illustrations by Samara Pearlstein
The Tigers have problems this year with the Boston Red Sox. This is maybe an understatement. It’s kind of extra sad because, of course, the Sox have been scuffling quite a bit in 2011, but after five games with the Tigers people were starting to talk about the Red Sox Getting Back on Track and starting to Do What They Were Supposed to Do, Achieving their Destiny and Beginning to Take Their Rightful Place in the Standings and other such dramatic-novel-storyline statements. Thanks for the boost, cats!
The Sox were on a roll, a juggernautic series of games in which they had won 13 of 15 and scored 5+ runs in nine of those. They were not shut out once over that entire stretch. The Detroit weather had forced the last game of the Sox/Tigers series to be played as the latter half of a day/night doubleheader that was not even going to be televised until the last minute. Not wicked promising.
BUT JUSTIN VERLANDER WAS HAVING NONE OF THAT.
He four-hit the Sox (three singles, one double). He pitched into the 8th inning. He outdueled Josh Beckett. He did that Verlander thing where he was throwing in the high 90s long after his pitch count had passed the century mark. He marched up to the Red Sox and said, “HAY. I’ve had enough of you and your bats. I’m winning this game whether you like it or not.” And they did not like it, but when Justin Verlander puts his foot down, there’s nothing much anyone can do about it.
We’re not worthy, we’re not worthy, etc.
He’s been playing well lately, both at the plate and in the field, but this cartoon is here because the Detroit Free Press has accused Andy Dirks of BLACK MAGIC:
I realize that this is a snip of the shenanigans writers get up to when the rainouts are depriving them of actual things to write about but they are still required to get articles out there. The article offers no actual evidence of Dirks’ dabbling in meteorological manipulation via supernatural means, but I think we can all see what’s being implied here. You better watch out, Andy. John Lowe is on the job and you won’t be able to hide those arcane chalk symbols on the clubhouse walls from his eagle eyes forever.