Category Archives: Miguel Cabrera

Super Best Friends save the day again.


illustration by Samara Pearlstein

Miguel Cabrera can hit a home run. Prince Fielder can hit a home run. But when they combine their powers for the forces of Good and hit home runs back to back… that is the very essence of what it means to be the Super Best Friends.

Miguel Cabrera is Good at Baseball, episode #300


illustration by Samara Pearlstein

Let’s talk about things that are awesome, shall we?

–Miguel Cabrera hit the 300th home run of his illustrious career on Sunday. He actually hit two home runs in the same game because he is just that Good at Baseball. Relatedly, you can click today’s drawing to see it bigger.

–Quintin Berry and Brennan Boesch also homered. It was an inspiring day for baseball flight enthusiasts.

–The Tigers stole two whole bases in this series (Jackson today, Miggy yesterday), and nobody got caught stealing.

–FredFred absolutely dominated the balls out of the Wrong Sox on Saturday. We are talking about 8 innings of one-run, 5-hit, zero extra-base-hit, zero walk domination. We are talking about Kevin Youkilis lying down on the dugout bench and whimpering a little. And while he does so, FredFred smiles on the mound and flexes like a really skinny prizefighter, just because he can.

–Justin Verlander shattered Gordon Beckham’s bat on a checked swing with a fastball more powerful than a highly-pressurized firehose of lava. Never seen a firehose spraying lava? Wrong, you totally have, because you have seen Justin Verlander pitch.

–Mrs. Phil Coke had a baby girl and Phil Coke said this about his wife:

“She’s phenomenal. She’s so, so tough,” Coke said. “She makes me feel like such a girl. But, then again, if I felt like a girl, I’m tough, too. But she’s tougher than me. It was unbelievable.”
DetroitTigers.com

–U guyz Gerald Laird is batting .299, no joke, not kidding, you can look it up on the internet.

–Eight SuperBestFriends hits total in the series.

–Jacob Turner finally got his first big league win. It was not exactly a quality start in the strict definition of the term– Turner allowed 3 runs and 7 hits in 5.1 innings– but it was solid, and it was plenty on a day when every cat who felt the urge to hit a home run did so.

–SWEEP OF THE WRONG SOX

–FIRST PLACE

The Super Best Friends are real.


photo by Samara Pearlstein

Turns out that when the whole ‘Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder in the lineup’ thing works like it was originally supposed to, the game of baseball becomes a magical land of rainbows and candy and dinosaurs riding fat ponies and kittens, kittens everywhere– or at least a Tigers win. Who would have guessed? You know, aside from every member of the Tigers front office involved in the Prince signing, and all the mediafolk and blogospherites who predicted offensive onslaughts galore from Detroit in 2012, and you, and me, and that yappy little dog that lives in the apartment downstairs whose owner isn’t even a Tigers fan. Even that dog expected Miggy + Prince to = winning.

It hasn’t quite worked out like that thus far this season, which is why last night’s game– where Miggy singled in the tying run, followed shortly by Prince homering in the winning run and then some– is all the more notable. Perhaps this is a preview for the way things will operate in the second half. Wouldn’t that be nice?

I know some of you have grown skeptical. The Super Best Friends are fictional, you said. They’re comic book characters, cartoons, bad drawings in spandex underpants. They can’t be real– we would have seen them on the field by now if they were real. Well, you’re wrong, because the Super Best Friends are VERY EXTREMELY REAL, and they’ve totally got spandex underpants on under their uniforms.

The Super Best Friends are a powerful force when properly activated. A force for good, a force for love. A force for victory. May their deployment be regular and emphatic from here on out.

(Note: This photo is from the Pittsburgh series, lest you think their Super Best Friendness is confined to good series.)

Your 2012 All Star Tigers


illustrations by Samara Pearlstein

There you have it, your 2012 All Star Tigers: Prince Fielder starting at first base, Miguel Cabrera and Justin Verlander on the roster. You can make arguments for the inclusion of Austin Jackson and/or Joaquin Benoit, but as they are not on the Final Man Voting ballot, barring injury or other player dropout, it ain’t gonna happen. There shall be three Tigers and three Tigers is what there shall be.

