big contract and gets off to a slow start people get on them.”