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Lou Whitaker, nachos, tiger paw carpet and other stuff I saw in Lakeland

Feb 28, 2014, 2:00 PM EDT

LAKELAND, FLORIDA — After clubhouses close I usually wander around and take pictures of people without asking. Then I eat ballpark food. It’s a totally healthy way to live life. Here’s some of the random things I saw while I was waiting for the game to start.

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Hey, it’s should-be-Hall-of-Famer Lou Whitaker! Where are you going, Lou?

“Gonna go beat up Jose Iglesias, take back my number 1 jersey and demand the Tigers retire it!”

“Wow, really, Lou?”

“No, Craig. That’s you projecting again and putting imaginary words in my mouth. Let it go, dude. You were, like, eight years old. You have kids for Christ’s sake. Grow up.”

“OK, Lou.” [winks, assuming that's code from Whitaker for me to go beat up Iglesias and take the number. We will right all the wrongs, Lou. You and me together].

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Saw this kid on the berm during Tigers BP. Most of the people out there were 250 pound guys in their 30s or older, killing each other for baseballs. It was ugly. People were literally getting bloodied. Then this kid wades in. Forty-five pounds soaking wet, but wearing a beat-up Gibson jersey and not afraid of anything. I didn’t see him get a ball, but I wouldn’t bet against him out-fighting some of those lugs.

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During this game, I’ve seen a lot of changing, in the way you feel about me, and in the way I feel about you. In here, there were two guys killing each other, but I guess that’s better than twenty million. I guess what I’m trying to say, is that if I can change, and you can change, everybody can change!

[loud applause, even by the Politburo]

source:

You all know my favorite thing to do is to take pictures of equipment bags on the field before games. Well, get this: no bags ANYWHERE on this field today. None. I had to settle for taking pictures of these balls, all by themselves. Really, this trip is NOT starting out well. Hoping I have better luck in Tampa tomorrow.

Oh, one pic I took before the clubhouses closed. But I’m risking my credential posting this.

You’re not technically allowed to take pictures in the clubhouse, but I have decided that the purpose of that rule is to not invade the privacy of players or to reveal the internal working of teams. Which makes total sense. I do not believe, however, that the rule should extend to taking pictures of the sweet, sweet tiger paw carpet in the Tigers clubhouse, which demands documenting or posterity:

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They should license this and sell it to Tigers fans for their man caves. They’d make a mint.

By the way: I’ll cop to the Adidas being mine. In order to protect them I won’t reveal who owns the other shoes, but the dude in the Sauconys is the one who told me it’d probably be OK to take the pic. If I get in trouble, I will throw him under the bus. Just sayin’.

After all of that I needed to replenish nutrients. So I got these:

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The nachos with the pulled pork and jalapeños on them are legit, y’all.

Anyway, that’s that. The game started a few minutes ago. Brian McCann took Max Scherzer out to right field to make it 1-0 Yankees. Torii Hunter acted like he caught the ball at the wall, and it was so successful a deke that McCann actually held up a second between first and second before realizing it was out and kept running. I wonder if McCann is going to get in anyone’s face about that. It’d be pretty cool if he did.

  1. The Dangerous Mabry - Feb 28, 2014 at 2:08 PM

    Next year, you’re going to need to bring your own equipment bag to avoid this type of SNAFU.

  2. themanytoolsofignorance - Feb 28, 2014 at 2:11 PM

    if you eat that slop you will die young. I warned you

    (I approve of stalking Sweat Lou. I’d stalk Sweet Lou, too)

  3. historiophiliac - Feb 28, 2014 at 2:19 PM

    Ahem. “Lady caves,” Craig. Say hi to Mike and Sue!

    • Craig Calcaterra - Feb 28, 2014 at 2:22 PM

      NSFW

      • historiophiliac - Feb 28, 2014 at 2:40 PM

        ?

      • kalinedrive - Feb 28, 2014 at 2:49 PM

        I think he means that “lady caves” could be a not-safe-for-work euphemism.

      • historiophiliac - Feb 28, 2014 at 3:17 PM

        I meant instead of “man cave.” You’re all in time out for that.

