riding the Rhino to victory

illustration by Samara Pearlstein

True blogger story time. I prefer to get post cartoons one of three ways: a) something drawn, scanned, and colored quickly right after a game; b) a cartoon I have used before, or one that was just hanging out on my hard drive because I scanned it in and then forgot about it or something; and c) a cartoon I draw right BEFORE a game, hoping it will still be relevant after the game.

The ideal way to do this, of course, is (a), because you never know what sorts of shenanigans are going to go down, who’s going to have a good or spectacularly bad game, etc. But (b) happens a lot when I’m really busy and don’t have time to go through the whole draw/scan/color thing, or the game runs really late and I’m tired by the end and it’s all I can do to type words that are mostly spelled properly. I usually only do (c) if I know for a fact that I’m going to be tired/I have an exceptionally early morning the next day/I know I’m going to miss a good chunk of the game, and I haven’t posted a new cartoon in a while so I’m starting to guilt myself about it.

HOWEVER, almost EVERY SINGLE TIME I doodle a Terrible Cartoon before the game, the player in the cartoon fails horrifically during the game. Even if I have drawn something generic and innocuous, like Miguel Cabrera swinging a bat– that will be the day when Miggy goes 0-for-5 and also bobbles an easy play at first. Almost without fail. Paws forbid I’ve gone with a cartoon of the starting pitcher, he’ll have to exit early because he’s crying blood on the mound.

Today I had Ryan Raburn riding the rhino done well before the game… and Rhino had a two-run homer that ended up being almost all the Tiger scoring for the night! At Yankee Stadium! And the Tigers won! (Even though Papa Grande did his very best to Fernando us.) YES. Victory! Thank you for bucking the trend, Rhino, and making everyone’s lives easier.

Oh, and while I was away, apparently this happened?

What is this? Fighting the other team, yes, I approve. Fighting each other, NO. Bad kitties!

Manager Jim Leyland didn’t mind the scuffle. In fact, he said, “I kind of liked it.”

The passion. The intensity.

Perhaps Johnny Damon summed it up best: “All I know is dissension breeds winners … we should’ve done it a long time ago.”
Shawn Windsor/Detroit Free Press

This is such a sack of hairballs. If the Tigers had lost that game, this sort of thing would be seen as a sign of a cancer-riddled clubhouse, tempers flaring fruitlessly, all sort of badness. But because they won, it’s a ‘winners’ thing? Please. The one good bit is the fact that Gerald Laird came running to Alex Avila’s defense, because this team really is chock full of kittens, they’re just lil’ fuzzy babies, and SOMEone’s got to look out for them.

21 responses to “riding the Rhino to victory

  1. Pudge and Robertson had one of these fights in ’04, and it wasn’t a long term problem. Apparently, catchers and pitchers get mad at each other.

    • ‘dissension breeds winners’ is pretty stupid, though. And I think it’s true that if they had lost the game in some heart-breaking way, or the team got on a skid right then, the media would all be pointing to the trouble in the clubhouse as one of the major factors…

    • ivantopumpyouup

      I remember that. That was a good one.

    • I do also feel like that one was a little bit different, because in that ’04 spat it was all adults there, you know? At least Nate had been around a little, and Pudge of course was MR. UBER VETERAN. Avila is just a kitten, if his pitchers are getting mad at him it’s not quite the same as someone taking issue with Pudge.

  2. Ahhhhh I LOVE THE RABURN CARTOON!!! It’s so perfect and colorful and awesome! Two thumbs up for that!

  3. Heh – using “Fernando” as a verb – perfect. After the game Jim Leyland attributed Valverde’s mini-disaster to Todd Jones being in the house, which cracked me up.

  4. I saw Armando’s interview about it. He kept comparing it to a marriage, basically saying a pitcher and a catcher fight like a husband and a wife. Ummm, okay…

    I love the idea of Jim Leyland as an evil Bond villian, cooing, “Eeexcellent” as his team fights each other, though. The only thing missing is a mini-Paws in his arms. Because, you know, great villians always have cats.

    But, yay! We’ve won three in a row!

  5. That “eeexcellent” is Monty Burns (note the fingers together a la Burns) and it’s brilliant.

  6. valverde totally tried to fernando us! you’re right.
    the whole sketchy thing about the little catfight (ha) was that FSN didn’t show it or mention it while it happened…

  7. Last day of voting for Minor Moniker Madness.

    In honor of our battlin’ bengals, I’m lobbying for Rowdy Hardy in the finals. My problem with Seth Schwindenhammer is
    –the name’s not that weird, just long
    –it busies up the back of a baseball shirt considerably
    –he inexplicably beat out the lovable, euphonious Beamer Weems 2 rounds ago.

    Rowdy Hardy. All-American boy. A name you can trust. Vot now or forever hold your schwindenhammers.

  8. I enjoy every single expression in the slap fight.

  9. Speaking of great minor league monikers, the Tigers signed Chance Ruffin! I don’t know a thing about him, but I already love him ;)

  10. Tigers sign a guy named Chance and another one named Smyly! You can’t make this stuff up.

    JD got negative points for saying dissension breeds winners, unless he’s speaking in opposites.

  11. Speaking of pitchers we never see anymore, what happened to that Alfredo Figaro character?

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