The revolving door and other such things.


illustration by Samara Pearlstein

One of the funny things that happens when you’ve had only half an ear to the Tigers thus far this season: you have no idea who the shortstop is, because apparently there have been 10,478 shortstops stuck in a sort of revolving door hell of injuries, incompetence, general baseball malaise, and so on. Every so often someone stumbles out of the door, dizzy as heck, and takes a few tentative cuts at the plate, but as of right now it still seems like everyone and anyone could just get shoved right back into the spinning fray, and who knows what it will spit out next? I mean, I assume Paws knows, but for us mere mortals it is somewhat more mysterious.

I am not even fully certain who has been playing at shortstop for the Tigers this year. The problem seems to be that Jose Iglesias, who by rights should have been The One, has legs that are filled with stress fractures, just bundles of dry kindling all up in those limbs, and this has kept him off the field. So the Tigers turned to… I am not sure. Danny Worth, who I assume just kind of Danny Worth’d around? Andrew Romine, who… well, I actually have no idea. Played baseball in some kind of unsatisfactory way? The internet is telling me that Alex Gonzalez was out there at one point, and not some young, freshly promoted kid who happens to share a name with Alex Gonzalez, but the actual original 37-year-old, 16-year-veteran Alex Gonzalez. Did… did we actually think that would work? Huh.

I know that right now it is a gentleman by the name of Eugenio Suarez, and I know that he has hit some home runs, which is a thing worthy of much note in these sort of grim times. Here is what else I know about Eugenio Suarez:

–He will be turning 23 in July.
–He is Venezuelan.
–He is a human being with hopes and dreams, at least some of which have to do with playing baseball.

Will that be enough to go on? Only time, the adjustments of the rest of the league, the logical thoughts and capricious whims of Brad Ausmus and Dave Dombrowski will tell.

roaring again


images by Samara Pearlstein

Ladies and gents, cats and kittens, folks of all identifications, hello! Hello! I have missed you all so much and I have missed the ability to sit down and watch a game of baseball like a sane, civilized person, and then draw stupid cartoons about that game of baseball, which is obviously the sanest, most civilized thing one can do. But here I am, and here you are, and here are some stupid cartoons, and together we can hug this out.

Most of you know that I have been in the midst of finishing up my master’s program. It has been an insane experience. I was also working, outside of class time and studio time and occasionally trying to stay sort of up-to-date on the art world time, since that is the very realm in which I was attempting to get a (nominally) professionalizing degree. While juggling all of that, I have also been dealing with some pretty serious health issues. All this meant that I had very little time or energy for… well… anything else at all. This came to include things like ‘normal human being friends’ and ‘getting the cat exercise’ and ‘sleep’ and ‘eating food that didn’t come out of a box from Trader Joes’. It also included Roar of the Tigers, as you surely noticed.

But now I have had my thesis exhibition, all my thesis writing is done, I have defended my work to my committee, I’ve graduated, and I’ve moved 3 years’ worth of art crud out of my studio and into my apartment (much to the dismay of myself and the cat).

We do graduation in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, which is admittedly kind of cool. I am now a Master of Fine Arts. This is weird for me, is it weird for you? I guess it is also kind of cool.

I am still dealing with the health stuff, which, without getting into too many details, is very complicated and involves 10,000 moving parts that all have to be coordinated, mostly by me, because it turns out that’s not a thing that a hospital system really wants to do for you. Very, very luckily I live a literal 5 minute drive from a truly stellar hospital complex, and that has been a major help. But it is still sometimes overwhelming, and exhausting. I expect that things will be easier now that I’ve graduated, at least for a little bit, until I start teaching in the fall. I just ask you cats to bear with me on this one.

I have been out to exactly two (2) real live baseball games this season. One was a Rangers/Red Sox game, so I was confronted with Prince Fielder in a Rangers uniform. This was well before Prince made a bunch of rude comments about not caring about Detroit, so at the time it was a sight that caused me to have many Feelings. I am wearing my raincoat in this cartoon because it was freezing cold and also raining, none of which helped to mitigate the Feelings situation.

I missed the entire Tigers series in Boston, because it had the horrible luck to correspond exactly with my graduation weekend and all that insanity contained therein.

In any event, I am now starting to have bits of time here and there to watch Tigers games. Unparalleled luxury! I knew that they had been doing well, were leading the division, blah blah blah, so I was looking forward to some soothing, quality baseball.

So much for that. Why, Tigers? Why?? Is it because I now have time to sometimes pay attention to you? Is this like when I come home after being gone all day and most of the night and the cat is nice to me until I’ve fed her and then I get a hardcore cold shoulder to punish me for leaving her alone all that time? Is that what is going on here? I am SORRY, Tigers! I didn’t mean to leave you alone all day with nothing to do but curl up and sleep in sunbeams and bat your toy mice around! I was in the studio! I was working! Please love me again.

Miguel Cabrera, however, is a cat without grudges, and for this I am grateful.

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!

a new set of National fists


illustrations by Samara Pearlstein

All of a sudden, Doug Fister is being traded to the Nationals for two left-handed pitchers with short names (Ian Krol, Robbie Ray) and one utility dude with a long name (Steve Lombardozzi). All of these cats are on the young side. None of them are everyday players: Krol is a reliever, Lombardozzi is an off-the-bench type, and Ray is a small child who has yet to pitch above AA. None of them are immediate impact players. None of them are tall majestic creatures with Hulk Hands. None of them have hilarious names. This is the trade that has been made.

They are all much cheaper, even combined, than Doug Fister alone, and this will theoretically allow the Tigers to take care of some outstanding financial business, such as sealing up Max Scherzer in the Tiger vault, and the acquisition of a Real Live Human Closer. So there is that.

