illustration by Samara Pearlstein, quote by Mr. Harwell
RIP, Mr. Harwell. You magnificent voice, you magnificent human being.
illustration by Samara Pearlstein, quote by Mr. Harwell
RIP, Mr. Harwell. You magnificent voice, you magnificent human being.
digillustration by Samara Pearlstein
We’ll get to that image shortly. Bear with me.
Ernie Harwell came out in the middle of the third, because with the news of his diagnosis, he had decided that he would like to say a few words to the fans. The Tigers, knowing what’s what, were not about to stand in the way of that.
They appear to have basically said, “OK Mr. Harwell, here’s a mic. You’ve got the TV audience and the radio audience and a stadium full of fans. Say whatever you want.” This is, of course, the best way to let Mr. Harwell talk. Just let him do his thing however he wants, you know it’s going to come out sounding good.
There was a little video montage (young Ernie Harwell looks so different from current-day Ernie Harwell!), and then his speech on the field, which was closely watched by everyone in the park, including both teams. The Tigers lined up outside of the dugout. I wasn’t paying attention to what the Royals did, but FSND showed a close-up of one of their coaches taking pictures with his little camera. Many of the fans had signs, including one guy with a sign that read “HOW A PERSON SHOULD BE”. There was no name on the sign, but it’s not like people were going to think it was referring to David DeJesus (although a Granderson confusion would have been understandable).
Of course Mr. Harwell had only nice things to say about the state of Michigan, the Tigers, and Tigers fans. When he said, “You Tiger fans are the greatest fans of all, no question about that,” you felt like he honestly meant it. Which, OK, sounds fairly cheesy and stupid, in a way, but how often do you hear statements like that made by rote, or because someone thinks it’s the appropriate thing to be obediently mumbled at the appropriate moment? Often. But that’s not how Mr. Harwell says it; he really, truly MEANS it. You can see it in his face, you can hear it in his voice, and that’s no small part of why Tigers fans have embraced him just as much and for just as long as he’s embraced us.
At the end of his Hall of Fame induction speech (they showed a small clip during the video montage), Mr. Harwell said, “Baseball is a tongue tied kid from Georgia growing up to be an announcer and praising the Lord for showing him the way to Cooperstown. This is a game for America. Still a game for America, this baseball! Thank you.”
But he’s got it turned around, you know. Because it can never be said too many times: Mr. Harwell, thank you.
So, yeah, the rest of the game.
It wasn’t pretty, but the Bovine Bonine got the job done. Three runs in five innings is not exactly 110% awesomesauce, but it was enough to keep the Tigers in the game, especially as Lenny DiNardo was just a hair worse (four runs in 5.1 innings). Since the Tigers are basically working with a three-man rotation at the moment, a solid, non-hysterical start from the Bovine Bonine feels almost luxurious. What wonders! What riches!
The bats still seem to be having problems with extra base hits, but the bullpen did not mangle this one (perhaps amazingly). Granderson looked pretty good against lefties today, that counts for something, right? I am trying to come to terms with the fact that wins vs. KC are all I can ask for, that to ask for a clean or emphatic or easy win is TOO MUCH. I still don’t quite understand WHY this should be so, but there you have it. I am but a blogger: like a planarian given a small electric shock, I can only react simply, to the limited stimuli given to me. To hope for understanding is to have far too lofty a goal. Apparently.
Fernando made his first appearance since The Suspension and pitched a 1-2-3 inning for the save. He looked fine. Well-rested. Maybe the Tigers could consider have him looking well-rested more often, instead of pitching him three or four days in a row all the time. I’m just sayin’.
You know what is sad? How excited I was to see the Tigers beat the Royals, because I was so dead convinced that they were going to screw it up and lose again. SAD.
ALSO going on in this game: some sort of weird charity auction thing, organized by the Tigers wives and girlfriends. The items being auctioned off were, and I am not kidding here, baskets of the “favorite things” of various Tigers.
