Category Archives: Arrrrrrmando Galarrrrrrraga

Armando is gone, as expected, plus some other things.


image by Samara Pearlstein

No shock here, but Armando Galarraga has been traded to the Diamondbacks, where he will definitely get more of a chance to start than he would have gotten in Detroit (barring immediate Tiger injury/disaster, of course). The Snakes will pick up his entire salary, and the Tigers get pitchers Kevin Eichhorn and Ryan Robowski.

Eichhorn will be 21 this year. He spent most of ’10 in rookie ball, with brief appearances at low and high single-A. Robowski will be 23 and spent all of 2010 in high-A. Both of them had some Issues last year. They will be low minors fodder; this was mostly a Move Armando kind of deal. The Dbacks get a pitcher they need to make some starts, the Tigers get a pitcher they weren’t going to use off the books. Everyone wins, at least until Brad Penny’s shoulder falls off and Armando throws a no-hitter against the Rockies and the Tigers are left looking stupid.

The nice thing is that if Ryan Robowski makes it back up at a time when Ryan Raburn is still on the roster, we can start to recoup the loss of Rs that we suffered when Arrrrrrmando Galarrrrrrraga departed.

Other News That I Am Too Lazy to Make a New Post for

–The Tigers are retiring Sparky Anderson’s number. There has been a fair amount of chatter on the internet about this being a too-little-too-late kind of thing. I think most people agree that it’s the right thing to do, on its own, and I think most people would have liked to see it done while Sparky was still around, ideally while he was still mobile enough to make it out to the ballpark.

Obviously it’s way too late for that now, at least until the zombie apocalypse. So do you keep on being annoyed that they didn’t give him this honor in a timely fashion, or do you look past that and just try to be happy that it’s finally happening? I don’t know. Life sucks and then you die. But if you were awesome, they retire your number.

–Apparently the team is going to wear a patch with the word SPARKY and the number 11 on it this season. So are they retiring the EH patch? I think they should wear both. I’m aware that’s creeping up on Patch Overload, but quite frankly I don’t think that part of one season was enough to patch-honor Ernie Harwell. I’d give it at least another full season.

–TigerFest and the Winter Caravan happened, and obviously I could not attend any of the festivities. I guess TigerFest was streamed online in some capacity? but I wasn’t home at all that day, so I really missed it. WOE. Under the link are a whole bunch of linked photos from the internet, in case you too missed it.

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Dave Dombrowski’s superpower, and the probable end of Armando.


illustration by Samara Pearlstein

It’s not his ability to wear the heck out of a striped polo, although you may be forgiven for thinking that’s it. No, Dave Dombrowski’s superpower is his ability to

AVOID ARBITRATION

Dave Dombrowski has been in charge of the Tigers since 2002, and in that time he has not ONCE gone to arbitration with a player. Guys, it’s 2011. Think about that. It’s obviously a superpower. What else could it possibly be, at this point?

The arb-eligible Tigers this time around were Ryan Raburn, Joel Zumaya, and Armando Galarraga. Obviously they signed the Rhino. They also signed Zoom to a one-year, $1.4 million contract, hoping that he will actually be able to stay healthy for the bulk of the 2011 season (I won’t say the whole season… can’t get crazy, now).

Then there was Armando.

The Tigers signed him to a one-year, $2.3 million contract, avoiding arbitration. The rotation at this point consisted of (in no particular order) Justin Verlander, Rick Porcello, Max Scherzer, Brad Penny, Phil Coke, and Armando. Obviously that’s too many cats, but that was a good thing. FredFred had some roughness last year that may or may not be firmly and finally resolved, Brad Penny could oh-so-easily get sore again, I’m still waiting for Justin’s arm to fall off, and Phil Coke might end up pitching like a reliever. Having Armando around meant that if any of those scenarios came to pass, the Tigers wouldn’t have to immediately dip into the Toledo kittens (the Andy Olivers and Jacob Turners of the world) to stabilize the rotation. All seemed well.

BUT NO IT’S A LIE ALL IS LIES. Almost immediately after they had signed him, the Tigers turned right back around and designated Armando for assignment. That was… odd. What say you, Mr. Dombrowski?

