Tagged: Justin Verlander

Detroit Tigers – May 25

I feel silly starting basically every blog post talking about my excitement of such-and-such a game, but the truth is, I’m always pumped to watch baseball.

And my second game in as many days in Detroit was no exception. After an awesome experience the day before, I was eager to get back to Comerica Park.

The problem, however, was the weather. As you can tell from the rain gear on the front gate attendants in the photo below, it was a wet, dreary day:

When the gates opened, I went into the mostly deserted stadium and made my way right down to the Tigers third base-side dugout:

I then went behind home plate, and you can see the rain-soaked tarp over the field:

Still, there was lots of optimism from the ushers, who said the rain was supposed to hold off until 3 p.m. or so, meaning we could get a couple hours in. After talking with an usher behind Detroit’s dugout, I got him to snap a picture of me:

Today, I was hoping to get some autographs. The day before, I didn’t try, but with no batting practice today, I hoped some guys would sign. Before long, Justin Verlander made his way out of the Tigers clubhouse …

… and didn’t sign for anyone. No biggie; it was neat to see him up close.

Pretty soon, though, a few guys started to sign. Below, you can see Rick Porcello and Max Scherzer signing:

They both signed a ball I had, and so too did recent callup Adam Wilk. Here are their signatures on my ball:

When Porcello was signing for the guy next to me, I snapped a close-up of his glove:

Before long, Tigers manager Jim Leyland came over and signed maybe 20 autographs. I was lucky enough to get him on the sweet spot of my ball:

Remember how the day before, I saw a ton of cool game-used and autographed Tigers stuff? Here are a bunch of signed bats for sale:

After walking around the concourse a bit, the skies started to clear so I made my way out to the left field corner again. I bought my ticket in this area again because it was cheap and allowed you to roam freely pretty close to the field. From my seat, I had a great view of the Tigers pen:

I had to chuckle when Detroit’s relievers made their way from the dugout to the bullpen. Like a day earlier, all but one of the relievers walked in a group to the pen. A few moments later, closer Jose Valverde, sans hat, strutted through left field mugging and giving the two-fingered salute to fans:

As the game was getting close to starting, Ryan Perry started throwing a bullpen session:

This panorama shows the action about to begin:

But less than two innings later, this was the scene:

Ugh. For those who wonder why I always book two games in each MLB city, this is why. The weather quickly became horrible, and it didn’t look like any more baseball would be played today. Look at the sky, and keep in mind this was about 2 p.m.:

I joined the rest of the fans in the crowded concourse and waited patiently for word of a postponement. Nothing came, and eventually, I went back to the game-used memorabilia stand that kept calling my name. The day before, I browsed through some actual lineup cards and decided I had to have one. I bought this Jays/Tigers lineup card that hung in Detroit’s bullpen during a road game. As you can see below, it’s signed by Jim Leyland. (I’m uploading a big file so you can click on it and see all the details. It’s awesome.)

Though there was still no official announcement regarding the future of the game, I saw the Tampa Bay bullpen guys scurry from the dugout over to the pen, pack up their stuff and run back to the dugout. Not a good sign, so with that, I headed out.

At the gate, an usher asked if I was leaving. I told him about seeing the bullpen get packed up, and he admitted that the Rays’ truck had pulled into the loading dock earlier. It’s a bit annoying that the team didn’t let the fans know right away that the game had been called, but I guess the more people who stick around and buy hot dogs, the better.

The rain, by the way, was ridiculous. I RAN back to my hotel, and there were many places on the sidewalks or roads that the water was above my ankles. Needless to say, by the time I made it back to my room, I was completely soaked.

I did, however, take one last photo of Detroit from my window. You can see Comerica Park’s lights, but not much else:

I had a great time in Detroit. Though it would’ve been great to see two full games, I had so much fun that it wasn’t a big deal. If you’re planning on taking in a Tigers game this summer, I’ll have a full stadium review up soon on my website. Please bookmark it and check back often to see which stadiums I’ve reviewed.