Tuesday, July 12, 2005

BIG BATS TURN COMERICA SMALL

Let me make a confession. I wanted nothing to do with Monday's home run derby. I wanted to see A-Rod and Sammy Sosa and Barry Bonds and the big names who bang.
I longed for the days when Mark McGwire bashed.
The only reason I showed up Monday was because I'd never witnessed a home run derby live and it was in my home town. This could be my last chance.
What a treat.
Bobby Abreau brought it.
Many of his 41 home runs sailed over our heads in right field and hit with a thud. He turned Comerica National Park into a band box. And the icing on the cake came when Tiger catcher Pudge Rodriguez made the finals against Abreau.
For the rest of the nation Pudge was simply the set up guy for Abreau who deserved to win this after hitting a record 24 home runs in the first round, nine more than Baltimore's Miguel Tejada did during his record breaking first round last year.
But it was special to Detroit fans who saw one of their Tiger heroes dance on the national stage. You should have seen the smiles on peoples' faces as we left Comerica. They all wanted to talk about Pudge and Abreau who brought life to the derby.
No one cared that Pudge lost 11-5 in the Finals. This was a special night for fans and a special night for Detroit.
And I don't care that Major League Baseball probably injected enough juice in these balls where McGwire in his prime probably could have hit the Ren Cen. You mean to tell me they hit more home runs in spacious Comerica than at Wrigley Field and Coors Field which is a mile above sea level.
Come on.
Finally, Detroit takes tons of hits nationwide.
The All Star week has been great for this city. People have praised us for a change.
Now comes the big test.
Super Bowl XL, cold weather and snow.
Maybe they can call upon Pudge to bring his magic stick in February.

20 Comments:

Blogger Ian C. said...

The only reason I watched any of Home Run Derby last night was because it was at Comerica Park. Otherwise, I thought the international format looked like a dud, on its way to becoming the NBA Slam Dunk Contest, where the game's most exciting dunkers don't participate.

I didn't watch the whole thing, but Abreu's display was amazing. To see balls reach that right-field upper deck was a rewind-the-tape, did-I-just-see-that kind of moment.

There's something satisfyingly funny about that many home runs being hit in Comerica "National" Park.

6:57 AM

 
Anonymous Brian said...

I thought the fans chanting, "Bobby, Bobby!" was very classy. It just goes to show that Detroit fans here appriciate baseball for what it is. Meanwhile, Bobby Higginson was probably sitting at home closing his eyes and pretending the fans were chanting, "Bobby, Bobby!" for him. Good entertainment last night.

7:47 AM

 
Blogger billionaire said...

I must admit the all star has energized the city. I still don't feel the mayor and city council did not embrace the event like they should have. But it was good to see Pudge represent even though MR WET BLANK MIKE was thinking he would not do well. I agree with Terry as far as the balls possibly being juiced. Over the years we have heard Comerica is a pitchers park, a home run hitters nightmare so how did Bobby Abreu bang out 24 home runs in the first round. I am praying every day that the Superbowl does not turn into the Ice Bowl. The city with the NEW MAYOR needs a decent cold weather

7:59 AM

 
Anonymous sportsfroma2 said...

I agree, I LOVED watching the Derby last night, it made me feel so proud watching my city and my fellow fans on TV.

Pudge did show up yesterday, unlike what Mikey said (we DEMAND an apology- and why do you hate Pudge so much mikey?).

Also, what was the deal with mike calling you a boob on the show yesterday? i hope that doesn't mean an FCC fine.

back to the subject, I usually don't spend much time watching the HR derby, but I really enjoyed it yesterday. I am 98% sure the balls were juiced, but then what hapened with Jason Bay? If he did that poorly WITH juiced balls, that's SAD.

I want to read more about what people's take on detroit is, I hope more people agree with the jason whitlock guy from espn.com .

Anyways, Tfos, sometime in the future, when you have a moment, give us your rundown of the Detroit Mayoral race, pleeeese!

8:25 AM

 
Blogger hitman said...

I agree T, I didn't think that the All-Star festivities would be hard for Detroit to pull off. Granted they did a superb job but it is aided by the fine summer weather (which contrary to the beliefes of many does get above 80 degrees). The real test will be the Superbowl.

Juiced!?!? hahaha, when they started bangin them that was my first thought as well...we are so cynical.

9:20 AM

 
Blogger Jack Fu said...

Come on, lay off Mike. Pudge hit more homers in the first round of the competition last night than he has through 86 friggin’ games so far this season. We had WAY more reason to expect what Mike predicted than we did to expect what actually happened.

And I found the competition to be pretty fun to watch. The “8 countries” thing, while not the raging success baseball’s gonna try to make it out to be, was a neat little twist. At best, it added a little something to the event; at worst, it was superfluous.

The thing that struck me though: not that the Tigers are ever, you know, ON TV when they’re playing at Comerica ... but on the rare occasion that a home game IS televised, I mean, are FoxSports’s camera angles too tight, or do people just never hit home runs to right field? Because last night there were some gorgeous shots of Abreu homers to rightfield with downtown clearly visible and looking pretty goddamn cool and majestic, and I was like, “I’ve never seen that view on TV before!”

9:42 AM

 
Anonymous sportsfroma2 said...

Towards the end of the derby (when it was dark out), did anyone notice the RenCen behind leftfield (i tihnk). It looked sweet!

I really think, so far, it has been awesome! (knocks on wood).

9:56 AM

 
Blogger The_Real_Right_Way said...

Thank god...

Streaming is working again.

I missed the home run derby. As I have mentioned, I am not much of a baseball fan, but I wish I would have tuned in.

10:45 AM

 
Blogger billionaire said...

