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Detroit Free Press from Detroit, Michigan • 35

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Detroit, Michigan
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Page:
35
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Sun Jay, M.iy 14, 2000 1 lie Detroit News 5D Baseball Tigers: Notebook Sank on it: A great T77I ark will fill pi wmmwmmt lames Ifurvhudk The IVlroit News Tigers shortstop Shane Halter forced Bernie Williams and threw out Tino Martinez for an eighth-Jnning double play. ted interes Workers proved helpful, fans said. "We've had no problems," said Jim Smith. "The service was friend-ly." But others complained of a lack of ushers. "You can't find one anywhere to wipe down the seats," said T.J.

Ruza, 40, of West Iiloomfield. The shortest and fastest lines for food seemed to be at stands located the furthest from the plate and in the upper deck or in the later innings. Some fans received fast service, while others complained of delays of more than a half an hour for beer of food. Kim Cragnolin, 19, of Southfield, hardly waited at all for a pastry. "It was about seven minutes," she said.

"And we didn't have to wait long to ride the carousel." But the line for hotdogs just a few feet away was much slower. "It was ridiculous," said Joe Rudge, 23, of I.aSalle, Ontario, who waited about 30 minutes. "I'm sure it was a hard job with so many peo-pie." Outside of the food court, lines were short, especially as the game progressed. "I only waited five minutes," said Nick Arrigo. "I went for beer in the second inning, and it took 15 minutes.

Now, it's pretty quick and it's the seventh inning." Lewann Wolf, 36, and Sara Belknap of Toledo waited just 30 seconds for refreshments and concession workers waited for customers for several minutes after that. But near the plate, Ronald Jackson, a hotdog vendor was stopped just a few feet from a busy concession by hungry fans too eager to wait for food. A line of about 15 people formed around him. "I can't make it down to the stands without people stopping me," he said. to HemdersoB? DETROIT If Sports Illustrated was correct with its figures and I believe they were it costs a family of four $105.31 to see a ballgame at Comerica Park.

In fact, if this family of four wanted to see the Tigers, Lions, Pistons and Red Wings play one game each season, it would come to $887.99. Yet, there were 36,520 at the Tigers' new home Saturday, which included some families of four or more, and everyone seemed to have a fine time. They enjoyed themselves in ways that can only happen at a ballpark. They cheered for the Tigers every hit and every run in their 6-3 victor)' over the Yankees. They went wild when catcher Brad Ausmus made a sensational tumbling catch of a windblown foul fly with two out in the ninth, and then, like a good hometown crowd should do, the fans rose as one and tried to force a final strikeout to end the day.

What losing streak? This was two in a row over the world champions and it is fair to say everyone went home happy. They were even softer in their treatment of Juan Gonzalez, booing only slightly, and, of course, they all cheered when he shot a double into left field in the sixth inning. So, it is still all there for the Tigers, just as it was over in Tiger Stadium, during the miserable 1990s, when they lost more games than any team in the league. Can they take advantage of this opportunity? Probably not. That's the shame of this whole situation this town wants to be with them but the Tigers have to do their part to make it happen.

If the Tigers' 11-23 record was reversed, they'd sell out the place again and again, but now, with the exception of Mark McGwire coming to town for a weekend and Ken Griffey, for a Sunday game, there might not be more than a handful of sellouts the rest of the way. Yet, those who showed up Saturday seemed to have a lot of fun, and it wasn't just the victory over the Yankees. They arrived in a good mood and roamed the corridors, tasting the delights of the concession stands, taking family pictures and riding the carousel and Ferris wheel. It felt like the midway at a fair, with one exception. The grounds were meticulously clean, and everyone was well behaved.

I don't know if all this is worth $165.31 for a family of four, but some- Big crowd for Yankees enjoys 'friendly' park, shorter concession lines. By Mark Puis 77ie Detroit News DETROIT Playing host to the New York Yankees Saturday was a test for the Tigers and Comerica Park workers. "They're playing the world-champion Yankees, there's a lot people here," said Rick Gerritsen, 49, from Fostoria, Ohio. On a summer-like day that seemed perfect for baseball, 36,520 fans packed the park. The Tigers did their part, beartng the Yankees, 6-3, for a second straight time.

But vendors and concession workers, ushers and greeters were also trying for a victory over the problems that many fans complained of on Opening Day. Fans said service had improved since then, but the large crowd did present problems at some swamped concessions. There were no lines at bathrooms. The fountain was working along with the pitch-speed indicator; both had problems earlier. The escalator was operating.