I have been trying awfully hard to come up with a way to make this seem like a substantial win for the Tigers, and I just can’t quite do it. I guess I understand, in that I want the things Mr. Dombrowski wants (Scherzer, Miguel Cabrera, winning, striped polo shirts, etc), and retaining Mister Fister would make that more difficult? I guess? Striped polo shirts don’t grow on freebie trees, you know.

But I am not going to lie, I’m having a lot of trouble with this one. I am sure you could do some sort of complicated mathematic gymnastics to make a lefty reliever and a lefty prospect-ish pitcher and a scrappy utilikilt of a National multiply by one another to equal an established starting pitcher with a solid gold headline name like Doug Fister. Alas, I am but a humble person-who-draws-stuff. I am not good at math, especially not the fancy creative math that involves multiple blackboards and dramatic camera angles during movie montages about misunderstood genius, and I strongly suspect that it is this very type of math that is required to make sense of this trade from a Tigers perspective.

Deep breath, in DD we trust, keep calm and blog on. Here’s Brad Ausmus as a Maccabee. It’s still Chanukah, you know. And this news may have disrupted my Chanukah cartoon-posting plans just a bit, but we can still have this tonight.

Happy Thanksgivvukah from Roar of the Tigers


images by Samara Pearlstein

Happy Chanukah, and Happy Thanksgiving! I can think of no better present than a Lions win, so let’s see what we can do about that today, hmm?

Much more Chanukah content to come when I get home and have access to a scanner again. Until then, remember that we have much to be thankful for, such as:

–all the swear words of Jim Leyland tirades past,
–Max Scherzer’s eyes,
–an owner who cares about winning, and about Detroit,
–classy uniforms,
–those times Paws holds his tail behind his back during the National Anthem,
–the joy given to us by Brayan Pena’s twitter feed this past season,
–Miguel Cabrera,
–hot chocolate and Bailey’s in the Comerica stands late in the season,
–the dogged resilience of Alex Avila in the face of tremendous and injurious adversity,
–the new video board (still),
–Dave Dombrowski,
–everything about Jose Iglesias’ defense,
–another division championship,
–this thing, which I just found in the hotel desk drawer:

and the cross-holiday pleasure of having real live actual Jewish cats on the team, so that we may at long last properly celebrate Jewish holidays in cartoon form.

Happy Thanksgivvukah, kids and kittens!

Goodbye and good luck to an old friend.


illustration by Samara Pearlstein

Chad Durbin is retiring. One last pimpin’ outfit for the road.

Never forget.

THERE HAS BEEN A TRADE


illustrations by Samara Pearlstein

This is an accurate depiction of me right now, even down to the flashing emergency vehicle lights, as an ambulance went screaming by my apartment in full wail at the very moment I received the textual message informing me of this trade. For a brief moment I thought the local EMTs had started employing some sort of precog system and they were coming for me.

Let’s take a look at this in bald print:

PRINCE FIELDER HAS BEEN TRADED TO THE TEXAS RANGERS FOR IAN KINSLER.

Additional facts, or semi-facts:

–Prince Fielder did not perform well in the postseason. The reasons, or potential reasons, for this do not even fall under the category of ‘semi-facts’ at the moment, so let us not even go there. But that he did not hit the baseball in a timely fashion, that is known and documented.

–Ian Kinsler has been to the All Star Game three times.

–Ian Kinsler is signed through 2017, with an option on 2018. Prince Fielder is signed through 2020. Ian Kinsler is owed $62 million, or $69 million if that option is picked up. Prince Fielder is owed $168 million. That is a difference of $106 or $99 millions of American dollars.

–The Tigers will also be sending the Rangers $30 million, according to the Freep. This is not exactly getting out of Prince’s contract scot-free, but given the amounts in play it is close enough to be functionally astonishing.

–Therefore we must now come to grips with the fact that Dave Dombrowski might be a real life actual wizard.

There are many things that can happen now– the extra money freed up for the Tigers should allow them to extend Max’n’Miggy, and maybe pursue some much-needed help in other areas. There are now newly created needs, like someone who can intimidate opposing pitchers into not avoiding Miguel Cabrera’s place in the lineup, and someone who can be Miguel Cabrera’s new BFF. We have already seen what life is like without a functional Prince backing up Cabrera, but we can’t go forward with some weakling who won’t command pitcherly respect in the cleanup spot; that way a Major League record for intentional walks lies.

I don’t know. In all honesty, this move came so completely out of the Detroit navy blue for me that I am still too stunned to react in any intelligent way to it.

I will however say this:

I am going to miss Prince Fielder. Not Postseason 2013 Prince. But the fun, huggable, mysterious-handshake-doing Prince, with his desire to always run hard down the line, even when it meant jettisoning his batting helmet into center field with a slide. The Prince Fielder who went into a potentially terrible situation, with the shadow of his father still looming large in Detroit, with as good a will as one could ever hope for. The Prince Fielder who seemed to have fun on the field; the nacho-stealing Prince Fielder. The Prince Fielder who saw a Tigers fan hanging out quietly behind the dugout during batting practice on a cool July day in Boston and went out of his way to go up and ask if she wanted anything signed.

This is a very different Prince from the one we’ve been hearing about, with greater or lesser degrees of accuracy, in whispers and half-statements and flights of speculative fancy ever since the postseason. But that’s the one I’m going to think about when I think about Prince Fielder in Detroit. Haters to the left.

Now, Ian Kinsler…

Let’s just say it’s going to be, for the first time in a VERY long time, an extremely special Chanukah here at RotT. Get psyched.