As good as it gets

You know how when you’re looking forward to something so much, that as it approaches you start to fear that it will never live up to your expectations? That is what I was thinking yesterday morning. I’d been looking forward to the Opener for months, and I had built it up to be the best day of the year. Somehow, Opening Day managed to exceed my loftiest expectations.

Opening Day is about more than winning and losing. However, a 11-2 win on Opening Day will always be tremendously exciting. Similarly, a high 60’s April day in Detroit would be very acceptable as well, regardless of the outcome of the game. Put the two together and you’ve got pure baseball bliss.

It wasn’t just the win and the weather, it was the storylines that went along with it. The big story of course was Dmitri Young with the 3 dingers and a curtain call. And really, is there another Tiger player that you’d rather see celebrating than the gregarious Young?

But the best moment of all was delivered by Jeremy Bonderman. While his entire start was impressive, the ultimate came in the second inning. John Lowe captured it perfectly:

Up came veteran left-handed hitter Terrence Long. Bonderman got ahead of him, 0-2. On the two lefty hitters before me, he threw the 3-2 slider as his out pitch, Long thought. Now I’ve got two strikes on me. He’s going to throw the slider.

Bonderman instead threw an inside fastball. Long took it for strike three. He couldn’t have put it in a better spot, Long thought

Here Bonderman is, up 0-2 in the count and Long is looking for his out pitch, probably out of the zone. Instead Bonderman came with all 94mph right in the zone and you could see it from way upstairs that Long didn’t even have a shot.

Yes it was only one game. Yes it was against the Royals. Regardless, the Tigers put on a great show in front of a primed and packed Comerica Park.

The Tigers did a fine job with their outfield seating and bullpen renovations. The seats in right field look like they’ve been there all along. Most impressive was the new bullpen area in leftfield. The bullpen area involves a glass and brick structure sunk into the ground. It was somewhat reminiscent of the way the bullpens at Tiger Stadium were submerged – only much nicer.

Crowding the Place
An article in Crain’s this week highlights the rise in Tiger ticket sales.

The Tigers’ full-season equivalents – the full-season packages and partial-season packages that combine to create a full season – are up to 10,800 this year from 8,989 last year, Raymond said. In 2003, the 119-loss year, the full-season equivalents were 7,400.

The article also states that the Tigers have sold all their suites, and all are locked into long term contracts.

I’m not sure what the Tigers attendance goal is this season, but 2.15 million definitely seems possible.

Last year the Tigers seemed to thrive on big Comerica crowds. The Tigers were 13-7 when drawing more than 30,000 fans last year.

Twins sign new contract
John Bonnes, known as the TwinsGeek is one of the longest running team bloggers out there. In an unprecedented move, the Minnesota Twins have become a sponsor of his site. It’s a great move by the Twins from the standpoint of focusing on your target audience. It’s also great for John and other bloggers as well. Congratulations John!

1 Comment

  1. Rob Skrobola

    April 8, 2005 at 10:58 am

    Hmm. When do you think the Twins are going to start sponsoring Gleeman’s site? 🙂 Perhaps never, as long as he rips nearly every single lineup and personnel move they make. 🙂