illustrations by Samara Pearlstein
Here’s how it went down, Tigers-wise.
Justin Verlander: Did not play, due to pitching the Sunday before the break.
Jose Valverde: Did not play, due to lack of opportunity/lack of a bottom of the 9th inning.
Alex Avila: Grounded out to short, grounded out to first, caught 5 innings, had 3 bases stolen while he was behind the plate, caught one guy off the bag.
Jhonny Peralta: Subbed in at shortstop in the 5th, popped out in his only at-bat.
Miguel Cabrera: Subbed in at first base in the 5th, grounded out in his only at-bat. He was removed in the 7th with ‘soreness’ in his ‘side’, i.e. IT’S HIS OBLIQUE WE’RE ALL DOOMED DOOMED DOOMED.
(Actually this appears to have been a small twinge and a precautionary removal. Miggy indicated that if it was a regular season game instead of the stupid All Star Game, he would have stayed in and played through it. Still, given the history between Tigers and obliques, I feel obligated to insert some panic into the discussion.)
Not the greatest Tigers All Star showing ever, but it’s hard to care. So long as everyone comes out of it happy and healthy (Miguel), and their kids had a good time, and they took their significant others out to a nice dinner or several, it’s ok. If they were talking up the wonders of playing in Detroit to future free agents in the clubhouse, so much the better.
Some other All Star stuff that’s in bulletpoints because I am far too apathetic about the ASG to put this into proper connected paragraph form:
–Prince Fielder’s kids, Haven and Jaden, were in attendance. They both have great hair. You can’t see it in that shot, but Haven, the one with the mohawk, has the old school Brewers logo shaved into the side of his head.
–Heath Bell charging across the outfield as fast as he could and then going into a slide on the infield when he entered the game as a relief pitcher was the Actual Gameplay highlight of the night.
–Justin Verlander is a workaholic and everyone loves it. He would have normally thrown his bullpen session on Tuesday, and he was not about to let a little something like the All Star Game get in the way of his routine. Josh Beckett was impressed.
“He threw a bullpen at the All-Star Game,” Red Sox All-Star Josh Beckett marveled, with a little bit of teasing, at the ace to his right in the clubhouse. “We’ll just call him Cy Young.”
He asked Avila to catch it for him, but Alex laughed him off. I wonder who did catch it, though?
–During the Home Run Derby, there were several shots of D’Angelo Ortiz looking a little bit sulky and bored. It could be that he was tired; it could just be that All Star Games and HR Derbies are no big deal to him anymore… but I suspect he was missing Little Victor.
–Justin Verlander rented a private plane to take him to Arizona, because he is rich and fancy. Because he’s also a good teammate, he flew the other Tigers All Stars down with him. Because he’s a good person, he ALSO flew down the single lonely KC Royals representative, Aaron Crow, who didn’t even get into the game. The Royals are the ultimate Sadface.
But Justin Verlander, Midwest Baseball Transport, is not sadface at all.