Kyle Lobstein gets his carapace

lobsteinlobster-1024
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!

Happy Tigers Passover 2015!

It’s time once again for everyone to learn a thing or two about Passover via Tigers cartoons: the best educational method the internet has ever devised.

As many of you know, ceremonial dinners called seders mark the first two nights of the Passover holiday. The centerpiece of a seder is the seder plate, which displays food items symbolic of various bits of the Passover tale (which is the ‘Moses leading the people out of slavery in Egypt story’).


illustrations by Samara Pearlstein

The Paschal lamb or shankbone represents the sacrificial offering, which was traditionally a lamb. Alex Avila, as the most consistently beat-up Tiger, is very obviously our sacrificial lamb. We offer him up on the altar of home plate, hoping that the Baseball Gods will be appeased by the gift of his body.

The karpas is a green vegetable (often parsley) that is dipped in salt water. This represents the tears shed by the Jews while they were enslaved in Egypt, building pyramids for the Pharaohs and whatnot. As he will be starting the season on the DL, it is only appropriate that Justin Verlander is the karpas this year. His tears flow as freely as his triceps do not.

The maror or bitter herbs is just shredded horseradish (although horseradish is naturally white, at a seder you often see bright red maror, which has been mixed with beet juice). This represents the bitterness and harshness that the Jews suffered while they were enslaved. JD Martinez experienced great bitterness and suffering while in the Astros organization, before he was led through the Red Sea by Dave Dombrowski to the promised land of Detroit.

What is the deal with the egg? It is always included on the seder plate, but there are many conflicting stories about why it’s there. One story has the egg as an ancient symbol of fertility and rebirth (as the Jews come out of slavery and are reborn as a free people). One has the egg as a symbol of mourning, because all sorts of Jewish holy sites had been destroyed. One has the egg as another representation of the sacrificial offering, which is confusing because that’s also the shankbone, and those are from two different animals, so… it’s there because it’s a nice symbol for all sorts of things, I guess. This is Miguel Cabrera, certainly a fine symbol of the rebirth of the Tigers, and sometimes a sacrificial offering in the lineup, especially if he’s not adequately protected by a strong slugger batting behind him. He’s not really a symbol of mourning right now, and hopefully we will keep it that way.

The charoset is a mix of chopped up nuts and apples and spices, representing the mortar that the Jews had to use to build things for the Egyptians. Nick Castellanos, as the youngest member of the Tigers right now, is what we are going to build upon.

The matzah is usually next to the seder plate, not on it, but it is a vital part of any seder, and one of the most recognizable symbols of Passover for Jews and goys alike. When they were getting out of Egypt, the Jews had to leave ASAP, with very little warning. They had to grab bread right out of the ovens to take on the journey, so it didn’t have time to rise. That’s matzah. The fastest Tiger is Rajai Davis so… Matzah Davis.

Have a very Happy Passover, cats and kittens!

Your Detroit Tigers 2015 Season Preview: Part II

We are so close to Opening Day! Like, oh gosh, so close! But we still have time to sneak in a few more preseason predictions that are absolutely sure to come true due to the incredible insight that Roar of the Tigers has into the minds and bodies of the Detroit Tigers and their entire management team. That’s right Brad Ausmus, I’m reading your mind right now and I’m loving it.


illustrations by Samara Pearlstein

–Ian Kinsler goes kosher, Bubbies everywhere plotz.

–Dave Dombrowski will, like Miguel Cabrera, have a slow start to the season. But where Miguel’s slow start is at the plate, Mr. D’s slow start is on his torso. It will be way too cold in April, and possibly some of May, for short-sleeve striped polo shirts at the ballpark. But eventually the temperature will rise, and the second-most realistic tiger stripes* worn by a Detroit employee will once more be displayed before our adoring eyes.

(*obviously the most realistic stripes belong to Paws)

–Every single time Justin Verlander is injured, K*te Upt*n gains a year of life thanks to her dabbles in the black magicks of app wizardry.

–Bruce Rondon throws 105 mph exactly once, and never again.

