04/11/09 6:45 PM ET
Everett prefers grass to turf
Tigers shortstop happy to play at Comerica Park
By Jason Beck / MLB.com
Though the shortstop concedes that the left ankle he sprained a little more than two weeks ago still bothers him a little bit, the bigger problem at the start of the year was the surface at Toronto's Rogers Centre.
His first game with the Tigers at Comerica Park looked a lot more comfortable, but his second game saw him make his second error of the week, which opened the door for the Rangers to pull ahead in the fifth inning with a pair of unearned runs.
He made up for it by scoring the go-ahead run, but it still didn't sit well with him afterward.
"It's driving me nuts," Everett said. "It'll be a little restless tonight, to say the least. But it's part of the game. I'm just glad we pulled out a W."
The problems Everett had in Toronto had to do with reading the hops on the turf. Because the surface had lively areas and dead zones, not to mention numerous seams, he had to be ready for the ball to do some unpredictable things. He ended up with a fielding error on Opening Night.
"It's nice to be on the natural surface, it really is," Everett said Saturday morning. "It's just that there's some predictability to it, and that's what makes it nice."
Everett's miscue wasn't about the surface, but trying to get the ball out of his glove. After fielding Michael Young's ground ball with two outs in the fifth, he couldn't get a grip on the ball to fire to second base quickly enough to get the forceout on speedy Elvis Andrus. That extended the inning for Josh Hamilton's two-run single.
Everett made no excuses.
"I just couldn't get it out," he said. "I just goofed it. There's no other way to explain it. Just didn't make the play. Fortunately we won, but unfortunately for Justin, it cost him some extra pitches, and he had too many to go out the next inning, because he was throwing the ball very well."
Everett downplayed any effect his sprained ankle might be having on his game. He suffered the injury in the next-to-last week of Spring Training, but returned to the lineup a few days later and has had the ankle wrapped ever since.
"The sprained ankle's going to take a little while [to recover], but it's fine," Everett said.
Jason Beck is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.