Category Archives: all-consuming manlust

the Elvis Andrus lovefest

photo… thing by Samara Pearlstein

I think Rod and Mario are in love with Elvis Andrus. They could not stop talking about him during this game. Elvis Andrus this, Elvis Andrus that, look at Elvis Andrus gettin’ those hits, look at him doing things at the shortstop position, look at him stealing that base, Elvis has left the building, etc. Jim Leyland got in on the AndrusLoveFest after the game too, tossing off a totally unsolicited shout-out to the kid. It was a veritable storm of all-consuming manlust directed at a shortstop so young he doesn’t even really qualify for ‘manlust’ yet. It must be a purer, more innocent love.

And that’s OK. No need for the FSND crew or Leyland to feel bad. I kinda love the kid too.

After all, what’s not to love? He’s adorable and he hits the baseball on occasion and his name is Elvis and he’s got his whole future ahead of him, and did I mention how adorable he is? That may be the only thing that Rod and Mario did NOT oooh and aah over during the game.

In fact I would like to just sit here and think about Elvis Andrus’ adorable smiling face, and imagine how nice it would look in a Tigers hat, so that I don’t have to think about:

–the fact that the Hitting Vortex seems to be coming back with a vengeance

–the fact that the Tigers have not won a road game since July 3

–the fact that the Tigers put up 3 runs in one inning, and Luke French immediately gave it back plus one in the bottom of the same inning

–the three errors in this one game

–Ramon Santiago’s removal from the game after fouling a ball off of himself

–the way Mark Buehrle has been pitching (even though the Wrong Sox ultimately lost the game, which is something I do like to think about)

–the fact that THE LOATHSOME JASON GRILLI got the win for the Rangers

Yes, altogether more pleasant to join in the AndrusLoveFest. Seriously, have you seen his amazing smile? Look at this kid! Squee your heart out.

Tigers in Seattle, in photographic form!

Would you like to see a blog with photos from Tigers games that happened a couple of weeks ago? Actually I don’t know why I am asking, because you are getting them anyways!

I did promise, you know. I do this for you, readers! Also because I make a conscious effort to reject the instant-gratification nature of digital media in this blog in an attempt to make people think more deliberately about how they consume information online! Maybe also I was kinda busy.

We are looking at photos from the first two games of the Seattle series here. The Friday game was on April 17, it was the Justin Verlander/Felix Hernandez matchup that the Tigers ended up losing 6-3. Yeah. That one.

Serious Miguel Cabrera is serious.

This one will be hard to see unless you click through to view it at the much larger size, but what I have done is enlarged the inscription on Brandon Inge’s bat, and it reads, “Handcrafted for Brandon Inge THE ROCK 15“.

Ummmm WHAT. The company only makes custom bats so far as I can tell, so ‘The Rock’ is not a model name. It must be referring to either Brandon Inge’s specific bat, or to Brandon Inge himself. I demand an explanation, because the idea of Inge calling himself or his bat ‘The Rock’ is currently rendering me dead with hilarity.

Gerald Laird sees what you did there.

This following is particularly marvelous, in my humble bloggin’ opinion. The photos themselves are not spectacular or anything, but the Tiger interaction they represent is.

Inge and Cabrera were both (casually, not particularly attentively) taking infield BP. Inge had crouched down to wait for a ball to come his way. Cabrera decided to have a chortle at his expense…

…by humping him.

Inge was not, you know, thrilled when he realized what Cabrera was doing, and leapt up out of his crouch.

In retaliation he tried to pull Cabrera’s glove away from him so that he could, I don’t know, chuck it into the crowd or something.

But Cabrera is so much stronger that he was easily able to keep his glove out of Inge’s grasp.

It was all OK in the end, because everyone has a sense of humor. Happily.

More photos under the ‘read more’ link!

Continue reading

Welcome back Fernando… or not.


photo by Samara Pearlstein

I don’t know how many of you bothered staying up to watch all of this one, but Fernando Rodney did make his return to the majors at some point after midnight EDT. It was…. not pretty. I’m going to assume a lot of you were in fact happily snoozing through it, so I’ll explain what happened.

Verlander went 6, giving up 3 runs (only 2 earned). He struck out 7 and walked 1. Even though he had thrown 98 pitches through 6, he probably could have come out for the 7th if not for the fact that this was a National League game, thus played under a strange and imaginary set of rules. In the top of the 7th, with Pudge on third and the game tied, Michael Hollimon came up and made an out. Hollimon was batting 8th, so Verlander had been ready in the dugout, helmet on and everything (cheap laughs for all, as is ever the case with AL pitchers in batting gear), but with the Tigers needing to score as badly as they did, he was sent back to the bench and Edgah went out to pinch hit in his stead.

