Last year we covered the seder plate. This year we will be covering a different aspect of the Passover holiday: the 10 plagues. These were terrible events visited upon the Egyptian Pharaoh and his subjects, basically as a way of harassing them into letting the Jewish people go while at the same time convincing them that the Jews had God on their side. It had to escalate to the plague level because the Pharaoh was totally not being reasonable about that whole enslavement thing.
Here at Roar of the Tigers we will be explaining the plagues in terms of deadly Detroit Tigers, working to free the team (the Chosen people, natch) from the clutches of everyone else in the Central. This is probably blasphemy in some way, but let’s be real, if Carlos Guillen reclining semi-salaciously in a dish of horseradish didn’t put you off last year, this shouldn’t either.
The Ten Plagues, Detroit Tigers Style
The first plague involved turning the water of the Nile river into blood. Not only did this, you know, turn the river into a river of blood, it also killed all the fish. Double whammy. Here Will Rhymes uses his Science to turn the Cuyahoga River into a torrent of CLEVELAND BLOOD.
The second plague was a plague of frogs. There were just frogs all over the place, all over the homes of the Egyptians, clogging the roads, all up in the Pharaoh’s business in his palace, everywhere. I guess this was more annoying and disturbing than deadly, although I guess you could slip and fall on a frog. That would be pretty rough. Brandon Inge of course is the frog, because he leaps about the field with power and abandon.
This plague is variously translated– the one we’ve always used at our seders is ‘vermin’, but I’ve also seen it as ‘gnats’ or ‘lice’. The general idea is that something small, annoying, and probably insectile was sent out in massive swarms to bother the heck out of the Egyptians. Austin Jackson gets this plague because he swarms all over the vast Comerica Park outfield, bothering the heck out of anyone trying to hit balls in that direction.
The fourth plague was a plague of ferocious wild beasts, which descended upon the Egyptians and their livestock, doing ferocious beastly things. A lot of clawing and gnawing and loud beasty noises, I would expect. Papa Grande and Paws share this plague, for all the obvious reasons.
Another variously translated plague. I’ve always known it as ‘cattle disease’ but you will see it elsewhere as ‘pestilence’ or something similar. The plague’s plague. It was supposed to take out most of the Egyptians’ livestock (not just the cattle). I had to think for a long time, debating which Tiger would represent this one, but I settled on Alex Avila in the end because he hunts and that’s killing livestock-like animals and he also probably grills things? Grilling things involves livestock also, when that livestock is dead.
The sixth plague, fairly self-explanatory. Doing things to the livestock had not convinced the Egyptians to let the Jews go, so the plagues went direct to the people themselves. The boils were uncomfortable and disfiguring, and the fact that they all sprang up at once was supposed to be further evidence of Godly might or something. Justin Verlander is handing out the boils as he pelts batters with 95+mph fastballs. Although I guess those are more welts than boils? Either way. Painful skin eruptions!
This plague consisted of a crazy powerful storm, with lots of destructive hail. It was bad for the crops and the livestock, and any people who couldn’t shelter effectively from it. Probably busted up a lot of buildings too. Miguel Cabrera generates hail by smashing the storm clouds with his mighty home run blasts, of course, that is how weather works.
You’d think the crops had suffered enough already, but just in case there was anything left, the eighth plague was a plague of locusts, which descended in a huge swarm and ate everything that was there to be eaten. The plagues were big on swarms. There was the swarm of frogs, the vermin/gnats/lice swarm, the plague of wild beasts actually translates directly to something more like ‘mixture/swarm’, and locusts are all about the swarm. Brad Penny is the locust because he’s eating the crops.
For the second to last plague, Egypt was plunged into darkness. All the lights in the sky (sun, moon, stars) were extinguished, and there could be no fire-light in the houses of the Egyptians either. Obviously this was bad for photosynthesizing things, and was highly disconcerting to the livestock and people. Also inconvenient. Max Scherzer here is smashing lights, bringing about the darkness, because it doesn’t matter to him– he can see in the dark with his magical eyes. Duh.
Slaying of the firstborn male
The last and nastiest plague, this was what it says on the tin: the Angel of Death went around and knocked off the firstborn sons of all Egyptians, from the Pharaoh on down to the people who cleaned the Pharaoh’s toilets or whatever toilet-equivalent they had at that point in human history. Which is totally punishing the people for the sins of the leader, like that toilet cleaner really cared about keeping the Jews enslaved? Pretty rude to go killing their firstborn sons too. But you know what the Torah/Bible is like, smiting this and slaying that and everyone being jerks to everyone else, plus all that moral absolutism.
Jim Leyland is the Angel of Death here, because he is responsible for sending down the youthful prospects when he decides their time has come, and he’s also the oldest Tiger in the dugout, so he gets the responsibility of the flaming sword and all that.
This was the plague that finally convinced the Pharaoh to tell the Jews to get the hell out of his lands, which was all they had wanted in the first place. I think we all know what Jim Leyland has to do. Jim Thome, Omar Vizquel, Orlando Cabrera, Matt Treanor– you better watch out.
Happy Passover, kids and kittens!