Fans praised the improvements over Tiger Stadium, such as wider concourses. Many also praised the park and popular features such as the statues of Tigers legends, the Ferris wheel and carousel, and found just minor problems. "It's definitely a fan-friendly park," said Denny Sehlhortst, 50, of Terrysburg, Ohio. "Everything so far has been nice," said Kim Ditzik, 43, of Wyandotte. Unlike Opening Day, when cold fans huddled in the heated bathrooms, fans such as Ditzik found no delays on Saturday.

Saturday's Box Score Detroit 6, Yankees 3 NEW YORK DETROIT ab fib hN Knblch2b4 0 1 Ledeelf 3 0 0 Polonia dh Asmusc JEcrcn cf JGnzlez rf Palmer 3b Becker II jfferies lb Macias 2b Halter ss 0 2 0 1 1 1 0 1 1 2 0 0 2 2 1 3 O'Neill rf 3 1 1 BeWmscf4 0 TMrtratlb4 1 Posada 4 0 ShSpcrdh4 0 Brosius 3b4 0 Bllngerss 3 1 IJhnsnphJO 1 1 1 0 0 0 3 1 1 Totals 34 1 1 Totals 35 111 NewYork 0 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 -3 Detroit 0 4 0 1 1 0 0 0 6 E-Pettitte 2 (2), Palmer 2 (7), Becker (3). DP-New York 1, Detroit 3. LOB-New York 6, Detroit 10. 2B-Ausmus (6), JGonzalez (9), Palmer (3), Macias (1). CS-BeWilliams (3).

SHalter. SF-Polonia. NewYork IP ER BB SO Pettitte U2-2 4.2 10 6 5 3 3 Grlmsley 2.1 3 0 0 0 1 Nelson 1 0 0 0 0 1 Detroit IP ER BB SO 6.2 7 3 1 2 5 MJAnderson .1 0 0 0 0 0 Brocall 1 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 Umpires-Home, Carlson; First, DeMuth; Second, Eddinos Third, Rellford. How they scored: Yankees second: Martinez singled to center. Posada singled to center, Martinez to second.

Spencer popped out to shortstop Halter. Brosius singled to left, Martinez scored, Posada to second, Bellinger struck out Knoblauch grounded out second baseman Macias to first baseman Jefferles. 1 run, 3 hits, 0 errors, 2 left oa Yankee) 1, Tigers 0. Tigers second: Palmer doubled to right Becker struck out Jefferies walked on a full count. Macias tripled to JCE FALLS body must think so.

Corporations buy 60 percent of the expensive seats, but that leav es the general public to pick up the other 40 percent. What I'm starting to see is that some folks are buying the $8 tickets out in right field and then coining into the infield and slipping into empty seats or standing against the wall at the back of the lower-deck seats. In either case, it Ls clear that the ptxr play of the Tigers, and not the prices is what's keeping the crowds at a disappointing level. The people around here don't demand a winner, only one that will provide some excitement and more than an occasional victory. It now falls to Manager Phil Garner and his staff to create better results.

Garner knows this won't be easily done. I le said the other day he would have to change his way of managing because his way wasn't reaching the players. This was quite a comment for a man with 24 years in the major leagues to make 16 as a player and eight as a manager. It illustrates how frustrating this whole thing has been for him. "They're just not getting enough training in the minors," Garner said.

"They learn to hit the ball and pick up the grounders. They learn to play the game but they don't learn to think the game." In reality, Garner hasn't had a full team to manage yet. He has been restricted by injuries since opening night first Gonzalez, then Damion Easley, Brian Moehler, Easley again and now Tony Clark, who was placed on the disabled list Saturday. Garner went into Saturday's game with the following batting averages in his lineup: .258, .257, .224, .244, .240, .256, .250 and .289. That's not going to make it.

Right now, there is not one player on the roster you'd pay to see pkiy not at the prices they're charging. But if they can win a little well, this has always been a liberal town when it comes to its baseball team. They just better not depend on the new ballpark bailing them out very long in the future. Write to Joe Falls at 65 W. Lafayette Detroit 48226.

11, 1. IT TAKES Shock GuordForword Dominique Canty .1 4i Tr-jr-f OBCTTa ii A.f i.fl TIFT ft T.J iF 6t vuat rr7 By Tom Gage The Detroit News DETROIT Now that Rickey Henderson has actually been released by the Mets, are the Tigers showing any interest in him? Sort of. Rut only to the degree that they're not saying they're not interested. Driving back from a scouting trip, General Manager Randy Smith said Saturday: "We'll sit down and talk about it. Like we do about most players who are released." Some of those players never get any consideration at all, however.

