Tigers drag in Leyland’s 1500th win with agonizing slowness, but there it is.

illustrations by Samara Pearlstein

It may not have been quick, it may not have been tidy, but it was a win. And that makes it Jim Leyland’s 1,500th win as a manager! Only Tony The Russa has more. This is something to be celebrated, preferably with a dedication to achieving the 1,501st win, the 1,502nd win, and so on.

–This win also puts the Tigers back at .500 with a 7-7 record. Weak yay!

–Someone had a vuvuzela at this game. Impossible to know if it was an Oakland or a Detroit fan, but whoever it was stuck around for the whole thing, because that sucker was buzzing away alllllll night long.

–Rod recognized some of Kenny Williams’ ‘lieutenants’ in the stands, scouting the Tigers. Look, nothing gets past Rod Allen, ok? He spies on the spies. He knows everyone, and he knows all. You aren’t going to pull any wool over our eyes so long as Rod Allen is on high watching, Wrong Sox.

–Extra innings in a game that started after 10:00pm for many of us are just… ugh. I appreciate the effort and all, but it’s almost 2:30am now because I forced myself to write this stupid blog and there were extra innings and, you know what, I blame Brian Fuentes. He seems responsible.

–Coco Crisp cut his ‘fro way back. I know it’s wicked difficult to maintain one as large as the puff he was sporting yesterday, but from a pure fashion standpoint, it’s disappointing. Anyways, this is what it USED to look like:

–The game felt so filled with struggles and angst and Not Hitting in the sixth that it was really remarkable that the score was only 1-0. It felt like the Tigers should have been down 10 by that point. Somehow, they weren’t. This failure on the part of the A’s to take advantage was what left the door open for the late feline rally, and turned a soul-crushing drag of a game into an unlikely Tiger win. If you let a not-awful team hang around for that long, they’ll make you pay for it eventually. Let this be a lesson to you all.

–Phil Coke was a wrestler in high school.

So when he challenged a Tigers reporter to a match during an early Spring Training appearance, he was being serious.

“I had a two-inning start and didn’t break a sweat,” Coke said. “I didn’t even get my adrenaline going. So I asked ‘Want to wrestle?’ He kept saying, ‘No, no, no.’ I said ‘There’s a soft sofa I can body slam you against.’ It wouldn’t have hurt at all.”
DetroitTigers.com/Rick Eymer

I… what?

–According to Rod, Al Alburquerque was so excited to be up that he got to the ballpark 6 hours early yesterday. Mario’s reaction: “What was he doing??” Good question. Rolling around on the grass, that’s my guess. It’s what I would do, anyways.

–He was wearing his socks up. YES. Also, when he came in, it was AlAl replacing FredFred, pitching to AlAv, which is the very thing we had all hoped for so much. There may or may not have been tears of joy in my eyes at the time.

–Rod: “Got that Mr. T starter kit on, I see!… That’s a big rope!”
Mario (laughing): “Did you just call it a rope?”
Rod (indignant): “That’s what they call it!”

They were talking about Alburquerque’s chain necklace. Although really it wasn’t all that big, he was just wearing it along with a beaded rosary, and the two together looked like one massive necklace at times.

–Brayan Villarreal’s hair looked extra soft and fluffy– dare I say snuggly?– in this one. I’m sure under the hat it looked like wet roadkill but the bit sticking out from the back was particularly nice tonight. I dunno. I wanted to pet it.

–At one point, after the game had gone to extras, they showed Miguel Cabrera sitting with Austin Jackson in the dugout. They were both kind of slouching on the bench, talking about something. Miggy says something that makes Austin laugh. They bump fists, bro-tastically. End scene. WITH LOVE.

–It was Jackie Robinson Day, so everyone was wearing 42. With no names on the uniforms and no identifying numbers, Jackie Robinson Day forces you to pay attention to and recognize the players themselves, by their faces, if you want to keep things straight. As an unintended consequence of the tribute it’s actually quite fitting.

