Thursday, March 30, 2017
Tigers Meet Harlequin: The Catcher's Pregnant Bride
What You Need To Know: Born and raised in Florida, Alex is a 2nd generation Cuban American and baseball is the family business. His grandfather worked for the Los Angeles Dodgers for many years, mainly heading up their Latin America operations. At the time the Tigers drafted Alex in the 5th round of the 2008 Major League Baseball draft, his father, Al Avila, was the Tigers assistant GM and was hesitant to draft his own kid because, well, this baseball business is complicated.
After Dave Dombrowski was let go at the end of the 2015 season, Al was promoted to GM and his son was now entering 2016 as a free agent. The writing on the wall, Al let his own son walk. Alex, fairly beat up now from his years of catching, signed a one year deal with the Chicago White Sox. During his brief tenure in Chicago, Alex jacked two homeruns against Tigers ace Justin Verlander but mostly served in a back-up capacity for a club that had catching issues last year. His one-year deal up with Chicago, and Detroit in need of a back-up to starting catcher James McCann, the family was reunited when Alex signed a one-year, $2 million deal with the Tigers in the off-season.
His Baggage: This is Alex's second appearance as a Tigers Meet Harlequin All-Star, having been the subject of a Cosmo Red Hot Read in 2014. At that point in his career the physical toll of the catcher position was starting to show. Alex has had more than one concussion, and other than a dynamite 2011 season, his bat isn't a whole lot to write home about. He's very good defensively however, and I think he's one of the more under appreciated game callers working today. He handles a pitching staff extremely well, and his rapport with Verlander is exceptional. Alex is no dummy and he's grown up around baseball. He understands the business side of things probably better than most players. If we're to believe the press, he's got no hard feelings for his father who simply let him walk away during his free agency year. It's business after all, and not personal. Still, reports suggest that GM Al's own mother (Alex's grandmother) was not pleased with her son.
But this is my category romance idea, so yeah - Alex? You're bitter as hell. It makes for a better story.
The Proposed Category Romance Plot: He's been around baseball his whole life. After all, it is the family business. He just didn't think his own family would cut him loose for the sake of that business. His own father didn't so much as sniff in his direction when he became a free agent. Not an obligatory call to his agent. Not a single word. The silence was deafening. After all he'd done for the team. The way he brought along the young pitchers. How he handled the egos of the established aces. So long Alex. Don't let the door hit you on the ass on the way out. Well, now he's back and his old man is acting like it's no big deal. Suck it up son, it's just business. Alex's head knows this, but the heart is taking longer to heal. And it's after a particularly embarrassing tongue-lashing from the old man, in front of his teammates no less, that sends Alex into the arms of the pretty new assistant equipment manager.
What Harlequin Line?: Oh Alex. You're ticked off at your father and you have a one-night stand that results in getting the heroine pregnant. You've landed yourself in a Harlequin Presents.