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April 12, 2000 - Image 14

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 2000-04-12

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14. The Michigan Daily - Wednesday, April 12, 2000





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Tigers win 5-2 in first game at CoPa

-DETROIT (AP) - Coming home is what baseball is all
about even when it's a new house.
Gregg Jefferies and Bobby Higginson each drove in two
runs as Detroit beat the Seattle Mariners 5-2 yesterday at
Comerica Park, the Tigers' first home game in 104 years that
wasn't at the corner of Michigan and Trumbull.
"That was nice'" said first baseman Tony Clark, who made
the game's key defensive play in the sixth. "Now it's all over
and they can't change anything. This is home. It feels good to
break in with a win at our new home."
Opening a ballpark with a win has become a Detroit tradi-
tion. The Tigers, then in the Western League, routed
Columbus 17-2 in the Bennett Park opener on April 28, 1896.
When Navin Field, later called Tiger Stadium, opened on the
same site on April 20, 1912, Detroit beat Cleveland 6-5.
Comerica Park, built at a cost of $300 million in downtown
Detroit, has all the amenities, from statues of Ty Cobb and Al
Kaline, to luxury suites and a carousel, yet it also seemed to
satisfy the baseball purists.
"It's a beautiful stadium," said Seattle's John Olerud, whose
first-inning double was Comerica's first hit. "And it's big. I
thought there were some balls today that definitely would
have been home runs in the old Tiger Stadium."
Before a capacity crowd of 39,168 on a cold afternoon that
featured a steady drizzle, players wore parkas - with hoods
up - under their uniforms. Their breath was visible in vapors
- like football players on a November day.
Brian Moehler (1-1), who started and won the final game
at Tiger Stadium, gave up 10 hits and one walk, but allowed
just two runs - one earned - in six innings.
"It was an honor to be able to pitch this game," Moehler
said. "I guess I'll go down in the record books. I would have

From the teams
Despite the cold weather, fans seemed to enjoy the opener at
Comerica Park. Members of both the Tigers and the Seattle
Mariners had their own take on Detroit's newest mantelpiece.
"That's a very big ballpark - you are going to see a lot of triples
instead of homers here. But it is very nice - good for pitchers."
Seattle starting pitcher Freddy Garcia
1 don't think we really know how this park is going to play yet.
We are going to have to wait and see. But if you loaf after balls in
the outfield, I think we will be able to take advantage of it."
Detvit manager Phil Gamer
"It's really a beautiful park. I think the fans in Detroit are really
going to enjoy coming to games here, especially once it warms up.
It ranks right up there with the top parks in the major leagues."
Seattle Mariners manager Lou Piella
wanted this, win or lose."
Freddy Garcia (1-1) gave up five runs and six hits in six
innings. The Tigers only scored five runs off Garcia all sea-
son in 1999.
"I got two strikes on a lot of guys early, but I couldn't find
my strikeout pitch," Garcia said. "They hit a few dribblers on
me, and then I made a big mistake to Higginson. I left a pitch
out and up, and he killed it.
"That was two runs right there."
While the ballpark was full when the game, a 40-degree
temperature and the rain caused more than half the fans to
leave after an inning or two.
Despite the new surroundings, once plate umpire Rick
Reed yelled "Play ball!" at 1:18 p.m., the game was about as
it has been for more than a century.
Luis Polonia tripled to start the two-run first and scored
Comerica's first run when Jefferies, starting in place of
injured Damion Easley, singled to right.
Garcia, who beat the Tigers three times last year in
three different parks - the Kingdome and Safeco Field in
Seattle, and Tiger Stadium - walked the bases loaded,
then balked on a 1-2 count to Karim Garcia forcing
Jefferies across.
Karim Garcia took a called third strike ending the first
inning moments later, triggering a minor exodus of fans who
either had seen enough or couldn't take much more of the
weather. Only about 15,000 remained by the ninth inning.
Detroit made it 4-0 in the second when Juan Encarnacion
singled, Polonia walked and Bobby Higginson, the subject of
trade rumors all spring, tripled them home.
"It wasn't just hitting," Seattle manager Lou Piniella said.
"Today was a tough day to field and a tough day to pitch. It
was really miserable out there. But, it was miserable for both
teams. That's not an excuse."
Moehler gave successive doubles to Dan Wilson and
Carlos Guillen as the Mariners made it 4-1 in the fourth.
Seattle closed to 4-2 with an unearned run in the fifth when
John Olerud was able to score from first after after
Encarnacion let Jay Buhner's single to center skip under his
glove and roll to the warning track for an error.
Jefferies had an RBI single in the sixth.
"I tell you, it was great,' Jefferies said. "All the fans were
freezing, and they were out there. We said, "'If they can be
out there, we can be out there, too."'


The Tigers' Tony Clark gazes out at Comerica Park's vast outfield while taking batting practice yesterday.

New park continues Detroit revival

Alex Rodriguez and the Mariners weren't able to take out the
Tigers on Opening Day at brand-new Comerica Park.


