Tigers 6, Red Sox 5

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Last night I got a chance to see my former local team, the Detroit Tigers, take on the Boston Red Sox. I wanted the Tigers to lose because they’re a little too close to the Twins in the AL Central standings, but when the Tigers scored quickly in the first, I found myself wanting to join the Michigan loyals just a little bit in cheering them on. And after all, I was wearing a Toledo Mudhens shirt, the Tigers AAA team — and at least three of the Tigers had been playing for Toledo earlier in the week.
But the oddest part of the game was who was sitting next to us. I went with my co-worker who speaks fluent French and Spanish, so I asked her to help me figure out what language the guys next to us were speaking. It turns out, it was French, but not quite the French she spoke — it was Quebecois French. Later in the game, when I pointed out to her the Rod Carew Twins jersey a few rows in front of us, one of the Canadians started talking to me (in English) about Rod Carew. (Oddly enough, I later saw a Harmon Killebrew Twins jersey while waiting for the bathroom.)
It turns out these guys were real life Montreal baseball fans. They had been Expos fans for years, but now are sort of baseball nomads. Generally, they drive to either Boston or Toronto (the two closest cities) to see games, but they also go all over the States when they get a chance — one of them is going to Wrigley next weekend. We swapped stories about ballparks and I asked them if they cheered for the Nationals or had been to a game there. “No, absolutely not!” they said, almost in unison.
As for the game itself, the Tigers appeared to be walking away with it with a 6-1 lead in the 9th. But Tigers pitcher Jose Valverde gave up three consecutive walks to load the bases with Big Papi coming to the plate. Fenway got loud as Ortiz fouled the first pitch and took a ball for the second pitch. Then suddenly… *bam* Grand slam, deep to right. Two batters later, Adrian Beltre doubled and it looked like the Red Sox might pull off the come back with two outs in the 9th with J.D. Drew pinch hitting in classic “Mighty Casey at the Bat” scenario. But then the Tigers turned chicken and intentionally walked Drew to face Mike Cameron… who struck out to end the game.

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