Rod and Mario had Shani Inge in the booth with them for a little bit, and she admitted that she had made up the basket basically without input from Brandon, until the very end when he had seen it and tried to say that this or that item was not “his favorite” (it was implied that Brandon is a stupid manchild who doesn’t even know what he likes best, and that Shani knows with far greater clarity, something that I do not doubt for a single millisecond). So these baskets may not be the most accurate indicators of their favorite things, but if they can be trusted at all, we have learned that
Brandon Inge likes
–Xbox war games
–Velveeta mac and cheese (not surprised)
–chewy chocolate chip cookies
Fu-Te Ni likes
–something called “Capsule Fighter Online”
–something that the Mothership says is “Wodz” but I think is actually Woodz
Aubrey Huff likes
–orange Tic Tacs
–Transformers (remember that he’s friends with Inge)
Marcus Thames likes
–Law and Order SVU
–washing his car
–Now and Laters
Jarrod Washburn likes
–terrible chain restaurants
–Blokus, which is some board game thing I haven’t even heard of
–Harry & David chocolate
Jeremy Bonderman likes
–Sons of Anarchy
–a serious lot of wine
–Pumpkin Spice Hershey’s Kisses (I have never even seen these, but I am intrigued)
–disgusting Full Throttle energy drink splod
Justin Verlander likes
–the DVD of his own no-hitter
Alex Avila likes
–Cheez-Its (reduced fat, though!)
Adam Everett likes
–Lays Stax (Pringles for people who think they’re too cool for Pringles)
–Ironman (good taste)
–Yes Man (bad taste)
I don’t really know what to do with this information, except cherish it.
photo by Samara Pearlstein
In typical Ernie Harwell fashion he’s handling it graciously and with great aplomb. He has apparently been in great health prior to this. He says that he’s not in any pain and after considering the diagnosis he has decided to forgo chemotherapy, radiation treatments, or surgery.
Asked what he wanted to have written about him, Harwell spoke about his fans and his faith.
“I don’t want to make it too sweet because I don’t want to get diabetes as well as this other stuff,” he said, chuckling.
Speaking of his many admirers across North America, Harwell added: “I’d like to thank them for their loyalty and support over the years. And their affection, which I don’t know whether I deserve or not, but I accept it.
His retirement wasn’t much of a retirement, as he was still spry enough to record commercials, write columns for the paper, write and compile books, and make an occasionally appearance at the ballpark or in the booth here and there. At the age of 91, with this diagnosis, he is finally making a full retirement. His last column is set to run in the Freep at the end of this month.
photo by Samara Pearlstein
“My idea was, I’m gonna tell these people what I would like to hear if I were a listener, and I just did it that way, and it seemed to work OK.” -Ernie Harwell
I recently had the opportunity to check out Ernie Harwell’s Audio Scrapbook, which is a 4-CD collection of various Ernie Harwell things, mostly consisting of a long interview of Mr. Harwell by Bob Harris, sprinkled throughout with old clips and the like. You can find it here if you’d like to check it out for yourself, but since I listened to it, I figured I might as well give you guys a taste.
The very best way to interview Ernie Harwell is to sit him down with a lot of recording equipment around him, ask him some very open-ended questions, and just let him go. Seriously. I guess when you spend much of your life talking for all you’re worth and trying to make every word interesting for your listeners, it’s an easy habit to keep up. And when you’ve got the vast repository of baseball memories to draw upon that Mr. Harwell has, I suppose that just makes it even easier.
There’s A LOT packed into this audiobookmajig– like I said, it’s 4 CDs– and it covers everything from Mr. Harwell’s early life to his start in broadcasting and his career, to his most memorable moments and his thoughts on any number of players, managers, owners, and particular games. Pretty much all of this is worth listening to if you’re a Tigers fan, or even just a general baseball fan with a proper appreciation for the finer things in life. If the mere volume of information isn’t enough, I’d say it’s worth getting this just to have the opportunity to listen to that honeyed familiar voice coming out of your computer for about 4 hours straight.
A side yet vital note: a theme that ran constant throughout Ernie Harwell’s early life was his excellent and persistent dislike of the Yankees. Obviously this is right and proper and shows that he was a thoughtful and intelligent person even in his childhood. The first baseball game he remembered hearing broadcast on the radio was a World Series game between the Yankees and the Cardinals (so I guess it must have been 1934? Mr. Harwell would have been 16 then), and he talked about how he was a very great Cardinals fan then, because he was rooting so hard against the Yankees. Brings a tear of joy to your eye, doesn’t it?
Of course later in his career Mr. Harwell would go on to be friends with people like Joe Torre and Derek Jeter (who actually probably listened to some Ernie Harwell broadcasting when he was a wee Jeter), just in the natural course of his job, but the early indications of a properly inclined fan were all there. It is comforting knowledge.
