Happy Opening Day, Detroit! While the first day of the season is always great, the real celebration in Detroit is always the home opener. Until then, baseball just isn't real yet.
The Tigers announced the plan for festivities today. It includes Tim Allen throwing out ceremonial first pitches to members of the armed services, and Matt Giraud singing the national anthem. No, I don't have a clue who he is, either. But it says something about American Idol, which I assume some people watch for reasons I'll never understand.
Moving on: The Tigers will also have a flyover with four F-15C Aircrafts from the 95th Fighter Squadron of Tyndall Air Force Base.
Kesey Casey will sing God Bless America during the seventh inning stretch.
Also of interest this weekend:
On Saturday, April 10 the Tigers will celebrate the Chinese New Year, the Year of the Tiger, with a pregame parade, traditional lion dance performances, drum and gong performers, musical performances and other cultural elements. The first 10,000 fans will receive a Detroit Tigers 2010 Magnet Schedule. Sunday, April 11 is Kids Opening Day with all kids 14-and-younger receiving an "Every Kid, Every Sunday" foam PAW, modeled after Tigers mascot PAWS.
And of course, the star of the day will be 21-year-old Rick Porcello, who has the honor of being the opening day starter for the Tigers. MLB.com's Jason Beck reports:
He had never been to an Opening Day game as a fan, so it was an experience on many levels that brought out a little bit of the kid in someone who did such a good job of keeping those emotions out of his game.
"I didn't realize how incredible it was, how big of a deal it was," Porcello said.
Oh, and Porcello's mom will be there. Awww!
OK, on to the news!
- Here's an MLB.com preview of the game. Is this a new feature? Pretty cool.
- Lee of Tiger Tales says Jose Valverde is Notorious Slow Starter
A nice stat find by Tom Gage of the Detroit News. Austin Jackson, Miguel Cabrera and Magglio Ordonez account for 35 total bases. The rest of the team have 19. Cabrera (14), Ordonez (11), Jackson (10) is the tale of the tape, by the way.
- However Jackson also leads the team in strikeouts (5).
- Speaking of the News, Tony Paul thinks the Twins will be just fine playing outdoors.
- Interesting: MLB Trade Rumors lists the largest contracts awarded by service time. The Tigers gave the largest for both a pitcher and for a position player for guys with 4-5 years of service time. You know them better as Justin Verlander and Miguel Cabrera.
- Finally you probably saw this, but the Tigers lost nearly $30 million last year, Forbes estimates. While it's nice to see owner Mike Ilitch willing to take a loss, you do have to wonder how long the Tigers will be willing and able to do so. The only other team that operated at a loss was the Arizona Diamondbacks, at less than $1 million.