In this situation, we thought long and hard. It was one that after Penny went through his physical and passed his physical, we were in a spot where for Armando, right now, we thought he goes in as a sixth starter. We don’t really look at him as a reliever. This is probably a better time to try to move his contract somewhere he can find a spot in a rotation, rather than come into Spring Training.
Jason Beck/DetroitTigers.com

Okaaaaaaay. Like nobody was aware that they were going to suddenly need a roster spot when Penny’s deal was finalized? Or… what. It’s just weird timing all ’round and no matter how much they try to make it seem premeditated, it is hard to imagine this playing out like it did without some sort of last-minute ‘ruh roh we missed that one, quick, this is the only way we can fix it’ stuff happening. They DFA’d him six hours after they agreed to a deal with him. RUDE.

Now the Tigers have 10 days to try to trade Armando to someone who will use him as a starter. If there are no takers, they’ll probably try to outright him to the minors (they could also straight-up release him, but that seems unlikely) (then again, I would have thought this sort of rudeness was also unlikely) (so who knows) (aside from Paws, who knows all). But he would have to get through waivers first and with a one-year, sub-ridiculous contract, I find it kind of difficult to believe that he would make it through waivers unclaimed.

So it seems like this is goodbye.

Fare thee well, Armando! We will miss rolling all the Rs in your name, and your amazing sonic powers, and hoping for more perfection, and 2008, and your dog.

NEVER FORGET

Eight Nights of Terrible Chanukah Cartoons: Night Seven


illustration by Samara Pearlstein

A perfect game of dreidel is a rare thing indeed. And this time, Jim Joyce can do nothing to take Armando’s victory gelt away from him.

Armando goes to pieces.


image by Samara Pearlstein

This has kind of been Armando Galarraga’s entire season. He’s cruising along the Highway of Awesome for a while, rockin’ out to the radio, no-hitting the Racist Logos for four innings, etc. Then he hits some roadblock like a busted umpire call or an error, or he gives up a big hit, and it’s all over, he just falls apart right there on the mound.

Today it was a Matt LaPorta home run that set him off. I know the kid has been a disappointment in general, but the power is kind of why the Racist Logos picked him up, it’s what he is supposed to do. Sure, it can be disconcerting to get hit by a Disappointment, but it’s not like we’re talking about a proto-Adam-Everett or something. Matt LaPorta and home runs were BFF once and the organizational hope is that they will be BFF again soon.

The point is that Armando should not have felt so bad about giving up a LaPorta HR that he immediately fell to pieces out there, all arm-bits goin’ in one direction, eyeballs goin’ another way. But he DID get that rattled, because he DID fall apart.

Ever since The Perfect Game, he’s had reason to believe that he was being victimized, and he’s had all kinds of awful reinforcement of that idea. In the 20 starts he has made since that game, he’s gone 6+ innings 10 times, and the Tigers have won 8 of his starts… but he’s only gotten 3 Ws for himself. So he’s had a lot of losing and a lot of non-support. Add to that the fact that every time a vaguely borderline call goes against him, he gets to enjoy the nagging feeling that it’s because the umpires hate him, not necessarily because the call has real merit. His trust has been shattered, he may never trust again.

It often ends in a freak-out like this one, which is terrible because then it makes him give up a lot of runs and lose, which is just MORE negative reinforcement, further evidence that the entire world is against him, etc. There is an obvious explanation, but that doesn’t make it any less sad to watch.

Oh, and Miguel Cabrera had to leave the game with an ankle injury. Apparently X-rays were negative and it’s ‘just a sprain’, but if it’s an even remotely serious sprain, he may well be done for the season. Why risk injuring the one consistently glorious hitter on the team? The remaining games are essentially meaningless, but Miguel Cabrera’s future is FILLED WITH BEAUTIFUL MEANING, and the latter should definitely not be sacrificed for the former.

Guillen hurt, Armando screwed, same old, same old.


illustration by Samara Pearlstein

So apparently Carlos Guillen’s knee is more busted than we thought. Or not. Or… I don’t know, they are still calling it ‘a deep bone bruise’, but now he is going to have surgery anyways. I guess they need surgery to really get in there, poke around, have a proper look at it so they can be 100% certain that it is in fact a bruise.

ANYWAYS. The surgery means the definitive end of his season.

This is how surprised I am:

As for Armando, I’M SORRY. It’s my fault. I didn’t leave the house until halfway through the game… we all know that the Tigers these days do not win while I am watching, and I watched half of this game, so I should have known that they were going to lose. Plus: Jim Joyce and his mustache were behind the plate, calling balls and strikes. Basically every form of karma was against Armando Galarraga in this one.

Poor lil’ guy went 7 innings, giving up 3 runs on 4 hits and 2 walks (two of those runs on a single Jake Fox homer), and he got nothing. It’s not Right, it’s not Fair, but it is, alas, how the Tigers roll.