–Joe Nathan is so old and so out of touch with the modern age that he begins pitching not forward, into the future, but straight down, through geologic time. It is as if his ancient bones are yearning to join their brethren beneath the soil. Dinosaurian remains beckon. He knows he belongs among them more than he has ever belonged here among us. If he cannot yet go among their ranks, he can at least send his pitches there.

–It doesn’t much matter, though, because by August MLB has pushed through the controversial First Name Enforcement (FNE) rule, banning all players with two first names from the league, on the basis of it making for confusing and annoying jersey name-on-back situations (which everyone knows are no good for merchandising). Joe Nathan, Alfredo Simon and Kyle Ryan are promptly banished to independent ball. There is lively argument for a while over the fate of Rajai Davis; at the end of the season his case is still being decided by the commissioner’s office.

–JD Martinez switches his name around, becomes involved in an intense DJing battle with the Rays’ DJ Kitty.

–In an unexpected bid to become the new Don Kelly, Andrew Romine starts teaching himself how to play catcher. He also begins to aggressively befriend Jim Leyland, leaving little gifts of cigarettes and Barbra Streisand CDs on his desk. Brad Ausmus is slightly hurt but will never let on.

(But I can tell, because I’m reading his mind.)

—-

Now, this is kind of unrelated, BUT if you like baseball cards you may find it to your liking. An artist friend and I have been working together on this weird, goofy project for quite a long time, and we finally got it to the point where it’s ready to become real.

It’s called Art World Universe Series One, and it is a set of trading cards for a deranged world where contemporary artists are superheroes and supervillains and Legends (who transcend those former categories).

As I said, it is more about art and comic books than it is about baseball, but it is a set of trading cards and I did draw them all, so I figured I should let you guys know about the project. We have a Kickstarter where we are trying to make this dumb thing happen– take a look, read about the project, check out the cartoons, enjoy the video, and hey, if you happen to see a reward that you want, go ahead and grab one!

Your Detroit Tigers 2015 Season Preview: Part I

It has been a winter of suffering. A winter of bitter cold. A winter of more snow than this tender land has seen in the age of recorded snow totals, if you live with me in the greater Boston area. A winter of no baseball, the same as every winter, because every year we must go through a time of horrible void and dumb fast indoor sports on TV in order to properly rekindle our appreciation for the noblest slow game that makes a modicum of sense and therefore isn’t cricket.

But now it is March! The players we know and love are in Florida cavorting with the players we know and hate, and forgetting the names of players we might eventually come to know if they get called up at some point. Wealthy young men are parking their excessive cars near a field of play. There is probably a fragrant breeze blowing through palm fronds or something, I don’t know, I still dwell in a landscape dominated by enormous filthy piles of road snow. We are mere weeks away from the beginning of a new baseball year.

What will 2015 bring? I think we can hazard some decent guesses.

–David Price is tapped to pitch the Tigers’ opener. Justin Verlander is extremely sad, until an emissary is sent to cheer him up.


illustrations by Samara Pearlstein

–Miguel Cabrera has a slow start to the season, as he is healthy enough to be on the Opening Day roster, but is still working his way back from his injuries. Rival pitchers begin to feel overconfident and stop pitching to him as cautiously as they have in years past. Miggy takes advantage of this collective moment of weakness at the peak of his recovery and has a monster middle of the year, a middle of the year the likes of which Major League Baseball has never seen before. He leads the league in slugging percentage by a wide margin in July. He is intentionally walked a record number of times in August.

–Alex Avila suffers 12 concussions over the course of the season, declares the year a massive improvement.

–Joba Chamberlain punches a cooler in the dugout, inexplicably begins pitching better after.

–Al Alburquerque is recognized for his contributions to visual culture with a gallery exhibition of his Instagram photos.

–Victor Martinez injures both knees again, has radical new surgery in Germany, becomes first MLB player with robot legs, touching off a whole new class of debate about performance enhancement. Little Victor learns how to say ‘transhumanism’.

Part II coming soon!

Meanwhile, as the Tigers report to Spring Training…






illustrations by Samara Pearlstein