Editor’s note- Perhaps you’ve noticed the lack of updates. I’ve watched plenty of baseball but didn’t write about it. Quite honestly, I’ve had no motivation to write about baseball for five weeks. I was feeling guilty about it and I mentioned it to my dad and he said, “Why don’t you just do it when you feel like it?” and that’s more or less what I’ve done. It's been five weeks.
I went to Friday’s game and sat in the nicest seat I’ve probably ever sat in. Section 120L, Row 5, Seat 109. You can see my hair and sweater in the shots of home plate from the highlights.
The fact that 2017 is more or less a write off allowed me to find that seat on StubHub and find it reasonably priced.
I passed Bob McGown (who threw out the first pitch to celebrate the 25th anniversary of his show) and Marcus Stroman’s mom on the concourse before the game. Neither had any idea they were in the presence of greatness when they passed me.
There is a sound to Marcus Stroman’s pitches that differentiated him from the Tigers’ starter. There was a snap to them. A bite. And they move a hell of a lot. He wore gold shoes.
Stroman’s emits a lot of energy. That angle allowed me to see a lot of the interplay between the catcher, the umpire, the hitter and the pitcher. There is a whole drama that unfolds throughout the game that isn’t as visible on TV or from another seat.
I saw this.
I may have said, "Get in the box." I may have been heard.
I went to use the washroom and get another cup of coffee (it was freezing Friday night) when Stroman had his spot of bother. All of a sudden, it was 4-0.
Steve Pearce’s eye black was a mess before Stroman even threw his first pitch. He must be extraordinarily sweaty. And messy. The official reason he left the game after one inning was "stiff back". But I'm convinced it was just messy eye black.
I initially thought the triple play was just a double play and that the inning was over because the Tigers already had one out. The dude next to me said, “Was that a triple play?” and I said, “Uh….oh shit. Yes.”
I could tell from the angle and the sound when a ball was hit well enough to leave the yard. I knew when José Bautista hit his homer that night right off the bat. It was hit hard and it went a long way. I felt a little emotional as it’s likely the last one I’ll see live with Bautista in that uniform. (My prediction- he signs with Tampa or some team like that and he kills the Blue Jays, single handedly, every time he faces them.)
I had fun but it was also a little sad. A four run deficit felt like 11 runs. Josh Donaldson was sick. It was cold, and highlights of an Encarnación homer that were shown on the Jumbotron were happening in a different city.
The last two seasons have been magical. There was an aura of possibility that just isn’t hanging around anymore.
Most magically magic moment? The usher in the 500 level on the tron full on grooving to "Feel So Good" by Mase pre-game.
Someone else grooved: