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A sometimes-irreverent look at Detroit's Boys of Summer, the Tigers, as they try to return to the top of the American League Central.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Red Sox catcher David Ross on Tigers: 'I think they wanted to kick our tail, and they did'

There’s been a ton made of the Detroit Tigers’ off-the-field silliness, with their Zubaz tiger-print gear, dancing in the dugout, general goofing around.

That’s all good.

But other teams are noticing that the Tigers — who came into Tuesday with the best record in baseball — are not goofing around on the field.

Take it from Boston Red Sox catcher David Ross (pictured above), who explained in an appearance on MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM, with hosts Jim Memolo and Todd Hollandsworth. [The full interview clip is below]

“The other day, I caught the first game of the Detroit series, and those guys are usually real chatty coming to the box, and talking, and saying hello. And they were business,” Ross said. “They were coming there to kick our tail, and maybe send a message that last year they remember, and maybe they felt like they should’ve won, or whatever. But I know that they came in with a mindset of, I think they wanted to kick our tail, and they did.”

The three-game sweep of the Red Sox in Fenway Park was the first for the Tigers since 1983. The last time the Tigers finished their first 40 games with a better record than they currently have was 1984.

But are they the best team in baseball right now?

Ross thinks they’re in the discussion.

“They’re really solid. It’s hard to say. I like to judge from a perspective of who we’ve played, and they’re definitely the best team that we’ve played so far, in my opinion,” Ross said. “I think the top of their lineup is as good as any, in my opinion. ... When you’re talking about Ian Kinsler, then you’re going Torii Hunter, then you’re going Miguel Cabrera, then you’re going Victor, I mean, that’s some of the best. There’s nobody to pitch around. Ian Kinsler was on fire when he was in here. ... Right now, to me, Victor Martinez is one of the best hitters in baseball. He’s really a quality at-bat, he doesn’t strike out.”

And the Red Sox catcher acknowledged that the Tigers’ offseason transformation is paying off.

“I feel like they added the things they lacked last year, the things we exploited, I thought, in the playoffs, where they were more of a station-to-station team. I didn’t think they ran the bases as well as they do now,” Ross said. “They’re doing a really good job of taking the extra base — they got some speedsters, they got some baseball players. And their defense is a lot better, I feel like, than last year.”

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