Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Road Trip: Detroit

After leaving Niagra Falls at the crack of 11, we finally made it to our hotel in Detroit about 5 after stopping off to see some old friends, and me almost getting us arrested at the border for not remembering where we had been the night before. (Hey, it was a long trip). We stayed at the Ritz Carlton in Dearborn, after hearing that this is where the Red Sox stay. That was not our only reason, part of it was that we wanted to stay somewhere where wouldn’t get murdered, but, it did have something to do with it. We asked the bell boy when we checked in, and he told us the Sox stayed in downtown Detroit at the Atheneum Suite Hotel, which, is where our bell hop friend told us they stay. We never actually checked it out, because we aren’t those kind of girls. (Okay, we are, but we were scared to leave the area directly around the stadium, and directly around the hotel). I guess the Yankees and Twins stay with the Ritz, but the Sox and White Sox stay at the Antheneum. Just so you know. Anyway, after a quick change, we headed down to Comerica. On the ride, our friendly cab driver told us that he had picked up some Red Sox coaches and dropped them off at the Sox players entrance earlier in the day. So now we weren’t sure where they stayed. Anyway, the game up, sucked. Julian didn’t have it from the beginning and it was a really fun time to be in Detroit. (Not).

Let me tell you a few things about Detroit. I have now been to Fenway, Camden Yards, Sky Dome, Yankee Stadium, Tropicana, and the Ballpark at Arlington. Of all those places, my favorite stadium, hands down, is Comerica. It’s huge, had awesome architecture, really cool Tiger statues everywhere, plenty of concessions, beer men in the stands, lots of bathrooms, ect. Just an absolutely beautiful park overlooking the Detroit skyline.

That being said. Let me tell you a few things about Detroit fans. They bring kitchen utensils to the game and wave them around when Gary Sheffield is up (no wonder he wanted to be a Red Sox), they only make noise when 1. Red Sox fans make noise, 2. The scoreboard instructs them to do so, their old park, Tiger Stadium, opened the same day as Fenway, yet they don’t know to stand with two outs and two strikes. They are all covered in 2006 ALCS Champions shirts and hats. I don’t know about you, but where I come from, I don’t celebrate championship losses. It’d be the equivalent of me wearing an AFC East Champion shirt. I’d rather stab myself in the eye with a pen. And finally, the most damning evidence of all that they suck…Saturday’s game with Gabby pitching was the second highest attendance in the HISTORY of Comerica, AND Tavarez’s start Friday was the fifth highest in attendance. How is this possible? They played two ALCS games and 2 World Series games last year! More people come out to see the Red Sox than the World Series? And, it wasn’t like the Nation completely invaded Comerica like we usually do, we were definitely in the vast minority, with a scattering of Red Sox fans in our section, but completely outnumbered.

When we got to our seats in the first game, we sat in the wrong seats and I sat next to a Tiger’s fan who didn’t actually believe I was a Red Sox fan (because I was just dying to go to Detroit on vacation and needed an excuse?). He asked me how long I’ve been a Red Sox fan…(implying that it was since 2004), and didn’t seem to buy that I have been a diehard since 1997 when Nomar Garciaparra came into my life. He asked me if I knew the significance of the day Old Tiger Stadium and Fenway opened (the Titanic sank). Then, he told me the Tiger’s called up a bunch of players from their AAA team to face and I told him that the Paw Sox would destroy the Mud Hens (I don’t know how I knew their AAA team was the Mud Hens, sometimes I just know random shit). At least he was convinced that I was, in fact, a baseball fan, he began to explain to me how Curtis Granderson was screwed out of a spot on the All Star team by Major League Baseball. I informed him that the teams select which outfielders to put on the ballot, not MLB, so in fact, the Tigers screwed Granderson. At this point, I realized that he, in fact, didn’t know his shit, and had us move to our proper seats (okay, that’s a lie, the people whose seats we were sitting in came).

We went out for drinks after and came back to the hotel. I went into to full scale stalker mode, staking out the lobby in search of signs of Sox. (Not that I would have said anything anyway, seeing I was in my PJ’s with no makeup and such dark lack of sleep circles under my eyes that I looked like I’d been slapped around). Of course, there weren’t any, the bell boy had been telling us the truth.

For the second game we had the human typo, Kason Gabbard on the hill. He pitched great, giving up two runs, and of course, once again our O couldn’t get anything going. From the 8th inning on, every time the Sox got a batter on, Papelbon began warming up. This started to make me nervous, thinking that if this game goes a while, we are going to wear him out before we even see him. The entire pen does his job, and as we move to the bottom of the 13th, Terry decides to bring in cinco-ocho. Sometimes with Pap, I just know it isn’t going to end well. I knew he had thrown a ton of warm up pitches, and we didn’t even have the lead. When he hit Sheff and I was surrounded by waving kitchen utensils, my stomach sank. Still though, I had faith. Then Pudge came through with the game winning hit, and we headed to the exits in a hurry (skipping the free post game fireworks). Now, I understand that I was wearing a Papelbon shirt, and I understand we were in enemy territory. However, I have never, in my life, been called the things that we were called on the way out of that park. (including Yankee Stadium. I really think that the Yankees fans giving us shit, and they do, are more in good fun than the Tigers fans were). I mean, I don’t get why they hate us so much. I really was surprised. I mean, we don’t even play each other that much! And I’m not sensitive, I was fully expecting a ton of shit when we were walking out of there, but I was surprised with how ridiculously vicious a lot of the fans were. When I was at a Tiger’s game at Fenway earlier this year, no one was giving them a hard time. It’s indifference when they are here, and apparently a huge deal when the Sox are there. So much so that people would rather go rag on Red Sox fans than see their team compete for a World Series. After the second game, we wanted no part of the locals, so we retreated to the friendly confines of the Ritz and had some cocktails in our room before bed. Because, of course, we once again had a big day of driving ahead of us.

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