a Detroit Tigers Passover, 2010

It’s that time of year again!

As some of you know, the centerpiece of the Passover holiday is the seder plate, a bunch of weird food symbols related to the whole Jews-in-Egypt-and-subsequent-escape-with-parting-of-the-Red-Sea-and-such thing. The food-objects on the seder plate are familiar to all Jews and friends of Jews who get dragged off to seders. We learn how to draw them, arranged around a giant construction paper circle, as small children in Hebrew school, and thus the cycle of Judaism is continued.

ANYWAYS. Here we have The 2010 Detroit Tigers Seder Plate.

The maror, or horseradish, is a horrifyingly strong mash of horseradish that is usually either whitish or this weird pinkish-red. It symbolizes the bitterness experienced by the Jews as slaves in Egypt. Carlos Guillen here is the maror, as his relegation to the role of DH has steeped him in great bitterness.

The karpas is a green vegetable, usually something relatively inedible like parsley, that gets dipped in salt water and eaten. The vegetable is supposed to have something to do with spring and renewal, while the salt water represents the tears shed by the Jews in their slavery and suffering. Austin Jackson is the karpas, because he is youthful green springy renewal, but his place in the trade known as The Worst Thing still reminds us of our sadness and the many salty tears we have shed. Many, many tears. So many.

The charoset is a mix of cut/mashed-up nuts and fruits and things; I’m not really sure what food I can compare it to. Everyone makes it with different things, but it’s usually sweet, tan/brownish, and chunky (but not in a gross way) (honest). It’s supposed to represent the mortar the Jews used when they were stuck building pyramids and storehouses and whatnot for the Pharaohs in Egypt. I know that’s depressing, but Justin Verlander is the charoset because he is the mortar that anchors and holds together the rotation. If all goes as planned. Mortar doesn’t really anchor, does it? You know what I mean.

The z’roa is a shankbone, usually lamb, sometimes chicken for those folks who can’t/don’t want to get lamb. It symbolizes the traditional Passover sacrifice; its presence on the seder plate allows us to get on with things without having to slaughter and cook an entire freaking sheep, which is pretty impractical when you’re living in, say, a city apartment. It also may represent the lamb’s blood that the Jews put on their doorposts so that the Angel of Death would pass over them during the Plagues and bother only the Egyptians. Here it is Miguel Cabrera, whose hitting ability is nobly sacrificed for the greater good of the Adam Everetts and Gerald Lairds of the world, and who will hopefully keep the Wrong Sox of Death from doing too much damage to us.

The beitzah is a hard-boiled egg. It was another Temple sacrifice, and is also a symbol of mourning, as it was traditionally served at funerals. Jeremy Bonderman is the egg, because he looks like one.

The matzah is what you all think of when you think of Passover. It’s not really a part of the seder plate, but it sits in the middle, so whatever, I’m including it. Matzah is unleavened bread with the consistency of a dry cracker and the taste of dust, recalling the exodus of the Jews from Egypt, when they had to leave so suddenly that they didn’t have time to let their bread rise. Rick Porcello is the matzah, because the Tigers took him out of the minor league oven before he had any real time to rise. Luckily for the Tigers, FredFred turned out to be significantly more palatable than matzah.

Finally we have Manischewitz wine, which is also not on the seder plate, but is traditionally consumed during seders so whatever, this is my blog. Manischewitz wine is kosher. It is also more sugary than basically any other wine you have ever tasted, and smells like a cross between corn syrup and fruity cough syrup. Many Jews hate it but drink it anyways, Because We Have Always Done It Thus. Some of us actually like it, even though this seems to convince people that we are crazy.

Dontrelle Willis is the Manischewitz wine, because he’s sweet and he might be able to get the job done, but you aren’t totally sure you want to go that route. Also if you say you really love him people look at you like you’re crazy.

Happy Passover, kids and kittens! May all your matzah recipes go down easy.

21 responses to “a Detroit Tigers Passover, 2010

  1. “Jeremy Bonderman is the egg because he looks like one.”

    Hahahaha! Oh, that’s classic!!

    This was both entertaining and educational. Thanks, Samara!

  2. Interesting. I especially like Dontrelle as the Manischewitz Wine.

  3. Words fail me…

    But they do say a picture is worth a thousand words. So, just imagine me telling you how much this post made me laugh, roughly 7,000 times.

  4. Hooray! Thank you for another glorious Tigers seder plate. (As a perverse result of this and the last version you did, now I’ll never be able to look at an actual seder plate without picturing Tigers faces.)

    But you left out my favorite item–the orange! Which must of course have your own face, with your orange Tigers cap on. Coz you know, what’s a GIRL doing writing a sports blog?!

  5. 81371, you are most welcome. ;)

    Lauren, he’s just THAT sweet!

    Lynn, such is the ~magic of Passover~.

    Less, none of the seders I regularly attend do the orange thing. I would guess that it’s more common at Reform seders than at Conservative ones? I had never even heard of the seder plate orange until, like, a couple of years ago.

