Opening Day signifies a lot of things around the country. It’s the beginning of baseball season and (hopefully) the start of another big World Series run for Miggy and the boys. It means spring has just begun and summer is around the corner. Here in Detroit, Opening Day is a huge celebration, and everybody knows there ain’t no party like a Detroit party.
The D will be rocking when the Tigers return to Comerica Park April 6. Whether you have a ticket to the game or not, there are several events taking place that’ll make downtown Detroit the place to be.
Dave and Chuck “The Freak” 101 WRIF Opening Day
WRIF is teaming up with Greektown Casino-Hotel to take over The Fillmore for the day. The event is free and open to all ages. Doors open at 7 a.m.
Dave and Chuck “The Freak” will kick things off bright and early with a live broadcast. They’ll be sending a lucky someone to the park for the game. Tim Hortons will be providing free coffee and donuts to the first 150 people through the doors before 9:30 a.m. RockStar, the ‘80s hair tribute band, will perform.
If you don’t have a ticket to the game, WRIF jocks Anne Carlini and Meltdown will also be live at the Fillmore, and you’ll be able to watch the game on a huge screen. Food and beverages will be available.
All event information is available here.
Detroit Sports 105.1 Opening Day
Detroit Sports 105.1 will have live broadcasts, sponsored by Greektown Casino-Hotel, coming to you from Cheli’s Chili Bar across from Comerica Park.
On-air personalities Ryan and Rico, Matt Dery, and Drew and Marc will all be on hand starting at 10 a.m. The 105.1 Knockouts will be giving fans a chance to win Detroit sports gear.
97.1 The Ticket Opening Day Block Party
CBS Radio is hosting a block party in Grand Circus Park from 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. The party will feature live entertainment from West Michigan-based party band Brena, and 98.7 Amp Radio DJs Chris James and Ryan Richards will be spinning tunes.
Many radio hosts will be doing live broadcasts in and around downtown. You can also view the game in the on-site beer tent. There’ll be interactive games and the Ticket Chicks will be doing giveaways.
Specials at The Breadstick
The Breadstick, located on the second level concourse at Ford Field, will open at 7 a.m. and offer a $3 beer special and $1.50 hot dogs.
You can enter The Breadstick through Ford Field Gate A or from Gate G within the Lions parking deck.
At the Ballpark
If you’re lucky enough to get a ticket to the game, the Tigers are partnering with Meijer and Ball Park to give away rally towels to the first 40,000 fans through the gates. Fresh off an Oscar win for Best Supporting Actor for the movie “Whiplash,” Detroit-born J.K. Simmons will throw out the ceremonial first pitch. The action gets started between the Tigers and Minnesota Twins at 1:08 p.m. Gates open at 11:00 a.m.
What’s New with These Crazy Cats?
Now that you know what events are going on around Opening Day, what can you expect to see from the product on the field? There have been a few changes in the off-season and a few more Tigers who are looking to return to form.
The biggest off-season addition comes in the form of 29-year-old left fielder Yoenis Céspedes. In his three Major League seasons since defecting from Cuba, Céspedes has compiled a career batting average of .262 and an average of 87 RBI per season. He’s coming off an All-Star campaign split between the Oakland A’s and Boston Red Sox.
Joining Céspedes in the outfield is center fielder Anthony Gose, 24. Playing with Toronto in 2014, Gose compiled a .226 batting average and .311 on-base percentage in 274 plate appearances.
Max Scherzer left in free agency for the Washington Nationals and Rick Porcello went to Boston in the trade for Céspedes. Filling their spots in the starting rotation are right-handers Alfredo Simón and Shane Greene. The 33-year-old Simón, nicknamed “Big Pasta,” compiled an earned run average of 3.44 in 32 starts for the Cincinnati Reds last year. Greene, 26, had an earned run average of 3.78 in 14 starts for the New York Yankees in 2014.
Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martínez are coming off of off-season surgery, but both are expected to be ready by Opening Day. The Tigers are hoping that hard-throwing Bruce Rondon can return to his old form following Tommy John’s surgery to correct a torn ligament in his pitching elbow. Catching duties will be split between Alex Avila and newcomer James McCann.
Now that you know everything that’s going on for Opening Day, go out and have some fun. Is there anything I missed? What player do you think will be key to the Tigers’ success this year? Comment below!