Category Archives: Comerica

Comerica officially survives second blogger invasion

Roar of the Tigers and Take 75 North, spreading the MVN gospel far and wide

Even typing the title makes me smile to remember the good old days… walking through the streets of Detroit wondering if Ian will ever see his car again after handing the keys over to a stranger… making fools of ourselves as we loudly and slowly file into our section (Tigers bloggers getting into a block of seats at the ballpark is sort of like trying to stuff a burlap sack full of squirming, biting ferrets)… realizing sometime after the top of the first that there was already a Tigers blogger there who didn’t introduce himself right away, possibly out of fear, and we may have since traumatized him…making ‘good-natured’ fun of Jason Grilli…

Ah, yes. Tigers Bloggers Night at the ballpark. The good old days. Or, you know, a couple days ago. Time flies when you’re editing big batches of photos on a collegiate schedule.

The photo up top there is a true marvel: your MVN big league Tigers blogger and your MVN minor league Tigers blogger, together in real-space. Is your mind blown yet? The distorted bits of the shot are due to the fact that it was taken with a wide angle lens, not because our concomitance was warping the fabric of the universe…. although MAYBE IT WAS.

Matt is the one who got to the park with his wife before the rest of us, and thus was in the section already when we arrived, yammering and clambering over seats. It was not until the bottom of the first or somewhere in the second inning that he turned and said, “So, um, you guys are the bloggers, right?” When it became clear who he was I am pretty sure I said something along the lines of, “MVN REPRESENT!”, which he more or less ignored, again, possibly out of fear. Sorry, Matt, but you had to learn the truth some time: I am pretty much this crazy in person. The main difference is that, in person (and especially at a ballgame), I swear more.

Of course it didn’t help that, in anticipation of a long night, I had significantly more caffeine than usual during the day.

The final attendance tally was me; Bill (Detroit Tigers Weblog), whom I still and probably forever must think of as “Billfer”; Ian (Bless You Boys), who was my ride and therefore had to deal with me for longer than anyone else did; Brian (Beyond Box Scores and Big Ten Hardball), whom I know mostly in a Wolverine capacity; Matt (Take 75 North) and his surely extremely tolerant wife; Eric (Dtown Baseball), who I think spoke to me once or twice the entire time and was probably scared for his life; Josh (occasionally the Daily Fungo), whom I will probably always now think of as Green Lantern due to his sweatshirt; Josh’s friend whose name I heard and immediately forgot because I’m skilled that way; and Tigers blog reader Cindy.

I’m serious when I say that I think the crew from last year (me, Billfer, Ian, and Brian) was loud and crazy enough to frighten everyone else. I’m not even sure how to describe it except to say that there was a terrible series of innuendos surrounding Billfer’s cell phone, which is so technologically advanced that it is no longer actually a cell phone and instead deserves to be called a data pod. The data pod can do amazing things, like access the internet so that Billfer can check blogs and reply to comments and basically never be away from his baby for more than a few minutes at a time.

Don’t interrupt Billfer when he’s using his data pod!

There was at one point a lot of confusion because I was, of course, scoreboard-watching the Red Sox game, and the Comerica out-of-town scoreboard was having some major issues. It initially showed Curt Schilling starting, then coming out of the game, then coming back into the game, then going out again, causing us (or at least me) vast soul-searching confusion. We asked the data pod, but the data pod was also confused by the game. Turns out that Schilling wasn’t pitching at all, and it was actually a Wakefield start. What was going on with the Comerica scoreboard? Was someone drunk? We may never know.

Sitting out by left field gave us some pretty good Timo views. Normal circumstances would say that this is no big deal, but Timo Perez is not holding to normal circumstances these days. It’s hard for me because I keep thinking of Neifi!!! when I hear “Perez”, which is totally unfair to Timo but is sadly unavoidable.

The seats were also pretty good for looking into the bullpen, which was quite nice; none of my “usual” seats at Fenway give me bullpen views, and the Wolverines don’t really have proper bullpens (although maybe they will this season, what with all the renovations at the Fish and all). It’s hard to remember how incredibly bored the guys in the bullpen must sometimes get until you get to watch them fart around for much of a game.