Last year I think we all– myself included– got a bit riled up about the ASG, due to the potential injustice of Alex Avila not going, even though he had the most unquenchable beard in all the Major Leagues and was also playing like a dude who is good at baseball. Of course 2009 was exciting on account of THE BRANDON INGE FACTOR, yes, I know, shut up, I still wear my 2009 American League Brandon Inge All Star Game jersey with pride. So there. This year I am back to my usual state of excit-apathy for all things All Star.

I know it means something to the players, but really, it’s meaningless. We’ve been over this before, and you’re all smart cats, you know as well as I do that it’s a popularity contest only partially (some would say barely) contingent upon actual performance and numbers. We may speak of Injustice when Awesome Player X doesn’t make the team, but what possible meaning can Justice have for something so devoid of rational rule and law as the MLB All Star voting process?

The fact that something as potentially important as World Series home field advantage rides on the All Star Game does not mitigate my vexation; in fact, it only makes things worse. Something as totally vapid and pointless as the All Star Game is determining World Series home field advantage, you guys. That’s not something that should make you happy, that’s something that should terrify and/or infuriate you, depending on how invested you are in the outcome of the World Series.

ANYWAYS. Prince Fielder and Miguel Cabrera can do their weird little handshake thing on a national stage, maybe. Justin Verlander can throw a few baseballs very fast, maybe. Prince might do the Home Run Derby, because that never screws up a dude’s swing for the second half or anything. Nobody will get hurt, or Paws will have to stab Ron Washington in the spleen. It’s not that he wants to do it, Mr. Washington. It’s just that if a Tiger gets hurt on your watch, he must. It is in his job description.

It is a pointless game, but life itself is pointless when you get right on down to it, so, whatever. Will I watch it? Probably yes. It may need to be in some environment where I can’t hear the announcing, which is usually what drives me over the edge from mild tolerance to a real This Is The Worst Thing Ever What Has Become of My Life existential crisis, but yeah, I am what I am, I will probably watch the bloody thing.

ANYWAYS ANYWAYS. Apologies for the long silence between posts; I was in Pittsburgh for the Tigers series, and really wanted the next post to be the photo roundup from that trip. Happily/unfortunately, I took approximately 10,000 photos, and going through them while still dealing with work, class, and Studio Absurdity is taking a really long time. So… yeah, those will be up soon, hopefully. There’s some good stuff you lot need to see.

ALSO.

How great were those Tigers throwbacks in Tampa? How great would it have been to be a Tigers cartoonist back when they were wearing those things? WICKED GREAT.

That is Not a Bunt, and Other Illustrations.


illustrations by Samara Pearlstein

A dude meets the baseball with his bat. The baseball hits that dude in the leg. The baseball then sort of bounces away from the dude, in the general direction of most things we would call bunts. But this baseball is not a bunt! Because– were you following closely?– it hit the batter in the leg before it went in that bunt-erly direction.

Complicated, I know, which is why there is a Terrible Cartoon explaining it up top. I have tried to make it as clear as clear can be. Alas, this was not clear enough for the umpires in Sunday’s game, who called Alberto Gonzalez’s obvious FOUL BALL a bunt single instead, which may not seem so bad as bad calls go, but it was a bunt single that SCORED THE WINNING RUN in the 11TH INNING, so… yeah, not cool. Not cool at all, umpires.

We may need to make sure the above diagram is printed and distributed to all umpiring crews in Major League Baseball. They may have it free of charge. I want neither fame nor fortune; I only want justice to be done.

Anyways. Other things:

I call this The Exquisite Suffering of Rick Porcello, For Which We Have No Real Explanation.

Remember when Prince Fielder stole a base? Remember when that was a real thing that really happened in a baseball game that counted? Whenever these latest Tigers failures start to get you down, just think back to that stolen base, and the jetpack that clearly had to be there to make it happen.

And hey, you know who got two hits on his own birthday, back on April 18? THIS CAT! Happy 29th, Miggy!

super best friends


illustration by Samara Pearlstein

Good
Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder sure can hit some baseballs. They can hit a baseball a long distance.

Now, it’s only been three games, but in those three games as a 3-4 combo Miggy and Prince have been everything we’ve dreamed thus far. They are best lineup buddies. They are super in both the superlative and hero senses. They are magical and lovely and by their powers combined even greater heights of magical loveliness will be attained.

Good
Justin Verlander. Everything about Justin Verlander.