    If I did have it on here I think it would be a natural fit for Paws, though. Paws of course loves all people and cats!

  6. Can’t wait to see what Cats you have on the Thanksgiving platter, after we win the WS in early Nov!! thanks for the fun post and pic’s, Samara!

  7. IHaveNoCleverNickname

    These illustrations are so great! And I love the parallels you’ve made with certain Tigers and your seder foodstuffs!

  8. Love it. Carlos looks like he’s getting a little sultry with that maror, though.

    Happy Passover!

  9. Darnit, Less beat me to the orange.

    An Orange could be Paws…..

    OR INGE!

    (get it?)

    It’s definitely reform, in instance and symbolism.

    The story, as I heard it, was that some very orthodox Orthodox rabbi said there will be a woman on the bimah the day there’s an orange on the seder plate, to which we Reformies replied, “Oh, okay, [plop], anything else?”

    Its meaning is wrapped up in the core Reform ideology of seeing Torah and Tanakh as multi-purpose allegories to modern life, i.e. there’s more to an orange than a bright but sour-tasting skin (…of tradition). It symbolizes Judaism as something that is growing, and sweet, and defiant, and filled with Vitamins that are good for you, even if all of this is kind of hard to get at.

    The Orange has existed, not always as nicely developed, just as long as the Jews have, and today it is one of Israel’s core crops. It has changed and adapted to many different places, as the Jews have.

    Therefore, the Orange is Brandon Inge.

    First of all because Inge represents change, such as changing from shortstop to catcher, or from catcher to 3rd baseman and sometime power hitter, or from 3rd baseman to backup catcher and trade meat, or from trade meat to All Star 3rd baseman, or from that to guy with gimpy knees whom you can’t get rid of because then you’re stuck with Larish at the hot corner, and ungh.

    Inge, like the orange, symbolizes the perverse perseverance of the Jewish people through centuries of changing times, steadfastly adapting to successive eras to remain the last (non-undead) holdover from the Mesopotamian Era of the Dombrowski Cats.

    His sweetness is not something you can just taste with a quick bite. You must peel off the layers of sub-.240 batting averages and stuff to truly appreciate the Inge.

    Plus, can you think of ANYTHING that rhymes with “orange” other than “Or Inge?”

  10. I LOVE it, Sam! Chag sameach! :)

  11. My gosh, the Jeremy Bonderman egg! How funny! How true!!

    This was really interesting Samara.

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  13. Ma nishtanah halailah hazeh mikol haleilot?

    This was a masterpiece

    Happy Pesach..we miss you at MTS..check in once in a while.

  14. Wow, Holy Hammerin’ Hank, what a fun surprise…I can imagine a bunch of Tigers putting orange paw marks on their doorposts so that the Smoking Man passes them by when he’s making his final cuts…

    Very clever having Matzah-Porcello, the unrisen, and yet…well, let’s hope he isn’t doomed to break in the middle of the season!

    Love the pickled look on Dontrelle (and good on ya’ for not taking the easy way with Miggy here!).
    I believe Dontrelle is that problematic 5th cup…

  15. Each and every one of these was an awesome link from the symbolism of the seder to the symbolism of each player’s role on the Tigers. Austin Jackson was just mind-numbingly perfect, and “if you say you really love him people look at you like you’re crazy”… Way to close out the post. Happy Passover!

  16. These are just lovely. I actually think of Dontrelle as Elijah. You just keep opening the door for him but he never shows up. But we’ll still keep a place at the table (and on the 25 man roster) for him, just because of TRADITION!

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  18. Tom, I dunno, it’s going to be a sad Thanksgiving this year without the PolancoTurkey. :(

    IHaveNoCleverNickname, thanks!

    PfP, he is merely reclining comfortably in it!

    Misopogon, that is beautiful. I feel uplifted on the inside and the Inge-side. For diversity! For inclusivity! For trying to peel an orange all in one go! For third base!

    h2o, thanks!

    Jules, I tried to think of something symbolically appropriate for the egg, but in the end the allure of Bondo’s natural egg-like head proved too strong to resist.

    sportz4life, this night is different from all other nights because we remember the exodus of the Jews from Egypt via these Tigers. You know, naturally. ;)

    Coleman, let’s think of it this way… the matzah was strong enough to sustain the Jews as they started their trek through the desert, which means it has to be pretty damn strong indeed. And despite its underdeveloped disadvantages as compared to normal bread, it has persisted through all the years since!

    Swampy, thanks! It’s hard to do these when the holiday falls before the season starts, because we don’t really know how things will fall out and all that, but we do what we can with the info we’ve got.

    NCDee, I literally lol’d at the reasoning behind Dontrelle-as-Elijah. Spectacular.

  19. Brilliant. Makes me wonder, “How is this season different from every other season?”

    Next year…in Comerica!

  20. Ha! Bondo egg. Fun and educational. Thanks :)

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