Fever pitch 

Fans run the gamut when it comes to Opening Day at Comerica Park. For some, the spring ritual is the prime excuse to play hooky. For others, it’s the perfect motivation to drink before noon. But for many — those who understand the virtues of our national pastime, those who believe that the smell of a rose is second only to that of a musty old glove — Opening Day is much more than a time to party, it’s a chance to be a part of something sacred.

The fact of the matter is, if you are a faithful supporter of the game, baseball will always be a last vestige of pure entertainment and sportsmanship — even if things are a bit screwy right now.

Despite the cloud of steroid use that looms over major league baseball this year, the 2005 season will carry on. The major leagues have historically overcome scandal; and once the dust has settled, this too will likely be remembered as just another one of baseball’s many foibles.

This week, however, our eyes are on the Tigers. Encouraged by last year’s 72-90 record, fans are hopeful that the Tigers’ latest acquisitions — pitcher Troy Percival and impact player Magglio Ordonez — will prove to be as fruitful as last year’s hiring of Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez.

Tickets for the home opener have sold out, but prime seats are selling on eBay for approximately $100 each. And then, of course, there are the scalpers, not that we here at Night & Day condone that sort of thing. (Oh, who are we kidding? Get those seats any way you can.)

And while it’s way too early for grandiose predictions, isn’t this sense of a new beginning — and the blind faith that goes with it — exactly what baseball is all about? Just ask Red Sox fans, they’ll tell ya.

See you at the Copa!


Detroit Tigers vs. Kansas City Royals at 1:05 p.m., Monday, April 4, at Comerica Park (2100 Woodward Ave., Detroit; 313-471-2255).

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