photo by Samara Pearlstein
Hope you all had glorious New Year celebrations, and that you’re mostly recovered from them. It’s been quiet on the Roar of the Tigers front of late, but I figured that if I was out catching up with friends and family, you guys wouldn’t hold a grudge for TOO long. U of M gives me less than 2 weeks of winter break, so you can blame them if you like.
Anyways, we did this photo review last year, and now seems as good a time as any to revisit it. In ’06 I got out to 7 games, including the home opener and a World Series game. In ’07 I only got out to 6 games (one double header) and none of them were anything special in that sense, ‘though of course any baseball game with real live Detroit Tigers on the field in front of my happy fan face is ‘special’. I also made it out to one minor league game, so I’ll include that.
The RotT Photo of the Season for 2006 was this one. 2007’s Photo of the Season is the one heading this post, because I have arbitrarily declared it to be so.
April 29, Comerica, Mike Maroth vs. Johan Santana (Twins)
Mike Maroth, remember him? He used to pitch for us. Totally. I was there, man.
I had just sort-of-graduated from the art school (but not the University altogether– don’t ask), so this game was kind of like a graduation present, and a nice little cap to the school year before heading back to MA for the summer. We had gone into it expecting Santana to dominate the game and make poor Maroth look bad, but Maroth said, “Nuts to that and nuts to Johan Santana,” (only he probably would have said it in a much more humble way of which Jesus would approve), and kept the Tigers in the game every bit as much as Santana kept the Twins in it.
As if that wasn’t a sufficiently glorious graduation present, the Tigers won the game 4-3 on a walk-off homerun by Brandon Inge. That’s right, kids and kittens. A walk-off homerun by Brandon Inge. And I was there to see it and I screamed like a fool and have I mentioned that Brandon Inge is not as bad as his ’07 season might have you believe? I don’t think I’ve mentioned that lately. Have I mentioned how happy I would be if he stuck around as a super-sub?
The full photo set can be seen here.
We went in early for BP, naturally. This was just a few games after Torii had taken a ball to the face, and his lip was still pretty swollen.
Proof of this alleged Mike Maroth creature.
You know what that is? That’s Brandon Inge getting mobbed at home after hitting a walk-off freakin’ homerun.
May 14, Fenway, Nate Robertson vs. Daisuke Matsuzaka (Red Sox)
The first of the ’07 Tigers-at-Fenway series. This was a great game to see, ‘though that was more because half my brain loves the Red Sox, and this was Dice-K’s first complete game in a Sox uniform. Granderson was almost the entire Tigers offense; there were only 6 hits against Dice-K and Curtis had 2 of them. There was only 1 run, a solo homer, and Curtis hit that too. Poor Nate only lasted 5 innings. The Tigs got 2 great scoreless innings out of Tim Byrdak, though, before Bobby Seay came in and stunk it up to the tune of 4 runs in a single inning. Julio Lugo tripled off of him. Ouch. The final score was 7-1, Sox.
This was my first in-person exposure to the Matsuzaka-mania of Boston, since I’d been in Michigan up until not-very-long before this game. It was just as crazy as you’d been hearing, and maybe even a little more so.
I was only sitting with 1 other person for this game, but Fenway was, for some utterly inexplicable reason, filled with people I knew, including some of my friends who had just graduated from Tufts, my dad, and a load of Red Sox bloggers (who had not all come together).
The entire photo set can be seen here, and is weighted heavily towards BP shots, because daylight is my BFF.
The juxtaposition of Big Papi and Neifi!!! still cracks me up.
Jim Leyland is serious business.
Sorry, but you’ve gotta admit that this guy’s pretty exciting stuff.
May 15, Fenway, Justin Verlander vs. Tim Wakefield (Red Sox)
In this game, Justin Verlander looked at what Dice-K had done the night before and said, “Hey, I can do that!” He pitched 7.2 innings of 6-hit, 2-run ball, and the bats backed him up with 7 runs for a 7-2 stripey win. The day before I had been sitting with a Red Sox fan, and for this game I was sitting with a Tigers fan. Obviously this karmic influence was vital to the outcomes of the games.
We will not speak of the stress Fernando Rodney put us through before finishing off the game.
The entire photo set can be seen here, and is again very BP-heavy.
A salute to The Mayor.
A salute to Nate’s massive mountain man beard.
Polanco is all sass, baby.
