The $8-small beer barrier has been broken

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Beer at the ballpark is expensive. We all know that and understand that because we all know that people need beer to survive as if it were oxygen and those criminals who run the ballpark have us over a barrel.

But it’s getting even more expensive:

Major League Baseball’s average price for a small beer rose from $5.81 last year to $6.16 this year. At this time last year, the highest price for a small beer was the $7.25 the Boston Red Sox were charging at Fenway Park. This year three teams have exceeded that price, with two breaking the $8 barrier for the first time ever.

The rest of that article is a beer price slide show, but if you make it all the way until the end you learn that the most expensive beer in baseball is in Detroit, where a small beer costs $8.75. That’s for 20 ounces, not 16, but it’s still an increase per ounce over last year’s prices for the then-small 16 ouncer.  And is more than I paid for sixer of Newcastle at the Giant Eagle last night.

In other news, if you’re heading to Comerica Park this summer, may I recommend stopping by here first?

(link via reader bloodysock)

Victor Martinez played his final major league game on Saturday

Victor Martinez
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After 16 years in the majors, longtime Tigers DH Victor Martinez capped his career with one final start at Comerica Park. Although there are seven games remaining in the club’s regular season schedule, Martinez said he felt he owed it to the fans to record his final at-bat at home. He’ll still cheer the rest of the team on from the dugout when they hit the road for their last six-game stretch on Monday, though he’s not expected to slot into the lineup at any point during their back-to-back away series against the Twins and Brewers.

In order to commemorate the occasion, the Tigers arranged a pregame ceremony to celebrate the veteran infielder’s seven years with the team, during which they presented him with Topps baseball cards, a recliner, a pair of boots, and a saddle, among other honors. Martinez also put in a special request to play first base, a position he hadn’t manned in over two years.

The 39-year-old didn’t waste a single minute of his final start in the majors. He deftly handled an inning-ending out in the top of the first, then laced a rare infield single to short in his first and final at-bat of the afternoon, beating the throw to first and advancing Nicholas Castellanos to second base in order to set up the Tigers’ first run: a two-out RBI single from Niko Goodrum that brought Castellanos home to score.

“I think that at-bat was the perfect at-bat to describe my career,” Martinez told reporters after the Tigers wrapped a 5-4 win over the Royals. “I had to sweat it out. I had to sweat it out the whole way. I had to grind it. That was my whole career.”

Following the hit — and the standing ovation that greeted it — the switch-hitter was promptly replaced by pinch-runner Ronny Rodriguez, who subbed in at second base in the top of the second while Goodrum shifted from second to first base. Taking Saturday’s performance into account, Martinez polished off his big league career with a lifetime .295/.360/.455 batting line, 423 doubles, 246 home runs, 1,178 RBI, and 28.4 fWAR across 1,973 games and three separate stints for the Indians, Red Sox, and Tigers. His accomplishments at the plate have been decorated with five All-Star nominations, two Silver Slugger Awards, and the designated hitter-exclusive Edgar Martinez Award following a career-best campaign in 2014.