Year Two of "rebuilding" by our club starts at home Thursday with visible gaps likely at Comerica Park, and not just on the field.
Two days before Spencer Turnbull's first pitch, seats are available in 16 categories -- in contrast to Opening Day sellouts most years. Barring a sudden ticket rush, impulse buyers should be able to just show up and see the Tigers host the Kansas City Royals for $54 (infield upper deck) to $209 (Tigers Den).
Gates open at 10 a.m. Supremes singer Mary Wilson delivers the anthem to mark Motown Records' 60th anniversary, and 1984 World Series champ "Willie" Hernandez tosses a ceremonial ball from the mound.
Dress for a chilly, possibly soggy afternoon. "It’s going to be a cold day at the ballpark, with highs only reaching the low 40s," advises WDIV meteorologist Paul Gross. He and other forecasters predict temperatures as low as 34, with a 40% to 50% chance of rain or snow.
"We’re not expecting it to be a washout, but likely some precipitation and rain is possible," Trent Frey of the National Weather Service branch in White Lake tells Ann Zaniewski of the Freep. "If it does rain, it will be a cold rain."
Last year's home opener on March 29, also a Thursday, was postponed by rain, wind and chill. The Tigers lost 13-10 a day later to the Pittsburgh Pirates in 13 innings. Rain in Chicago also bumped the Tigers' first game of 2017 by a day.
As for the 2019 team, the Tigers have lost three of the first five games and have scored only seven runs..
"The Detroit Tigers' offense is missing," Anthony Fenech of the Free Press wrote Sunday from Toronto, where Detroit split a four-game series.
They remain a collectively inexperienced team, something apparent so far in their lack of plate discipline. But their overall spring performances provided optimism that their offense could be not-horrible. That has not happened.
"The Tigers are not getting timely hits," Fenech writes Monday night from New York after a 3-1 loss to the Yankees "in a game in which they recorded just two hits."
But yes, the season is newborn and manager Ron Gardenhire has "confidence in these guys," Chris McCoskey of The Detroit News quotes him as saying, predictably.
"We have good hitters in this lineup. . . . This is a long, long season. We'll be fine."
Speaking of a long, long season, here's how Fenech reflected after the Tigers went 64-98 last year:
It's impossible to predict when they'll be in postseason contention again. . . . Aa winning season is still years away.
So no surprise you almost surely can pick one of the 41,083 seats on Opening Day, if you dare. If not, catch game on Fox Sports Detroit, WXYT-FM (97.1) or tigers.com.