Category Archives: Miguel Cabrera

MiguelVP, yet again.


illustration by Samara Pearlstein

Once again, Major League Baseball is simply declaring a known fact. Miguel Cabrera: Most Valuable Player of Baseball.

PS: Wanna go back a couple years and remember when Justin Verlander was MVP of everything?

cartoons from the recent Tigers games


illustrations and photos by Samara Pearlstein

This past Saturday was Max Scherzer’s 29th birthday. July 27 is always extra special, because not only is it Max Scherzer’s birthday, it is also Mr. Dombrowski’s birthday. This year it was extra extra special, because it was also a Max Scherzer start. It was extra extra EXTRA special because Max pitched with the blue eye, and it was extra extra EXTRA EXTRA special because his teammates all chipped in to get him 10 runs of support so that he could get his 15th win. A happy birthday for all.

The Tigers acquired Jose Veras. The excitement was infinite. Who needs an incontrovertible closer when you have 10,000 middle relievers? Not these cats.

On Sunday the great Tigers vs. Umpires War of Major League Baseball continued, as Miguel Cabrera was ejected in the third inning for no immediately and readily discernible reason. It soon turned out that Chad Fairchild, the homeplate ump, had taken a dislike to Miggy’s dislike of his strike calling. Apparently Cabrera said something after the first pitch, Fairchild told him to can it, and when Miggy piped up again after the second pitch, Fairchild threw him out with great immediacy and extreme prejudice. Thing is, Cabrera had not even turned around to voice his complaints or show up the umpire in any way. Even if he really said something that bad, it was as much to himself as anything else. It was a totally uncalled-for ejection in the opinions of Miguel Cabrera and the entirety of the crowd, which proceeded to scream at Fairchild sporadically throughout the remainder of the game (a repeated opinion: “We didn’t pay to see you, Chad!”).

Also deeply unimpressed was Jim Leyland, who stormed onto the field and was ejected in his turn. Of course, his feelings about the umpires are well known.

I was at the game, and let me assure you, he was quite displeased.

On Tuesday Alex Avila hit the first grand slam of his career. Even if you were not watching the FSD broadcast, you already knew in your heart of hearts that Rod Allen called it a grand salami. You knew, and you were glad.

As I said, I was in Detroit this past weekend for the games. Both were highly enjoyable for a variety of reasons, but something extra special and exciting happened at the Saturday game. Here is a little preview:

But you will have to wait a little bit to get the full photographic report.

Miguel Cabrera’s special sauce and other Tiger tales.


illustrations by Samara Pearlstein
Miguel Cabrera is a historically excellent hitter. Miguel Cabrera frightens opposing pitching. Miguel Cabrera must have a lineup constructed around him so as to minimize the number of times opposing pitchers walk him out of sheer terror. Miguel Cabrera went 4-for-4 yesterday with a walk and 3 runs, two of which were home runs. Most importantly: Miguel Cabrera has his own line of salsa.

Have any of you consumed this fine item yet? In general I think it’s difficult to really badly screw up salsa, but this is not just any salsa– this is MIGGY’S SALSA. It could be filled with chopped up bits of Southpaw or flakes of Silver Slugger silver or some weird kind of bean grown only on the now sort-of vacant lot where Tiger Stadium once stood. You can buy the stuff online but there is no ingredient list so for all I know these speculative salsa-bits could all be reality.

It also comes in three varieties: Mild, Medium, and Hot. Does this refer to, as is typical for salsa, spiciness and mouth-feel? Or is it instructional, telling you which salsa you should turn your corn chips towards at any given time, based on how Miggy is doing at the plate?

If you have a report on this stuff please tell me. The People and Cats must know.

So like there was that game where a Tigers pitcher threw 17 strikeouts, a Detroit record, and that pitcher was neither Justin Verlander nor Max Scherzer. It was Anibal Sanchez. Everyone was sort of like, “Wait, what?” and then, “Oh, cool!” and then, “Man gimme some more of that salsa.”

