PREGAME: Is anybody else in the mood for just a nice relaxing blow-out by the Tigers? Let’s not worry about coming from behind, or who is going to protect a one run lead against David Ortiz, Manny Ramirez, and of course Kevin Youkilis. If Jeremy Bonderman can pitch like he did Monday, and have his defense turn a double play or two, the Tigers can then worry about attacking the knuckleball.
Tim Wakefield pitching for the Red Sox. The Tigers have already had considerable success against one knuckleballer this year when they bludgeoned RA Dickey for 6 homers. That game of course tied a mark for the most homers given up by a pitcher. The previous pitcher to give up 6 homers in a game was…Tim Wakefield against…the Detroit Tigers. Sadly Wakefield still managed to win that game, due in large part to 2 homers by…Kevin Youkilis.
I’ll be at the game, so if you see a tall guy with a ringer-style Tiger-in-the-circle logo shirt, say Hi. It might be me.
POSTGAME: Now that’s more like it. Jeremy Bonderman carving up the opposition…Various players hitting homers…Some slick defense…An uneventful 9th inning. The recipe that the Tigers used for the bulk of the season returned last night.
My only comment about the game itself had to do with bullpen usage. With Fernando Rodney coming in to get the last out of the 8th, I thought that Jim Leyland set himself up pretty well to use Rodney in the 9th (even before the Ordonez homer). He could throw Rodney out there again just looking to get him a longer outing and rewarding him for retiring David Ortiz. But then Todd Jones began warming up again…A big part of me wanted to see Jones sent out for the 9th. I understand wanting to get him back out there, but why do it with a one run lead and not a 4 run lead. If someone is struggling and trying to get themselves righted, I’d prefer to see it with a cushion.
Other thoughts about the gameday experience:
- This is the second game I went to this week with a rain delay. Let me say the Beer Hall is a wonderful concept. You can be dry, have a seat, have beer and food brought to you. It’s a beautiful thing.
- I actually saw someone else at the game with a ringer circle logo t-shirt. I’d never seen one at the game before. In case you were wondering where it came from, a reader sent it to me from Chicago last year. I guess there is a place that has a bunch of old-school logos and you just select the logo and shirt style and they slap it on. It is my favorite t-shirt without a doubt and I am deeply grateful.
- Traffic getting out was terrible. We parked in the Grand Circus deck, and it took us 45 minutes from when we got to our car until we got on I-75. The few cops that were out directing traffic, weren’t directing traffic for the most part. They were standing in intersections, sometimes making hand signals, sometimes relying on the traffic lights. I know it was a sell out crowd, but they have to do a better job handling it. What’s strange is that I was there on the previous Saturday, parked in the same spot, and was on I-75 in about 5 minutes.
- Speaking of handling sell out crowds, the Tigers (or Sportservice) shipped in extra vendors. We talked with Misty from Great American Ball Park and she said 25 vendors had been on hand for the whole homestand. Actually, I wouldn’t mind the Tigers trading for Misty. The attractive beer girl is usually relegated to the golf course and not seen at sporting events.
- I guess having visiting team merchandise was a short lived experiment. After seeing Reds pennants a few weeks back, I was hoping to get my son a Yankees and Red Sox pennant for his collection. I checked several stands, but with no luck. Am I the only one thinking this would be a good idea?