      • The Dangerous Mabry - Feb 28, 2014 at 3:28 PM

        You’d probably need to get some tiger paw curtains as well. Because we all know when it comes to lady caves, you want the carpet to match the drapes.

      • historiophiliac - Feb 28, 2014 at 3:30 PM

        Hmmm, kinda matchy-matchy…

      • proudlycanadian - Feb 28, 2014 at 3:40 PM

        Looking at the box score on MLB.com, I noticed that it says that Verlander played Left Field for the Tigers against the Yankees. Is this for real/

      • The Dangerous Mabry - Feb 28, 2014 at 3:49 PM

        Probably this guy, PC:

        http://www.baseball-reference.com/minors/player.cgi?id=verlan001ben

        I’m hoping MLB adopts a “one Verlander per team” rule, because this is way too confusing.

      • paperlions - Feb 28, 2014 at 3:57 PM

        Re: carpet matching the drapes.

        Weird how rarely I see bald women walking around, then.

      • historiophiliac - Feb 28, 2014 at 4:29 PM

        PC, that would be little brother Ben whom the Tigers drafted last year.

        paper, don’t forget the men without curtains and some ol’ grey pile on the floor.

  4. sdelmonte - Feb 28, 2014 at 2:32 PM

    Just looking at those nachos, I think my arteries clogged.

    • Jeremy T - Feb 28, 2014 at 2:39 PM

      I gained fifteen pounds and had a heart attack, but still somehow felt like it was all worth it

  5. tfbuckfutter - Feb 28, 2014 at 2:57 PM

    See if you can find the nice old brick church downtown that is now a bail bondsman.

  6. baccards - Feb 28, 2014 at 4:01 PM

    The nachos look great, except that is some strange looking red salsa winding across them….It almost looks like ketchup, but of course we all know that it cannot be.

    • frank433 - Feb 28, 2014 at 9:23 PM

      I would guess its BBQ sauce to go with the pulled pork.

  7. moogro - Feb 28, 2014 at 4:28 PM

    That simulated cheese product with Pace Picante looks pretty painful. That had to be worse than 3rd of 4th place on the menu.

  8. kevinbnyc - Feb 28, 2014 at 4:47 PM

    Thanks for going out and fighting the good fight, Craig. Somebody’s gotta do it. Looks rough though.

  9. weaselpuppy - Feb 28, 2014 at 11:58 PM

    Sweet Lou should be sending truckloads of those nachos to the BBWAA so as to accelerate the turnover of writers and get Tram in the Hall since Lou can’t get there. Revenge is a dish best served cold….

  10. ningenito78 - Mar 1, 2014 at 2:32 AM

    So you took pictures of a senior citizen, a 10 year old boy, 2 guys sharing an intimate moment, balls, and a carpet design. Sounds about right…:

  11. barrywhererufrom - Mar 1, 2014 at 7:50 AM

    Well I’ll be a.monkeys brother..i was at the same.game. Food.was.pretty good. Had a.sausage and peppers..wife had the cheesestake. Great.park and the people.who workes there couldnt have been nicer. Best part.of.it.all.was.my 9 year old son met Justin Verlander shook his hand and.got.his.autogragh…worst part.now I have a Tigers fan in my family..thats baseball.suzyn..

  12. barrywhererufrom - Mar 1, 2014 at 7:55 AM

    Actually made a trek to the Tigers old training facility called.Henley Field. They played there from 34-66..the grounds guy let.us on the field had a catch with my son. He told us.stories.about Hank.Greenberg and had some Yankee.stories too.about the Mick.hitting a homerun that I believe hasnt landed.yet..currently USF plays games.there..

    • sunking1 - Mar 3, 2014 at 11:09 AM

      Not USF, Florida Southern College.
      USF plays on campus in Tampa

  13. Minoring In Baseball - Mar 2, 2014 at 8:42 PM

    Compared to other second baseman in the HOF, yes, Sweet Lou should accompany them. Since that will never happen, I’ve stated many times the Tigers do need to step up and retire the numbers of him and Alan Trammell. I’d love to see a statue of them ‘turning two’ there in Comerica.

    http://minoringinbaseball.com/

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