How many really long games have the Tigers had recently? I am sure it is actually something like 2, but I am not going to go look it up, and it feels like a whole heck of a lot of absurdly, unreasonably long games have been happening as of late. There are two possible images for this. One is me, passed out on my computer, drooling onto the keyboard while the cold bluish light of the game on some sort of screen washes over my pasty skin. The other is the cartoon above.

Also: Bruce Rondon got sent down and Phil Coke landed on the 15-day DL with a strained groin. I leave the potential cartoons of that last to your fertile imagination.

Some more important Spring Training matters.


illustrations by Samara Pearlstein

Here we are at the tail end of Spring Training. It is a wonder that we have arrived at this point, is it not? Many of us are looking out our windows right now at piles of snow surrounding more or less indifferently cleared sidewalks, piles of snow obliterating perfectly good on-street parking spaces, piles of snow melting off of rooftops onto the unlucky, uncovered heads of passersby, piles of snow that someone’s labradoodle has peed on. But real live Baseball That Counts is starting in two weeks. Truly it is enough to make one ponder the mysteries of the universe, or at least the mysteries of summer-associated sports played in April in northern climes.

In any event, things have been occurring. We all learned that Jhonny Peralta is allergic to shellfish, for instance. This vital information came to light after he consumed what he thought was clubhouse potato soup, later to be revealed as treacherously potato-white and potato-chunky clam chowder.

There are lessons to be learned here. The first one is for the kids still in school: don’t make fun of your peers for food allergies, because that stuff is serious, and also they might one day grow up to be a Major League Baseball player and then won’t you look dumb? You will. Be nice. Secondly: maybe the clubhouse spread should be labeled. Like, really clearly. With big black letters on brightly colored pieces of cardstock. In English and Spanish. Thirdly: Jhonny Peralta has a serious food allergy. This was not widely known information before this incident. Now you know.

Another thing that occurred: Miguel Cabrera was involved in a MLB Network video art project. It involved Rihanna and Adam Jones and the kind of digital video effects that one would in fact expect from video art created by, say, your average contemporary art student– a little more Ryan Trecartin than Nam June Paik, you know.

As much as I love Miguel Cabrera, obviously, I have to note that Adam Jones is near-criminally underused in this project. From his brief appearances it is clear that the man can, and more importantly, wants to (over)act, with a readiness and enthusiasm that all the props in the world cannot approximate. But while ruing our lost opportunities to see Adam Jones flower into his full performative potential, we must not fail to appreciate that which we are given, that being Miguel Cabrera flailing around in a scuba mask and having some sort of emotional moment with a baguette, for reasons that remain obscure even upon repeated viewings. I am sure you have all seen it by now, but I urge you to spend some more time with it: this is art that resists easy and immediate interpretation.

Another thing that occurred a while ago and it is just now showing up in this section of the internet because GRAD SKOOL: Spring Training, as we all know, is the period during which all the most important stories have the space and time to be written. The Detroit baseball writers stretch their fingers with ease in the humid Floridian air. Their minds are sharp, honed on a long offseason of laughing at the misfortunes of the hockey beat writers; sometimes this involves laughing at themselves, and this too serves to sharpen the mind. They are at the pinnacle of their unathletic game, and the athletes, lulled into a calm good mood by renewed baseball activities and covert clubhouse clam chowder, are willing to give them a little more attention than usual.

All this led to the most important reportage of the Tigers’ Spring: Phil Coke (the relief pitcher) met and conversed with Phil Coke’s Brain (the Twitter account).

MLive’s Chris Iott is a gentleman and a scholar. Phil Coke is hilarious and a jolly good sport. His Brain abides.

One last thing: Brennan Boesch, he of the surfer-boy hair and dubious oblique and frustrating 2012 stats, was finally jettisoned from the team. Mr. D said many expected things about “moving forward” and “potential” and “a change of scenery” and all those related phrases that mean the team believes there might still be a cache of talent lurking somewhere within the corporeal person of Brennan Boesch, but they’ve tired of trying to coax it out of hiding and have decided that someone else can give it a shot if they’re feeling feisty.

