Category Archives: Alex Avila

Opening Day 2015: a roaring success

illustration by Samara Pearlstein

Everything old is new again. There is green grass in the world, if not in our yards. The crack of wood is a welcome sound, and no longer a reminder that the roof needs to be shoveled. Suddenly it is acceptable to eat hot dogs at all hours of the day again. It’s Opening Day, and the Tigers are victorious.

David Price: 8.2 innings, 5 hits, 5 Ks, no runs, no walks. This is precisely why he got the Opening Day start. This is the kind of pitching that causes Tigers fans to walk around with hearts in their eyes, chanting his name under their breath all day. Maybe that’s just me? No, I know some of you are doing it too.

JD Martinez hit the first Tigers home run of the season, and I believe the first home run of the MLB season. May this be a sign of hits to come.

Yoenis Cespedes hit a double and a triple and it was all to the good.

Alex Avila homered and called a good game (although some of the umping was interesting). Kirk Gibson, new in the booth this year, could not for the life of him pronounce ‘Avila’. He kept saying ‘Avill-eeah’ and similar. This despite the fact that Rod and Mario were right there in the booth with him, pronouncing it correctly. I suppose Alex will just have to keep on hitting home runs so that Gibby can get a lot of practice saying his name. Obviously this is the best possible solution to this problem.

Joe Nathan faced one batter, did not immediately die or embarrass himself or the Tigers organization.

Jose Iglesias stole TWO whole bases! Rajai Davis stole one. What is this Tigers team, that runs on the bases and isn’t necessarily a sure out? Is this going to be our new reality? I will need some time to adjust.

Baseball is back, you guys. Bask in the warmth of this Opening Day win, and rest secure in the knowledge that there will be even MORE baseball in a couple of days. And then we have Tigers baseball for weeks and months after that! There is much that is terrible in the world, but this fact is a force for good.

PS: This Kickstarter is still a thing! Be on the lookout for a special drawing process video soon!

Happy Tigers Passover 2015!

It’s time once again for everyone to learn a thing or two about Passover via Tigers cartoons: the best educational method the internet has ever devised.

As many of you know, ceremonial dinners called seders mark the first two nights of the Passover holiday. The centerpiece of a seder is the seder plate, which displays food items symbolic of various bits of the Passover tale (which is the ‘Moses leading the people out of slavery in Egypt story’).

illustrations by Samara Pearlstein

The Paschal lamb or shankbone represents the sacrificial offering, which was traditionally a lamb. Alex Avila, as the most consistently beat-up Tiger, is very obviously our sacrificial lamb. We offer him up on the altar of home plate, hoping that the Baseball Gods will be appeased by the gift of his body.

The karpas is a green vegetable (often parsley) that is dipped in salt water. This represents the tears shed by the Jews while they were enslaved in Egypt, building pyramids for the Pharaohs and whatnot. As he will be starting the season on the DL, it is only appropriate that Justin Verlander is the karpas this year. His tears flow as freely as his triceps do not.

The maror or bitter herbs is just shredded horseradish (although horseradish is naturally white, at a seder you often see bright red maror, which has been mixed with beet juice). This represents the bitterness and harshness that the Jews suffered while they were enslaved. JD Martinez experienced great bitterness and suffering while in the Astros organization, before he was led through the Red Sea by Dave Dombrowski to the promised land of Detroit.

What is the deal with the egg? It is always included on the seder plate, but there are many conflicting stories about why it’s there. One story has the egg as an ancient symbol of fertility and rebirth (as the Jews come out of slavery and are reborn as a free people). One has the egg as a symbol of mourning, because all sorts of Jewish holy sites had been destroyed. One has the egg as another representation of the sacrificial offering, which is confusing because that’s also the shankbone, and those are from two different animals, so… it’s there because it’s a nice symbol for all sorts of things, I guess. This is Miguel Cabrera, certainly a fine symbol of the rebirth of the Tigers, and sometimes a sacrificial offering in the lineup, especially if he’s not adequately protected by a strong slugger batting behind him. He’s not really a symbol of mourning right now, and hopefully we will keep it that way.

The charoset is a mix of chopped up nuts and apples and spices, representing the mortar that the Jews had to use to build things for the Egyptians. Nick Castellanos, as the youngest member of the Tigers right now, is what we are going to build upon.

The matzah is usually next to the seder plate, not on it, but it is a vital part of any seder, and one of the most recognizable symbols of Passover for Jews and goys alike. When they were getting out of Egypt, the Jews had to leave ASAP, with very little warning. They had to grab bread right out of the ovens to take on the journey, so it didn’t have time to rise. That’s matzah. The fastest Tiger is Rajai Davis so… Matzah Davis.