Anyways, I drew a thing.

Could’ve used more reference… oh well. Deal.

–You know what’s the worst? I will tell you. It’s when the last thing you watch is a very late night FSD Tigers broadcast, where they play April in the D commercials at seemingly every single commercial break, so one of the last things you hear before trying to go to bed is the April in the D song. Yeah. You know where this is going.

The April in the D song gets stuck in your head when all you want to do is sleep. Sweet, sweet unconsciousness, I just want to slide headlong into you, but I cannot, because APRIL IN THE D APRIL IN THE D FOX SPORTS DEEEEE TROIT OH BLESSED PAWS SEVER MY BRAIN FROM MY SPINAL CORD AND END THIS AGONY

29 responses to “Tigers drag in Leyland’s 1500th win with agonizing slowness, but there it is.

  1. Your fantastic Leyland cartoon reminds me of an exchange with an usher that happened today. Rod came over (the usher, not Rod Allen, sadly), and told me how a lady over in his section had been saying, “I have a really sensitive nose, someone is smoking here!” And Rod was like, “This is a smoke-free facility! I can’t figure out who it is.” I just grinned at him: “Dude, it’s LEYLAND.” He burst out laughing–“Oh my god, you’re right!” Hehehehe.

    Cookie news: AJax continues to munch away. The bullpen would like a larger portion for tomorrow (they only got 4 today). I love Scott Pickens. :) And I’ve been telling everyone within hearing distance to come read RotT!!!

  2. Lol, awesome! We were second row again behind the Tygs’ dugout–I was next to my friend in a green beanie, and my dad on the other side. Sound right? How are you still up? You’re gonna be super sleep-deprived … but the Tygs are worth it!! :)

    • I am definitely going to be sleep deprived, ha ha… it’s 9 am here and I’m up again, ’cause the Sox have a day game and I’m going. BASEBALL SEASON

      Sounds exactly right, I think the shot was of you and your dad. Your dad was looking up and talking to an usher or somesuch, you were like rooting around for something at your feet, but we could see you reppin’ with the Tigers hat. :)

  3. hahahahaahahaaaahaha hahaha ha i am delirious with lack of sleep

    but anyway! brotastic fist bumps! phil coke being crazy and begging writers to wrestle him! alberto alburquerque being so jacked up he comes to the park six hours early! there is nothing about this post i don’t love!

    i snorted out loud at the ‘wet roadkill’ part. his hair looked so fluffy and vibrant.

    anyway… i’m going to go to sleep with “Friday” by Rebecca Black as interpreted by a bad lip reader stuck in my head. so there’s that.

  4. OK, first of all, I totally called the Fred-Fred/Al-Al things so there (pause…little dance).

    Secondly I was actually sitting within arms length, if I had really ridiculously long superhuman arms, of the bullpen mound, and got to see Al-Al warming up and…well, it was the sort of thing to make one immediately all fan-like about him.

    First of all, when he got called to warm up, he had the hugest grin on his face, like “oh! oh! I might get into the game!,” which even confused the A’s fan (he was the only guy they didn’t heckle while he was warming up). Then he got all serious and got down to business. The funny thing about Al-Al is he has this very…something (hey, I’m tired, I’ll think of the word later) posture, which is somehow not very baseball-player like (not slouchy enough).

    Anyway, he was warming up in the 6th, and Porcello was in a bit of a jam, and got a K for the 3rd out–with a very demonstrative pump fist–which even elicited a “hell yeah” from some unknown on the bullpen bench…except poor Al just did this gesture where he waved his hands at the waist and walked off the mound, and you realized he was saying OH OH I’M NOT GOING TO GET IN THE GAME. Poor Al!

    But then someone turned him around (I didn’t see who, I’m assuming the bullpen coach) and sent him right back. Oh, no, son, you most certainly ARE going in the game! And then again the big grin, and then serious, and all the while the posture.