The Yankees are not feeling particularly feisty these days, but since they are already gunning hard for the prestigious Most Injured Outfield of 2013 award, they extended their grubby little Yankee paws and snatched Brennan up almost immediately. May he enjoy his time in New York, although not to the point where he’s enjoying it because they are actually winning games of baseball.

Happy Holidays from Roar of the Tigers


illustrations by Samara Pearlstein (click for bigger)

Triple Crown? Or one very fancy crown and two festive holiday hats? Given the season I think we can all figure out the appropriate answer to that question.

Happy Holidays from Terrible Cartoon Miguel Cabrera, and Roar of the Tigers!

One other holiday present from me to all you cats: Yahoo’s Big League Stew recently had a joke list ranking MLB GMs by hotness. Dave Dombrowski made it into the top 10, at #6. There are some very debatable choices– Brian Cashman is absolutely not hotter than Dombrowski, and there is no WAY Kevin Towers is #1– and of course if Theo Epstein was still a GM instead of a President of Baseball Shenanigans or whatever his title is with the Cubs now, he’d be the undisputed champion. But Mr. D has still brought great pride to the city of Detroit with his magnificent hair and magisterial chin. Obviously this cannot go unremarked or uncartooned.

Striped polo shirts are so in.

MiguelVP


illustration by Samara Pearlstein

Major League Baseball has confirmed what we all already knew in our hearts. Miguel Cabrera: MVP.

Three crowns for Mr. Cabrera.


illustration by Samara Pearlstein

Miguel Cabrera: first Triple Crown winner since 1967.

Nothing else to be said. Miguel Cabrera. Triple Crown winner.

Things of late, as Terrible Cartoons, of course.


illustrations by Samara Pearlstein

I’m just going to lead with that one because it makes me happy in my optic nerves. Everyone in the wide world of Tigers fans has his or her own opinion about the team. There is naturally a great deal of disagreement. But there is one thing upon which we can all agree, one thing that may be safely and universally acknowledged as an unequivocally beautiful sight: Alex Avila, pleased with his own walk-off hit, being doused in purple Gatorade by an almost unhealthily giddy Papa Grande. It is a fine thing, a fine thing indeed.

Especially when Avila’s jersey then gets all wet and it’s all sticking to his torso and it’s a home jersey so it’s white and bits get translucent when soaked, and you get all mad at FSD for not getting longer and more torso-inclusive shots post-soaking, and now I’ve said too much. Thank you, Papa Grande.

This keeps on happening, and I suppose it too is a fine thing. Every silver lining, of course, has its cloud, and Scherzer’s high K-counts are still tagging along with the logically attendant high pitch counts, but for now we will accept it.

Doug Fister injured his groin. The jokes came thick and fast and inevitably. Everyone is just real sorry about that, Mister Fister, but what do you expect from us? We are baseball fans. We are all ten years old.

Miguel Cabrera’s ankle has been sore for a while, and Leyland is finally paying attention, giving him some DH time and just now a day off. I haven’t seen anything more specific than “sore” to describe the State of Miggy’s Ankle, aside from this Mothership blurb earlier in the month:

During the Boston series, Miguel Cabrera fouled a ball off his left shin and, as a result, the third baseman has been experiencing some “drainage” in his ankle, head athletic trainer Kevin Rand said on Sunday morning.

“He’s just getting some drainage in his ankle from that,” Rand said. “His [lower] leg gets sore just the more he’s on it.”
Jason Beck/Anthony Odoardi, DetroitTigers.com

What in the world does that mean? How can an ankle be experiencing ‘drainage’? That sounds anatomically difficult and worrying. I cannot know, I can only draw.

Drew Smyly is back! He got a spot start and should be sticking around in the bullpen even when he gets bumped from the rotation.