The whole thing is like this, just filled with recorded reminiscences of who was where and who did what and, more importantly, what people were LIKE. Because that’s part of the genius of Ernie Harwell: the human element he consciously and unconsciously injected into the game. It’s a joy to listen to.
“Baseball is a spirited race of man against man, reflex against reflex. It’s a game of inches, every skill is measured, every heroic, every failing is seen and cheered, or booed, and then becomes a statistic.” –Ernie Harwell
I honestly could not think of which Tiger to use for the graphics in this post.
Chad Durbin pimps again, by Samara Pearlstein
Obviously, for the Wednesday game, I needed to put Chad Durbin in another pimp outfit, because when Chad Durbin outduels Bartolo Colon, I think that’s more than enough to put Chad Durbin into another pimp outfit. Durbin dumps Colon. Durbin blows Colon away. Colon busted by Tiger bats. So many terrible, terrible headlines that can be generated. But mostly we just need to put Chad Durbin in a tigerlicious pimp uniform and people will understand that he’s exceeded expectations once again, right? Right.
I mean, OK, 3 runs and 8 hits over 5 innings isn’t exactly the stuff of aces, but when the opposing starter gives up 6 runs on 10 hits over 4.1 innings, it sure looks like it. I also still maintain that ANY quality or semi-quality start out of Chad Durbin can be considered pimp-worthy. It wouldn’t for Bonderman, if we were doing Bondo up as a pimp ’round these bloggin’ parts, but it is enough for Durbin. It’s all relative in the land of pitchers and bad pimp suits.
I also had to briefly consider Granderson for a photoshop, though. Curtis Granderson homered off of a lefty. That’s pretty ridiculous, especially since Granderson has such trouble against lefties that he usually doesn’t even get a crack against them… he’s hitting .071 versus lefties this year, as opposed to .324 versus righties. Granted, he has a much smaller sample size against lefties, but still.
(As a side note, I’m not really sure this is the best policy, pretty much always sitting him against lefties. I understand, of course, that he drags down the team a lot when he’s a guaranteed hole in the lineup if the other team is throwing a left-hander at us, but on the other hand, he has to learn SOMEhow, and he isn’t going to learn it sitting on the bench. Bleh.)
The point is that his home run, against a left-hander, is quite remarkable and would be worthy of some deranged photoshopped image or other, if only it had come in a game that did not also include Chad Durbin pimpage.
Now for today (Thursday’s) game, it was even harder. So many people to consider! So much unrelenting Tiger awesome! Placido Polanco had a triple! Jeremy Bonderman showed that bleeping blister who the bleeping boss is! Jose Mesa didn’t get into the game and therefore improved it simply through his absence!
Carlos and Maggs are too awesome for mere mortals, yo. photos by Samara Pearlstein
In the end I settled on Guillen and Maggs, because they have both been consistently awesome this season, and both were even more awesome in this particular game. Carlos hit TWO home runs (one each off of Ervin Santana and Chris Bootcheck), going 2-for-3 with 5 RBI. Magglio hit TWO doubles (both off of Santana), going 4-for-4 (!!!) with 3 RBI.
The problem with their awesome is that the combined awesome mass of it was too much for my small blogger’s brain to comprehend. My cortex bends before the might of their awesome. I could not even think of a good photoshop. (That could also be the big special feature I just finished today, which I will of course point you folks to when it goes up.)
In the end I just found two of my own shots of them, where they’re both wearing “I’m a ballplayer, I’m hot stuff” sunglasses, extended Carlos’ background so I could stick Maggs in there with him, and announced that they are way cooler than any of us, in baseball and in life. Can’t touch this, my friends.
Anyways. Talk about making a guy feel welcome back. If Bondo was nervous about coming back off the DL, the offense sure helped to soothe his fears soon enough. Bondo mostly helped his own cause, though. Bondo loading the bases with no outs in the first inning was a TERRIFYING thing to watch him do, especially because we are all so used to his first inning struggles. At that point it seemed almost inevitable that disaster would strike.
A sexy 1-2-3 double play and a fly out later, and Bondo had gotten himself out of a drunk-bases-empty-Ks mess more swiftly than I’d ever seen. Either the kid had luck with him today that would make a pair of dice wee themselves in delight, or he was making absolutely perfect pitches, but only when he absolutely needed them most. He probably should’ve gone to rob a bank after the game; he was on that kind of stressfully perfect roll.
Even more awesome: Todd Jones on the fan who ran onto the field and towards the mound during Wednesday’s game.
