No Run Support

Detroit Tigers baseball and other nonsense

ALCS Game One: A Fun Disaster

I went to last night’s game in Arlington.

I live in San Antonio, which is a quick 50 minute flight (or four hour drive, or six hour train ride) from the Dallas/Ft. Worth area. I try to get up there whenever the Tigers are in town, and one or two weekends a year I’ll go  just to see a random game and hang with my friends that live there. My friend Lee got tickets to the game when it went on sale and promised me one of them if, somehow, it turned out to be on a weekend and against the Tigers. We went to the ALCS last year and had the time of our lives. The stars aligned and as soon as the game ended on Thursday I was frantically booking a flight while I watched the Tigers celebrate in the locker room.

I got into town pretty early in the morning and we spent the day doing important things like procuring bourbon to pour into a flask, eating tacos, buying better seats, eating at In-n-Out, and freaking out about/over-analyzing the weather forecast. By the time we left for the park I was resigned to the fact that the game would probably have at least one delay early on, and possibly wind up getting postponed. At that point I had stopped being concerned about the game’s actual outcome and just hoped they’d play. Honestly, it was actually a little refreshing to be anxious about the weather since I’ve been so stressed about winning games.

We arrived a little while after the gates opened and I stationed myself behind the visitor’s dugout with my camera like I always do. Noted Tiger fan J.K Simmons – I actually met him during batting practice in Anaheim in ’09 – was there and it was fun talking baseball with him and the small crowd of fans. It’s funny, how fast you can make friends at a ballgame. I started talking to a couple from Houston right when I arrived simply because they had Tiger gear on, and by the time we parted ways it was like we’d known each other for years even though we had forgotten to tell each other our names. Happens to me almost every game I go to.

Met a lot of interesting people during the rain delays, too. Much like the fast camaraderie with fellow fans of the same team, standing around in a packed concourse understandably brings everyone together. We were all soaking wet (my flip flops, the only shoes I stupidly packed, were still wet this morning) and surviving it because we love baseball.

Anyway, the outcome of the game was obviously not favorable for the Tigers, and I’m starting to think I’m bad luck for Justin Verlander. Seriously, as I was at his last loss too. But I had a great time and it was absolutely worth the trip.

It seems like after last night, things just continue to go wrong for the team. Tonight’s game postponed, Magglio’s ankle is broken again. I’m pretty sad knowing I likely saw his last game in a Tigers uniform, perhaps his last game in any uniform. It’s a big blow to the lineup, but I’ve still got hope they can make it to the World Series. Discouraged but not giving it up. I can’t be the only one.

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