AMERICA


illustration by Samara Pearlstein

Happy 4th of July weekend from Captain Paws, Brad ‘Bucky’ Ausmus, and Roar of the Tigers!

Completely FredFred


illustration by Samara Pearlstein

Rick Porcello is on some kind of pitcher’s high right now. He’s thrown two complete game shut-outs in a row, this latest requiring only 95 pitches. Do you know how you throw a complete game in 95 pitches?

–A lot of sinking fastballs that induce relatively easy ground-ball outs.
–A gentle and loving relationship with the baseball.
–An effective training regimen and sufficient hydration.
–The skill of Being Good at Baseball.

You know the last time the Tigers had a pitcher who threw back-to-back complete game shut-outs? It was 1986 and the pitcher was Jack Morris and FredFred was not even a living human being on this earth yet, because he is a child who was born in 1988. He has never existed in a world that has contained a Tigers pitcher who has thrown back-to-back complete game shut-outs until now, and he is himself that pitcher. Glorious.

Rajai Davis walks off.



illustration by Samara Pearlstein

A grand slam walk-off into a pile of WIN.

a proposed solution


illustrations by Samara Pearlstein

We all, at this point, know that Justin Verlander has had his struggles. Now, if the cold and unfeeling universe happens into a spurt of goodwill, he will be coming out of this funk sooner rather than later, and will resume his old dominant-pitching ways. But just in case that does not happen in a timely fashion, I think we have a possible solution for Justin.

Give him a few months to work on his running, and he could make this transition easily. Right? Right. Justin gets to keep feeling good about himself as a professional athlete, the USMNT gains a player who can make the best throw-ins FIFA has ever seen, the Tigers get the positive karma associated with making a personal sacrifice for the good of the nation, the fans get to see Justin in one of those really tight soccer jerseys. EVERYONE WINS.

Also, apparently this happened:

Torii Hunter had hurt legbits, so Miguel Cabrera carried him into the clubhouse. Because Tigers are love. And we just have to hope that the Tigers will be carried through any and all rough patches on this vast and beautiful, uh, raft of love. The metaphor is getting away from me here so just look at the cartoon and we’ll call it a post.

Max completes himself.


illustration by Samara Pearlstein

The Tigers won last night on the strength of Max Scherzer’s very first complete game! And it was a shut-out. A beautiful blue-eye-pitched game if we’ve ever seen one.

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.