Wednesday, March 12, 2014

My Early March Evening at the CoPa

When I’m not making sophomoric jokes about baseball, believe it or not, I am actually employed in the real world. I KNOW…suckers. And Tuesday afternoon I was asked by my boss if I’d be interested in attending a function that evening at Comerica Park that he couldn’t make it to. Food and drinks would be served. A tour of the park was available. ’84 Tigers champion pitcher Dave Rozema was scheduled to make an appearance. There’d be gambling of some kind. And all I’d have to do is be nice to people and try not to blurt out “f” words for a couple hours.

I said that I’d try.

I tweeted much of the evening’s activities as they happened, but I estimate that my Twitter followers consist of about 10 of you that actually read this site, 5 people that follow just to yell at me whenever I make a joke about Donnie Duzzitall, and 2900 robot porn accounts of some kind.

So here’s a quick rundown on some of the stuff I saw.

Spoiler alert: Someone bombed Comerica Park when we weren’t paying attention. (I bet it was Nick Punto.)

The playing surface has been demolished.

Don’t believe me? Here’s a view from the Tiger Club.
Isn’t Opening Day soon? Yikes. Some people seem to think The Winter Classic NHL Game was to blame, but I was informed that MLB requires each team to re-sod the field every seven years and our time is up. The new sod is supposed to be delivered on Saturday for Heather Nobozny’s crew to get to work on. Good luck removing Wednesday morning’s snow first.  And here I thought the field couldn’t look any worse than it did last year. Only Tropicana Field’s embarrassing carpet was uglier than Comerica’s surface last season.

I’m sure they’ll do a fine job. If not, we need to fly Nobozny’s Venezuelan equivalent into town ASAP. Heathy Poco could knock that out in a day, I bet.

Someone tossed a hand grenade onto the Pepsi Porch.

It was hard to get a picture with my phone with drunken people scattering around me, but this is the right field stands area that’s still under heavy construction. 

I’m sure the weather has caused more delays than they anticipated, but there appears to be much work to be done with this section of Comerica, too. Right now, it looks like Richard Bernstein designed it.

New metal detectors are being installed at the park entrances this season.

This is kind of a big one that I’ve yet to hear about until now. According to the Comerica representative I spoke to, it’s going to take much longer to get into the stadium this year. For those of you who, like me, have waited in long lines to enter before, this will be beyond awful. She compared the new metal detectors to going through security at the airport. Seriously, can’t you pricks leave your guns at home for three hours while Victor knocks the baseball around the park and Porcello scouts the underage trim in the crowd?

As I said, I hadn’t heard about this security nuisance before tonight. If I’m mistaken, I apologize, but I’m hoping that a Detroit writer that actually gets paid to talk about our baseball team covers this eventually to get more details. That is, if they can tear themselves away from important matters such as Andy Dirks’ flowing locks, Justin Verlander’s car, and if Brad Ausmus’ hair smells like strawberries or whatever nonsense is today’s Spring headline.

For now, I’d plan on getting to the park a bit earlier than you normally do. Especially if you’re one of those nutcases that likes to go on Opening Day and get into fistfights and pass out by the third inning. And leave your flasks, butcher knives, shotguns, etc. at home this season. That’s only a Cleveland thing now.

From what I saw, no new restrooms have been added.

For a stadium that often seats over 40,000 people and has enough bathrooms to accommodate approximately 11 of them, this depresses me.

I took the tour.

A very nice tour guide led a group of about twenty of us around the park. With me on this evening’s journey, I brought as my guest, Jen that writes around once a year at her Old English D blog and is @VivaTigres on Twitter. We got to wander through the press box where you could almost smell Lynn Henning’s Aqua Velva and Chris Iott’s lovable disdain for his followers left in the air from last season. We then were ushered into Rod and Mario’s booth where I took this quick photo.
Again, not a great pic, but remember…phone camera and people stumbling everywhere around me. It’s hard to believe that Rod can constantly be THAT wrong about baseball from those great seats. 

We approached the Tigers clubhouse, but our guide sadly informed us that we couldn’t enter because the team was having a bunch of new equipment delivered or something. I was devastated. I don’t ask for much. But would it REALLY be asking too much to give me five minutes alone at Don Kelly’s locker? For everything I’ve done for this franchise?

Anyway, as a consolation prize, they took us into the visitor’s clubhouse. I enjoyed that for about ten seconds before I realized I was in a room that had housed the naked bodies of guys like Derek Jeter, AJ Pierzynski, Joe Crede, Jason Kipnis, Billy Butler, and Denard Span. I quickly moved along.

I played blackjack. Poorly. Got 15’s every time. CONSPIRACY AGAINST ROGO.

We were given “fun” money to gamble with to pass the time while people ate and bs’d since real gambling isn’t legal off casino grounds. They had blackjack tables, roulette, and craps. My finest gambling moment happened many years ago in Greektown. My roommate at the time and I were in Detroit for a concert that was a band you’ve probably never heard of called “Guided By Voices”. We got hammered and after ended up at the casino. I blacked out and when I finally “came to”, I was at the blackjack table up over $500. Shortly after, my roommate did something dumb and got us kicked out. Fun times.

Anyway, the highlight of tonight’s blackjack gaming was Paws showing up and plopping down next to Jen who I now know is creeped out by mascots. This amused me until Paws looked at me and I asked him, “Don’t you owe me money?” Our favorite fake tiger didn’t respond. He just stared before getting up and wandering away. You see, mascots are apparently creeped out by me. I love asking Paws stupid questions every time I see him. Here’s some for you to try:

-“You know, a giant tiger killed my dad. Was it you?”

-“Aren’t you on that furry dating site my uncle belongs to?”

-“Is there a mascot union? You’re not a scab, are you, Paws?”

-“Are you really Cale Iorg inside that suit?”

-“Sometimes I think Hitler wasn’t all bad. Right, Paws?”

Poor Paws. Come up with you own questions for him. It’s fun.

Dave Rozema was, indeed, there. In fact, I think he lives there.

I was led to believe that Rozema was just going to make an appearance. But he was there all night. Dude was sitting there when we arrived. He was in the same spot hours later when we left, still eating like it was his first meal in weeks. And he was loaded…or at least appeared to be. Like I try to imagine that Rozema always is.

I give the guy credit. He was all smiles all night and made time for everyone that wanted to talk to him. He was telling stories, laughing and shaking hands, signing autographed pics, everything. Nice guy. We got a pic with him, but I’m not posting it because I’m a 14 year old girl that’s disgusted by the 20 pounds I put on this winter and am a big fat fatty fat. I also seem to have that Forrest Gump disease where every pic of me has my eyes shut. But trust me, Rozey’s hand is behind Jen and I think there’s a legit 70% chance it’s on her ass. I didn’t have the courage to ask her after.

/gets angry text from ungrateful guest of mine calling me “mean”

I’m convinced Rozema lives there. That or he now occupies “Eat ‘Em Up” Guy’s old spot out front.

I kid. Rozema was awesome.

(Petry would have been cooler.)

So there you have it. The park is in shambles, you can’t bring in steel pipes anymore, and Paws thinks I’m his old bookie. Not a bad night’s work.

In all seriousness, the Tigers and Comerica employees were incredibly friendly and helpful all evening and I can’t thank them enough. It was a fun night and I can’t wait to return next month for some actual baseball again, assuming it ever stops snowing.

Uh oh…I hope Rozema didn’t pass out on the pitcher’s mound after we all left…

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