The Tigers kicked off their seasons with a come from behind win over Zach Greinke and the Royals, in a matchup that lived up to its billing, until Justin Verlander kind of fell apart. Then it was just Greinke at his finest until, well, he was taken out before the 7th inning and the Tigers scored 6 runs. The lesson here is this: to beat Greinke is to not have to face him.
From a Tiger standpoint, the game was notable for two reasons. For one, it is their first Opening Day win since 2006 (HT to Bless You Boys for that one). Yes, that 2006. Second, I caught on the radio broadcast that this was the first time that the Tigers had two players that were both making their major league debut on Opening Day. Back then it was none other than the dynamic duo of...Deivi Cruz and Bubba Trammell. (Mega burn from the radio booth: "You'd like to forget about those two." Ouch.) Well today we had two more: 2B Scott Sizemore, who has worked his way up through the Tigers system and CF Austin Jackson who made his way to Detroit in the Granderson deal.
Against Greinke, it seemed like they were going to be in for one of those "learning experiences," like when you learn how to walk slowly back to the dugout, or how to unbuckle your knees or how to unfreeze yourself etc., and it certainly seemed to start out that way. But in a world where they had to face regular Major League pitching instead of the second coming of Mordecai "Three Finger" Brown (and his ilk), the kids were alright.
Scott Sizemore, for his part, took a walk in the 7th advanced to 3rd on a single (From Bless You Boys: "(What is he, a Twin? Are other teams allowed to do it, too?)" Great Quote.) before Austin Jackson ripped a double to drive his fellow debutante home. WOTS was that Jackson also threw out Jason Kendall at home, but I was driving home from work at that point and MLB.com's site is apparently in low bandwith mode or something, so I can't get any video--not like if I could embed MLB video even if I had it...grumblegrumble MLB grumble. Anyway...
It's debut performances like this that prompt me to scream from the hilltops "Get That Man A Baseball Card!" To some degree, it seems like my calls have been preemptively answered:
That sweet little number comes courtesy of 2010 Topps Pro Debut a set which, I am not ashamed to say, I like the looks of a great deal. You know, it wasn't so long ago that futures cards like this were included in regular Topps sets, and he is wearing a Tigers hat in the picture, so this is pretty darn close. Still, now that he is the present, and not the future, I'd like to see a "Big League" card for Scotty.
As for Jackson, he's got a Pro Debut card as well--an insert commemorating his appearance in the AAA All Star Game--but it shows him as a minor league Yankee. No thanks. Tigers card please. (As for 2010 Pro Debut, I should have a gallery up in the next couple days)
If I had my druthers, these would be two no-brainer inclusions in Topps Series 2, and my guess is that if Topps is in the business of making money, that they're on the same page (remember, Rick Porcello and Ryan Perry got the Series 2 treatment after making the Opening Day Roster last year).
And while we're at it, let's get a little "First Tigers to Make Their Debut On Opening Day..." combo card to commemorate this historical footnote--as long as you can promise me that in 15 years we won't be saying "Wish we could forget about those guys."