On Sunday, Cliff Avril was far closer to being an employee of the Detroit Tigers than he is an employee of the Detroit Lions.
Unsigned and still holding out from the Lions while under the one-year franchise tender, Avril threw out the first pitch at Comerica Park, as the Tigers prepared to host the Royals, according to James Schmel of Mlive.com.
Actually, Avril threw out the first first pitch. The second first pitch was thrown out by actor Dax Shepard, a Detroit native who wrote, directed, and stars in the upcoming film Hit and Run.
I’ll admit to not watching much (OK, any) baseball this year, but I’m not familiar nor comfortable with the idea of two ceremonial first pitches.
Then again, I’m not comfortable with the idea of a ceremonial first pitch before an average, run-of-the-mill game. Maybe it’s because they don’t have a “first throw” or a “first kick” at football games. (Although a “first tackle” would be kind of awesome.)
Avril won’t be tackling (or throwing or kicking) for the Lions until he signs a contract. He has eight days to sign a long-term deal. After that, he can sign only a one-year contract with the Lions, or an offer sheet with a new team.