It’s Homecoming time in the D, as the Tigers bring baseball back to Detroit for the 2011 Home Opener.
The weather is chllin’ (42 and rainy with 2 hours until the 3:05 start, but the rain is expected to go away) but the fans are grillin’ and I don’t expect any of that Yankee stadium empty seat malaise, because that’s just not how Detroit opening day goes.
The Home opener is simply bigger in Detroit, according to Lynn Henning
Brandon Inge agrees, and says his bit on the subject in the Metro Times
On-field festivities include
- Raising of a Sparky Anderson flag and retirement of his number 11 (the players have also been wearing patch honoring him).
- A moment of silence for Bill Lajoie, Steve Boros, Cecil Kaiser, Woodie Fryman and the victims of the Japan tsunami.
- A military A-10 flyover, courtesy of the 107th Fighter Squadron, 127th Wing of the Michigan Air National Guard
- Game ball presentation by Master Sergeant Michael Lionberger of the US Air Force
- 7th inning stretch performance of God Bless America by Scott Stapp of Creed
- and rally towels for the first 10,000 fans!
The National Anthem will be performed by Committed, the winners of NBC’s The Sing-Off (yes, but can they measure up to Amber Grand?)
The ceremonial first pitch will be delivered by a young person from the C.A.T.C.H. organization, along with “very special guests.” (Ooh, I’ll guess we’ll just have to watch to find out!).
For those lucky enough to be enjoying all of the festivities in person, you might want to check out the new Food Network signature steak sandwiches (not to be confused with Sgt. Lionberger), which will be available in only 8 ballparks, and Comerica is one!
For those who can’t make opening day in person, you can follow the party online at the Detroit News, where they have a live fan blog with lots of photos and tweets and whatnot (I just saw the tarp coming off the field, yea!)
There are many ways to celebrate opening day–1,000 retirees at Fox Run retirement community in Novi will do a pre-game reading to honor Ernie Harwell.
How are you celebrating? Please post and tell us, especially if you are lucky enough to be there at Comerica. Go Tigers!
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The Tigers will face the 4-2 Kansas City Royals, the youngest, cheapest, and apparently fastest team in the league (they lead the majors with 14 stolen bases). And it’s not all small ball; they still have the dreaded Billy Butler. A well-rested Max Scherzer (he left Baltimore a day early) will try to keep the runnin’ Royals off the basepaths–if not, expect them to test Alex Avila, who has had some early season struggles behind the plate. Not to worry too much though: Mario and Rod pronounced yesterday that Scherzer will have 9 strikeouts today.
The home opening lineup:
- Austin Jackson, CF
- Will Rhymes, 2B
- Magglio Ordonez, RB
- Miguel Cabrera, 1B
- Victor Martinez, DH
- Brennan Boesch, LF
- Jhonny Peralta, SS
- Alex Avila, C
- Brandon Inge, 3B