Category Archives: Verlander

What is going on?!


illustration by Samara Pearlstein

I’ll tell you what is going on. First of all Justin Verlander had ‘core muscle surgery’ and will be down’n’out until the end of February or something. ‘Core muscle surgery’ is not a thing and the above image is the only thing I was able to see whenever I heard it. I’m only a little sorry because it is really the fault of everyone who decided to report this as a ‘core muscle injury’ instead of a real injury to a specific body part.

In actuality Verlander probably had a sports hernia, and we all know there are few things in this world worse than herniating your sport. But it was not his arm, and he won’t miss too much of Spring Training, so cross your paws and hope that all’s well that ends surgically repaired.

As for what is going on with Roar of the Tigers– well, you have probably noticed how quiet it has been ’round these parts. To that I can only say: uh, I’m in my last year of grad school. And now I am in my last semester of grad school. This is both amazing and terrible; more to the point, it is a lot of work, and especially a lot of drawing, which leaves me little time for non-thesis-related drawing. Ugh! I know. The worst.

My thesis show will be in May and if you’re in the Boston area you should totally come because it will involve a lot of DRAWING and also a lot of BASEBALL and some of that will involve the DETROIT TIGERS and also it will be ART and it will mean that I GET A GRADUATE DEGREE. Imagine a world where one can receive a graduate degree for generating hundreds, or possibly thousands of weird baseball drawings. I am living in that world. I invite you to live in it with me. At least come May.

So that is the story, and I will try to be better about giving you things to look at here– who knows, maybe some tids and bits that end up not being used for thesis? or somesuch?? But if things are slow and quiet and calm on the RotT front, well, now you know why. Bear me with me, please. Luv u catz!

This is Upsetting and I am Upset.


illustrations by Samara Pearlstein

Seriously! What else was Justin Verlander supposed to do? He was more than good, and he left the Tigers more than enough chances to swing themselves back into the game. I am not a happy cat right now.

Also, John Lackey, gross.

A message for Justin Verlander.


illustration by Samara Pearlstein

More Verlander, more Verlander for all.


illustration by Samara Pearlstein

Ladies! Gents! Cats of all descriptions! There is marvelous news!

Justin Verlander has apparently signed a 5-year contract extension, keeping him in Detroit through 2019, with an option for 2020.

The contract is, of course, absurdly expensive, but do you really care? I hate to answer for you, but no. No, you do not really care. You have Justin Verlander for the next five years. Every sort of objection is invalid.

Nuts to free agency. Nuts to the market. All hail the beautiful loving relationship between the Detroit Tigers and Justin Verlander, forever and ever, or at least half a decade, amen.

Why Spring Training is exciting.


illustrations by Samara Pearlstein

The Spring! A magical time of renewal and rebirth, birds stretching their wings and beginning to think about those long migrations, Canadian geese settling down to poop all over your city, a time for fresh green buds to appear only to be immediately buried by the next snowstorm. A time for people in cold northerly climes to sit transfixed by photos and videos on their screened devices, showing them what Florida looks like. A time for Ryan Raburn to be employed, although not, for once, by the Tigers. A time for the joyous resumption of baseball activities and all that that entails. But what does it entail? So many wonders. Let us share them, friends.

The Spring brings us Dave Dombrowski’s arbitration-stomping dance, executed with great style each year, this year no less than the others. Should a potential arbitration arise, there he is, our President/CEO/GM/savior-in-stompy-boots, ready to dance like a veritable superb bird of paradise, to dazzle his players and beat any hint of arbitration down into the dirt where it belongs. Filthy process.

The Spring also brings us a stunning new array of striped polo shirts for Mr. D to display at the ballpark, as is only fitting and proper.

(note: those are all Detroit News photos from this Spring)

The Spring brings us a healthy Victor Martinez, his knees filled not with loose shards of bone, or excess fluid, or anything else likely to cause pain, terror and trips to the DL, but instead filled with sunshine and flower petals and the tender breath of sleeping kittens.

Bound freely upon those knees, O Victor! But not too freely. Let us keep them nice and unhurt, yes?

The Spring brings us a delightfully fresh crop of quotes from Jim Leyland, such as when he says that one of his own relief pitchers is “rowing with one oar.” He says it with love, mind you. But it is a very Jim Leylandian species of love, one that blossoms best and most readily in the low-stress environment of early Spring Training and in the presence of one Phillip Douglas Coke, which must of course not pass unremarked.

You row that boat, Phillip. You row your little heart out, with your singular oar and your quixotic determination in the face of this impediment.

The Spring brings us an opportunity to gaze upon the sizable noggin of Bruce Rondon, so that we may wonder at his potential ability to be a Major League closer with the assistance of visual aids instead of the cold words and numbers that have tried to form our perceptions of him all this long winter. Can Bruce Rondon close? Let us look at him and see.

The Spring brings us a stimulating debate on the topic of the new batting practice hats. Are they good? Are they hairball-inducingly bad? Are they naught but mediocre? All have thoughts and feelings on the matter. We do not even have to debate the BP hat. We may engage in a BP hat dialectic if we find that mode of communication more pleasant and useful. All these things are permitted in the Spring.