And, as usual, I dorked out over various atmospheric ballpark phenomena, such as

The way the Fox Theater sign lights up, and

the sun hitting off of contrails but not the surrounding clouds due to MAGICAL ANGLES, and

greenery. You know, things of that nature.

All the photos can be seen here, for further Comerica and Tigers blogger glory. Thrilling stuff.

So, clearly I fail at getting this online in a timely fashion. Free time I thought I would have did not materialize. Of tonight’s actual game I will say, yay, and holy freaking cats Pudge with an RBI walk!, and also, boo Yankees. Boo Red Sox for letting the Yankees do boo-worthy things. But yay Tigers. All we can do is take care of our own business, so that’s what we just have to keep on doing… frustrating though it may be.

in which Brandon Inge gives the blogger a very nice commencement present

photo by Samara Pearlstein

So this past Sunday. There was a Tigers game, and it was won in marvelous fashion, and I was there.

If you’re lazy and don’t want to read about it, you can leap over to the photo set and poke around there. All of the photos there, and, obviously, all the photos here, are miiiine. Except the ones that have me in them. My mother took those.

We weren’t supposed to win this game. It was to be Bonderman/Santana, an exciting matchup, but rainout had pushed everyone up a day, and nobody expected Maroth, Exceptional though his Mental Makeup may be*, to hold his own against Johan Santana. Johan Santana is not just a pitcher; he is a two-time All Star and a two-time Cy Young winner and what is Mike Maroth? Mike Maroth has an Exceptional Mental Makeup and an 87 mph fastball.

Mike Maroth decided that today was going to be the day he went toe-to-toe with Johan Santana. Look at this. Just LOOK AT IT.

Johan Santana: 6 IP, 8 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 6 K
Mike Maroth: 6.2 IP, 9 H, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3 K

Either Santana is not supposed to pitch that poorly, or Maroth is not “supposed” to pitch that well. But I am getting ahead of myself.

We got to the ballpark early, which turned out to be a good move, because there was a particular lot we had to park in and all the roads around it, pretty much, were blocked off. We still made it into the park with about an hour, hour and a half ’til gametime, which meant that I had time to go bum around by the dugout for visiting BP.

You can see Torii’s lip is all swollen from where he got hit in the face by Zack Greinke’s pitch. He still hung around and signed for a bit, which is more than any other Twin did (I don’t exactly blame them; the crowd begging for autographs was mostly older teenagers/kids in their early 20s, and most of them had whole albums or boxes of cards with them). Over on the Tigers’ side, Kenny Rogers signed things from the dugout. Well, not like he had anything better to be doing.

We got a bit of a surprise with the first pitch…

Calvin Johnson, who had just been drafted the day before. Poor guy has no idea what he’s got himself into. The Lions will find a way to ruin him and break his spirit sooner or later.

The game began uneventfully, the best bit coming in the top of the 2nd, when Mike Redmond tried to go to third on a pop out to left field, only to get himself thrown out by Craig for the last out of the inning. It was an uncharacteristically sloppy Twin play, but was happy good times for almost everyone in the ballpark.

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World freakin’ Series Game 2: addendum

OK. Between football, baseball, and the art school, I’ve had about 8 hours of sleep over the last 3 nights combined. Hence that last post. I’ll let its incoherence stand.

Photos from the game are up and you can find them all right here. Best I could manage from way up in the 300 level but man, a World Series game! I was gonna take the photos whether they were at all likely to come out or not.

You can see the problem here. This wass the view from our seats with no zoom whatsoever:

Pretty far off, ya?

So it’s to be expected that something like this shot of Sparky on the mound didn’t come out too splendidly.

Ah well.

Here’s the thing about that game.

I know for some people, going to a World Series game is not that big of a deal. I assume everyone gets at least a little psyched up by it, but some people go to a bunch of divisional games, and a couple World Series games, and it’s just another really exciting game to attend. I had never been to a postseason game of any description– I was, of course, stuck out in Michigan during the World Series in 2004.

I had never sat as high up in a ballpark as I did for Game 2. I’ve sat in the proverbial boonies at Fenway, but the proverbial boonies at Fenway are just not as high up or as far away as you can get at Comerica. We weren’t in the outfield or anything, and we actually had a pretty good view of the plate, but man, the upper bits of the 300s are waaaay up there. And when everyone’s on their feet jumping around, the floor shakes like the entire stadium is going to come crashing down, which is HIGHLY disconcerting.