    Anyway, hope the link works, but an iPhoney pic of Al-Al beginning to warm up.


  5. Also: Villarreal (who I am now calling Rreality Show, feel free to borrow) is the most intense warmer-upper ever. He is completely serious, looks impatient if it takes too long to get the ball back to him, has a total game face, and throws really HARD; I don’t mean Joel Zumaya FAST, but he’s giving everything every pitch. It’s not that you can hear the ball, you can hear his ARM.

    And when it was his turn to do the thing where he stands behind the warmup pitcher and makes sure he doesn’t get picked off by a foul ball (see Alburquerque pic) he also does that very intensely (“you will have to kill me before your foul ball so much as touches my fellow relief pitcher!”).

    Benoit, on the other hand, does have the slouchy baseball posture (his glove was half hanging off his hand for a while), and barely throws when he warms up. He obviously has a certain kind of confidence, which a relief pitcher needs. Not a Valverde “I will strike you out and dance on your grave” confidence, or an Eckersley “I will shoot you between the eyes and you will never see me draw” thing, but a more relaxed kind of “um, yeah, pitching, I think I pretty much know how to do that @!#!”…kind of a pitching version of Cabrera.

    And Schlereth spent literally an hour stretching and jumping about and warming up before he came in. Then he pitched to one batter, and went and took a shower. Weird job, huh.

    Anyway tonight convinced me the best seats in the Coliseum are right behind the bullpens.

    (Oh yes, and Brad Thomas warmed up about 5 times, just in case the bullpen roof collapsed on all the other pitchers or something. He did seem very genial though, and his warmup pitches were the most consistent, every one exactly the same. But I guess maybe that’s the problem, now that I think about it).

    • Can I just say that I love this detailed bullpen report? Thank you. :) The last time I sat above a bullpen for a game it was like 7 or 8 years ago, and it was in DC in old RFK Stadium on a night where it was 1000 degrees, so I was not paying very close attention.

      I am so excited that AlAl is so excited. ONE OF US, ONE OF US

  6. Great Jackie Robinson drawing and good thought about the unintended benefit.

    Looks like Leyland could have a career as a pinup if he doesn’t decide to shoot for 2000 wins.

  7. Pingback: Tiger Manager Jim Leyland joins 1500 win club! « Michigan in Pictures

  8. I have to tell you, the same thing happened to me. It was all 1:50 am, and I am dragging tail up to bed, and APRILINTHEDAPRILINTHEDAPRILINTHED will not stop, ever, ever, ever. Sigh. 15 more days of it.

  9. cracked up when you said you wanted to pet Brayan’s hair. In the Coco drawing, it’s looks as if he is holding his hair up because it’s soooo heavy.

  10. i love your blog and the cartoons belong in the hall.

  11. I literally had tears in my eyes when AlAl came in to replace FredFred. Oh, how amazing it was(: I’m so glad AlAl had a good outing, and that FredFred pitched well. Can FSDetroit get an AlAl cam? So we can just watch him…ALL the time? The little bit that I actually saw of him warming up was freaking ADORABLE. I can only imagine what kind of amazing would pile up with an AlAl cam…

  12. Maybe Crisp just didn’t comb out the ‘fro yesterday, because Rod leaked during Thursday’s game that he (CC) was planning to have it braided by his personal stylist during an off day next week. Anyway the drawing, 100% accurate.

  13. Games are so worth staying up for when they’re full of FredFreds, AlAls and AlAvs.

    I take ’em without the April in the D song, though. I hope there’s a special spot in purgatory for whoever came up with that concept.

  14. Al Alburquerque and Alex Avila–the AA battery

  15. You mean they DIDN’T???

  16. I had the identical experience, Ed, and also did the battery substitute. Worked for a although, but eventually had the same problem. I’m sure each successive generation is more preferable, but now I’m pissed down! So I moved onto a Nomad + Bing Music and I’ve been happy thus far. Georgianna Shugars

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