Now, Edgah did manage to sacrifice Pudge in for a run (although even this was dicey– Pudge had to slide past a backwards tag by a Molina at the plate, and although he was called safe, FSN replays sure made it look like Molina had managed to catch a bit of Pudge’s jersey), but if Hollimon had done it instead, Verlander almost certainly would have been allowed to go out there and make a fool of himself at the plate, and he would have started the next inning. As you read about the wreck that this game went on to become, just bear that in mind.

With Verlander out and the Tigers up by only a single run, Leyland brought in Freddy ‘Hot Sexy Pitching That’s Just Waiting for the League to Adjust’ Dolsi, who has been pitched so much lately that even the biggest Leyland fanboys are starting to mumble nervously about overuse. He got through the 7th just fine and with not that many pitches, so Leyland ran him out there for the 8th. Questionable? Maybe. But there it is.

Dolsi put a couple of guys on in the 8th, which is not that surprising, given the amount of work he’s had lately and the laws of baseballian averages and all that. With the left-batting John Bowker coming up, Leyland pulled Dolsi and put on…. Fernando Rodney. Mind you, Casey Fossum (A LEFTY) had been warming up alongside Fernando, and was at least as warm as he was. To be fair, that’s totally a Monday morning quarterback kinda thing to say, because at the time it did not seem like such an awful idea to bring Fernando in. He was fresh and pumped up and his last outing in the minors was apparently very very good, even if some of the outings he’d had just before it were not so hot.

Fernando made Bowker look like a whiffing fool on a couple of offspeed pitches, threw him a fastball high and outside for the heck of it, then hung a changeup too high and voila! Three run homer (2 runs charged to poor Dolsi).

He gave up two more runs on more mundane hits, getting a single out in the process, before Leyland finally hooked him. Fossum got the last out of the inning easily, all oh hey, yeah, you know, I was just over there, being warmed up, not giving up three run homers. Just sayin’. You know.

Welcome back, Fernando!

On the positive side of this game, The River Thames continued to hit the snotseams out of the baseball, blasting TWO home runs off of little Timmy Lincecum and sending Rod Allen into paroxysms of glee. I love Tigers home runs as much as the next cat, and I find Thames’ power as much fun to watch as anyone, but Rod Allen has SERIOUS all-consuming manlust for Marcus, or at the very least for his bat. We’re all happy when The River goes yard, but Rod absolutely LOST HIS KIBBLES, even busting out a “country strong” on us.

It is also worth nothing that The River’s last 7 hits have all been home runs. Weird, and weirdly compelling.

Tomorrow Kenny goes up against some kid with a boatload of Ks to his name. It’s at 10 pm again and will contain the hilarity of Kenny Rogers batting, so it should be marginally less than awful. Go Tigers!

Tigers baseball? What's that? Never heard of it.


photo by Samara Pearlstein

I only saw the very tail end of this game because, as the image may suggest, I was at the Red Sox/Brewers game Sunday (if any of you are Brewers fans, I’ve got a lot of thrilling Brewers BP photos coming soon) and was thus either at Fenway or in the process of wending my way home from Fenway for most of the Tigers’ lackluster at-bats. I hear tell that the Tigers game sucked and to be quite honest I’m not really having too much trouble believing that.

I got a Detroit Tigers Robert Fick baseball card with my Sox program, so hey, that was my little bit of Tigerdom for the day. The conversation I had with my friend Amy (a dual Sox/Brewers fan with whom I attended the game) when I opened up the cards went as follows:

Me: Ooo, a Tiger. Ha ha, look, Robert Fick.
Amy: Isn’t he kind of a [bodily orifice related to excretion that I can’t write here because the MVN overlords won’t like it]?
Me: ….. yes.

I heard nothing much about the Tigers game until after the (bizarre and messy) Sox game, when Amy’s roommate Jen (a D’backs fan) called to tell us that Nate was throwing a no-hitter going into the 4th inning, jinxing him with an immediacy that is absurd and can only happen to crazy baseball fans who fervently believe it will happen.

I checked in again when my subway route took me back above ground, some time in the 6th, when I called home and got updates from both my parents on the various ways the Tigers were finding to lose (my dad, the Tigers fan, expressing frustration; my mom, the Red Sox fan, expressing mild amusement at our frustration). Then we talked about what to have for dinner. It was a more interesting conversation. (Conclusion: taquitos.)

All I can say about this game is that I hope that the Tigers don’t abandon the team-wide high socks just because of this setback. As we discussed yesterday, high socks are the correct aesthetic choice, not just a lucky charm.

Aside from Tigers in high socks, the only other thing I was sad to have missed in this game was (as reported to me by my parents) Rod Allen discussing the purported good looks of D’back Conor Jackson. I guess Jackson was a theater major in college, and his dad’s an actor, and somehow Rod connected that to Jackson being, in Rod Allen’s esteemed opinion, a hottie McHotPants? I’m not entirely decided on the matter, but I think Rod may be on to something here. What say you lot? Maybe? Hot or not?

