The last few days have been a flurry of bars, drinking and baseball. I’m sure I was catching up with old friends somewhere in there too, but once the game starts, I try to block everyone out. And now, for a rambling smatter of this week. *drumroll*
*** I love flying. Wait, I hate flying, but I love the concept Tyler Durden coined as "single-serving friends". On my flight from Tampa to Atlanta, at the Atlanta airport and then consequently from Atlanta to Flint, I had a triple dose of my single-serving buddies. It’s funny, every time I tell people what I do for a living, their immediate response is to tell me their favorite baseball memory, which is the best thing to talk about ever. I befriended a group of women: an insurance saleswoman meeting her husband in Flint, a grandmother excited to see her grandchildren’s Halloween costumes for the first time, and a teacher flying home to see her husband while he was on leave from the Army. They ranged in age from 25-65, but were all Tigers fans, which made our extended layover in Atlanta much, much more bearable. They asked me if Sean Casey really is the nicest guy in baseball (yes, he is), if Jim Leyland really does smoke in his office (yes, he does) and if I ever am bothered by working in the clubhouse (no, I’m not). It was fun.
On the flight home from Atlanta, a $35 upgrade got me an additional 8 inches of leg room, a mixed drink (two, because I hurried), a bag of Potato Skins and a seat next to the insurance woman, Khaki, who hails from Justin Verlander’s hometown. Once we landed, she dragged her husband up to me and introduced him, whereupon he told me stories of watching Justin during Little League. As my dad and I left the airport, Khaki, her husband, the grandmother and Army wife each yelled "Go Tigers!" in turn. It’s good to be somewhere familiar, and at a time in Detroit’s history where telling people my favorite team is the Tigers doesn’t make them snicker.
***I love that we have all these fabulous singers from Detroit/Michigan that remember their roots. Bob Seger sang "America the Beautiful" before Game 1. An overzealous Eminem put together a mini-skit that was played on the video board before the game as well, complete with the soundtrack from 8 Mile playing in the background. The highlight though, I think, was Anita Baker singing the National Anthem before Game 2. Not only does she have an amazing voice, she was really, really into it. Toward the end of the song, she was waving her free hand around her head in frantic circles in an effort to have the fans wave their white Tigers rally towels around and when she was done, she bounded off the field with a "Yeeeaaahhh!!!" Just like McDonald’s, I’m lovin’ it.
***Among the more creative signs I saw at Comerica Park during games 1 and 2:
A picture of Mount Rushmore, with Jim Leyland’s face on it.
Three men, side-by-side, with three signs reading, "Is this heaven?" "No, it isn’t," "But it sure feels like it!"
"Mr. Rogers’ Neighborhood"
***The Peanut Barrel in East Lansing is my absolute FAVORITE bar on the planet. I will not, however, EVER watch another baseball game in my life there if I can help it. In the seventh inning of Game 3, when things were getting
uglyuglier and I’m screaming every profanity I can muster, I looked around to see than NO ONE, save the folks at my table, was even paying attention to the game.
***Thanks to my buddy Eric, we got to sing the "Go Get ‘Em, Tigers!" song all night last night, even though the boys lost. Does anyone else remember the made-for-TV movie from like 1987 with the little boy and his dad and "You just gotta believe, Billy!"…and spaghetti by the Detroit River….and the Tigers winning and…..sigh. Nevermind.
That’s it for now, will post more later.
What’s the deal with the scoreboard, boys?
I don’t know how long he spent coming up with this idea, but it took the cake for most creative sign at the ballpark.
Al Kaline and Willie Horton, of the ’68 World Champion Tigers, threw out the ceremonial first pitches
Ernie Harwell brought out the rosin bag to a standing ovation.
This flag was HUGE.
We were close enough to spy on Justin Verlander as he got ready for Game 1
Dad and I, at our seats during pre-game
It was a beautiful day for a ball game…
Craig Monroe is hands down my favorite Tiger.