Monday, April 10, 2006

Nine innings of the Tigers home opener:
1.) The Ford is a free-market failure.
He wasn't able to get Opening Day tickets the legal way, and so he arrived bright and early Monday to try and get a ticket from a scalper.
Just one problem. There were no scalpers. Plenty of people looking for tickets. Just no one had one they were willing to part with. It was probably a 20-1 ratio, also known as scalper heaven. The best part? People with tickets and people looking for tickets were using the exact same phrase: "Extra ticket?" with only slightly varied inflections. And thus almost every person -- generally with a few beers already down the hatch -- asking if someone had a spare ticket ran into someone asking the same thing, each thinking the other person was the answer to their prayers, then being cruelly disappointed while The Ford looked on in glee.
If The Ford can't get in, neither should anyone else.
It wasn't until The Ford had circled the park 1.5 times that he found anyone with a spare ticket. Idling up to him, The Ford, in his best "cool cat" imitation, coolly inquired how much a ticket would set him back.
Granted, it was for a seat in the lower back, just behind the dugout. But $150? For the Tigers?Um, no.
Of course, this turned out to be the going rate for almost all tickets.
By the second inning, The Ford found a mezzanine ticket for $100.
By the third inning, The Ford finally talked a scalper into getting him a ticket to the game for $80.
Of course, said scalper didn't actually HAVE said ticket. He had to go find another scalper -- or another fan -- willing to sell him said ticket at a price he could make a profit off of at $80. Meanwhile, The Ford was instructed to stand in place, while his friendly neighborhood scalper buddy did the legwork for him.
(Plan A: Get a $8-$10 ticket for $20; Plan B: $8-$10 ticket for $40; Plan C: $5 ticket for $80. The Ford's negotiating skills obviously needed some work. Though not as much as the schmuck who, upon hearing one of the scalpers -- a scalper surrounded by 4 other people negotiating for a single ticket -- walks up to the scalper, finds out he's got one ticket and says, "I have to have it." Folks, if Comerica is scalper heaven, this dude is the fella paving the streets with gold. Scalper drops the $150 bomb on the kid, well after we'd all talked him down into the $100 range. Kid walks away shellshocked, apparently expecting his expression of desperation would get him a sizable discount.)
Actually, it was a decent offer, if you were willing to overlook the inherent lunacy of paying $80 for a likely standing-room-only ticket to see 6 innings of baseball from two teams he didn't care that much about. When he could just save his money and buy tickets to the next 4 Tigers day games this week.As he stood on the grass next to the stadium, listening to the cheers of the fans who weren't inept in a free-market economy, he pondered all the things $80 could buy, including (but not limited to) 10 late-night meals, 8 cheap Tigers tickets, 5 normal nights at The Official Bar, 4 lap dances, 3 pairs of pants, 2 full tanks of gas...The Ford's mind boggled at the possiblities.
And so, when his scalper had moved well away, still trying to peddle his $150 dugout seats, The Ford wandered off to work to watch the game on a tiny TV and blog away. You, the readers, are the only winners on this day. Other than, you know, the White Sox.

2.) Detroit has its own celebrity fans.
Sure, you already knew about Jerome Bettis, who was kind enough to show up and throw out the first pitch. (Well, Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick threw out the first pitch as well, but who's counting first pitches.) But an even bigger celebrity was in the stands: Jeff Daniels.Daniels, who lives in Chelsea, Mich., (Just on the other side of Ann Arbor, thankfully sparing everyone reading this the de rigeur explanation of Michigan's geography using the left hand.) was sitting in the stands like a regular guy, complete with Tigers hat and full beard, taking pictures with his digital camera. Pretty sweet. Of course, it would have been sweeter if The Ford had been in the park to tell Daniels, "Dude, "The Squid and The Whale" was one of the best movies of last year. You got screwed by the Academy." The Ford would like to think Daniels would have appreciated that much more than a Dumb and Dumber line.

3.) Spring has sprung. And so is The Ford.
Yes, there's no denying it. The days are getting longer, and a young man's thoughts turn to love. Or lust. Or maybe just bewilderment at how the douche "sideline reporter" has a hot girlfriend, while The Ford is going stag. I mean, seriously, he's interviewing her in the stands DURING THE GAME, as she sits on his lap and prattles on about enjoying the guys in tight pants. The Ford's not saying this is the type of girlfriend he's looking for, but, c'mon. The dude has bleached-blond hair standing in an 2-inch spike cut. Guys who look like the unholy offspring of an albino and a porcupine should not have hot-if-mildly-idiotic girlfriends. The possiblity for little idiot porcupine babies is too great.

4.) Ain't no woman like a Detroit woman.
Damn, there are some fine ladies in Detroit, all drinking heavily by 11 a.m. It would be a situation made for The Ford, were he remotely competent at talking to women in bars. On days he has to go to work. And he's not even including the pack of strippers he got caught walking behind on the way to the park. ("But," you ask The Ford, "how did you know they were strippers?" When they're all wearing orange hot pants that leave fully 50 percent of their ass cheeks hanging out, are hitting on every cop in visual range, and are urging every man within a 2-block radius to come see them later tonight, The Ford finds 34+22+36=exotic dancer.)

5.) Comerica Park is HUUUUUUGE.
OK, The Ford has now misjudged 5 fly balls in 4 innings of play at Comerica Park -- also known as the CoPa to those able to infuse their words with mid-word capital letters -- convinced each one was a homer, only to have each one land safely in the glove of an outfielder well in front of the warning track.

6.) Speed kills.
A shockingly quick game, lasting just more than 2 hours. The Ford's a little sad he didn't get into the game, since he would have been able to watch the whole thing before work began, but at the same time, it would have pushed the ticket price into the $40/hour range. The Ford can only think of a few things he's willing to pay $40/hour for, and most of them involve alcohol and scantily-clad women. And even that's a stretch.

7.) Line 'em up.
Reports from inside the stadium had beer lines stretching approximately 11 outs. In a 54-out game. Nothing like spending 20 percent of your time in the park waiting for a single $8 dollar beer. The Ford would suggest beer scalpers, but prices on a 40 might hit $200.

8.) Rock on, McCarthy.
Hey, Brandon McCarthy's in the game! He's from Colorado Springs. Went to Cheyenne Mountain High School. Which probably has absolutely no meaning to anyone else, but last season, with McCarty getting the occasional spot start for the Sox, The Ford was driven nuts with daily updates on McCarthy's status, and with having to give hed specs that could fit the words "McCarthy," "Cheyenne," and "Mountain", plus some sort of predicate. Just seeing McCarthy in the game today and realizing that he doesn't have to think twice about it is almost enough to make The Ford's day. Almost.

9.) A beaten manIs there anything more frustrating than finding out a coworker got tickets at face value, thanks to some friends, and had a spare after a friend tripped on a curb and broke his nose 20 minutes before the game. No, The Ford doesn't think so.
No, The Ford's mistaken. What's worse is running into a coworker coming back from the Tigers game as you're walking into work after failing in your one goal for the day, and finding out he had a pass for the game that he used for only two innings, and that they weren't checking IDs at the door?

Well, the game's over -- Tigers lose, 5-3, and it's time for The Ford to get to work. Tomorrow's another day, and the Tigers have another day game on Wednesday. The Ford suspects scalper heaven will have run its course, at least around the CoPa this week.


At 10:53 PM, April 11, 2006, Anonymous Jenn said...

Hee, Chris and I got to sit in the Diamond Club at Safeco on Sunday to watch the M's get their asses handed to them by the A's. At least they ended the hitting drought, I guess.


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