“He was heading toward the infield, and you never know, so I dropped my glove and tried to get him to just stop. Let me get this last out and let’s get out of here,” Jones said. “I was waiting for a Kyle Farnsworth moment because that would have gotten me on SportsCenter and helped my macho points, for sure.”
official MLB game recap
Sometimes Todd Jones is amazing.
Even more amazing than that: Ernie Harwell was in the booth for the entire game!
Apparently Rod Allen’s kid, or one of his kids, if he has more than one, I do not know, regardless, AN OFFSPRING BELONGING TO ROD ALLEN was graduating high school (congrats to Rod Allen and his offspring!), so he wasn’t in the booth today. I know there are some people out there who are not Rod Allen fans. I am not one of those people. I like Rod Allen; I like the inane things he says, I find them amusing more often than not, and he does actually have useful insight about the game, more often than you would perhaps expect after hearing him refer to ‘feet’ as ‘puppies’ for the 1000th time.
I am a Rod Allen fan, but nothing really compares to getting to listen to Ernie Harwell for an entire game. It doesn’t matter if he’s rambling on about the DH, the weather, the state of catchers today, or the umpires… that last being what he did for a good chunk of this game. Ernie Harwell makes you DEEPLY CARE ABOUT THE UMPIRES. Ernie Harwell makes you realize that there are stories, GOOD stories about the umpires, and that these stories are an integral part of the game. Once Ernie Harwell makes you realize that, Ernie Harwell tells you those stories.
Ernie Harwell also has a sense of humor.
Mario tells Ernie that the fact that he remembers all these stories, about everyone and everything, is absolutely amazing, and he’s got to teach Mario some of those memory skills. Ernie replies, “Well, they just happen to you, and they gather in your so-called brain, I guess.”
Ernie Harwell on the statue of him at Comerica:
“I weigh 350 pounds, did you know that? And I’m hollow. But they got the creases in my pants real good.”
Mario, laughing: “Better in your pants than in your forehead.”
Ernie Harwell: “Oh I got ’em in my forehead. I got ’em everywhere.”
Ernie Harwell on something that Norm Cash had signed specially for him:
“It said on it, ‘To Ernie Harwell, the second-best announcer in the league…. all the other 26 [or whatever number it was] tied for first.'”
Ernie Harwell about his name on the wall with the other Tiger greats, as seen here:
“Oh yes, they got my back up against the wall.”
And finally, Ernie Harwell as the game ends:
“I just wanted to say thank you, Mario, for saying all those nice things about me today. The entire crew was so nice and friendly. It got so sweet in here I thought I had diabetes.”
(And somewhere out in the wide, wide world, Jason Johnson shakes a rageful fist.)
photo illustration by Samara Pearlstein
Eh. That about sums it up. Not the worst control I’ve seen Maroth have, and his Exceptional Mental Makeup will doubtless be fine even following his first loss of the season; it wouldn’t be so Exceptional if he were easily rattled. The Rally Monkey Angels just hit him well, and when they hit him it went out of the park. Boom. Ball, meet bat. Ball, get little feathery angel wings. Mike Maroth, get sad frowny face.
He WAS just sick with the flu (or at least those ubiquitous “flu-like symptoms” that dog baseball clubhouses all year long), and hadn’t been eating because his poor stomach does not have the same Exceptional Makeup and toughness that his mind has. I guess he could have been a little weak today, which might have led to him leaving the ball up a little, which might have led to Angel homers. I’m sure he wouldn’t venture to use it as an excuse, but eh, there it is.
As for the Tiger bats… the Rally Monkeys played sick defense. What can you say? Some of those balls would have been hits on another night.
Really the worst part of this game was having to watch them suddenly come to life in the 9th inning, giving us all hope… that insane, swooping hope you get when it seems like the highly improbable is about to happen right before your baseball-loving eyes, and then…. it doesn’t. That was a little agonizing.
Ehhhhhh. I can’t even get too fired up about this loss. I just want to see Bondo come back, which he should do for his next scheduled start (that’s Thursday, mind you). Tomorrow is Colon/Durbin, which, aside from being a matchup wildly in the Rally Monkeys’ favor, has the potential to lead to some EXCELLENT headline generation. So you know there’s stuff to look forward to.
NOW THE IMPORTANT BUSINESS!