Bad
Doug Fister is on the DL. (Insert ten minutes of hysterical screaming here.) He has a ‘left costochondral strain’, which means that he over-stretched/strained the cartilage connecting his ribs to his sternum. It’s not an oblique injury, or at least that’s what they’re telling us right now, because they know how that one little word will send us all into death spirals of panic.

Ha ha! Shows what you know, team! I’ll go into a death spiral of panic ANYWAYS! You can’t stop my Tigers-related neuroses!!

The only thing Fister can do about this particular injury is rest. This is both a good thing (noninvasive and uncomplicated healing procedure) and a bad thing (no quick and solid fix, no real way to prevent it from happening again).

We’re not yet sure who will replace him in the rotation, because I guess it builds character to make us panic a little longer. Good thing we had that prolonged competition for the 5th starter spot, though, right? That means we have a bunch of cats in the minors right now who are all starter-ready and chomping at the proverbial bit, right? Right??

Good
Alex Avila is fresh and not yet so exhausted that he can barely heft a bat. It is nice to see, and the results of such freshness are also nice to see. Beardy and nice. Walkoff nice.

Bad
Max Scherzer on Sunday. Seven runs in 2.2 innings, with no injury excuses (so far as we know). Even under normal circumstances this would be somewhat worrying; having just lost Mister Fister, it is THOROUGHLY worrying. Consider me duly worried.

(Use the blue eye, Max! The blue eye! Stop pitching with the brown!)

Good
The fact that even with two starters leaving games early, the bullpen was effective and helped keep both games from getting out of paw. This is like the exact opposite of what happened with the Red Sox, and is in fact rather heartening if you can ignore the reasons why we had to see so much of the ‘pen in this series.

Bad
Jose Valverde blowing his first save in a million years or whatever it was. Of course then he went on to officially get the Win, so… I guess that’s something. A terrible something that does little more than point to the foolishness of statistics like Wins, but, you know, maybe it will make him feel better about himself deep within his own heart.

Good
Miguel Cabrera making funny, awkward-acrobatic plays at third.

Bad
Miguel Cabrera making equally funny, but much more inept plays at third.

Good/Bad
I really personally enjoyed the heck out of what the Tigers did in this series, ridiculous and unreliable as much of it may have been. HOWEVER, as soon as the Tigers buzz wears off, I am going to be freaked out by the (non)performance of the Red Sox. Not as much as many in Boston, who are already crying ULTIMATE DOOM and all that, but a good amount of freaked out. This is a team that is doing its best to announce that it has capital-P-Problems, and if you think Detroit sports radio can get crazy when Detroit teams are starting to lose, let me assure you, it is as nothing compared to Boston sports radio.

Good
Because these games were all broadcast on the Red Sox TV network, I have not yet had to see/hear whatever fresh chthonic horror is being visited upon us this season under the guise of April in the D.

A message to Baseball in the spring, on behalf of Miguel Cabrera.


illustration by Samara Pearlstein

Dear Baseball:

HOW DARE YOU HURT MIGUEL CABRERA? STOP IT. STOP IT THIS VERY INSTANT.

Sincerely and angrily,
Tigers fans

In case you missed it, Miguel Cabrera took a grounder to the face yesterday. He was bloodied and dazed and it was generally Not OK. The Internet is saying that he has a small fracture under his eye and will be out two weeks, optimistically but at least somewhat reasonably slated to return a tad before Opening Day.

There’s no reason to panic. The damage could have been MUCH worse, and, barring unforeseen additional difficulties, the consequences of this will not cut into games that count. But… it’s just not what Miguel Cabrera or the Tigers needed right now, you know?

Sigh.

Staying calm. Staying calm. Miggy will be fine. Baseball just needs to agree to not be a jerk to him, and we’ll continue to get along okay.

A public service announcement from Miguel Cabrera and Paws.


illustration by Samara Pearlstein

Guess who just pled no contest to his DUI charge?

Cabrera will get a year of probation, a 6 month license suspension, and around $1400 in fines. He’ll have to take a couple ‘guys this is a bad thing, don’t do it’ classes. The plea allows the charge of resisting arrest to be dropped, and Miggy will avoid jail time. He will also have all the court stuff behind him before Spring Training 2012 gets started. All things considered he is getting off lightly.

