Am I the only one who leaves Comerica Park with a headache caused by the blaring music played before, during and after the games? Damn, it’s like they’re trying to punish you for being there. Most of the time, it’s impossible to carry on a conversation with the person seated next to you without screaming.
And how about the public address announcer who feels compelled to turn Curtis Granderson into “CUUUUUUUUURRRRRTIS GRAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAANNNNNDERSON!” Is that really necessary? For every at-bat? That’s the kind of antics one expects at a Toledo Mud Hens game, not a Major League venue.
I, for one, would much rather have a full-time organist play at Comerica Park and have a P.A. announcer like the dignified John Bell from the 1980s at Tiger Stadium. Those are the sounds of Major League baseball that I recollect from my childhood. I can remember waiting in line to go through the turnstile, smelling the hot dogs and mustard, and hearing Bell’s voice reading the lineups and the warm call of organ music luring me into the ballpark.
But for some reason, the Detroit Tigers’ front office seems convinced that playing overbearingly loud music and over-animated announcements somehow add to the excitement of a ballgame. They’ve turned what used to be a relaxed and comforting atmosphere into that of a heavy metal concert. And there’s no escaping it.
I wish Tigers brass would realize that baseball is different from all the other sports. What works for hockey and basketball may not work for the National Pastime. They need to understand that the subtlest traditions mean a great deal to the fans — and so does their hearing.
It should be noted that more than half of the current Major League teams still feature live organ music and traditional P.A. annoucements at their ballgames. And polls consistently show that baseball fans favor that over recorded rock, rap, and Wolfman Jack announcing. But listening to their fans has never been one of the Tigers’ strengths.
Do us all a favor, Tigers, and turn down the speakers 100 notches and bring back a John Bell-type P.A. announcer. And while you’re at it, hire an organist and ban the rock and rap music. Your fans — and their ears — will thank you.