But with a leadoff hitter of Henderson's caliber available, the Tigers need to sit down and discuss it. They might eventually show some interest. Smith isn't saying they will. But they might also decide, as probably most teams will, that Henderson isn't worth the headache that comes with him. The catch How did Brad Ausmus catch Scott Brosius' twisting pop-up in the ninth inning, the one that started on the right side of the plate and ended up far to the left? "At one point, when it first went up," first baseman Gregg Jefferies said, "I thought it was my ball to catch." The play began with "words you can't print," Ausmus said.

"Normally, you have some idea of the general direction of a ball. I knew it went up over my right shoulder, but then I just started sprinting to where I thought it might end up." But he wasn't quite there. So Ausmus made what he called "an emergency stretch" to get the ball, one that featured a rare "twist and jump" maneuver that basically was a desperation leap. "It knocked the wind out of me," Ausmus said. If you saw the catch, you know why.

Disabled list grows In six days, the Tigers have lost three players to the disabled list, the latest being first baseman Tony Tigers schedule right Palmer scored, Jefferies scored. Halter safe at second on Pettitte's error, Macias scored. Polonia singled to right Halter to third. Ausmus doubled to left Halter scored, Polonia to third, Encamacion grounded out second baseman Knoblauch to first baseman Martinez. Gonzalez grounded out pitcher Pettitte to first baseman Martinez.

4 runs, 4 hits, 1 error, 2 left on. Tigers 4, Yankees Tigers fourth: Polonia grounded out first baseman Martinez unassisted. Ausmus filed out to right fielder O'Neill. Encamacion singled to right Gonzalez walked on four pitches, Encamacion to second. Palmer singled to center, Encamacion scored, Gonzalez to third.

Becker grounded out pitcher Pettitte to first baseman Martinez. 1 run, 2 hits, 0 errors, 2 left on. Tigers 5, Yankees I Tigers fifth: Jefferies singled to left Macias singled to right, Jefferies to second. Halter sacrificed, pitcher Pettitte to second baseman Knoblauch, Jefferies to third, Macias to second. Polonia hit a sacrifice fly to center fielder Williams, Jefferies scored.

Grimsley pitching. Ausmus grounded out third baseman Brosius to first baseman Martinez. 1 run, 2 hits, 0 errors, 1 left oa Tigers 6, Yankees Yankees sixth: Ledee struck out O'Neill singled to left Williams safe at second on Becker's error, O'Neill to third. Martinez singled to right, O'Neill scored, Williams to third. Posada struck out Williams was caught stealing, catcher Ausmus to shortstop Halter to catcher Ausmus to third baseman Palmer, Williams out.

1 run, 2 hits, 1 error, 1 left oa Tigers 6, Yankees 2, Yankees seventh: Spencer popped out to shortstop Halter. Brosius flied out to left fielder Becker. Bellinger Infield single to third. On Palmer's error, Bellinger to second. Knoblauch singled to center, Bellinger scored.

Ledee walked on a full count, Knoblauch to second. Anderson pitching. O'Neill grounded out, first baseman Jefferies unassisted. 1 run, 2 hits, 1 error, 2 left on. Tigers 6, Yankees 3.

Clark because of a strained left rib cage. Clark, who has been playing with the injury for a week, aggravated it past the point of tolerance Friday night in 9-7 victor)' over the Yankees. After, the game, it was apparent that Clark was hurting. "He's going to be out a while," Manager Thil Garner said. At least 15 days, it appears.

As for the other players 011 the DL, outf Wendell Magee has been on it since May 8 because of a broken left hand and Damion Easley, retroactive to May 9, has a broken right wrist. To replace Clark on the roster, the Tigers recalled Gabe Alvarez from Triple-A Toledo, where he was hitting .223 with eight home runs and 24 RBI. Alvarez used to be only a third baseman but also played first at Toledo. He started at first for the Mud I lens on Friday night, in fact, and went 3-for-4 with two RBI. His three hits were a single, double and home run.

Jose Macias? Not a household name, but playing well. In the last two games as the starting second baseman, he's 5-for-9 against the Yankees. "I just like his aura," Garner said. "I liked it in spring training. He walks around, doesn't seem worried, he just gives you the feeling something is going to happen when he's around.

"There's an air of confidence around him." Around the horn Right-hander Brian Moehler made a rehabilitation start on Saturday for West Michigan, allowing three runs and five hits in 6' innings. It appears he'll return to the rotation Friday night for the Tigers in Boston. Two victories against the Yankees without suspended Bobby Higginson in the lineup? 'T hey don't need me," Higginson said. I Home games shaded; all games on WJRAM 760. 0 "5 Icebreaker Charters Lake Erie Wallrye Perch (AH Equipment Furntshed 6 Hr.