National Doodle Day is a fundraiser to raise money for “education, advocacy… and research” about neurofibromatosis. The idea is that they get celebrities (of varying levels of fame) to make little doodles, which they then auction off to raise money.
I point this out here because they had 3 Tigers submit doodles, and OBVIOUSLY WE MUST REGARD THEM CLOSELY. The images link to the eBay auctions for each doodle, where you can see them larger.
First up, Sean Casey.
It kind of looks like he just signed his name over and over again in differing levels of sloppiness. I think I see a “Mayor” thrown in there too. There’s also a… I hesitate to call it a person, since the limbs appear to be sausages, but there’s a FIGURE in there anyhow. Maybe it’s a self-portrait. In which case we can only tell the Mayor that his ears really aren’t that big, he doesn’t have to feel so bad about them.
Next! Ernie Harwell!!
Nice and simple. His handwriting is good. The baseball is recognizeable. He could have gotten a little crazier with it, I think… after all, it’s National Doodle Day, not National Design a Greeting Card Day, and in this sense the Mayor has him beat. But it’s Ernie Harwell, so that’s at least 50 awesomeness points right there.
My personal favorite of the bunch (when it comes to doodles, anyhow), Jordan Tata.
This one you’ve GOT to see large. He actually. Drew. A mudhen. WADING THROUGH A MARSH. Wearing a baseball hat. HE SPENT TIME CAREFULLY RENDERING THE TEXT LOGO OF THE TEAM. This is an amazing piece of doodlework and my estimation of Jordan Tata is at least doubled by it. He obviously spent some time and thought on it. HE DREW A MUDHEN. I may never get over this.
Polanco on fire, Fernando on ice, by Samara Pearlstein
Do you know what is HOT?
-Brandon Inge hitting again. Batting average creeping up! Next stop on the road to .320…. .250. You can do it, Brandon!
-Tigers getting triples in ballparks other than Comerica. Granderson is fast, and so is Guillen (when his knees aren’t broken), but still, those had to be finely hit balls to make triples. And indeed they were.
-Mike Maroth and his weeny fastball beating the mighty Johan Santana…. AGAIN.
-Placido Polanco, Placido Polanco’s bat, Placido Polanco’s at-bat music, and in fact everything about Placido Polanco right now.
-Gary Sheffield doing things that don’t involve me actively hating him and wanting him dead.
-The Racist Logos losing.
-Virgil Vasquez set to make his major league debut…. on a nationally televised game.
-Ernie Harwell coming back to make a special announcing guest appearance on May 24.
-Poking Jason Kubel in the eyeball like we all secretly want to because it was getting infuriating watching him make those catches. Poking Jason Kubel in the eyeball= hot.
Do you know what is NOT HOT?
-Jeremy Bonderman’s blister/cut on his finger/whatever he’s claiming it is today. There was a shot of him sitting on the bench today (on the Twins broadcast) between Nate and Verlander. He was PICKING AT HIS FINGER. Leave it ALONE, Bondo!
-Fernando Rodney making a throwing error.
-Fernando Rodney letting in runs and rattling his psycho head again.
Ah, there are few things in life sweeter than listening to ESPN rag on a guy all game long, and then watching him proceed to do everything they said he couldn’t. Thank you, Kenny Rogers. Never have poor postseason stats been so loudly trumpeted. It was almost as loud as the Jeter adoration.
No one was expecting this game to turn out like this. Tigers fans who’d seen Kenny pitch recently might have expected him to do well, especially if they were, like me, willfully ignoring all his numbers from previous years. But a shutout! Who would’ve thought it possible? A shutout of THE GREATEST LINEUP OF BASE BALL PLAYERS TO EVER BE ASSEMBLED ON THIS PLANET IN THE HISTORY OF ALL TIME (according to espn)??? Surely that is IMPOSSIBLE.
Only once, all game, did a Yankee batter advance beyond the base he initially reached, and that was Posada moving to third on Matsui’s groundout after his leadoff double in the 7th. After Matsui, Bernie Williams struck out swinging and Cano grounded out to first, and that was that. The Yankees managed 4 other hits, 2 walks, and ARod was nicked by a pitch, but every time, when someone got on, everyone behind them failed to do anything.
