The Home Opener, photographically illustrated.

All this shots are clickable for bigger, naturally.

We lost. I know. I am fully cognizant of this fact. But HOLY FREAKING CATS I DO NOT CARE BECAUSE I WAS THERE and I’d never been to an opening day of any description before and I’d never seen Comerica that crowded, so packed that even the standing room only areas were full, and oh man it was amazing.

Lookit all the happy happy drunken Tigers fans!

The Bus threw out the first pitch which, you know, is nice, sure, but do I care? No. Not particularly. I know he’s from Detroit but so are lots and lots and lots of people and, quite frankly, I hate the Steelers. Hate ’em. Hatey hate hate, full sippin’ on the haterade. Call it the Patriots fan side of my brain if you like, but it is a fact. And the fact that the Bus was in residence meant that I saw at least one fan waving a goddamn Terrible Towel at a Tigers game, and this is a Deep Wrongness, because Terrible Towels should not appear in football stadiums outside of Pittsburgh, and they should definitely not appear at any other sporting events ever.

This would be like a Red Wings fan showing up at a Yankees game and throwing octopi onto the field. While I admit that it would be wicked funny to see ARod shriek as slimy octopus arms pinwheel in slow motion towards him, it is just not a thing that should happen. We are all on the same page here, yes?

But there were many things that were right in this game, such as Jeremy Bonderman. I see the 4 earned runs on his line for the night and OK, maybe that does not look so good. But I also see the 8 strikeouts, and I also see what I saw at the game, which was a strong pitcher throwing hard and, as such, getting hit hard. So he put a couple guys on base, you know, it happens. What hurt him were the homers.

Why don’t the AP photographers ever show this angle, eh?

Let us look at the homers. Jim Thome hit a bomb, and it was not pleasant, because when I say ‘bomb’ I don’t mean “ball that traveled just the required distance to clear the wall”. Oh no. I mean “ball that everyone this side of the Ambassador Bridge knew was gone as soon as it left the bat”. Jim Thome does that, though. It is basically the whole point to his Thomeish existence. He is like a great big slug that lives in a cave avoiding the sun and becoming thick and pale, and every so often someone tells him it’s his turn in the lineup and he lumps out clumsily and hits the gooey snot out of the ball and lumps slowly around the bases and then gratefully returns to his cave.

Y’know what I’m sayin’?

Also Joe Crede hit a home run. Joe Crede has been on fire defensively and now he’s all “I will make the hits to go with the catches and things” and we’re all “dammit!” What can you do? I mean, what can you do? The dude is catching fire right now, his hands are all crispy and burnt to his glove and bat and whatnot.

He didn’t believe that Dmitri was capable of stealing third base today either. Shame be upon you, Joe Crede, shame be upon you and your bad hair. He seemed consumed with shame actually when Ozzie came sputtering out of the dugout to argue after the play.

Holy freaking cats, DaMeat stole a base. Crede is disbelieving.

Ozzie argues while Crede wanders off looking all embarrassed and with terrible hair.

My point is that yeah, it wasn’t pretty. But Bonderman throws hard, and he throws fastballs, and with that kind of a pitcher you just have to expect that he’s gonna give up the longball every so often. We can hope and fervently pray that this does not mean we will soon witness a slow and painful transformation into Jose Lima, and I don’t tend to think that it will. I think it means that Bonderman is a darned good pitcher and he was throwing some darned good balls out there, and the Wrong Sox were just hitting darned well and darnedety darned dag’nabbit.

There were other things that were right with the game, such as the fact that we were sitting out in the left field stands, which meant that pretty much the only clear sightline I had all game was down the third base line. Which meant that I spent much of the game staring at one thing. A most marvelous and wonderous thing. And you all know what that thing is.

If you did not know this was coming, you have not been reading me for very long.

