I feel bad for Tigers

I feel bad for Tigers fans. Detroit used to be a great baseball town. The fans there were as passionate and knowledgeable as in Boston or St. Louis. The team has been bad for more than a decade, and now they’re challenging the ’62 Mets for worst team of all time. If you’ve read “Five Seasons” by Roger Angell, you get a glimpse of the Tigers fans during some glory days. It’s in the early 70’s, and three lifelong friends and diehard middleaged Tiger fans are profiled. They get together for games, go to games, keep stats, remember players as far back as the 1930’s. They hang on every word of Ernie Harwell. When Harwell was retiring last year, I wondered about the three fans from Angell’s book. Were they still alive? Were they still into the Tigers as much as they were 30 years ago? What did they think of the hard fall of the team? Oh well, that’s just me.

Jason Varitek was the hands down star of the game last night. He showed all facets of his game. Steven Krasner says Varitek used it all, bat, hands, arm, leg. Gordon Edes wonders if Pedro will pitch a no-hitter this afternoon. Jeff Horrigan acknowledges the effort of John Burkett, who had another strong outing. Kevin Gray also looks at Burkett’s turn in the rotation. Christopher Price looks at the Sox teaching the young Tigers another lesson. Matt Kalman notes that at least one Tiger has had some success against Pedro. Alex Speier looks at “a perfect night for a catcher.” Aaron Harlan looks at Varitek’s contributions last night. Kalman also looks at Varitek’s key play at the plate. Steve Buckley’s pay column today lauds John Burkett, saying he is not a problem in the rotation, but rather a solution. Joe Burris also has a look at Burkett. Price looks at how David Ortiz beating out an infield hit helped spark the nine rally with two out in the eighth inning last night. Harlan says that coming back to Fenway has rejuvenated the offense. Burris also says that Derek Lowe has finally hit his stride. Jeff Goldberg looks at how different media coverage of the Red Sox was just 25 years ago. Horrigan’s notebook says Gabe Kapler could be with the Red Sox as soon as Sunday. Edes’ notebook looks at Freddy Sanchez adjusting to life in the majors. Krasner’s notebook says Wakefield might not miss his turn in the rotation.

Laura Meade Kirk has a look at the festivities that take place outside of Fenway, on Yawkey Way.

Jackie MacMullan looks at Danny Ainge, who finally gets to call the draft day shots for a team, something he’s done in private for many years. Steve Bulpett says that the Celtics are hoping someone slides to them, and gives out some possible names to look for. Peter May provides his Mock Draft, and has the Celtics taking Marcus Banks and high schooler Kendrick Perkins. May says about Banks:

Maybe there is no ''deal,'' but don't you think it's pretty convenient that Banks shut it down after working out for the Celtics?

I don’t think that’s true. Reports have Banks working out for at least two teams recently, including Orlando last week. Tim Weisberg says a new era starts tonight, and the Celtics are like a kid in a candy store…with just a few pennies in their pocket. Michael Muldoon says the Celtics want a point guard, or best available player…Shira Springer says that after the top three, the rest is anyone’s guess. Mark Murphy has a similar opinion. Carolyn Thornton looks at some possibilities for the Celtics. Ray Duckler wonders if Matt Bonner could be headed to the Celtics. Jim Baker and MacMullan look at Bob Cousy being honored with an annual award in his name. Springer’s notebook reports that Chris Wallace is no longer a GM candidate in Portland.

What a mess BC finds itself in. Bob Ryan says the Big East is now the Big Least. He confuses me with one paragraph:

The ACC did not invite either BC or Syracuse to its league. The ACC will take the Big East's place as a BCS league and BC is left behind in a football conference that has some big-time poseurs but no real runway models.

Isn’t the ACC already a BCS Conference? Michael Vega reports on the official invite of Miami and Virginia Tech. Bill Reynolds says there will be some huge fallout from this mess. Mike Shalin says that Miami might be hesitant to leap now. Here is the official statement from BC on the matter. Mike Grimala gets reaction on-campus.

Luke Meredith looks at the Nomah Rules.

Bill Griffith looks at Lisa Guerrero joining Monday Night Football.

NESN has Red Sox/Tigers at 1:00. ESPN has the NBA Draft at 7:00. TBS has Braves/Phillies at 7:30.