A couple things that are not cool.

JD Martinez and his broken elbow and its ghostly results.

Illustrations by Samara Pearlstein.

Not cool: JD Martinez breaking his elbow and being out six weeks. It’s not even like he broke it doing something irresponsible like skateboarding or jumping on a trampoline or carrying a bag of frozen meat up the stairs. No, he was just playing baseball and he played baseball a little too hard and there you have it, now the ghostly spirit of Tigers offense can waft right on up and out of that break. Not cool at all.

Also not cool: this situation.

Paws crushed beneath Sluggerrr and the dumb Cleveland C.

Just sayin’.

a couple quick thoughts

I just started one of my classes on watercolors. While my students are working, I have a little time to sit and reflect and obsessively check the stats and scores of the baseball games that I am not watching (it’s a night class). I also have the watercolors that I’m using for demos right there in front of me…

Verlander in love, but not with Paws
illustrations by Samara Pearlstein

Justin Verlander is in love! He has offered his pitching hand in marriage to Kate Upton! We wish him a lifetime of happiness and low ERAs. But there is one who loved him first, who now must live with the sight of his beloved in thrall to another…

I’m not saying this is going to cause problems, I’m just saying, it’s something we should keep an eye on.

Nick Castellanos bat on fire

Nick Castellanos’ bat has been on fire.

That’s it, that’s the whole visual joke.

Baseball approaches.

Brad Ausmus - is this thing on?
illustrations by Samara Pearlstein

Is it? Is this thing still on? Yes, well, looks like it is. How about that.

I hear we may have some baseball again soon. That’s a thing that still happens in the world, right? The sun rises, the air warms, the crocuses blossom, the wild turkeys begin their crazed death matches with each other and with all reflective surfaces at turkey-eye-height (a major problem in my neighborhood), and soon, one way or another, the voice of the turtle will be heard in our land. If you know what I mean. And if you’re reading a website of Detroit Tigers cartoons, I reckon that you do.

There’s been a lot going on in RotT Headquarters (as the long cartoon drought may have indicated), so I’ve only got bits and pieces of the latest news…

Daniel Norris - axe back injury

I guess Daniel Norris was supposed to contribute his luxurious hipster beard and his axe-wielding, van-dwelling ways to the clubhouse this April, but he did something to his back? I assume this is how it went down. Nobody tell me otherwise.

Justin Upton and Wayne

We may have lost one BEAUTIFUL PERFECT FRENCH BULLDOG when David Price took Astro to Boston. But at least we have some small consolation in the acquisition of Justin Upton and his special friend Wayne (as introduced by Bless You Boys, who have apparently been paying attention all this time, unlike some idiot blogs). I hope that Justin knows he should feel free to bring Wayne into the clubhouse at all times, and on the team plane, and to press conferences, and into our hearts.

Victor Martinez is very old

Victor Martinez is probably-maybe starting the season on the Disabled List, because he injured his hamstring? back? oblique? shoulder? knee? every single tendon in his body at once? Nobody is surprised, because this man has the body of an elder. May his corresponding elder wisdom allow him to compensate and remain useful to the Tigers this season.

Anthony Gose Go

Anthony (Go)se. I have nothing to say about this beyond: there it is.

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

muck1

muck2

muck3

muck4

muck5
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.

rallysquirreldetroit
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.

–Ummmmmmm.

–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??

dombrowskireleased-hounds
illustrations by Samara Pearlstein

Released like RELEASE THE HOUNDS?

No.

dombrowskireleased-gravity

Released like RELEASED FROM THE CONSTRAINTS OF GRAVITY?

No.

dombrowskireleased-kraken

Released like RELEASE THE DOMBRO-KRAKEN?

No.

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.

IT’S KINDA SKETCH, THAT’S ALL I’M SAYIN’.

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.

paws-would-miss-astro-800
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.