Zoom came in for one batter, ARod, in the 8th, and got him to fly out harmlessly. Jonesy, for once, had a nice and easy 9th with two flyouts and a swinging strike to end the game. Man, it’s weird even just typing that. I like bringing in Zoom for just the one guy… hopefully it won’t tire him out too much, and Kenny’d thrown well over 100 pitches at that point. There wasn’t a whole lot of game left, but no sense in tempting fate with that lineup. (see, I acknowledge the ability of the Yankee hitters, I recognize their skill and their WoahScary factor, but I do not FAWN UNNECESSARILY over them)
Keeping Sheffield out of the lineup in favor of The Ancient Bernie Williams worked well for Torre, as Bernie contributed two strikeouts and a line out to Inge at third on the evening. There is such a thing as playing the numbers too much. Again, it would be absurd to say that anyone predicted Kenny would pitch as well as he did, but given his recent performances, it would’ve been a little silly to expect him to suffer a postseason meltdown as he maybe has in the past.
Leyland decided to stick with his men, and just shuffle them around. Yes, even though his hitters are not SO MARVELOUSLY FEARSOME as the Yankees, they were good enough to all stay in the lineup against the Wizened Unit. Polanco, leading off, went 2-for-3 with an RBI. Casey, moved from third to seventh, went 2-for-4 with 2 RBI. Granderson, moved from leadoff to ninth, went 1-for-3 with 2 runs scored and 2 RBI (he drove in Pudge on a fielder’s choice, and later had a solo shot). Really the only guys who did nothing at all were Craig and Inge. Craig’s very hot and cold and it’s impossible to tell how he’ll be on any given day, and Inge I don’t mind so much so long as everyone else is hitting and his defense stays up to snuff.
As for the two controversial calls in the game, eh. I say they cancel out. Pudge was out in the 2nd when ARod tagged him at third, and yeah, that safe call led to a run. But Polanco’s hit in the 5th was fair when it was called foul, and that ended up keeping the inning scoreless. So far as I’m concerned these are like offsetting penalties in football and we’re all good.
I am starting to wonder if maybe Jon Miller has been hanging out with Tim McCarver too much. The night before he called Verlander the wrong name TWICE (once he was “Jason Verlander” and once he was “Zumaya”), and tonight he said “Kaz Matsui” when he meant Hideki. He realized his mistake two out of the three times (Jason Verlander went uncorrected) and instead of just saying, “Whoops, my bad,” and going on with the game, he felt the need to stop and talk at length about his mistake. So we got a whole schpiel about how so very different Kaz and Hideki Matsui are even though, chortle chortle, they both played in New York.
The best bit of the whole night, of course, was Ernie Harwell showing up in the booth and doing some of the play-by-play. He was his usual Ernie Harwell self, full of stories and great strikeout calls (“He stood there like a house by the side of the road and watched it go by.” “Strike 3, he’s out for excessive window shopping, he looked at one too many.”) and he had Miller and Morgan in stitches most of the time.
Like Johnny Pesky in Boston, Ernie’s one of those guys you just feel good about seeing around the game of baseball, and it was nice to listen to him call the game as it happened in front of him and you could almost forget, for a brief second, that you were watching a highly polished and Yankee lapdogging ESPN broadcast.
Wright/Bonderman at 4 today. I would like to be told who decided that this game should not be a night game, because I don’t know about you kids, but I am IN MICHIGAN, therefore I am going to be AT ONE OF THE BIGGEST COLLEGE FOOTBALL GAMES IN THE STATE OF MICHIGAN THIS YEAR. I assume that many of you will also either be there or will be keeping a close eye on it. Seriously, SOMEONE at FOX or MLB had to know that the Michigan/Michigan State game was at 4:30, and SURELY someone would know how many Michigan folk are going to be all over it.
I mean. It’s MICHIGAN/MICHIGAN STATE. Almost THE ENTIRE STATE OF MICHIGAN is going to be watching it in some way or another. And the kind of people who, around here, care about college football deeply are also likely to care a bit about baseball. Scheduling the Tigers game at the same time is stupid. The Big House is going to have over 110,000 people in it today; assume only a THIRD of them would watch at least part of the Tigers game if it wasn’t at 4 (and I think you can assume a higher percentage than that, but to be conservative) and you’re talking about AT LEAST 37,000 people who are AUTOMATICALLY lost ad revenue. And that’s not counting people who will, instead of keeping their TVs on the Tiger game, flip back and forth between the two from the comfort of their couches.
At least the Tigers can’t be eliminated today, but I am really quite pissed off about this. Someone in MLB or at FOX is either incredibly ignorant about all things Michigan or is just a really big excretory exit site.