May 17, Fenway, double header Game 1, Zach Miner vs. Julian Tavarez (Red Sox)
The 16th got rained out, and my brother wimped out of the possibility of a double header, so I ended up going to all 4 Fenway games, even though I was only supposed to get out to 3. I’d never been to a pro double header before, only collegiate ones where each game is 7 innings long so that kids aren’t lying down on the field by consecutive inning 14 and sobbing uncontrollably from mind-altering exhaustion. In the big leagues, mind-altering exhaustion is the norm, so double headers are full-on 9 inning games.
The first game was a 2-1 loss for the Tigers, with Julian Tavarez pitching a 7-inning gem, despite walking 4 Tigers (a high number, of course, for a team that still tends to treat walks like some kind of contagious disease to be avoided). All the scoring on both sides came on singles, making this game slow and kind of agonizing.
Brandon Inge shows Carlos Guillen some sweet lovin’.
Manny trying to convince Polanco here that he had a ground-rule double. Polanco’s not buyin’ it.
Tim Byrdak had a great game, actually. Two scoreless innings.
May 17, Fenway, double header Game 2, Chad Durbin vs. Curt Schilling (Red Sox)
The box score for this game will tell you that Durbin and Schilling had very similar starts. They were both kind of messy, but they both kept their teams in it. Schilling stayed in for 6 innings versus Durbin’s 5.1, but Schilling wasn’t really any more efficient, and gave up one more earned run than Durbin did (thanks to an Inge error, which… whatever). So you might be tempted to say that Durbin went toe-to-toe with Schilling, and that they dueled to a standstill, which was ultimately decided by Wilfredo Ledezma losing his kittens on the mound for a 4-2 Tigers loss.
Truth is that this game was FREEZING COLD and VERY WINDY and there was much SUFFERING and WOE. Schilling and Durbin pitched to a standstill because the conditions were so awful and the wind so strong that pitching was equally rough on both.
I was woefully unprepared for the weather, even though the first game had also been kind of cold and damp. There aren’t very many photos from the second game due to a combination of this, the dying light, and dying batteries.
This was a controversial little call. Brandon Inge hit a ball that bounced off the top of the Green Monster and back onto the field. It bounced so far that he was only able to get to first: a wallball single, as we say in Boston. But this particular wallball had hit above the red line on the Monster that indicates homerun territory. The fans on the Monster were thumping it, indicating where they thought the ball had hit. Eventually the umps conferred, the call was reversed, and I saw yet another Brandon Inge homerun in person.
All the photos from the double header can be seen here. Mostly from the first game.
June 20, LeLacheur Park, Paul Nardozzi (Oneonta Tigers) vs. Caleb Clay (Lowell Spinners)
Minor league baseball rocks my socks, and LeLacheur Park is a beauty of a ballpark, even more so when you consider the fact that this is low-A short-season ball. The O-Tigs won this one 4-2. It was a fun time, a beautiful night with a beautiful sunset, and my first baseball game with a real DSLR camera. Joy all ’round.
The entire set can be seen here. Yeah, you can tell I was pretty psyched about the camera.
Kody Kaiser dances around as the base is stolen by a Spinner.
Frisbee dog! (a true highlight of the minor league experience)
September 11, Comerica, Jair Jurrjens vs. Brandon McCarthy (Rangers)
Tigers bloggers night! This was the second game of a double header. The Tigers had been blasted in the first game, but won the second game 4-1, quite plainly because there were Tigers bloggers in attendance. I mean, duh. McCarthy gave up 3 runs in 0.2 innings and was done, which is usually a pretty good sign that the other team is going to win the game.
We had great skies as the sun set, and, unlike the previous Tigers bloggers night, we did not get cruelly rained upon. I highly encourage you all to get out to a future Tigers bloggers night, because it is really all sorts of awesome times.
You can see the entire set right here.
That’s our Comerica, baby!
Billfer got the seats, so no one can blame me for this.
MVN bloggers: united in AWESOME!
And that, kids and cats, was the Roar of the Tigers 2007 in Amusingly Amateur Photo Review.
Just in case anyone cares, the first 5 games (the April game and all 4 Fenway games) were shot with a Sony DSC-H1, a relatively souped-up non-DSLR (read: fancy point-and-shoot). The last 2 games (the minor league game and the blogger game) were shot with a Canon EOS 30D, a Real Honest to Kittens DSLR, and the lenses used were a Canon 28-135mm f/3.5-5.6 zoom, a Canon 70-300mm f/4-5.6 zoom and a Sigma 10-20mm f/4-5.6 wide angle. If anyone’s curious about anything else pertaining to the photography or whatever, please feel free to poke at me in the comments here or via email.