Friday, February 12, 2010

Detroit Rock City

This is part three of the Summer of '04 series, chronicling my first serious baseball road trip.

Sunday, June 13

The morning drive from Cleveland to Detroit is fairly easy. The musical highlight is Uncle Tupelo's Anodyne, listened to between Cleveland and Toledo.

At Comerica Park, I give $20 to the parking attendant and drive away, forgetting my change. He points this out to me, and gives me back $10 a few minutes later. I then interact with a bitchy Subway worker who's wearing a Celtics jacket.

Subway, in this case, is in reference to the fast food restaurant and not an underground train.

At the park...the stadium has impressive monuments to Tigers legends: Willie Horton, Ty Cobb, Charlie Gehringer, Hank Greenberg, Hal Newhouser, Al Kaline. Willie Horton?

It's Spiderman day at the ballpark.

I have no idea what Spiderman day was all about, and I'm pretty sure the brevity of my note was intended to mean that there really was nothing at all to say about it.

Comerica Park

I like the out-of-town scoreboard here better than at the Jake. It's more old school, but you get to see all the scores at once, rather than a rotating three at a time. They do a good job at updating the pitchers' numbers as well.

One of my highlights here is scoreboard watching of the Yankees game, as they score two in the 9th to erase a 2-0 deficit. The score is 2-2 in the 10th when the Tigers-Marlins game ends, so I have to wait until later to find out that the Padres score three in the top of 12th, but the Yankees counter with four in the bottom for a 6-5 win. Due to good updating of pitchers' numbers, I know that David Wells pitches seven, Otsuka the 8th and Hoffman the 9th for San Diego. For the Yankees, it's Vazquez for eight, with Tom Gordon pitching at least the 9th.

There's an abundance of beer stands here, but no microbrews. I do find 32 oz. drafts for $8.50, so I order a Labatt's.

I'm impressed that the crowd doesn't yell "balk" when Dontrelle Willis turns and fakes a pickoff throw to second. The supposedly smarter fans in Boston would have. Of course, it's possible that the Detroit fans aren't actually paying attention.

I think Esteban Yan is following me. How many teams have I seen him pitch for in the past two years? As he warms up, the P.A. blares, "I've been working real hard and I'm tryin' to find a job, but it just keeps getting tougher every day," from Steve Miller's "Rock 'n Me." It's quite fitting.

From 2002-2004, Yan played for four different teams (Tampa Bay, Texas, St. Louis, Detroit). I'm sure I had previously seen him pitch for Tampa Bay, and probably either or both of Texas and St. Louis prior to this. Still, I have a slight tendency to exaggerate.

Detroit sports talk radio seems to think the Pistons have the NBA Finals locked up, even though they're only leading the series 2-1.

They turned out to be right.

There's an unbelievable storm as I'm driving south from Toledo towards Dayton...rain so hard I can't see, brutal winds, lightning. I pull over on an exit ramp to wait it out and watch the lightning. I wish I could enjoy the show, but I'm a little nervous, not knowing what to do. Maybe I'll just get a room, as it's 7:30 already, and I don't have to get to St. Louis until Tuesday night. I guess I should have stayed in Detroit and tried to get tickets for game four of the NBA Finals.

Pre-storm Ohio sky
I spend the night in Lima, Ohio. I try to buy some beer to drink in my room and watch the Red Sox-Dodgers game and the NBA Finals, but there are no Sunday beer sales in Ohio. I go to a local dive bar called Sportscaster, but the cable is out, and eventually the power goes out too. I drink cans of Rolling Rock, for $1.75 each, and witness two drunk, fat, local women call each other "bitch" for about a half hour. The guy sitting next to me, who is missing a few visible teeth, including one of his front two, says this is the nightly entertainment in this place.


  1. Yep, you were definitely in Ohio. Teeth are for the snooty and elite around here. ;)

  2. Hehehe. Probably. But we did just get a basset hound, so maybe that will take me back down a notch. ;)

  3. No disrespect intended, the gene pool in Lima may be a bit suspect. The state mental hospital is there. A running joke when I was in high school was to predict that so-and-so was going to go to Lima State for college.

  4. Pretty funny, DD.

    It didn't even occur to me that it was possible I was going to offend my readers who are native Ohioans by poking fun at a couple locals that I met at a bar. But instead, they turn out to be more than willing to turn it up a notch.