World Series Eve

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This place is just breathtaking, even on an off-night. At 8 p.m. ET, some of the final touches are being applied by groundskeepers. It’s going to hit every Tigers fan like Goose Bump Mountain when they walk in and see "World Series" in giant block letters on top of the dugouts. Everything about Comerica Park is gorgeous, and when you look at the backstop screen, you can’t help but think of Jim Leyland giving a celebration hug right through it after the American League Division Series.

Game 1 of the World Series between the Cards and Tigers is at 7:30 p.m. ET on Saturday — watch on FOX, listen live on MLB.com Gameday Audio and on MLB.com‘s Enhanced Gameday killer app to track TRUE Justin Verlander (and maybe Joel Zumaya) speeds now that radar guns are gradually being replaced by a foolproof pitch tracking system (30 frames per second via three-camera video triangulation) spearheaded by MLB Advanced Media.

Img_0440 I was going to have a "Count the Comerica Tigers" contest on this MLBlog, but the more you walk around the stadium, the more you realize that they can’t possibly be counted. First of all, each of the green seats has a tiger on the side, so suddenly it’s up in the high 30,000s, as capacity is 41,070, and some of those are suites/special seats. Then you look down and notice a napkin with the Comerica tiger logo. How many napkins are in the stadium? Thousands? I decided that judging the contest will be impossible, but you are totally free to pose a guess here in the comments.

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The Redbirds

We covered the Tigers in the first entry, and then the National League champions showed up fresh off their Game 7 thriller over the Mets at Shea Stadium. They worked out late in the afternoon. Rookie Anthony Reyes, who struggled in the last series, will oppose Verlander — amazingly, the first time two rooks have squared off in a World Series Game 1.

The best player in baseball, Albert Pujols, met the press at his locker below, fresh and welcoming all-comers. But keep an eye on his hamstring. He said that it still bothers him, and we’re looking at chilly/damp weather this weekend — playable but not hammy-loving weather. "I know it’s gonna be tough. That’s a great team," Pujols said. "Hopefully, we’re ready to go tomorrow. One of us is gonna be champion." He noted that when the Cards were swept by the Tigers in Interleague Play this past summer. "We weren’t playing well in June, and they were playing awesome."

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Look who else is surrounded these days. The day after one of the most dramatic saves in postseason history, Adam Wainwright said: "Today is the last day of gettin’ here. Then it’s all about being here." He said of the clincher at Shea: "We look at it like, celebrate it today, then throw it out." But many people will never throw it out and will tell stories about it.

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Predictions for the World Series

Will the Cardinals win it all for the first time since 1982? Will the Tigers win it all for the first time since 1984? Will it become a legendary seven-game thriller like their 1968 matchup, when Gibby whiffed 17 in the opener and Lolich beat him in Game 7? Or will it be another American League sweep for the third year in a row? You have until 7:30 Saturday night to post your pick right here, and don’t forget to start your own MLBlog and be a World Series chronicler, too.

13 Comments

my prediction is Tigers in 6.I am being generous and giving the cardinals 2 games.haha.But I like both teams so I dont care who wins.
-kaylee

Your site looks great! check out mine, http://www.baseballstuff.mlblogs.com/. I predict the tigers will beat the cards in 5 and that there are 5 million tigers in the studium. Why did you get to go in the stadium?

I mean stadium.

Mark,

Are the tigers on “each of the green seats” or just the aisle seats? They’re a nice touch.

Also, see any unique food items on the concourse?

Cardinals have a statistical infrastructure that is obscene when you think of Lichtman, Luhnow, and Mejdal.

But the one thing they never wanted to happen – playing against Leyland – is happening.

Nobody knows the Cardinals weaknesses better than Leyland and, because of that..

Detroit in 5.

Detroit in 4. They have the pitching and hitting and the DH is a factor in 4 of 7 games. Same thing that happened to the Astros last year will bite the Cards this year–bad weather and players playing hurt.

The CoPa is starting to turn into nice place to watch a game….I always thought it was nice,but now it’s growing on me…The Tigers in 5, but I’ll take 6

Congrats to the Cards on getting to the Show. I think this will be a tough series between a couple of gritty ball clubs. I do think my Tigers will prevail in 6. The key for St.L. will be if they can rock the Tigers’ LH pitchers. I think they will have trouble with Rogers but they could get to Robertson in Game 3 in their park. That will be a pivotal game.

BTW, the last time I got this excited about a World Series was in 1968. I’ll bet a lot of Cardinal fans here rmember that one and all the drama it presented to the baseball world.

Matt, excellent question. I’ll look more closely when I’m over there later today in case the tiger is just part of each seat’s mould, but I assume that it is only on the end-seat upon second thought. That assumption is based on the pic I took for my NLCS blog of the Cardinal on the end-seat at Busch, clearly visible there as only an end-seat: http://2006nlcs.mlblogs.com/2006nlcs/2006/10/its_a_beautiful.html

Having seen the same approach at other modern ballparks, I am guessing it’s always an end-seat only, and again good point and will check.

Mark/MLB.com

I’m going against the odds, how can I not pick my Cardinals? Let’s say Cards in 7. They went down to the wire in the regular season and in the NLCS. I think this will be a repeat of the NLCS. The Cards have a lot of heart, grit and determination. And I think the pressure is off them since they are the underdogs by far, so they will stay loose and relaxed and play some good baseball.

The Tiger’s ballpark is just beautiful, it reminded me a lot of the new Busch stadium when we visited in June. Same overall feel and a very similar design. The tigers are everywhere, inside and out. Very nice touch!

Mark,

Great Photos!

Aw Man…to be there in the stadium sporting a yellow hotdog mustache…eating peanuts and watching the game live.

Have a great time reporting from the series!

Gabriel

DA BRONX BOMBERS

http://daboogiedownbronx.mlblogs.com/

I love my cardinals but the AL has had the better teams the past few years. I am going out on a limb and say Cards in 6. GO CARDS

Darn. I’m too late to make a prediction. I would’ve been wrong anyway. Just about all my 2006 playoff predictions have been off. Oh well and whatever. I’m just sitting back and watching every pitch and taking it all in. I almost don’t care who wins. I just want to see some GREAT baseball.

-The Baseball Collector

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