KIDS! Let this be a lesson to you! Don’t drink and drive! Do not disappoint Officer Paws, arbiter of peace and justice, guardian of the streets! Because, look: you aren’t Miguel Cabrera.

You get pulled over with a bottle of Jack in the front seat next to you, you yell at some cops, you probably not going to get the kindly treatment afforded to a superstar first baseman. Your license gets suspended for 6 months, you are not going to have your job paying for someone to chauffeur you around: yer takin’ the bus, buddy. And while $1400 is the change that Miggy digs out of his couch cushions, it’s probably not quite such a trivial amount for you or I.

Learn from this, cats and kittens! Do not let Miguel Cabrera’s idiotic example have been in vain! Separate your drinking and your driving. It will be better for everyone. And Officer Paws will be proud.

Eight Nights of Terrible Chanukah Cartoons 2011: Night Two


illustration by Samara Pearlstein

Gelt!

Gelt is the Yiddish word for ‘money’, and is associated with the holiday because cold hard cash used to be one of the presents of choice for children during Chanukah. This tradition still exists, but gelt nowadays is often given in the form of gold-foil-wrapped chocolate coins. Chocolate is obviously the only way to improve upon money, as Miguel Cabrera would doubtless agree.

Why Miguel Cabrera, of all cats? Why not? Anyways, he IS making a good chunk o’gelt himself. Every day is Chanukah for Miggy!

Happy second night!

Stupid Awards Season

Well, here we are. The postseason is over. The preseason is many months away. Roar of the Tigers has stopped watching TV in the name of actually (gasp!) doing work. This season… what season is this? It is a season constructed by Major League Baseball in an attempt to appease us, to give us something to talk about that isn’t trades involving Melky Cabrera or the sad state of Oriole affairs. Yes, we are firmly in the midst of Stupid Awards Season.

Stupid Awards Season asks you to care deeply about these poorly determined awards. And you want to care! You want to care because you want your favorite super wicked awesome baseball player to be recognized by everyone for his super wicked awesomeness. At the same time, you don’t want to care, because you (if you are a sane, moderately educated baseball fan) recognize that these awards are at some essential level mostly what Jim Leyland would call, ahem, horsesh!t.

FOR INSTANCE.


drawings by Samara Pearlstein

Miguel Cabrera wins the batting title. Miguel Cabrera does not win the Silver Slugger. I would tell you how this makes sense, but I cannot, because it actually makes no sense whatsoever. Adrian Gonzalez is a good hitter and all, but Miguel was better than him at basically everything you can legally do with a bat in the game of baseball this year.

It’s ok, because Miguel loves his own bat and has no need for that stupid silver hardware, but it’s the principle of the thing.

BUT THEN

Alex Avila wins the Silver Slugger at catcher. Did he catch more games than anyone else in the universe? Yes. Does this mean that, in my biased little fan-heart, I think he deserves all the awards ever? Yes, yes, of course. Were his overall numbers better than, saaaaay, those of Mike Napoli, who basically hit better across the board and went to the World Series to boot? Erm. Well.

But, you see: this we like. Alex Avila’s durability and (perhaps more importantly) dogged tenacity convince voters that he deserves a metal stick more than Mike Napoli’s 1.046 OPS does. Stupid Awards Season!

Then Austin Jackson fails to win a Gold Glove. Okay. The fact that I wanted him to win is almost certainly, in this case, the tiny Paws in my brain guiding my thoughts. And again, it’s not as if he desperately needs it to tell us all that sometimes he makes plays so good that Rod Allen loses his mind and control of his vocal cords. Just more Stupid Awards Season nonsense.

We are still waiting on the MVP results. But Justin Verlander did get another award recently. It was Player of the Year (or something?) in the Players Choice Awards (or something?). These are even MORE made-up than Silver Sluggers and Gold Gloves. They are nice because they involve charity, but basically they are a measure of how much a particular dude has impressed all the other dudes in the MLBPA in any given year.

Justin Verlander frightens his opposition and his stunning good looks have charmed his peers. He commands respect and he’s popular. This particular Stupid Award is perfect for him, and he has duly received it. Woo, yay, etc.

If a Tiger does not win the MVP award, it will not matter in the least. The award is not strictly based on merit. At root it is meaningless. But that won’t stop our righteous and strident indignation. Something to look forward to! Thanks, Stupid Awards Season!