Have a very Happy Passover, cats and kittens!

And so.

cartoons from the recent Tigers games

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.

Happy New Year from Roar of the Tigers!

illustration by Samara Pearlstein

Perhaps not the most appropriate or likely Tigers for a New Years image in many ways, but in one way they are the most appropriate of all. Happy 2013, kids and kittens!

Things of late, as Terrible Cartoons, of course.

illustrations by Samara Pearlstein

I’m just going to lead with that one because it makes me happy in my optic nerves. Everyone in the wide world of Tigers fans has his or her own opinion about the team. There is naturally a great deal of disagreement. But there is one thing upon which we can all agree, one thing that may be safely and universally acknowledged as an unequivocally beautiful sight: Alex Avila, pleased with his own walk-off hit, being doused in purple Gatorade by an almost unhealthily giddy Papa Grande. It is a fine thing, a fine thing indeed.

Especially when Avila’s jersey then gets all wet and it’s all sticking to his torso and it’s a home jersey so it’s white and bits get translucent when soaked, and you get all mad at FSD for not getting longer and more torso-inclusive shots post-soaking, and now I’ve said too much. Thank you, Papa Grande.

This keeps on happening, and I suppose it too is a fine thing. Every silver lining, of course, has its cloud, and Scherzer’s high K-counts are still tagging along with the logically attendant high pitch counts, but for now we will accept it.

Doug Fister injured his groin. The jokes came thick and fast and inevitably. Everyone is just real sorry about that, Mister Fister, but what do you expect from us? We are baseball fans. We are all ten years old.

Miguel Cabrera’s ankle has been sore for a while, and Leyland is finally paying attention, giving him some DH time and just now a day off. I haven’t seen anything more specific than “sore” to describe the State of Miggy’s Ankle, aside from this Mothership blurb earlier in the month:

During the Boston series, Miguel Cabrera fouled a ball off his left shin and, as a result, the third baseman has been experiencing some “drainage” in his ankle, head athletic trainer Kevin Rand said on Sunday morning.

“He’s just getting some drainage in his ankle from that,” Rand said. “His [lower] leg gets sore just the more he’s on it.”
Jason Beck/Anthony Odoardi,

What in the world does that mean? How can an ankle be experiencing ‘drainage’? That sounds anatomically difficult and worrying. I cannot know, I can only draw.

Drew Smyly is back! He got a spot start and should be sticking around in the bullpen even when he gets bumped from the rotation.

The persistence of Delmon Young’s mustache should be a source of concern for us all. But he has also been on a bit of a hitting tear lately. Does this… does this mean that the mustache is actually doing the hitting for him?? I think this is a possibility that we need to deeply consider. It would explain how that upper lip d├ęcor has hung around this long, despite (what must surely be) the strong recommendations of everyone who knows Delmon personally and also has eyes.

Just throwing this one in for good luck. The mantises have been back in attendance, all over MLB, and yes, they have been spotted– and occasionally photographed— in Detroit. Praise be!

Handle with caution.

illustration by Samara Pearlstein


–Quintin Berry hitting a walkoff single for the win.

–A variety of scraptastic Tigers small-ballin’ it up to get into position for a Quintin Berry single to win the game.

–Taking two of three from the Cardinals, and hitting the road after winning four out of six games in Detroit.

–Prince Fielder’s big blast.

–An effective bullpen. MADNESS!

–Jacob Turner issuing five walks in five innings.

–Don Kelly barking his knee on the wall.

–Very little offensive production over the course of the game, including the usual collective refusal/inability to work walks.

Most important:

Alex Avila is back from the DL! DO NOT INJURE HIM AGAIN, BASEBALL. This statement would hold true regardless, but it’s especially vital in the face of G-Money’s crampy sore hamstrings and the excision of Bryan Holaday. Just… just keep him in good condition, ok? I know that he’s far from a precious delicate snowflake, but I can’t stand to see him injured, you can’t stand to see him injured, the pitchers don’t like to see him injured, Jim Leyland doesn’t like dealing with him constantly whining about getting back into the lineup when he’s injured, and so on.

I don’t care how this is done. Mummify him in caution tape and bubblewrap, put him in a small unbreakable box, hire Kyle Farnswoth to physically threaten opposing players who attempt to slide sharply into him– whatever. He is (nominally) healthy right now. Keep him that way. There are important things in the game of baseball but keeping Alex Avila and his magical fast-renewing facial hair fresh and healthy and in front of our baseball-watchin’ eyes is one of the Most Important Things. See to it, MLB.