The good bit is that, if you’re sufficiently high up, you’re actually under cover. That’s not to say we stayed dry, of course, because rain blows in, but at least we weren’t sitting right at the edge of the little roof where all the water came pouring down in sheets onto the unfortunate fans in those seats. If they stayed put, those people must have had incredible dedication, because that looked like about the most miserable thing imaginable.

So we were sitting all the way up there next to, I might add, a woman who had gone beyond drunk and into some mystical realm of inebriation. Friendly, but still. She kept calling Sean Casey “Shelton”, and, when corrected, announced that he was a jerk and took first base away from Big Red. Kenny Rogers was “the broaster” (?), and the first time Inge came up to bat she nudged me and said, “He’s got a tickler, huh?”, which caused me no end of horror.

I was so chilled that by the end of the game I couldn’t feel my feet anymore. I’ve had a cold for a week that I think I probably recaught. I was frustrated all game by trying to handle a camera and a scorecard and a pencil with frozen fingers made clumsy by gloves. I had beer spilled on my feet. I had to crane to see home plate around the people sitting in front of us sometimes. We lost our parking lot after the game and had to wander around searching aimlessly for it. And it was the best time I’ve had at a baseball game all year.

Throughout the entire game I just kept sitting there saying, “I can’t believe I’m at a World Series game. I can’t believe I’m at a World Series game. I have a huge critique tomorrow morning and I can’t believe I’m at a World Series game.” It’s been two days and I have the scorecard and the photos and the scratchy throat to prove it, and I STILL can’t believe I was at a World Series game. I know it’s not such a huge deal for some people, but for me, man.

Basically my dad is a hero for getting the tickets.


Jeff Weaver and Juan Encarnacion were both booed heartily by the crowd. Weaver got the worst of it, I think because the crowd remembered his rattle-ability from his Tiger days. I’d only ever heard ARod get that kind of long, drawn-out, Darryl-Strawberry-taunting call from a ballpark before. “Weeeeeaaaaaaavvvveeeeerrrrrrrrrr.” Molina’s repeated trips to the mound only encouraged the crowd to believe that they were having an effect. “WEEEEEEAAAAAVVVVVEEEERRRRR.” Encarnacion just got straight-up booed. Both were ridden much harder than Pujols was, for whatever that’s worth.

And I really have to say that the Kenny Rogers “incident” was a total non-issue at the time. I realize that it’s all that anyone’s been talking about since, but during the actual game there was no announcement, no indication that anything at all was amiss. I’ve seen the closeup photos, and I guess it could be pine tar, but it was also REALLY wet out there and, you know, the rosin bag gets tossed into the dirt; I wouldn’t be at all surprised if Kenny picked up some mud that way.

In any event, two things here strike me as important. One, whatever it was on his hand, it couldn’t have been all that vital, because Kenny masterfully shut down the Cards AFTER he had cleaned it off. Two, if it WAS pine tar… well, you can be bloody well sure that he wouldn’t be the only one in baseball doing that. I suppose it’s possible that The Russa didn’t make a stink about it because some of HIS pitchers are doing the same things. I don’t know. I just have a hard time believing that the Cardinals would let Kenny Rogers off the hook on this if they sincerely believed he was doctoring the ball and/or knew that their own pitchers weren’t.

Oh, and Todd Jones? That needs to never, ever happen again. The whole stadium was on its collective feet, screaming, towels a-waving for those final outs. And then… Todd Jones happened. I know that this is what Jonesy does, I know that we should be used to it by now, but SWEET FANCY KITTENS that was NOT something that I needed to ever experience. Can you even imagine if Kenny had pitched that amazing game and then Jones pissed it away in the 9th like he so very nearly did? I can’t even. Oh man. The attitude in the ballpark was one of shock; it was happening before our eyes but no one really believed what they were seeing. If they HAD lost, I don’t even know what would have happened. Death and destruction, probably.

But he held on. I am calm. I am over it. Whatever. What a win. What a win.

