Get ready for Billy Ray and daughter Miley Cyrus for the National Anthem tonight at the World Series, because there is going to be a Game 4 no matter what. It won’t be as brutally cold as it was Sunday night in Detroit, but it will be nagging rain as well as cold and the problem is that the forecast doesn’t look much better in coming days here. And as we saw with the Comerica Park crowd for that Game 2, there will be a general indifference to the conditions by fans, especially if St. Louis goes up 3-1. After all, sopping-wet bunting is still World Series bunting.
If you haven’t been to new Busch yet and get a chance in the future, perhaps even this week, be sure to closely inspect the ground outside the Home Plate gate area. These aren’t your average dedication bricks that are becoming more popular for new parks (but notice the "1st Date 1962" tile at the top of the pic below). In the center of each quadrant of dedication bricks is a "Greatest Moments" tile, and they tell fascinating stories — from the "First Harvest" that talks about Branch Rickey’s first farm system call-up to this NL Pennant tile…
… to my favorite here: The story of why all that Cardinal Red is so dramatically on display during this part of the 102nd World Series …
Faced with three guys (Curtis Granderson, Placido Polanco and Pudge Rodriguez) in an 0-for-34 combination at the plate this series, Tigers manager Jim Leyland just came into the interview room here at Busch and announced a changeup. "Yeah, I did change the lineup a little bit," he said. "Granderson is still going to lead off. Monroe is going to hit second, Guillen moved up to third, Ordonez fourth, Casey fifth, Pudge sixth, Polanco seventh and Inge eighth." Jeremy Bonderman is pitching and batting ninth; he’s 0-for-18 this season and said he has never come close to a hit in ’06. Opposing starter Jeff Suppan homered in the last series; big plate advantage to STL in the 9-hole.
Tony La Russa, when asked about his lineup for tonight, after the obvious penciling of David Eckstein at the top: "Well, Duncan will hit second and play right field, Albert, Jimmy hits fourth, Scott fifth, Wilson is going to play left field and hit sixth, Molina and Miles will play second base and bat eighth."
Funny story: The St. Louis Rams practiced today and Brett Romberg said Anthony Reyes got him tickets for Game 5. Then Romberg told him, "Thanks for the tickets, but I’m coming in my Tigers colors." Reyes told the media here: "He might be doing that just to get at me. I’ve met him. He’s a cool guy, so whatever he wants to do."
By the way, there is a fairly large Tigers-clad contingent of fans around St. Louis if you wander around the city. There are obviously not as many Tiger fans as there are Red Sox fans who completely invaded the Gateway to the West in 2004, but it’s still noticeable. Lots of old-English D’s worn around local establishments.
One hour till the Hank Aaron Award winners from each league are announced right here by commissioner Bud Selig and The Hammer himself. It will be the decision of the people, as fans voted for this prestigious award again exclusively at MLB.com. Somewhere here will be people who won tickets in the sweepstakes that went along with that online balloting, and they probably would prefer last night’s weather but they probably won’t complain too much about being here.