As my friend Dave said upon viewing the photo album from this game: “Wow, there were a lot of photos of Inge.” Yes Dave, yes there were, for lo! it was not my fault. You, Dave, are the one who procured tickets for us, and I know you did not choose them but in some cosmic way you have only yourself to blame for this because we were sitting in left field for cats’ sakes, if I wanted to watch the pitcher or the batter my line of vision had to pass by a certain third base obstacle and naturally the camera would stop there many a time.

It is simple physics. That is the direction I had to look in, and because of the configuration of the baseball diamond, it is through no fault of my own that the third baseman was right where I had to look to properly watch the game.

Right then.

Also good was getting to see Joel Zumaya pitch, because I had never seen him live before and YES I KNOW HE GAVE UP A HOME RUN SHUT YOUR KIBBLE HOLE. I’m not here to talk about that. I’m here to talk about the positives, man, and the fact that I haven’t slept more than 3 hours a night for like a month and sheez I got really sunburned. But Joel Zumaya! He throws hard. His delivery didn’t look particularly violent to me, although I admit I didn’t have the most perfect vantage point for judging that. He looked pretty good, you know, in a ‘giving up a home run’ kind of way.

And he looks cool in the bullpen too.

The crazy drunk people at the park, about whom I’d been warned, were amusing. We had two guys sitting in front of us for a while, both clearly gone beyond all semblance of human coherence. One was passed out in his seat, and the other kept encouraging us to do things like take photos of or make faces at the passed out guy because, as he said, “Don’t worry he loves it!” He also kept screaming, “Easy out White Sox!” in a singsong voice, and claimed that he didn’t care about college teams so long as it was Big 10, but that Michigan in basketball this year engaged in what he liked to call “Michigan suckabraition.”

On the way out we passed a young lady who slapped a car driving slowly past and screamed, “Lexus?? BUY AMERICAN! This is a Union town!”

Anyhow, I highly suggest you check out the rest of the photos right hereabouts, because there are a great many of them and I would get into more here but I am exhausted and keep falling asleep on the keyboard.

7 responses to “The Home Opener, photographically illustrated.

  1. itpyp, I don’t think he was embarassed… he certainly does it often enough. Sheepish but undeterred, perhaps. :P
    Mike, I was exhausted! And had just downed rather a lot of Dr. Pepper! And was still excited from the game! And exhausted! And that is what happens in my brain under those circumstances. I swear it all totally made sense when I was writing it. Erm.

  2. ivantopumpyouup

    Aw, Brandon is embarrassed he got caught polishing the family jewels!

  3. Samara, You are a treasure. Don’t ever change.

  4. Everything you wrote made sense to me and, and your excitement came through with every word. That’s what makes you special among baseball bloggers. On an internet full of OBS and xERA and WHIP and BS/IP, it’s great to see someone that can just talk about having fun at a baseball game.

  5. Michael Martin

    Great pics Samalena. What section were you in? It looks like about 137 or 138. I’m sitting in 138 on Saturday against the stinkin Indians. I don’t have Sunday tix yet but I’m thinkin club seats in the upper deck. I’ll be putting up more pics on Monday.
    Mike

  6. Section 140… bout 30, 35 rows up. Like I said, not the best for photos, but I do what I can. And it did give us a pretty good look into the bullpen, which was neat.

  7. I think my favorite Brandon Inge crotch-grab moment(s) was last year, when he hit HR’s to straight away CF in Comerica twice in one homestand… Went to mlb.com and checked the video highlights… Each time, he took his swing, took one step, then promptly adjusted the cup while the camera was still on him, before step #2. Makes you wonder if there’s… uh… a lot there to adjust.
    Hey, they’re still available:
    http://detroit.tigers.mlb.com/NASApp/mlb/multimedia/tp_archive.jsp?c_id=det&ym=200506
    Go to June 14, click on “Inge’s 428-foot blast”, then June 18, suggestively titled “Inge goes deep”. I do note, however, that Brandon seems to have shed this habit.

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