Every year, my family schedules a trip to an away Indians game. So far we have been to Pittsburgh, Chicago, and New York. This weekend we headed to the state up north for an Indians/Tigers match up in Detroit. Due to our recent shortcomings in Cleveland our hope was bleak for a solid weekend on the field, but we still had hope knowing we had good success against the Tigers–and there were casinos if things got ugly.
We started the trip late Saturday morning and got to downtown around 3:00 p.m. We stayed at the Westin Cadillac Hotel at the corner of Washington Boulevard and M!ch!g@n Avenue (sorry, still can’t say the state). This place was a half mile from everywhere. And it was a really nice hotel inside an old building. After we got all checked in we decided to find some grub. We stopped at the restaurant’s self-proclaimed, “best bar in town.” It was called Coaches Corner and had a great sports bar atmosphere. We enjoyed a couple pitchers of Boston Lager, had our greasy burgers and wraps, and we were on our way. The next stop was the Greektown Casino. I was in a hurry and in no mood to give my money to the city of Detroit so I put a quick five dollars in the slots, doubled up, and got out of there. Before the game we went back to the hotel to change and have a few more brews before boarding the People Mover (Detroit’s much smaller version of the Rapid). It was then time to enter Comerica Park.
The stadium was extravagant to say the least. It almost had a circus feel to it. Every turn there was a sculpture of a tiger, or a carousel, or another sculpture of tiger. They went overboard with the Tigers theme, in my opinion. But the first thing you notice when you enter the stadium is how huge the the field is. Center field is four-hundred twenty feet from home plate, but I’ll talk about the size when we get to the actual game. Our seats were on the first base side more towards the foul pole than the dugout. And with the amount of lefties on our team I figured that we had a legitimate shot at catching a foul ball (none came remotely close).
When the first pitch was thrown by Doug Fister the stands immediately filled to capacity. I think that is how baseball is becoming. Everyone waits until game time to show up. It is astounding to me. I always love to watch the pregame festivities and players warmup. But nonetheless it was a sellout at Comerica and we had no idea what we were in store for. Early on in the game we felt a few rain drops and people started walking up the aisles. We thought they were being wusses but actually they were the smart ones. Ten minutes later I was soakEd Head to toe trying to get up to shelter.
The rain delay was only the second ugliest part of the game. Watching the Indians was unbearable. We were just lucky that Tiger fans weren’t too harsh on us. I think it was because they almost felt bad for us. However, even though the Detroit fans were great we sat behind some Sanduskians and some others from Canada that were rooting against the Indians than for the Tigers. I could not believe how much they hated Cleveland. I don’t know what we did wrong, but I overheard “mistake by the lake,” numerous times. Call me biased, but I don’t think people form Cleveland are that hard to get along with. Toward the middle of the game we had lost hope in winning and turned our attention to Doug Fister’s perfect game chances. But once that was no longer a possibility I came to the realization that we really just did not know how to hit in this park. All of the Tigers’ runs came from hard hit liners to the deepest part of the field, right center. All of our hardest hit balls were high fly balls into the same spot that the outfielders could get under. If that game was in Cleveland in the same conditions that score would have been much closer. But, that’s the point of a home field advantage.
After the Indians ended the misery there were fireworks. If there is a silver lining in this whole trip I must say a fireworks show is something that Cleveland does much better than Detroit. Their show consisted of rolling a cart out into center field and pressing a button. All of the fireworks blew off one after another without any rhythm or set to music. I really love how the Indians shoot them off from the scoreboard and usually incorporate a music theme.
Overall, the weekend was great beside the fact that the Indians were so hard to watch. I got to spend time with my family, eat good food, drink good beer, and just enjoy the game of baseball. Now the question is, where will we got next year?
Where should we go next year? What city has the best baseball experience? Let me know in the comment section or on Twitter @Believelander.
Keep your eyes peeled and ears open for the MTAF Podcast too. It’s on iTunes!