DETROIT (AP) - Against a back-
drop of the Detroit skyline and the city's
budding renaissance, the Detroit Tigers
and more than 39,000 fans shivered
through light rain and frigid tempera-
tures to help give Comenca Park a victo-
rious opening.
"Uncluttered and nice and wide open"
was the praise of Scott Primrose of
Brighton, among the throngs embracing
the new $300 million park after decades
of sitting in Tiger Stadium's cramped
seats behind screens and beams.
The Tigers, after going; 1-5 for the
worst start in baseball, continued a
club tradition of opening new parks
with wins with a 5-2 victory over
Seattle yesterday. Gregg Jefferies and
Bobby Higginson each drove in two
runs in the first home game in 104
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years that wasn't at the corner of
Michigan and Trumbull.
Brian Moehler (1-1), who started
and won the final game at Tiger
Stadium, gave up 10 hits and one
walk, but allowed just two runs -
one earned - in six innings. Freddy
Garcia (1-I) gave up five runs and six
hits in six innings.
"This is for the Detroit fans, all the
suburban fans, the state of Michigan.
This is a new generation for all base-
ball and the future," Tigers owner
Mike Ilitch said before 9-year-old
Maggie Dewald of Hamtramck threw
out the ceremonial first pitch.
Comerica Park sits across from
where the Detroit Lions' new Ford
Field is scheduled to open in 2002
and bring the NFL team back from
the suburbs. Together, they are part of
a push to revitalize Detroit's long-suf-
fering downtown.
Two new casinos have opened
downtown and a third is planned. And
Compuware, a computer software
and services company, plans to build
an $800 million. headquarters and
move downtown as well, bringing
about 8,000 jobs with it.
"Detroit is not a home-run city. But
we know we can win a lot of games
with singles and doubles," said Gene
Miller, chief executive officer of

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COPa firsts
First singers of the national anthem:
The Winans
First pitch: Tigers' Brian Moehler to
Mark McLemore, called strike
First baserunner: Mike Cameron,
Seattle, first inning, reached on Deivi
Cruz error
First hit: John Olerud, Seattle, first
inning, double
First run: Luis Polonia, Detroit, first
inning off Freddy Garcia, scored on
Gregg lefferies single.
First RBI: Gregg Jefferies, Detroit,
first inning
First homerun: None
Comerica Inc., a banking company:
"Maybe this park today i.sn't a
home run. But it's a single. That's
how this city can be built."
Just hours before the game,
groundskeepers had to scramble to
clear a layer of snow and put the final
touches on the park as temperatures
trembled in the 30s. Former Tigers
manager Sparky Anderson greeted
fans and signed autographs outside.
Built to replace the beloved. but
crumbling 88-year-old Tiger
Stadium, Comerica Park has. the
sightlines, grass field and clear view
to the sky to satisfy baseball purists
- along with amenities from statues
of Ty Cobb and Al Kaline to luxury
suites, a carousel and liquid fire-
Fans and players alike wore parka
shd their numbed hands into packetW
and blew on them to keep them warm.
The 40-degree temperature and light
rain forced many from their seats
after an inning or two.
Back at the corner of Michigan and
Trumbull, the only sign of life at
Tiger Stadium on Tuesday was an
electronic sign with messages about
Tigers ticket availability - and a
farewell: "Thanks fans for 88 great
years at 'The Corner."'
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Office of New Student Programs
Do you like your voice to be heard? Do you love performing in front of
crowds? Would like to get paid for making people laugh, think, learn? Res Rep
Theatre troupe (AKA Summer Troupe) is holding auditions for this summer's
orientation theatre program. This program performs to over 5000 incoming
first-year students. For the last three years, it has been the top rated orientation
Indivduals interested in being a part of this 10 person ensemble will not only
possess a passion for performing, but an understanding of how theatre can be
used to inform, enlighten and teach. Individuals in the ensemble will not only
assist in the development of the theatre piece, but will perform various roles
throughout the summer's 34 show run (Sunday through Wednesday evenings)
This opportunity is ideal for the student who either works or takes classes
during the day. This is an evening commitment from 7:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m.
NO previous acting experience required. Minorities are encouraged to audition.
NO audition material required. Be prepared to stay the entire audition time.
Auditions will be held Thursday, April 13, 7:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m. in the Main
Lounge on the first floor of the South Quad (East side of South Quad) Lounge
and call-backs are scheduled for 7:00 p.m.-9:00 p.m. in the same location on
Friday, April 14.
Performances are 7:00 p.m.-10:00 p.m. Sundays, Mondays, Tuesdays and
Wednesdays from June 4d' through August 7 except for June 25th and July 2-
4. Rehearsals begin in May.
Assistant Director Position: We are looking for an Assistant Director who
will assist with the production of the group (i.e. scheduling rehearsals, taking
care nfnanrnwork. nratino nrnns.etc.)as well as nerform in the troune. The

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