World Series Eve
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.
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.
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."
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.
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.