The Spring also brings us Justin Verlander’s super super dorky golfing outfits. It may in the final estimation be the best wonder that the Spring has to offer.

A worthy foe defeated.


illustration by Samara Pearlstein

Onwards to the ALCS.

ALDS Games 1 and 2


illustrations by Samara Pearlstein

You all know this story already. The Tigers attempted to kill us all on Sunday. They played as ridiculous a game as they could possibly play. It came down to the very last at-bats of the very last inning. With one out and the bases loaded, the big cats already stashed safely on first and second, Don Kelly came up. And what did he do?

He did not hit a towering grand slam of a home run into the center field foliage. He did not ground into a double play. He did no more and no less than what he absolutely needed to do, which was simply hit a ball far enough to score the cat on third. Not flashy. Not dramatic. Just Don Kelly– just baseball.

Also this happened: for those two of you who somehow didn’t see it/haven’t heard about it yet, AlAl fielded a huge out, and kissed the ball before tossing it to first. Was it a little hot-dog-ish? Sure. Was it a little rude? Sure. Was it premeditated? Absolutely not. Was it hilarious and sort of endearing? You bet your tiger-striped tail it was.

I know the A’s are all surly about it, but quite frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.

Game 1 was nice too.

Now, given the way the Tigers played going into the postseason, I had low expectations. I honestly had a hard time envisioning them making it out of the first round. Yet here we are, up 2-0, needing to win just one more game out of the coming three. Of course, all three are in Oakland, and it is not at all out of the realm of possibility for the Tigers to completely muck that up, especially as Verlander and Mister Fister have already pitched, and as we all know, things get a bit thin behind them in the rotation. But this is already so much better than I had dared to dream.

I mean, Don Kelly, you guys. The Tigers are heading west in this best of all possible positions thanks to Don Kelly. Roll that one around in your mind for a while.

Down with the DY Stache, Up with the JV K


illustrations by Samara Pearlstein

Stop the rampant, wanton abuse of innocent baseball fan eyeballs. End the suffering of teammates, family, friends, unwary bystanders. Help raise awareness of this terrible blight upon Detroit and all who must play against them. Think of the kittens.

Take action against this unjustifiable crime. Speak up and out! Delmon Young, you need to stop whatever it is that you’re doing with that mustache right this very instant.

In happier news, this

was a thing that happened.

Run-on sentences on water and cats and things.


illustration by Samara Pearlstein

–The umpires chose to end last night’s game in the 6th inning with the bases loaded and two outs for the Tigers, and Franklin Morales (middle relief) pitching for the Sox. The Tigers were down by 3 so the tying run was on first and the potential leading run was at the plate. And I mean YES it was pouring and had been raining steadily all game to that point and YES the Tigers had already stranded so many runners and had thus shown no particular ability or inclination to do anything with cats already on the bases and there was no real reason to believe that Omar Infante or anybody else would change the course of that trend there in the 6th because apparently the Tigers have Problems in Boston, be those problems park factors or mental issues or what-the-cat-ever, BUT

I am still calling this one CONSPIRACY. Because, you see, it HAD really been raining all game, and you wait until the Tigers have the bases loaded but are within scoring reach and the Sox are into their bullpen and THENNNNNN you call the game?!? ACCOUNT FOR THYSELVES, FOUL CONSPIRATORS OF BASE BALL ADJUDICATION.

–Josh Beckett left the game after 2.2 innings due to “back spasms,” but it looked like he was complaining about the mound before he went, soooo… who knows. The crowd certainly was not sympathetic, and booed the coprolites out of him as he left the field. Boston has about had it with all things Josh Beckett right now.

–So I mean there I was all expecting the game to take a serious Tigers turn because Beckett was out and Clayton Mortenson is totally just some dude named Clayton Mortenson and you would think– ALL LOGICAL AND CORRECT-MINDED PEOPLE WOULD THINK– that this would be a recipe for scrumptious Tigers success. But it was not. Flavorful run pies were not baked. I have no explanation for this behavior but I know that it needs to stop. Mama cat needs to EAT, boys!

–I guess that is the end of Justin Verlander’s Always 6 Innings or More Streak, but who cares.

–The trade deadline turned out to not be a big deal for the Tigers, which is fine, except for the fact that obviously the current formulation of the team is somewhat less-than-effective and maybe a shake-up would have helped that but I mean WHATEVER. OVER IT. I was at this game with a Phillies phan so that lent a little trade deadline perspective. There is a difference both quantitative and qualitative between the struggles of the Tigers and whatever it is the Phillies have been doing this season and we should probably all remember that.

–Seriously take a moment to proffer thanks to your personal deity, to the ghost of Hank Greenberg, to Paws, or whatever. We could be Kansas City. Or Colorado. Never 4get.

–What is the problem the Tigers have in Boston though. What is that. WHAT IS IT

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.