Just two add a couple more cents to Jason Whitlock. You have to give alot of the credit to MAyor Dennis Archer (even though The Current soon to be Ex Mayor like to take the credit) Also you have to give due credit to the Ford's the Ilitches and GM for having the guts to make their case for hosting these events. Most of all kudos to the die hard sports fans of the city. Whitlock also left off the passion for the Spartans and Wolverines. Even the tigers with their demise still had fans come to the game and let's not forget the Worst sports franchise in our history the Lions yet they still sell out consistently. So folks don;t ever feel the need to have outside praise. I am glad that businesses downtown are finally getting a huge windfall they needed it

11:32 AM

 
Blogger Kevin Antcliff said...

Great night for CoPa. I wrote about recently busted Detroit Sports myths today, thanks in large part to the Home Run Derby last night.

My big fear was that 3 HR's would be enough to advance, but I'm stoked to see that wasn't the case.

12:10 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

When are sports media morons (and fans alike) going to STOP MAKING PREDICTIONS on everything? You CANNOT predict sports with any kind of accuracy. Valenti's "1 HR for Pudge" was 19 off. Everyone thought there'd be no HR in the derby. And the friggin balls were NOT juiced. "Butt" Selig isn't that smart.

Predicting sports is like predicting if you'll die tomorrow. WHO THE HELL KNOWS?!?!?

Way to go, Abreu.

12:46 PM

 
Blogger The_Real_Right_Way said...

Anonymous...

Don't tell all the sports books in Vegas about predicting sports.

If they find out it can't be done, they will have to shutdown.

1:00 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, the sports books are a racket. They don't successfully predict outcomes - they use their point spread schemes to shift money back and forth. They never win big OR lose big.

2:29 PM

 
Blogger billionaire said...

Predictions will always be apart of sports just like the mayor will try and claim he represents my genaration slash hip hop ( I disagree ) Just like stock brokers they speculate and make predictions on stock. I was down at fan fest and it was okay. I got to see some of the local stars. I was even able to ask Bud Selig a question. The question I asked was how long b4 you contract the teams. When you see the crowd in Tampa Bay it is truly sad. However the question I should have asked which hit me later was the disconnect btn MLB and my community. Interest has dropped significantly and I wonder why ?

5:52 PM

 
Anonymous sportsfroma2 said...

billionaire- what was selig's answer?

about sports predictions, people predict everything, so why are sports any different? Weather people are never 100% right. I just think predictions are a way of valuing other people's opinion- without predictions, what would most of the writers/journalists do? Ot's their JOB to predict (when they analyze drafts, they're stil predicting). Heck, when a doctor give you medicine and says let me know if its not better in 2 days, isn't he predicting/guessing?

I was just trying to get Mike worked up by calling him out on his prediction, its so funny listening to mike get mad.

7:09 PM

 
Anonymous Brent said...

Yuck! Sorry to say that you swung and missed on this one Terry.

His name is spelled Abreu.

There is nothing Pudgy about Ivan Rodriguez anymore. The nickname belongs to Carlton Fisk and Ivan isn't a hard name to say or spell. It's about time people stop calling him Pudge.

Juiced baseballs? C'mon! They use to blame high HR totals on juiced baseballs. That was before it became evident that it was the players that were juiced. There are 50 of those baseballs available for testing, you think MLB would use different balls for one game? Let's just admit that centerfield is where flyballs die in Comerica and that in a batting practice setting, it's easier to pull balls to avoid CF.

7:30 PM

 
Blogger billionaire said...

another grammar and spell check authority never mind why bother. Sportsa2 Selig said that over all base ball is on a good pace. Attendance and revenue is up and more teams are in the hunt. He also said that because of the players union and the rules of baseball it is tough to contract. He said speaking of Tampa it has the right demographics the team just needs to win. LAstly he said the teams with abysmal attendance must step up to the plate and if only a couple teams are not drawing where as the majority are doing fine he could deal with that. You only got one question so I could not ask a follow up question ?

9:26 AM

 
Blogger The_Real_Right_Way said...

billionaire...

Good question, it is ashame that you didn't get to ask your other question, I would be interested in his response.

In general, at the middleschool level, the best athletes in the US seem to be picking up a basketball or football. Baseball has become an alternative for those that can't make it in basketball, football and surprisingly soccer.

It seems as though African American youth don't even see baseball as an alternative sport.

To be honest, I turned the AllStar game off, it was too damn slow for me.

4:21 PM

 
Blogger billionaire said...

Yeah but TRRW baseball in my opinion allows for marginal atheletes to make alot of money. Plus if you notice major leaguers tend to have a long shelf life especially if you can make it to the majors. Even minor leaugers make decent wages. I think MLB is so concentrated on developing over seas talent that they forget about home first. This all-star deal would have been an excellent chance to market dontrelle willis. ALso MLB really does a bad job of marketing players in general. Back in the day you had an influx of black folks wanting to play but now your hard pressed. I don;t buy the notion that you need space look at football you need space for that as well. I know baseball is slow paced however it is sport where you can get paid and not have the same wear and tear you have in the nba or even more gruesome football. XYT needs to step up their programming. For me it has now turned into 10 am to 1 pm and then off the radio or computer.

9:10 PM

 
Blogger The_Real_Right_Way said...

billionaire...

Good point on marketing its players, quite frankly when I think of people talking about sports, I see all ages talking football and basketball.

But when I think about baseball, I always envision an old retired guy talking about, "how great the game was." I can't say that I have seen many in the younger generation talking baseball.

I think the MLB is in trouble, yes attendance is up, but I think they are still recovering from the strike. At what point does this league become irrelevant to the younger generation.

To me it seems as though it already has, The All Star Game could have easily been played in Latin America and the vast majority of players would have been more recognized by the fans and embraced by the youth who are actually playing the game.

12:59 AM

 

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