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Detroit die-hard Daniels among Game 4 celebs

Detroit die-hard Daniels among Game 4 celebs

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Detroit die-hard Daniels among Game 4 celebs
DETROIT -- Google "Jeff Daniels Tigers," and in addition to dozens of articles identifying the actor as a lifelong fan of Detroit's baseball team, you'll find several videos of him singing a jazzy ditty titled "The Tiger Fan Blues."

Daniels wrote that song after the 2003 season, when his beloved hometown team fell one loss short of tying a record no baseball team wants -- the mark for all-time losses in modern-day baseball, a distinction that belongs to the 1962 Mets.

World Series

Detroit managed to lose "only" 119 games in '03, but while the club was successful in avoiding the record, still, 119 losses is 119 losses. Daniels, an accomplished actor who also dabbles in music, turned to the latter to mask his sorrow for the Tigers' hardships. He estimated he's rewritten the song at least 10 times since the 2003 original version, and he has it queued up and ready for another revision, depending on how this weekend ends.

"I actually have two versions," Daniels said. "I have a version if we win, and I have a version if we get swept."

Daniels has been present at Comerica Park for both Tigers home games this World Series, and he was hoping the visits would stretch into another day. He has been a regular presence as a blogger on MLB.com, and also on Twitter as the official celebrity voice of the Tigers, rivaled by actor/comedian Kevin Pollak, a born and bred San Francisco Giants fan.

But don't mistake this as a publicity stunt. Daniels is serious about his Tigers fandom -- "It's my religion, and Al Kaline is my God," he said. Daniels is not happy about how things have gone so far, and while optimistic that Detroit can stick around in this series for a while longer, he's also thinking of the aftermath just in case Sunday's game was the end.

He's maintaining some level of humor through the pain, too.

"I'll probably work out some deep emotional personal issues via Twitter," Daniels said. "It's cheaper than therapy. The police will be on alert. You just don't want to be around me for a while."

Daniels, a native of Chelsea, Mich., has been acting since the early 1980s, and is well-known for his roles in several movies, including "Terms of Endearment," "The Purple Rose of Cairo" and "Pleasantville," and he's currently starring in the HBO hit series "The Newsroom." But it's his role as one half of a lovable doofus duo, along with Jim Carrey, in the 1994 smash hit "Dumb and Dumber" that may be his most recognizable role.

In baseball, the line "So you're saying there's a chance?" has had particular staying power over the years, especially when a team is attempting to make a comeback either late in the season or when it's down a few games in a postseason series.

So maybe it was only appropriate that Daniels was at Comerica Park on Sunday night with his team in an 0-3 hole.

"We saw it last year in the World Series," he said. "Texas was one strike away, twice, and they lost it all. The Washington Nationals this year. Here's a city, a stadium full of people. And it just goes away. It's a cruel, cruel game.

"So if you're telling me there's a chance ... we have a chance."

Daniels was one of two A-listers in attendance for Game 4. Actor and "Friend" Matthew Perry doesn't have quite the allegiance to the home team as Daniels, but that didn't stop him from jumping at the chance to take in a World Series game.

Perry grew up in Ottawa and was a tennis player in his younger years, but baseball was still a big part of his upbringing. He was born in Massachusetts and comes from a long line of Red Sox fans, and in turn, he spent most of his life rooting for Boston's teams.

"My dad, my grandfather ... my grandfather was alive in 1918 when the Red Sox won the World Series the last time, before 2004," Perry said.

Perry's connection to sports these days is his new NBC show, "Go On," where he plays a sportscaster recovering from the loss of his wife. The comedy/drama has featured guest appearances by Olympic volleyball gold medalist Misty May Treanor, Miami Heat star Chris Bosh and sports broadcasters Bob Costas and Rich Eisen.

"I don't really know much about a sportscaster's life, other than pretending to be one," Perry said. "That's one of the fun things about the show. He's a sports DJ on the radio."

While he has no rooting interest in either of the current teams playing in the World Series, Perry was just hoping it would extend beyond the minimum four games.

"These aren't my teams, so I'm hoping for 14 innings in Game 7," he said. "That's all you can hope for."

The pregame ceremonies before Game 4 included Demi Lovato singing the national anthem, with former Tiger Magglio Ordonez throwing out the first pitch. "God Bless America" was scheduled to be performed by The Blue Knights of the 110th Airlift Wing, Battle Creek Air National Guard Base.

Alyson Footer is a national correspondent for MLB.com. Follow her on Twitter @alysonfooter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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