photo illustration by Samara Pearlstein
If there has to be a rain delay that’s something like 2 hours long, and the game has to crawl on until 1 am, the worst thing that can happen is that your team loses. The second worst thing that can happen is that the game goes to extra innings, thus sending everyone left at the park screaming down into an abyss of ‘holy cats it is after 1 am’ despair.
The Tigers narrowly missed both these potentials for Massive Woe, tying things up in the 8th and managing to silence the Cards in the 9th, despite the fact that the game had been yo-yo-ing back and forth all night long. The bottom of the 9th was of course important. I will admit to squealing gleefully when Clete doubled, and the relief I felt when Sheff hit his walk-off single (‘we are not going to extras!!!’ relief) was almost a palpable thing. But it was the scoreless, hitless top of the 9th that I reckon really saved our tiger-striped butts, because the back-and-forth was definitely feeling like it was going to kill us. This is where it would normally be fitting to salute Todd Jones, who pitched that 9th, and didn’t get a save, but DID get himself a win.
Todd Jones tonight earned himself a hearty salute for matters unrelated to his pitching and totally related to his AWESOMENESS. Because, you see, Todd Jones appreciates the fans. This may seem like a small thing, or it may seem like a ‘duh’ thing, but in a league full of overpaid manchildren who wouldn’t recognize their own massive privilege if it danced naked for them with colorful graphs detailing its existence in the background, it kind of IS a big deal. In this case, Todd Jones’ appreciation of the fans took the form of rain delay entertainment.
You see, Jonesy understands that a rain delay is BORING for the fans, and that baseball is ENTERTAINMENT. So during tonight’s rain delay, Jonesy started passing out sunflower seeds, chucking the packets into the crowd. After a while of that, he went into the dugout, got one of those give-away hats with the fake Magglio hair coming out the back, put on one of Magglio’s jerseys, and went out onto the tarp, theatrically reenacting Magglio’s game-winning 2006 ALCS homer, complete with at-bat routine, swing, fist pump, and invisible third base coach hand slap. He improvised a slide into home, though.
The fans were not the only ones amused by this: FSN kept showing the Tigers’ dugout, where players were cracking up (although Arrrrmando was standing there looking vaguely puzzled by the whole thing) and one of them (Miner? I can’t remember exactly) had a mini video camera out and was filming it. If only all rain delays could be so glorious.
The real question here, though, is how in the world did Jonesy fit into Magglio’s jersey? Are baseball jerseys just so forgiving a garment that they’re basically interchangeable? Very curious.
The offense in this one was also happy-making, as loads of guys had a multi-hit outing, and two Tigers (Sheff and Guillen) had 4 hits on the night. It was also nice to have a kind of sucky game from the pitching (Jonesy excepted) and win anyways– that, after all, is what we were SUPPOSED to be able to do this season.
The worst thing about the day didn’t even happen in the game. Brandon Inge is on the DL with his busted oblique. INSERT GIANT SADFACE HERE. I know it had still been bothering him, but we all thought it was getting better and was at a low enough pain level to allow him to play through it. Apparently he managed to aggravate it to the point where this was no longer true. His explanation of just HOW he managed to aggravate it to that point is… well…. see for yourself:
“I’ll be honest with you, I wasn’t going to say anything,” Inge began.
It turns out, as Inge explained Wednesday, his 3-year-old son Tyler — actually, Tyler’s pillow — is to blame for the latest, and most serious, aggravation to the muscles underneath the left side of his ribcage.
Late Monday night, with Tyler sleeping between Inge and his wife, Shani, Inge made a fateful decision.
“His head was propped up in the middle of the night so I was trying to push the pillow down behind him,” Inge said. “I got up on one elbow and I pushed that pillow down — oh my God, I about jumped out of the bed. My wife’s like, ‘What’s going on?’ … (Tyler) didn’t even wake up.
“It’s pretty swollen right now. A piece of cartilage kind of tore out from under (my ribs). … It’s almost like a sharp, lightning pain through your body.”
Mlive.com/Graham Couch article
Brandon. Seriously? Sigh.
Dane Sardinha is up, which is so underwhelming that I can’t even muster enough of a whelm to do more than mention the simple fact of it. He’s like the Ultimate AAAA Backup Catcher.
Random note: Big League Stew is running little profiles of all the major league parks this season, and they just did Comerica. You will recognize a couple of the photos and I am sadly responsible for a number of the quotes in the article (also quoted are Ian and Billfer). It’s pretty good stuff, even though his Fun Fact– “When the Tigers hit a homer, the two cats atop the scoreboard roar and shoot water”– isn’t quite true. I wish it WAS true… what we need in the ballpark are more things that call to mind HAIRBALLS.
Tomorrow Nate and his goofy, goofy facial hair goes up against Todd Wellemeyer and his goofy, goofy scalp hair. It’s at 1 pm EDT, so plot your productivity accordingly.