The persistence of Delmon Young’s mustache should be a source of concern for us all. But he has also been on a bit of a hitting tear lately. Does this… does this mean that the mustache is actually doing the hitting for him?? I think this is a possibility that we need to deeply consider. It would explain how that upper lip d├ęcor has hung around this long, despite (what must surely be) the strong recommendations of everyone who knows Delmon personally and also has eyes.

Just throwing this one in for good luck. The mantises have been back in attendance, all over MLB, and yes, they have been spotted– and occasionally photographed– in Detroit. Praise be!

Good things.


illustrations by Samara Pearlstein

Dropping two to the Rangers was bad. But taking two from the Twinkies is good! We shall concentrate on the good.

–Those throwback uniforms, as depicted above. Still way into them. Stripes! Orange! Messing with the away uniform and not the home uni! Encouraging Miguel Cabrera to wear his socks up! It’s all to the good, except for the orange hat logo with the white outline. That just looks messy. Everything else is great, though.

–I assume you all saw the Brandon Inge play by now, but just in case:

He dove for, and came up with, a ball, landing hard on his shoulder in the process. As he sat up, it became clear that his shoulder was dislocated. He was holding his arm awkwardly away from his body, like he couldn’t put it down. So what does Brandon Inge do? He grabs his own arm, and freakin’ pulls his own shoulder back into the socket. At this point I would probably be vomiting from pain and terror, because Roar of the Tigers is not Brandon Inge.

So Brandon Inge has just performed a medical procedure on himself right there on the field. The trainer comes out. Brandon Inge WAVES HIM OFF.

He then went on to get a hit and an RBI, which turned out to be the game-running run. With his self-repaired shoulder. Which has now landed him on the DL, because sanity and the human body eventually had to make themselves felt. In any event, Brandon Inge is a hero.

And yes, he is of course an Athletic now. But let’s not even pretend that this blog has stopped caring about all things Brandon Inge.

–Andy Dirks is back, and is playing like he doesn’t want to be forgotten and Toledo’d again any time soon.

–Omar Infante is at second base.

–The RotT little brother was recently at a Lakewood BlueClaws game, where apparently they have little photos of their ‘alumni’. Including:

Aww, yay. Something seemed off, though…

Fixed it.

Terrible Cartoons from a Not-Terrible Weekend


illustrations by Samara Pearlstein

I will be honest: although I did watch the entire game yesterday, after that top of the 10th I was quite thoroughly mired in Despair. It just seemed like the sort of thing that the Tigers absolutely do not overcome. I was resigned to my fate, willing to watch the sad final eep of the Tigers as they finished off the game, probably with something horrible like a weak groundout double play.

Then a whole bunch of magical baseball things happened, ending with MIGUEL CABRERA LEADING HIS FELID TROOPS TO VICTORY! Also, one of the most epic Super Best Friends hugs ever.

The pure, beautiful, boundless love between Prince and Miggy is one of the greatest things about this season and I think you will all agree.

Austin Jackson was instrumental in that last push to unexpected victory. He also had two triples on the day. Austin Jackson loves getting three bases at once and Comerica likes to reward him for that very specific affection.

The less said about Joe West, the better, but there had to be a cartoon.

Obligatory (?) Doug Fister with Hulk Hands doodle from Saturday’s complete game Fiesta Tigres masterpiece.

I guess the Tigers acquired Jeff Baker from the Cubs at some point, with the idea that he will be the right-handed bat that Ryan Raburn (DL’d with a wonky thumb, or at least that’s what they’re saying; could be DL’d with Persistent Awfulness) never quite was this season. The Cubbie haul has not yet been named. Verdict: meh, but I am a little concerned on behalf of Quintin Berry for the reason illustrated above.

Where in the World Tigers system is Danny Worth? He had been down, then he got called up, but now I think he’s down again? Maybe? I actually have no idea. I doubt that Danny Worth even knows where he is anymore. He has been up and down and down and up so many times this season that he’s practically two quarks, or at least this awkward yo-yo.