Initially, we figured that we'd write a smart-arsed post about how happy we were to see the walls crumblin' tumblin' down at Tigers Stadium, the host of our greatest heartache.
As much as things suck right now with the Jays limping slowly towards the end of another failed season, nothing can compare to 1987. That final week, those final games, those last innings, that final weak Garth Iorg swing...Nothing has been more spirit-crushing and soul-destroying than that final series between the Jays and the Tigers, with arguably the greatest Jays team of all time being swept out of the playoffs.
Our good pal is a Tigers fan, and while our personal views in our discussions on the relative merits of Frank Tanana might diverge (him: "He was awesome and crafty!", us: "He's a junkballing fucking bastard person"), we have to agree that there was nothing quite like Tigers Stadium.
We loved the construction of the stadium, with the huge centerfield dimensions and the overhanging upper decks down the line. We loved the fact that the Stadium had a feel of an old Globe Theatre, which only amplified the sense of drama to the games. We even loved how they let the grass grow super-extra-long to allow Sweet Lou Whitaker and Alan Trammell to get to balls that they'd have no chance at on the pool table felt surfaces that most stadia had at that time.
It's sad to think that the Stadium fell into such disrepair that it couldn't have been salvaged, but then again, we've all become accustomed to a different level of service at the ballpark or arena these days. Nostalgia's fine, but when it comes right down to it, we're not big on pissing into a trough alongside a dozen other guys.
For much greater insight on the preservation of Tigers Stadium...
Baseball Prospectus has a great interview with ESPN writer Gary Gillette in their Unfiltered blog. Gillette was on the board of the Old Tigers Stadium Conservancy, and has some interesting details on how attempts to preserve the ballpark (even partially) failed.