The Gameday Experience

As a mini-season ticket holder for several seasons, I’ve attended my share of games at Comerica Park. Inevitably, I’ve started to warm up to the place. Either I’m getting used to it, or I’m just having more fun seeing a competitive team (well a competitive team wearing the home whites). However, there are several areas where the organization/park could improve.

First, when the Tigers built Comerica Park they bragged about having the largest scoreboard in the majors. I believe it’s been eclipsed since then, but it is still enormous. Because of it’s shear dimensions, I’m still surprised by how little information is provided.

There is a video board that shows stagnant images more than replays. I understand that they can’t show video once the pitcher is on the mound, and I also understand they don’t want to show up umpires. It seems that other than promotions in between innings, the only action the video board gets is a replay of Tiger home runs.

The other thing I’d really like to see more of is statistics. The first time a batter is up you will get the standard box score stats – AB, H, HR, RBI, BA. There is plenty of space left over so why not throw in some other measure of power, like extra base hits or slugging? As a sabremetrician type, I’d love to see on base percentage as well, or at least walks. In all fairness, the smaller scoreboard to the left does show some relevant splits for each hitter. The trouble is that scoreboard is obscured to a large portion of the stadium.

The other issue is specific to Friday night’s rain delay. One of my favorite things about Comerica, is the size of the concourses, and the fact that they are sheltered for the most part. Last Friday there was a torrential downpour that resulted in a two hour rain delay prior to the game being called. Being a Friday night, against a good team (the Angels) and with a great pitching matchup of Bonderman versus Colon there was a pretty sizable crowd on hand. Because of the concourse configuration a lot of people stuck around and enjoyed various concessions during the delay. At the same time, the Pistons were playing against the Pacers in the playoffs. Now the Tigers could have turned Comerica into the world’s largest sports bar and put the game on the concourse TVs, but they opted for showing an English D spinning ad nauseum.

Eventually we found some TVs in the Beer Hall area that were carrying the game, but why not put it on everywhere?

In all fairness I have to say that I have been impressed with ballpark operations so far this season. I haven’t had to battle long concession lines. Also, when I brought the wrong ticket to the game Friday night (I brought one for a future game) they were accomodating enough to reprint the correct ticket for me. I’m also appreciative of the fact that they went with an old fashioned doubleheader and gave up some signifcant gate. I just think they missed an opportunity to make a disappointing situation a lot more fun.

Game Thoughts
The Tigers managed to eek out an extra inning win against he Devil Rays last night. Jason Johnson was great again, as was the bullpen. But the offense continues to be frustrating. The Tigers got guys on base, and in scoring position but then left them stranded. As Baseball Musings pointed out yesterday, leaving guys on base isn’t necessarily a bad thing. But the inability to score guys from third base was agonizing. Fortunately Brandon Inge continued to be an on base demon (a single, a double, and 3 walks in six plate appearances), and Ivan Rodriguez and Rondell White took care of business driving in the tying and winning runs.

Last night was also the debut of Nook as the annointed leadoff man. He responded by going 0 for 6. While I don’t see any reason to move Inge out of the leadoff spot, I don’t think this decision will have a dramatic effect. The sequencing of Logan/Inge/Pudge/Guillen isn’t changed. The only thing that is different is that Logan would get extra at-bats at the expense of some of the other guys. I think Trammell was mostly trying to shake up a lineup that isn’t scoring runs.


  1. G.

    May 18, 2005 at 3:30 pm

    Two things – First, I was not happy when Tram put Pena to hit for Thames last night. Given that we needed someone to put the ball in play and Pena recent propensity for striking out, I didn’t like the move. Second, while I was not at the game, I loved hearing the trumpet/horn in the background getting the crown fired up instead of blaring music. It reminded me of hockey games at the Montreal Forum – very old school.

  2. Jason R.

    May 19, 2005 at 12:46 pm

    Any manager that once played under Sparky Anderson would know the value in shaking up the lineup on a regular basis. Not sure what the exact benefit is but it sure worked for Sparky.

    Having said that, Billfer’s note that Logan in the leadoff spot means more Nook Time and less Some Other Guy Time at the plate is most prescient. It may not have a huge impact, but I’d still rather the extra PA’s go to better hitters. Leave Nook in The Nine Hole.

  3. Lou

    May 20, 2005 at 4:42 pm

    The tvs probably didn’t show the game because of copyright restrictions. Sports bars have to pay extra fees to show sports games on tv, Tigers probably don’t pay those fees because they don’t expect to be showing them.