The shot heard round Detroit ends it 5-4.
OT: Rite of Passage - Took My Nine Year Old To His First Game Last Night (and that's going to be hard to beat)
As I get older there are things about growing up that have stuck with me through time. One of those memories is my late father taking me to my first baseball game at Tiger Stadium way back in 1968 to see them take on the Washington Senators. I remember today how huge the place looked, the sounds, eating hotdogs (best hotdog ever) and just how exciting and alive the stadium was. Earl Wilson was pitching that day for Detroit and I remember getting a program and trying to keep score on it like my dad showed me to. I remember hoping a foul ball came our way (it didn't) and while not completely understanding what was going on I knew it seemed very important. My dad, like me today, wasn't a huge baseball fan, but we had fun and the I remember the Tigers beat the Senators on a pinch-hit, walk-off home run in exrra innings by the late, great Gates Brown. It was so exciting!
Tonight I am taking my nine year old son to his first baseball game at Progressive Field here in Cleveland. While Tommy and my wife will be sporting Indians gear, I'll be representing the Tigers in section 130, row V, along with hopefully more than a few of my fellow Michiganders. Verlander's on the bump and it's Omar Visquel jersey night so the place should be packed and rocking. Hopefully he remembers tonight when he's 54 as fondly as I do my first game today.
Edit: Well that's going to be hard to top. That game had just about everything a nine year old first time fan could want. Great pitching, back and forth action, home runs, a ninth inning comeback from the home team, extra innings and a win for the good guys. And Fireworks!!! It doesnt get much better than that and he (and I) had an absolute blast.
PS: You'll note that we "split the dfference" in Tommy's clothing. A Tigers hat for dad and an Indians shirt for mom but trust me, the boy was 100% Tigers in his cheering!
Trent was great for Michigan this season.
Sad to see him go but excited that he's going to the Tigers organization. Would be cool to see him get up to Toledo soon.
He was taken in the 20th round of the 2014 MLB First-Year Player Draft.
Two Michigan juniors and three Michigan signees were selected on day three of the MLB draft. Junior right-hander James Bourque was the first picked, going in the 14th round (#424 overall) to the Washington Nationals. Erik Bakich had gone into the draft expecting Bourque to be drafted and to sign, and he indicated that again in an MLive article today.
"He is a hard-thrower," Bakich said, in a phone interview Saturday. "He got his fastball up to 96 miles per hour by the end of the season, and he has stuff with his fastball and curveball that from a professional standpoint is really good."
. . .
"Any where a player gets drafted on day three of the draft gives them a good opportunity to start a professional career," Bakich said.
Bakich expects Bourque to sign with the Nationals.
But in a Freep article, Bourque sounded more uncertain:
Bourque has no idea of his plans, whether he’ll sign or return for his senior year at Michigan, but the uncertain part is over.
“I’m definitely more relieved,” he said. “The whole draft process gets old and you don’t really get any news until you see your name on the draft board... I’m just more relieved and glad it’s done and I can focus on what I’m doing now and talk to them.”
The Tigers drafted junior southpaw Trent Szkutnik in the 20th round (#610 overall). As with Bourque, Bakich had been anticipating that Szkutnik would go pro. That still seems to be the case given that he's a local product, who went to high school at Temperance Bedford and is a Tigers fans. Here's a quote from an MLive article:
"It is great to see the team from our state take Trent," Michigan baseball coach Erik Bakich said. "Everyone is extremely excited about him getting a chance to play professional baseball here in Michigan."
The first Michigan signee drafted was Drew Lugbauer, a 6-4 catcher out of Arlington H.S. in New York, selected by the Toronto Blue Jays in round 21 (#624 overall). A local news article indicates he's still planning on coming to Ann Arbor:
"We spoke to the Blue Jays before the draft and they knew I was going to school. I'm really thankful they selected me,'' Lugbauer said.
"I'm going to keep doing what I've been doing and try to develop as a player to the best of my ability (at Michigan).''
With Cole Martin graduating this year, Lugbauer could be a key member of the 2014 class.
Taken in round 26 (#786 overall) by the Texas Rangers was another signee, Jayce Vancena, a right-handed pitcher out of Lake H.S. in Millbury, Ohio. The Rangers had expressed serious interest in Vancena heading into the draft, even summoning him down to Texas for a pre-draft workout and forcing him to miss a playoff game in the process (according to this article).
The Tigers drafted a second Michigan signee in round 31 (#940 overall)—Grant Reuss, a left-handed pitcher from Cranbrook Kingswood H.S.
Note that July 18 is the deadline for drafted players and teams to reach deals.
The Detroit Tigers have a few holes on their team that are preventing them from winning a world championship. What do you think Dambroski and Illitch should do at the deadline? Should they go after a shortstop like Rollins or Hanley Ramirez who could provide veteran leadership in the postseason and a nice boost in hitting or should they go after a lock down reliever who can provide depth and strengthen the bullpen?
An original Met, manager of the Red Sox and Cubs, bench coach for the Yankees. Quite a career in baseball. But we'll always remember him being owned by Pedro Martinez during the bench-clearing brawl.