Trips) 1-800-804-3861 Big Walleye Great Steelhead Action Center b.isin of Lake fcne at Famous (menu 1 hr. from Detroit Harpoon Charters www rntKi ntt' 1-600-225-5694 1 lm. 'Mai iS TTw IS I Wfrt. 17 I Thu.18 I ftj 19 I Sat. 20 CLE CLE CLE BOS EOS" i O'j 7:05 7:05 7:05 7:05 i 50 FSN fSN Ch.

50 21 Mon, 22 Ti' T3 WpH. 24 Thu. 25 M. 26 Sat. 27 BOS a CLE CLE" "TCa" TC3 1:05 M'j (:05 70S ii'lii en.

so fw ch.so n.so rw Tigers Averages BATTERS AVO OBA AB 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS Encamacion 324 .362 139 13 45 3 1 5 17 7 19 2 1 4 Halter .293 .325 41 7 12 4 0 1 1 1 12 1 0 1 Cruz .273 .299 110 12 30 10 1 1 12 4 7 0 1 4 Flck .259 ,344 54 5 14 3 0 0 4 7 11 0 0 3 Polonia .268 ,340 97 15 26 2 3 1 8 12 6 2 3 0 Ausmus .254 .369 114 9 29 6 0 2 10 18 17 0 1 1 Jefferies .272 .303 92 10 25 5 0 0 9 9 6 0 1 0 Macias .417 .250 12 3 5 1 1 0 2 0 2 0 0 0 Higginson .248 .333 113 11 28 6 2 3 10 14 16 2 0 1 Palmer .256 .333 90 12 23 3 0 6 15 10 25 0 1 7 Magee .243 .282 37 7 9 1 0 3 7 2 4 0 0 0 Becker .222 .600 7 0 1 0 0 0 1 2 4 0 01 Gonzalez .225 .284 111 10 25 9 0 4 9 10 20 0 0 0 Clark .176 .271 85 8 15 2 0 4 7 11 22 0 0 3 Garcia .176 .176 17 1 3 0 0 0 0 0 4 0 0 0 Easley .145 277 55 5 8 1 0 1 2 6 12 1 1 0 Team Total) .254 .320 1174 128 298 56 8 31 114 113 187 8 9 27 PITCHERS ERA GS SV IP ER HR BB SO Kida 0 0 0.00 1 0 0 2.0 1 0 0 0 0 0 Patterson 1 0 3.18 15 0 0 11.1 17 4 4 0 3 6 Blair 1 0 3.79 13 0 0 19.0 19 8 8 1 6 5 Moehler 1 1 3.93 3 3 0 18.1 27 11 8 3 3 10 Nomo 1 2 4.24 8 8 0 51.0 45 24 24 10 28 41 Anderson 2 0 4.20 17 0 0 15.0 11 7 7 0 11 14 Weaver 1 4 4.09 6 6 0 44.0 41 23 20 3 11 25 Brocail 1 2 4.66 14 0 0 19.1 23 11 10 3 3 10 Jones 0 1 4.97 14 0 9 12.2 17 7 7 1 3 10 Johnson 0 1 620 7 2 0 20.1 20 17 14 2 13 10 Poole 1 0 6.75 17 0 0 8.0 12 7 6 4 1 4 Nitkowski 2 6 7.02 8 8 0 41.0 55 41 32 6 18 26 Mllckl 0 5 7.25 6 6 0 36.0 44 31 29 7 13 16 Borkowskl 0 1 21.94 2 1 0 5.1 11 13 13 2 7 1 Team Totals 11 23 537 34 34 9 303.1 343 204 181 42 120 178 one Mnm 1. i i 1 ir 1 it I 1 .1 Juno 3o 7:15 PM VS. SACRAMENTO Games Prizes Face Painting Laser Light Spectacular Postgame Teen Dance Meet The Team Autograph Session TICKETS AVAILABLE AT THE PALACE BOX OFFICE OR CALL SHOW i LAKE ERSE WALLEYE i I LVGryuung rrovtatja 7 SKAS KS Monroe (734) 242-4614 t( www-7soaschartors com LAKC ST. CLAIM pencil MUKiun FISHTALE'S CHARTERS (810) 774-3979 www tM.TlfrhqrtPr;tbomp mm AVAILABLE AT tlckotmamtor May 18-21 OIO L.ir -L i rial ar ALSO SPRING Over New, Bring this art. Snvn $1 BOAT Noon Adults 8pm every day $5, Children under 12 FREE fc.

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