I didn't see the Detroit Tigers game tonight, because I went to the Connecticut Tigers New York Penn League game instead. It sounds like I didn't miss much other than poor pitching and defense. Rookie Charlie Furbush allowed nine runs (four earned) on nine hits and the Tigers lost 13-6. Jim Leyland would not commit to keeping Furbush in the rotation for another start and the young left-hander was optioned to Toledo after the game, so he can continue to get regular work. Infielder Danny Worth has been recalled to take his place on the roster.
Anyway, my first trip to Dodd Stadium in Norwich, CT was a good one. It was a 100-mile drive, but it's probably the most stress free 100-mile drive in southern New England. There aren't a lot of those over here. There was very little traffic and the park was easy to find right off the highway.
With a seating capacity of about 6,000, Dodd Stadium is a typical minor league stadium. It was only about a third full, which is ideal for me. I don't like capacity crowds, but I like there to be enough fans to make it feel like a professional game. This game met that criterion. The weather was perfect for baseball - in the 70's and not too humid.
They had some silly races and such between innings to keep the kids and casual fans engaged, but they didn't over do it. They didn't overdo the loud music either which is a very good thing. I did have the VOICE in back of me - the loud guy that thinks he's funny, never stops talking and broadcasts his conversation to the whole crowd. Then there was the guy a few rows back who kept saying "swing batter batter batter" or however that movie phrase goes. Didn't that stop being funny 20 years ago? Was it ever funny? Those two people are at every game though and after a while I just block it out.
The Tigers played the Brooklyn Cyclones. Given that the Brooklyn Dodgers were such a storied MLB franchise, it's alsways amusing to see Brooklyn associated with a minor league team. The Tigers lost 3-2, but I don't worry too much about wins and losses in the minors.
It's hard to tell from just one game, but I can't say there were any players that jumped out at me as future major league talent. They do have some decent prospects like recently drafted outfielders Jason King and Chad Wright and 2010 eight rounder Pat Leyland. Yes, that is Jim Leyland's son and he's a catcher. They also had Colin Kaline - Al's grandson - playing second base. He is less of a prospect, but it was fun putting Kaline's name in the box score.
Anyway, it was a good night at the ballpark, so I'm glad I didn't stay home to watch the parent club. I'll be watching tomorrow when Justin Verlander takes the mound.