Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Heaven on Earth.....For a day

I woke up this morning a little before 7am to take my son to school. The weather was a nice 80 degrees and there was not a cloud in the sky. The high today is supposed to touch 90 degrees, with only a slight chance of rain. Yet, today, just for today, I with I would have woken up to 48 degrees and cloudy with a 50% chance of rain. Today's high in Detroit is only 58 degrees, and there is a good chance of rain, with basically no chance of sunshine. None whatsoever. Yet, today, I wish I was there instead of here. At approximately 12:05 today in downtown Detroit, the Tigers and Twins will square off in a double header - this is the latest point in the season that two teams this close in the standings are playing a double header against each other. And I wish I was there.

Sometime in the late 1970s or early 1980s, MLB did away with scheduled double headers. Teams wanted to make sure they got the revenue from all 81 home games, and didn't want to give up the revenue from a game to schedule a double header. Even today's double header between the Twins and Tigers is a day-night double header. This way, the Tigers can still get two games' revenues today. The sad thing is, a lot of baseball's great traditions went by the wayside because of revenue. MLB refuses to have even one World Series game played during the day. A day game in the World Series would lead to fathers taking the day off of work- or at least taking a half day. They could rush over to school to pick up their sons (or daughters) and get home to watch the World Series. Maybe then, our kids would be more into baseball.

Double headers are also a thing of the past. A 12:00 or 1:00 start - 18 innings of baseball. For baseball fans, that is a day of pure heaven. And now, those days are gone. And even though there will be a 3 or 4 hour break between games today, it's still the perfect day to be in Detroit. Two teams, separated by 2 games for one playoff spot. Two games, 18 (or more) innings. By 10:00 tonight, the lead could be 4 games. Or the two teams could be tied. Or the Tigers could still have a two game lead, with 2 fewer games remaining in the season. Those are the only three possible outcomes (barring another rain out). Today in Detroit is the perfect day to play hookey. Take the day off of work. Keep your kids out of school. Go to the ballpark. Watch 21-year old sensation Rick Porcello in game one. Then go across the street and grab a burger. Relax for a couple hours and walk back across the street to Comerica Park for the nightcap. Tigers' Ace, Justin Verlander will take the mound against Joe Mauer and the Twins. Will the Twins be going for the tying game in game 2 or will Detroit look to all but end Minnesota's season when Verlander takes the hill? Nobody knows. But one thing is for sure. This Florida boy would love to bundle up me and my 5-year old son for the next 11 hours and watch two teams battle head to head in a classic day-night double header.

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