Editor's note: WatsonStClair was the first to check in with a guest post after visiting Lakeland for a game. He's included some photos as well. Thanks, Watson! And remember everyone else, if you watch the Tigers or visit Lakeland, feel free to drop me an e-mail with a guest post about your experiences!
Today was the first really good weather day, 70 degrees plus, and so naturally the stadium was packed. I usually arrive really early, but had to take a pet to the vet, so I got a late start, was stuck in traffic, and barely made the Star Spangled Banner.
I had two impressions from the game. First, if Max Scherzer had had any kind of a decent start, Detroit would have been in it. Instead, between him and Fu-Te Ni, Atlanta scored 8 runs in the first two innings. Dontrelle Willis, Joel Zumaya, and Phil Coke all pitched pretty well, and kept the Braves from piling on more runs.
My second impression is that I felt cheated because Cabrera was the only Tiger starter of any consequence. No Carlos Guillen. No Magglio Ordonez. No Johnny Damon. No Austin Jackson. No Adam Everett. No Gerald Laird. I would have felt better if some of these guys would have started, even if they only got one at bat. Casper Wells looked good in center field and got some good swings in.
I did not like the fact that Atlanta chose to practice running and sprints on the outfield warning track. The problem was they ran in right field when a right-handed batter was up and in left when a left-handed batter was up, but only when the Tigers were hitting! These moving runners had to be a distraction to hitters trying to see the pitch. Funny how they never ran when they were batting!
Some of the best action of the game came from the nesting ospreys in the light towers. Whenever an Osprey flew too near another Osprey's tower, the second took off and flew at the first one. The chase ensued over the field at about 50 feet or so.