The unspeakable and the unimaginable: I broke my Comerica Park boycott to see a Detroit Tigers game

L.A. Angels pitcher Shohei Ohtani is a must-see

click to enlarge Shohei Ohtani fans in Detroit. - Michael Betzold
Michael Betzold
Shohei Ohtani fans in Detroit.

I estimate I attended about 500 games at Tiger Stadium. Last Sunday, I saw my first game at Comerica Park. Fittingly, rain fell most of the morning. Maybe it would be called off because of my antipathy?

I bought tickets at the box office two days in advance. When I mentioned all this to the older man at the window, he remarked: “I miss that place.” I told him I was coming because of who would be pitching on Sunday. “Who’s pitching on Sunday?” he replied, clueless.

The schedule starter for the Angels was a player whose likes had never been seen before in Major League Baseball (a government-subsidized cabal of billionaires employing millionaires whose utter incomprehension of baseball is makes me happy to refuse to patronize their product — really, video replays to prove umpires can be fallible 1% of the time?). The 27-year-old pitcher-slugger-speedster from Japan utterly shatters my existence, though.

Double-digit pitching victories and home runs and stolen bases? Even for the most disenchanted of baseball devotees who have become apostates, Shohei Ohtani is a must-see. He makes other unicorns look ordinary. I simply have to swallow my rage at the Ilitches who destroyed my temple and see him in person while I can. My thirst for his embrace of all that baseball can be has battled my rage and (barely) vanquished it.

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