Wednesday, April 15, 2009

The weather is beginning to turn for the better, and this time I believe it is for good. That being said, it didn't help much yesterday when I drove 250 miles to Detroit for a Tigers game. It was just a comedy of errors yesterday.

First, I woke up late. I wanted to be on the road by 8am, well, I woke up at 8:12. So, once I fueled up, got a Mt. Dew for the road, it was 8:40ish by the time I actually got on the road. At first everything was smooth, until about Saginaw, when the rain started to come down. That was when my windshield wipers decided that once I turned them on for mist, they were just going to stay on. For the rest of the trip, whether it was raining or not.

I made really good time getting down state, and Picked up my friend Patti just after noon, and off to the park we went. When we found parking, I tried putting my iPod in the glove box of my car. Well, that wasn't going to happen, because the glove box opened, but then wouldn't close. So fine, I just decided to take the thing with me. Ok, can't have anything else happen right?

Wrong! We get to the gate, and I hand over the ticket. Now, I bought the tickets on, and printed them out from home. Well, one of the tickets printed out just fine, and the other? No barcode or number on it. All the relevant information was on it, except the barcode. There was simply the word "barcode" printed in it's place. This meant we had to head over to the stadium box office and get it sorted out. Well, we did, and finally made our way in, and found our seats.

Now, the seats were really nice. The "Tiger's Den" is a great section, with wooden deck chairs with pads, and plenty of leg room. Plus a small table in between, and a wait staff. So yeah, we were doing good, getting ready for the tarp to come off the field, and just as Patti was saying "let's get a beer", the announcement came. The game was postponed due to rain. So great. Well, at least they will honor the tickets when they eventually reschedule the game. If I can make it down for that game. We'll have to wait and see on that one.

And so, after hanging out at Patti's for a bit, I made the 4 hour drive home. And that was that, 8 hours of driving, 0 hours of Tigers game. Oh well, I did have a good lunch in Greektown, and I'll be heading back down sometime soon.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Play Ball!; or, The Start of Baseball Season

Spring has kind of arrived here in northern Michigan. And by that I mean that you can see grass (not just snow), and the temperature is slowly climbing above the freezing mark.

That being the case, it also means we have entered my favorite time of year. That would of course be Baseball season. I am something of a rarity these days, a rabid baseball fan in a time when everyone is a football fan. Don't get me wrong, I like football, and certainly watch plenty of it during the fall, but my first love is still baseball.

I will watch most any game when it's on TV, or listen to them on the radio, but at heart, I am a Detroit Tigers fan. They've been my team since I was just a 3 year old and they won the World Series in 1984. I grew up with guys like Jack Morris, Lou Whitaker, Alan Trammel and Kirk Gibson. Then the early 90's and Cecil Fielder, Travis Fryman, Bill Gullickson, and Mickey Tettleton. Whether the team is good or not doesn't stop me from watching, and following them.

This year's team is a bit of a conundrum for me. On one hand, I'm looking forward to watching them this year. To see Miguel Cabrera with a year in the AL under his belt, Brandon Inge getting to play a full season at third base, and the hopeful bounce back of the pitching staff. Which is where the problem is. The pitching staff is a bit of a mystery. Justin Verlander needs to return to his form from 2006-07, instead of the man masquerading in his place in 2008. Will Jeremy Bonderman ever live up to his potential? And let's not even start on Dontrell Willis and his Anxiety disorder. But, I am still hopeful that they can turn it around.

The bullpen will also be an interesting thing to watch. Can Brandon Lyon be a solid piece? I have my reservations about Fernando Rodney ever getting the command of his pitches to be effective. And 2006's wunderkid Joel Zumaya needs to stay healthy and be able to utilize his 103 mph fastball, as well as fully develop something off speed.

All in all, I'm remaining positive about this years Tigers team. Especially given the wide open nature of the American League Central Division. All 5 teams have a legitimate shot at winning the division. Expect quite a few posts this summer about baseball in general, and the Tigers specifically. I'm looking forward to a good season.