I know they’re on a hot streak of late, but still… the Orioles. Blech. I mean, I guess SOMEone has to lose to them eventually, they do have 50+ wins on the season, but does it have to be the Tigers?

riding the Rhino to victory


illustration by Samara Pearlstein

True blogger story time. I prefer to get post cartoons one of three ways: a) something drawn, scanned, and colored quickly right after a game; b) a cartoon I have used before, or one that was just hanging out on my hard drive because I scanned it in and then forgot about it or something; and c) a cartoon I draw right BEFORE a game, hoping it will still be relevant after the game.

The ideal way to do this, of course, is (a), because you never know what sorts of shenanigans are going to go down, who’s going to have a good or spectacularly bad game, etc. But (b) happens a lot when I’m really busy and don’t have time to go through the whole draw/scan/color thing, or the game runs really late and I’m tired by the end and it’s all I can do to type words that are mostly spelled properly. I usually only do (c) if I know for a fact that I’m going to be tired/I have an exceptionally early morning the next day/I know I’m going to miss a good chunk of the game, and I haven’t posted a new cartoon in a while so I’m starting to guilt myself about it.

HOWEVER, almost EVERY SINGLE TIME I doodle a Terrible Cartoon before the game, the player in the cartoon fails horrifically during the game. Even if I have drawn something generic and innocuous, like Miguel Cabrera swinging a bat– that will be the day when Miggy goes 0-for-5 and also bobbles an easy play at first. Almost without fail. Paws forbid I’ve gone with a cartoon of the starting pitcher, he’ll have to exit early because he’s crying blood on the mound.

Today I had Ryan Raburn riding the rhino done well before the game… and Rhino had a two-run homer that ended up being almost all the Tiger scoring for the night! At Yankee Stadium! And the Tigers won! (Even though Papa Grande did his very best to Fernando us.) YES. Victory! Thank you for bucking the trend, Rhino, and making everyone’s lives easier.

Oh, and while I was away, apparently this happened?

What is this? Fighting the other team, yes, I approve. Fighting each other, NO. Bad kitties!

Manager Jim Leyland didn’t mind the scuffle. In fact, he said, “I kind of liked it.”

The passion. The intensity.

Perhaps Johnny Damon summed it up best: “All I know is dissension breeds winners … we should’ve done it a long time ago.”
Shawn Windsor/Detroit Free Press

This is such a sack of hairballs. If the Tigers had lost that game, this sort of thing would be seen as a sign of a cancer-riddled clubhouse, tempers flaring fruitlessly, all sort of badness. But because they won, it’s a ‘winners’ thing? Please. The one good bit is the fact that Gerald Laird came running to Alex Avila’s defense, because this team really is chock full of kittens, they’re just lil’ fuzzy babies, and SOMEone’s got to look out for them.

terribleness continues


nooooooooooooo

IT’S ALL FALLING APART. AGONY. DESTRUCTION. REALLY TERRIBLE BASEBALL.

Welcome back, Armando Galarraga! Sure, you settled down from the third inning on, but those three runs right out of the gate were a nice way to get back into the swing of things, don’t you think? Yes, yes clearly that is what you think. I am disgusted with your thought process, Armando.

Sure, it’s not like you got any run support whatsoever, but that’s not the point here, now is it. Or, well, it is the point, but only when I’m yelling at the hitters. It’s not the point for YOU, Armando. Like, I appreciate that you were able to stretch yourself into the 8th inning somehow, that’s miraculous and I applaud it, but APPARENTLY Tommy Hunter is some sort of UNSTOPPABLE PITCHING MACHINE and you can’t just GIVE him four runs and expect to get away with it. Who the hell knew? Not us, because as everyone knows the AL West is a fabrication and a lie, just like Mountain Time and fat-free crackers that really do taste like the regular crackers.

And hey, welcome back CASEY FIEN, I didn’t even know you were coming back until I got home tonight and saw that you had already left your stain mark on the game and possibly the mound itself. Three runs of your own and one of Thomas’ that you so considerately brought in for him, like laundry left out in the rain. Well I know you were just trying to be helpful, Casey, but this was laundry that Brad Thomas wanted to ROT. If you had left it we all would have been happier.

Back-to-back home runs too! How exciting you must have wanted things to be for the people at the ballpark! Further proof of your considerate but wildly misguided nature. If only we could figure out how to aim you properly, we would all be so much happier.

Anyways, welcome back to the Majors. We do SO look forward to seeing what sorts of wonderful things you can do with that 10.13 ERA.