Game 3 tonight. Time to laugh hysterically at Nate batting and hope against logic that we can pull this one off.

Comerica officially survives blogger invasion

I wish I had some sort of excellent memory for conversations, because I’m pretty sure if someone had just transcribed everything we all said to each other while at Nemo’s and then the ballpark, I’d be free of blogging for the rest of the season. I could just post up a paragraph of the transcript once every couple of days, and you’d all laugh so hard your Big League Chew would come shooting out of your nose, and everyone would win.

I do not have any such memory and so I cannot share this magical experience with you as fully as I’m sure you’d all like. I can, however, tell you that Comerica Park has never seen such ardent Neifi Perez cheerleaders. At first I was resistant but they wore me down, and when you think about it, it is only natural. Who could dislike Neifi’s cube-like cranium? his curiously small and scrunchy face? his awkwardly slender ankles? Really he is such a pleasing package.

The golden boy did not, alas, choose to grace the field with his presence on this night, but our little section of the mezzanine made certain that all around us would know that there was not a play on the field that Neifi!! could not, nay, would not have done better.

A strikeout? Neifi!!! would have gotten a hit before the ball even reached the plate.

An inability to reach a ball in the outfield? Neifi!! would have needed only one of his world-encompassing strides to capture that ball.

A ball bounced through a gap in the infield? Neifi!!! would have raised one hand and that ball would have frozen in midair out of RESPECT.

But this is all obvious common sense, I know. I merely repeat it herein to let you see the caliber of highbrow baseball analysis that is likely to be spouted when many bloggers get together.

I also have to say that some people, well, you can pretty much get a good idea of how they would be to watch a game with from their blogs. You read Roar of the Tigers, I think you know what you’re getting into if you find yourself stuck next to me at a game. But some people… I don’t know what, if anything, I was expecting, but people were way funnier in Real Life than they routinely are on their blogs. It was a very nice surprise.

To be honest, it should have been a pretty dispiriting game. Bondo fell apart… again. The rain delay was like an hour long and there was the attendant personal sogginess to deal with (although not as bad for me as for others… Brian and I were the only ones with enough foresight to bring rain gear). We lost in a relatively agonizing fashion, because there were many points where the game could have been won.

But I did not care. I had not seen live baseball (aside from the last couple innings of the Red Sox game where Carlos Pena hit that walk-off, and that was on my computer) in such a long time, and I was so blasted from the first day of classes, that just to be at a ballgame… man. It didn’t matter that it rained, or that we lost. I mean, yes, it matters now, especially after yesterday’s loss and the upcoming Twins series and WOAH NOW TIGERS KEEP THOSE CLAWS OUT WE’VE STILL GOT SEPTEMBER TO GET THROUGH YOU KNOW and all that. But it was just a blast getting to meet all them crazy Tigerblogfolk and getting to BE AT COMERICA and SEE BASEBALL. In the final estimation I am easily pleased.

Plus, I was less upset about the rainout than I might have been because it gave me a chance to shoot around a little.

Moral of the story: don’t bring an art student to a baseball game with a lot of downtime in it.

The attending bloggers ended up being me (of course), Billfer (Detroit Tigers Weblog), Rob The Bleacher Guy (the Cheap Seats), Brian (Beyond Boxscores), Greg Eno (Out of Bounds), Big Al (The Wayne Fontes Experience), and Ian (Sweaty Men Endeavors). The temptation to keep calling Bill “Billfer” was strong, and I was sorely disappointed that no one called Ian “Sweaty Man”. Oh, and when we were driving to Nemo’s Bill[fer] called Ian’s cell phone, which I picked up because Ian was the one driving. And Bill[fer] says, after a beat, “Samela?”

I can’t really repeat what I said to Ian for that one, because Evan doesn’t like us swearing on MVN.

All the photos from the event are to be found right here. Go have a look, there was some neat stuff visible from up in the mezzanine.

Oh, and at one point I do remember Rob The Bleacher Guy requesting a study of what Bondo would look like if he had hair. Specifically, Magglio’s glorious curly locks (The Bleacher Guy did not use the phrase “glorious curly locks”, although it would have been great if he had). Well, that is, after all, what I do. Behold (and click for bigger).

And now you know.