My Camden Trip

I was hoping to come back from Baltimore and post a great game recap with photos of the Tigers shaking hands after another victory. However, it wasn’t meant to be.
Oriole Park at Camden Yards

I did get to see the Free the Birds protest, which I must say was very well orchestrated. The intent was to show displeasure with Peter Angelos ownership of the franchise. A large contingent of disgruntled fans bought the cheapest tickets they could find and occupied a section in the upper deck in left field. For the next hour they cheered and chanted, mostly in support of the Orioles. Then at 5:08 (5 for Brooks and 8 for Cal) they left their seats, made their way down the ramps, and marched around the lower bowl before heading out. What I most liked was the passion that was shown before they left. That section was loud, and brought life to an otherwise silent and empty stadium.

As for the game, things started off great with Curtis leading off yet another game with an extra base hit. A homer by Magglio Ordonez off the top of the foul pole had the Detroit faithful, and there were many of us, cheering. Outside of a Curtis Granderson homer, that would be it for the Tigers scoring. They had a great chance with the bases loaded and nobody out in the 5th inning. Sean Casey hit a rocket to right field that looked like a double off the bat but it was snared by Nick Markakis. A pop out by Maggs and a ground out by Guillen pretty much sealed the Tigers fate.

For what it’s worth, Orioles fans are rooting for the Tigers. I met fan after fan who said that they were pulling for us because their season was over early again. I assured them that I could relate, and told them to do their part and beat up on the Twins.

I was sitting in the front row along the 3rd base line, so I did snag some pictures.

It was nice to see Placido Polanco doing baseball stuff.
Placido Polanco
Jim Leyland staring at something, perhaps the majesty that is Neifi Perez
Leyland Fungo
Here are the Free the Birds protestors
Free the Birds
This was the pitch Curtis homered on, clicked a moment too soon:
Curtis Granderson
And this one is for Sam:
Brandon Inge


  1. Chris Y.

    September 22, 2006 at 10:14 am

    Think there was any connection between the protest and the poor quality of the MLB broadcast yesterday?

    I am sure that MLB doesn’t like having folks actually discuss the problem of delinquent owners.

  2. Commish

    September 22, 2006 at 10:39 am

    One thing that really bothered me as I watched the “Gamecast” of this one online was our lineup. There were five guys in our starting lineup yesterday who were not a part of our standard nine from a few months back. Stairs, Wilson, Perez, Casey & Gomez… I know that Pudge is resting, Shelton didn’t pan out, Polanco is hurt, Monroe got a day off…… it just feels weird to have these other guys playing crucial September games for us, when they’re a far cry from the crew that actually got us here all summer.

  3. Kyle J

    September 22, 2006 at 10:56 am

    What did you think of the ballpark, Bilfer? It’s on my list of parks to visit. I’m curious how it stacks up against some of the newer ballparks given that it was the first of the retro parks. Does it still have a unique flavor?

  4. billfer

    September 22, 2006 at 11:00 am

    The ballpark is spectacular, and probably my favorite of the newer ones. I’ve been to Jacobs, GABP, PNC and now Camden. PNC is the only one that comes close to it.

  5. Mike F

    September 22, 2006 at 11:20 am

    Ohgawd! Not You TOO!

    Uhg! Inge butt.

  6. Steve

    September 22, 2006 at 11:24 am

    Billfer hey great report, thanks for the update. My favorite non Tiger park is Jacobs.


  7. Coach Jim

    September 22, 2006 at 11:24 am

    The loss is disappointing to be sure, but we all need to realize Thames pinch-hit for Perez in the 9th. While I don’t agree with STARTING Perez, I’m glad to see JL finally pull a move that seems right in regards to our now-famous WORST HITTER OF OUR GENERATION.

    Note: while I do remember the Tigers winning in ’68, I don’t remember anything about Ray Oyler.

  8. Coach Jim

    September 22, 2006 at 11:41 am

    Oh, did anybody notice that was Nate Robertson’s 20th quality start of the season (the other 3 starters each have 18)? I’m getting more than a little ticked off at the hitters because they don’t score runs for this guy.

  9. Marshall in DC

    September 22, 2006 at 11:49 am

    BTW – blame yesterday’s loss on me. I have been to 9 Tiger games at Camden Yards ove=r the years and they have won everytime I went.

    I was going to to go yesterday but my boss schedueld an important all day mtg. I could have called in sick but opted to be a good worker bee.

    Kills me because the one year the tigs are playing for something meaningful is the one year I don’t make it to B-more.

  10. Adam

    September 22, 2006 at 12:34 pm

    No way you can call that a quality start. No freakin’ way.

  11. Kurt

    September 22, 2006 at 12:46 pm

    Call it the ugliest quality start of the year, but it still counts in the stats.

  12. Chris Y.

    September 22, 2006 at 12:50 pm

    Now, it might not be one of Nate’s better quality starts, but that strike zone was more than a little loose yesterday. Other than the 5 BB, I don’t know what else could be complained about….it’s a 3.00 game ERA for chrissakes across 6IP.

  13. Coach Jim

    September 22, 2006 at 1:26 pm

    If you leave the bases loaded every inning, after 9 it’s still a shutout. For a pitcher, the bottom line is runs allowed. When the game is on the line, would you rather bring in Fernando Rodney and his 1.16 WHIP and 3.44 ERA, or Joel Zumaya and his 1.18 WHIP with a 2.00 ERA? …wait I think that’s exactly what happened…

    And now that I mention it, I don’t like the habit of using Zumaya for 2 innings each outing.

  14. Kyle J

    September 22, 2006 at 2:03 pm

    Hmmmm. If you don’t use Zumaya for 2 inning at a time, who do you bring in for the other inning? I suspect the answer is . . . Rodney.

    I think using Rodney and Zumay for 2 innings at a time on an alternating basis rather than 1 inning each on a regular basis is the way to go. Both have a tendency to be a little wild when they first enter a game. Better to deal with that once per game than twice.

  15. Nick

    September 22, 2006 at 3:02 pm

    I think PNC and whatever they call the park in SF now are better parks than Camden, but not by alot. None of the others (including Comerica IMO) really come close (I haven’t been to San Diego, Philly or St. Louis yet), though the view from the upper deck at Coors field is pretty impressive.

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  17. Joey the K

    September 24, 2006 at 1:05 am

    Of the new(er) parks I’ve been to I would rank them:
    Camden Yards
    San Fran

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