illustrations and photos by Samara Pearlstein
This past Saturday was Max Scherzer’s 29th birthday. July 27 is always extra special, because not only is it Max Scherzer’s birthday, it is also Mr. Dombrowski’s birthday. This year it was extra extra special, because it was also a Max Scherzer start. It was extra extra EXTRA special because Max pitched with the blue eye, and it was extra extra EXTRA EXTRA special because his teammates all chipped in to get him 10 runs of support so that he could get his 15th win. A happy birthday for all.
The Tigers acquired Jose Veras. The excitement was infinite. Who needs an incontrovertible closer when you have 10,000 middle relievers? Not these cats.
On Sunday the great Tigers vs. Umpires War of Major League Baseball continued, as Miguel Cabrera was ejected in the third inning for no immediately and readily discernible reason. It soon turned out that Chad Fairchild, the homeplate ump, had taken a dislike to Miggy’s dislike of his strike calling. Apparently Cabrera said something after the first pitch, Fairchild told him to can it, and when Miggy piped up again after the second pitch, Fairchild threw him out with great immediacy and extreme prejudice. Thing is, Cabrera had not even turned around to voice his complaints or show up the umpire in any way. Even if he really said something that bad, it was as much to himself as anything else. It was a totally uncalled-for ejection in the opinions of Miguel Cabrera and the entirety of the crowd, which proceeded to scream at Fairchild sporadically throughout the remainder of the game (a repeated opinion: “We didn’t pay to see you, Chad!”).
Also deeply unimpressed was Jim Leyland, who stormed onto the field and was ejected in his turn. Of course, his feelings about the umpires are well known.
I was at the game, and let me assure you, he was quite displeased.
On Tuesday Alex Avila hit the first grand slam of his career. Even if you were not watching the FSD broadcast, you already knew in your heart of hearts that Rod Allen called it a grand salami. You knew, and you were glad.
As I said, I was in Detroit this past weekend for the games. Both were highly enjoyable for a variety of reasons, but something extra special and exciting happened at the Saturday game. Here is a little preview:
But you will have to wait a little bit to get the full photographic report.