If nothing else, the 1920 season would reveal that the Tigers had serious issues that needed to be addressed.
Chief among them was the state of manager Hughie Jennings, who had skippered the Tigers since 1907. Hughie was 51 years old and familiarity was breeding contempt. After bursting onto the scene with three straight pennants, Jennings's Tigers teams finished as high as second place only twice since 1909, and were more often than not in the second division.
Jennings's future as Tigers manager was in serious doubt as 1920 arrived, and that future grew even murkier when they started to play the games.
A 13-game losing streak was how the Tigers started the season---0-13 and already buried in the league standings before May was two days old.
The Tigers weren't a mediocre team in 1920. They weren't a bad team.
They were awful.
The Tigers didn't just get beat on most days---they got slaughtered. A lopsided defeat of 11-1 or 12-3 was not uncommon. For the season, the Tigers surrendered double digits in runs a staggering 26 times out of 154 games played---once for every six games played!
If it wasn't for the even more awful Philadelphia Athletics, the Tigers would have finished dead last. As it was, they were a miserable seventh, with a ghastly 61-93 record, easily their worst under Jennings's leadership.
Even Ty Cobb wasn't Ty Cobb, "slumping" to a more mortal .334 BA. No Tigers player had an exceptional year, although Bobby Veach showed a sudden burst of power by slamming a franchise-record 11 home runs and driving in 113 runners.
Hooks Dauss lost 21 games as five Tigers pitchers lost 13 or more times.
All in all it was a bad, bad year for baseball in Detroit. It was bad enough to make people think that they'd seen the last of Hughie Jennings doing his "Eee yah" cry from the third base coaching box.
HR: Veach (11)
RBI: Veach (113)
BA: Cobb (.334)
Wins: Howard Ehmke (15)
K: Doc Ayers (103)
ERA: Ehmke (3.25)
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