Is it possible for the Tigers to be pulled up out of the muck?





illustrations by Samara Pearlstein

The Tigers are mired pretty far down into the muck right now. Is it possible for them to be pulled up out of it? Most likely, at this point in the season, no. But if there is any cat who can manage it, that just might be Miguel Cabrera. Come back soon, Miguel! Please!

Also! If you are still upset by the way the Tigers have been conducting their business in Kansas City, here, take a look at this photo of Little Victor examining video of his swing, which Justin Verlander posted on Instagram, in what I can only assume is a bid to prove that there are still decent things in this world.

Focusing on the positive.

illustration by Samara Pearlstein

I could write more about the continued sketchiness of the Dave Dombrowski firing. I could write about the losing. The atrocious bullpen. The catfight between Jose Iglesias and James McCann, which is the biggest Guys please can we just NOT of the moment. All of that. But I am tired. My head hurts. Let us focus instead on the positives, at least for right now.

–The rally squirrel helped the Tigers to a win.

–Miguel Cabrera might be on his way back sooner rather than later.

–Fiesta Tigres was a success and Placido Polanco was back in town, lookin’ pretty good, shark tooth necklace and all.

–JD Martinez exists.


–After the Royals, the AL Central is pretty egregiously bad this year, so despite everything the Tigers are somehow not completely buried yet.

–The uniforms still look great, especially on players who wear their socks up. There has been no unnecessary rebranding– we’re lookin’ at you, NBA.

–It is still possible, on occasion, for the Tigers to win a game of baseball.

–We could be Miami, or Philadelphia.

That’s all I got.

On release.

Dave Dombrowski has been released. Released??

illustrations by Samara Pearlstein









Released like: RELEASED FROM HIS CONTRACT aka politely asked to move on aka FIRED (and I do tend to think it was a firing, instead of the much bandied-about ‘mutual decision’… if it was mutual it just seems like the kind of move that would have happened after the season and not during it, no matter how wretched the Tigers’ record).

The trading of David Price saddened me, but was understood. The Yoenis Cespedes move makes a kind of sense, especially if the door is open to bringing him back next year. I can handle the idea of a ‘reboot,’ even if it forces me to think of the Tigers as a collective cybernetic organism, or like a Power Rangers-style mecha or something. You know, something that can actually be rebooted. Maybe this is another cartoon? But this… this… I just don’t know.

Al Avila will be taking over, and while I know that he has done good work for the Tigers, Dave Dombrowski’s 14 years up top of the organization have been some of the most solid GM/pres/CEO work in baseball. They haven’t won a World Series, and of course there have been questionable decisions along the way– certain managerial choices spring to mind, and the entirety of 2003– but on the whole he has been a Good Solid Positive Influence for the Tigers. He has been heavily invested in the team for a long time, and there was no reason to think that that was going to change any time soon.

This release smacks of a kind of… I don’t want to say panic, or desperation, but it has certain overtones of both those things. It feels like an attempt to prove something: that the team is not content to say that 2015 is in any way okay, that the Tigers are still capable of being major players, that a record like this will not be tolerated. Something. But the fact that it seems to have gone down with little (or insufficient) notice given to Mr. D, the timing, all this does not give the impression of a coolly reasoned decision.


I don’t know about you cats, but this move makes me uneasy. I don’t feel good about the way that it seems to have gone down, and I am not very happy about the decision itself. Mr. D is not perfect. He made decisions that sometimes did not work, and sometimes did not work in spectacular ways. But the majority of the time, as a crazed fan of this fine feline team, I had a lot of confidence in him, and was pleased to know that he was at the helm.

Nothing against Al Avila, but I wish we weren’t pushing him into the captain’s chair just yet.

Something to think about in this time of trades.

illustration by Samara Pearlstein

I know, as we all know, that the Tigers are in Less Than Good shape right now. Perhaps this is the time to make some major roster changes. Perhaps this is the time to clear out contracts there is no reasonable hope of extending, in favor of some other, future contracts that may do us more good in a season other than this.

But I would ask you all– and Mr. D most of all– to consider precisely what it is that you would do.

