Thursday, October 1, 2009

Ghosts of Weekend Past

Once again, I bring you day old bread. I won't bore you to tears with weak apologies about being out of town, having houseguests, helping with homework, blah, blah, blah.

I sojourned in the City of Wind over the weekend to celebrate my anniversary and take in some Tiger baseball. There were moments of solidarity on the L, as many Tiger faithful made the trek to the Cell. As we awaited our transfer to the Red Line, a man fully decked out in Sox gear was standing next to me. He espied my Tiger jersey, and gave me what I can only term the "stink eye." It was SO great. His disgust and ire were expressed in one small look. No words were exchanged. It was pure gall to him, standing next to me. He had no idea that his gesture made my day.

Everyone else was surprisingly good natured. I was prepared to have beer poured on me. No such tales can I provide here. Quite the contrary. Get a load of this "moment" between opposing fans. A rabid Sox fan behind us had her ring fall off and go bouncing down several steps to who knows where. Everyone pitched in to look for it, and I finally came up with it after a protracted search. As I handed it to her, I was stunned to receive a hug of gratitude. I hope SportsCenter got that--Sox and Tiger fan embrace!

Now to the game. Friday night, Eddie Bonine took a no-hitter going into the sixth inning. A Brandon Inge error planted Alex Rios at first, and the next thing you know, young Golden Boy Gordon Beckham goes yard (with two outs) to bust up the no-no most emphatically. I ask you this: when you get a quality outing from a spot starter, is it not criminal to then provide ZERO run support and lose the game, a game with pennant chase implications, no less? I'm sorry, it cannot be countenanced.

I was pleasantly surprised with U.S. Cellular Field. I wasn't expecting much, and our seats were fantastic, so perhaps I was unduly influenced. The Sox fans there were hype, despite the fact that their team was eliminated from playoff contention the previous night. I was impressed by the fervor. In fact, they put Tiger fans at last night's game to shame. I was there, and I was frankly embarrassed at the mausoleum Comerica Park seemed for such an important game. It was the ninth inning, and the place should have been on its feet screaming from Fernando's first pitch, and everyone was sitting in their seats like they were at the Opera (until there were two outs). WHAT...IS...WRONG...WITH...YOU...PEOPLE?

I love road games, because you get such great chances for player interaction. Our seats were four rows from the field about two section over from the Tigers' dugout, so I was standing down on the rail during warmups. Curtis Granderson, as you know, is from Chicago, and many people kept calling him over there to ask where to meet up with him after the game. He did a good job of not giving a specific location, rather speaking in code to them. Shucks. Anyway, he came over and was standing literally right in front of me about a foot and a half away, so I got to tell him how much I enjoy watching him play, and got a close-up photo of him. One guy who called him over (and obviously knew him) actually took Curtis' face between his huge hands and patted it. I could not believe my eyes.

Ok, so that was the supposed end of Tiger baseball for me for the weekend. I mean, I was in town celebrating a wedding anniversary, you know. Well, on the way back to the L, a Sox fan noticed my jersey and said it was a nice weekend for us and not so much for them, and asked whether I was going to all three games. I replied no, we had some other festivities planned for Saturday. He said he had lowers for Saturday's game 2 for $25. I tried to nobly shake him off, no, no we're going to a comedy club, we've got dinner reservations. My husband (insert picture of knight in glittering armor) says we have to take the tickets, it's too good a deal. What else could I do? I mean, when the stars align in your favor, you graciously accept, right? We checked the tickets for authenticity, and saw they were indeed for Saturday, and were only a couple sections over from where we were Friday night. The guy even gave us a tip on riding the L, so he earns five gold stars.

The weekend decided to bend itself over backward to please me. On Saturday afternoon, we went to some shops on the Magnificent Mile, splitting up for a short moment. Not sure why my husband didn't want to come into Crate and Barrel with me, but whatever. I was going to meet him outside of Niketown. So, I ambled over there, and he hadn't even gone in yet, because he was watching a street performer, who was spray painted silver from head to toe and was acting like a robot dancer. Quite a crowd he had, too. Weird. Anyway, I said I wanted to go into Niketown, too. We were looking at the kids section upstairs for a souvenir, when I gasped and blurted "TheresMiguelCabreraandRamonSantiagoIhavetogotalktothemrightnow." They were chatting with a friend, and I rudely walked right up and butted in. Miguel and Ramon were very friendly and gracious, as I gushed about how I was in town for the games, and so excited for the playoff run, and on and on like a babbling idiot. Then, I WALK AWAY WITHOUT ASKING FOR A PHOTO! Imagine my joy turning to self-loathing as I realize my mistake. Well, I directed another lucky Tiger fan to our heroes (sorry, guys) and he asked them for a photo right away. I decided to disgrace myself in a complete lack of pride and ask for one right after him. They obliged without any audible snickers, but I can only imagine the eye-rolling and worse as I walked away. I can only hope that I wasn't the subject of coarse clubhouse jokes Saturday night. Actually, even that's ok, because we won the game, and that's all that matters! Sign me up for buffoon duty anytime if it keeps the boys loose and helps us win ballgames.

Well, that's a wrap on yesterday's news, folks.

Magic Number: 2.

Stress level : 2000.

Game time: 1:00 pm Eastern.

Scott Baker's ERA vs. Tigers this year: 9.00

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