Detroit Tigers: Opening Day excitement, Big changes, Porcello’s pay day
By Dave Holcomb
It’s been well documented that the Detroit Tigers are entering the 2015 season with more question marks than most teams in the league. Detroit did not have a great Spring Training, but the club proved Monday that performances in March don’t really count for much as the Tigers defeated the Twins, 4-0, on Opening Day of the 2015 season.
With the Tigers 1-0 to start the season, those question marks have subsided for at least one day.
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The fans came out in full force on Monday for the first game at Comerica Park this season, enjoying every second of the festivities that come with attending an Opening Day game in Major League Baseball.
Those fans from last year’s Opening Day might barely recognize the Detroit Tigers team that took the field to begin the 2015 season. David Price, Yoenis Cespedes, and Jose Iglesias all made their Tigers Opening Day debuts while Tigers cornerstones Justin Verlander and Torrii Hunter were not even there or were wearing a different uniform.
Former Tigers Cy Young award winner Max Schrezer made his regular season debut with the Nationals on Monday, but it was a different former Tigers pitcher who stole the press. Rick Porcello and his new team, the Boston Red Sox, agreed to a four-year, $82.5 million extension.
Fans revel in Tigers return to action – Francis X. Donnelly, The Detroit News
"The victory was the culmination of a daylong celebration that was equal parts baseball and nostalgia, partying and religious experience.Opening Day seems to resonate a little stronger, not to mention louder in Detroit, a city where the Tigers have played during three different centuries.It had all the hallmarks of a typical first home game of the season."
Opening Day about tradition, change for Tigers – Mitch Albom, Detroit Free Press
"Things change. On Monday, Justin Verlander, last year’s Opening Day starter, wasn’t even in Comerica Park. Torii Hunter, last year’s starting rightfielder, was in the park, but wearing a Minnesota Twins uniform. Yoenis Cespedes, who played for the Athletics and the Red Sox last season, wore a Detroit uniform Monday afternoon and set the park on fire. Jose Iglesias missed the entire 2014 season with stress fractures in both shins, but there he was, back as the Tigers’ shortstop, smacking a single in his first at-bat and then, as if to make a point, promptly stealing second base.Last year, a Tiger named Alex Gonzalez won this game with a walk-off single. This year, he’s not even in baseball.Last year, Price was Tampa Bay’s Opening Day pitcher. This year, he won the shutout for Detroit.Things change."
Former Detroit Tigers pitcher Rick Porcello signs four-year extension reportedly worth $82.5 million – Chris Iott, MLive.com
"Rick Porcello was expected to sign for big money as a free agent next offseason.He decided not to wait.Porcello has signed a four-year contract extension with the Boston Red Sox. The deal is worth $82.5 million, according to multiple media reports.Those reports say Porcello will receive a signing bonus of $500,000 and salaries of $20 million in 2016 and 2017 and $21 million the following two years."