Kyle Lobstein gets his carapace

illustration by Samara Pearlstein; click for bigger

A good outing for the one and only crustacean in Major League Baseball this season. May his moulting be ever easy.

Also good: Miguel Cabrera. Jose Iglesias. Rod and Mario accidentally both showing up to work in pale paisley ties.

Not so good: Rajai Davis tweaking his precious groin. Joe Nathan injuring himself to the point where his career may be over. Whatever the heck is going on with Justin Verlander.

But repeat after me: I will not get too excited when the Tigers win a few games in a row. I will not get too dejected when the Tigers lose a few games in a row. It’s only April.

It is only April for a few more days, so soon enough we can fully indulge all hysterical baseball-related reactions.

some thoughts on the recent games

illustrations by Samara Pearlstein

Jose Iglesias is a defensive wizard, the end.

No I lied, here are a couple more things.

Have you ever seen that video of the guy throwing a brick into a washing machine? It’s chugging along and then this brick gets tossed into its drum and it starts spinning out of control and tearing itself to pieces with the force of its own motion, and stuff begins flying off until eventually the whole thing breaks apart? (This is what I’m talking about.)

Watching that washing machine is like watching Victor Martinez run right now.

There was a moment in last night’s game where Victor had to try to score from second base. Watching him chug his way around the bases was amazing and terrible. He did make it home, so, you know, that showed strength and determination and some degree of capability, but holy cats did the journey look painful. Yesterday was also the Boston Marathon, and there were people who in the last mile of 26.2 looked like they were doing better than Victor in his last 90 feet.

It’s been a busy few weeks and I have not been able to sit down and watch as much Tigers baseball as I would like, so it is possible that I just haven’t seen enough of Victor to realize how truly f’ed his body is until this last game. But now that I have had this realization… man, I know he wants to play, but can’t we declare this a humanitarian issue and make him sit quietly for a while so his bodily tissues can settle into some slightly less inflamed state?

Other things:

It’s the LAST WEEK for the Art World Universe Kickstarter!! Please give it a look and help make these actually pretty awesome weird things a reality.

I wrote a short story of baseball fiction, and Hobart Pulp published it! It’s called The First Rule is: Don’t Speak and it’s the first fiction I’ve put out into the world in a very long time (aside from whatever you want to call what happens over here). NEAT.

Opening Day 2015: a roaring success

illustration by Samara Pearlstein

Everything old is new again. There is green grass in the world, if not in our yards. The crack of wood is a welcome sound, and no longer a reminder that the roof needs to be shoveled. Suddenly it is acceptable to eat hot dogs at all hours of the day again. It’s Opening Day, and the Tigers are victorious.

David Price: 8.2 innings, 5 hits, 5 Ks, no runs, no walks. This is precisely why he got the Opening Day start. This is the kind of pitching that causes Tigers fans to walk around with hearts in their eyes, chanting his name under their breath all day. Maybe that’s just me? No, I know some of you are doing it too.

JD Martinez hit the first Tigers home run of the season, and I believe the first home run of the MLB season. May this be a sign of hits to come.

Yoenis Cespedes hit a double and a triple and it was all to the good.

Alex Avila homered and called a good game (although some of the umping was interesting). Kirk Gibson, new in the booth this year, could not for the life of him pronounce ‘Avila’. He kept saying ‘Avill-eeah’ and similar. This despite the fact that Rod and Mario were right there in the booth with him, pronouncing it correctly. I suppose Alex will just have to keep on hitting home runs so that Gibby can get a lot of practice saying his name. Obviously this is the best possible solution to this problem.

Joe Nathan faced one batter, did not immediately die or embarrass himself or the Tigers organization.

Jose Iglesias stole TWO whole bases! Rajai Davis stole one. What is this Tigers team, that runs on the bases and isn’t necessarily a sure out? Is this going to be our new reality? I will need some time to adjust.

Baseball is back, you guys. Bask in the warmth of this Opening Day win, and rest secure in the knowledge that there will be even MORE baseball in a couple of days. And then we have Tigers baseball for weeks and months after that! There is much that is terrible in the world, but this fact is a force for good.

PS: This Kickstarter is still a thing! Be on the lookout for a special drawing process video soon!