(Really I just want an excuse to use the still-new “all-consuming manlust” tag.)

Oh, and another question for you readers. Tomorrow (Monday) is an offday (thank cats), and I was intrigued by the liveblog chat things folks like Billfer and the Dugout have been doing. I suppose the idea is that it would be like a big chatroom, and you could ask me things like, “Why do you call Renteria ‘Edgah’?” and, “What is your favorite color?” and “What is your opinion on the impending Galarraga/Willis situation?” and “How do you draw an eye so it doesn’t look like a deformed football?” or, you know, whatever else struck your fancy.

If I stick one of those things up around 7 pm Monday, when there would normally be a game on, would anyone be interested, or would it just be me talking to myself? Er, I guess we’ll see around 7 pm Monday.

Galarrrrrrraga keeps rrrrrrolling, FOX has mad crazy catcher love

photo illustration by Samara Pearlstein

Galarrrrraga keeps rrrrrrrolling, yeah, no one else is gonna make THAT joke. Hurr hurr.

So, did anyone else get a kick out of how obviously the FOX guys wanted to make sweet sexy love to Jeff Mathis today? I mean, I get it: the dude’s a good defensive catcher. I GET IT. THANK YOU, FOX. WE ALL GET IT. He’s the next Pudge Rodriguez!!!!111!!11!! (except he sure doesn’t hit like Pudge did at that age, or even like Pudge did last year). A couple mentions of this would have been nice. A few examples of his FANTASTICALLY ORGASMIC FIELDING might have gone over well, especially for people who aren’t Angels fans and aren’t all that familiar with him. We didn’t need to hear about it ALL GAME LONG.

After the first few comments, we understood that maybe he’s a pretty good catcher. Every subsequent comment only served to emphasize Thom Brenneman’s all-consuming manlust for Jeff Mathis. Which is cool, that’s Thom Brenneman’s own business, Mathis is kinda cute, and I know catchers are a Thing for some people, but did we really need a major MLB broadcast to share this with the masses? Only FOX can say.

(Why don’t I have an ‘all-consuming manlust’ tag? Hmm. I should get on that.)

Mr. Galarrrrraga went 5.2 hitless today before Vlad Guerrero tripled. Let’s be honest: Vlad is likely to do that to any pitcher in Comerica. No win for Armando, but the idea that the most consistent starting pitcher in Detroit right now is Armando Galarraga is probably worth more than a win. Who would have ever predicted THAT before the season?

Granderson continued to reassure everyone that he is in fact Back-with-a-capital-B by doubling and tripling in today’s game. The downside to this is that we’re going to get more and more people saying things like ‘Curtis Granderson is the flaming match that lights the larger mass of flames that is the Detroit Tigers campfire’. I tend to think the team has the ability to be at least mostly fine without him (although ideally they have him in the lineup, of course), but since they didn’t exactly act like it earlier this season, who knows? Maybe Granderson really is the match, or the spark, or the duct tape that holds the table in the shoddy student apartment together, or whatever metaphor you like best.

I still think that, if he does have that kind of effect on the team, it’s mostly mental. But if it works to have him back, hey, I’m certainly not going to complain about having him back.

Tomorrow Verlander pitches against a Weaver. Weavers back in Detroit are always good times. Hopefully we’ll find some amusing new way to set him off into fits of insanity.

Oh, and speaking of insanity, this has nothing at all to do with the Tigers, but I can’t resist sharing the crazy. I was watching the Wrong Sox/Orioles game (I know, I know– there wasn’t anything else on). Carlos Quentin was up to bat in some dire situation or other and got a couple of strikes on himself. The White Sox announcer who’s not the Hawk had this to say:

“Q’s got to go to a safe place in his mind to get it done.”

Baseball psychology at its finest, my friends.

Miguel Cabrera firms and tones


photo illustration by Samara Pearlstein

When we first heard that Miguel Cabrera had been traded to the Tigers, the reaction was generally one of happiness. Setting aside what the move might mean for other members of the team *cough*BrandonInge*cough*, acquiring Cabrera himself meant, in all likelihood, a big offensive boost for a lineup that already had some pretty lofty numbers. But some of us are also concerned with defense and believed that our incumbent third baseman *cough*BrandonInge*cough* was acres better than Miguel Cabrera could ever hope to be, especially if the rumors out of Florida were true and Cabrera had let himself get horribly out of shape.

The word ‘fat’ was thrown around, and around, and around. There’s nothing inherently wrong with a fat ballplayer, of course, so long as it doesn’t impact his ability to play baseball as well as he possibly can. Most people who had watched Cabrera play in Florida seemed to be saying that he had gained a lot of weight and he was NOT playing up to his peak ability because of it.

If the Tigers were going to trade away their entire farm system to get Cabrera (and Dontrelle), they had better be getting back Cabrera at peak performance, not Cabrera diluted.

Enter this Detroit Free Press Michael Rosenberg article on the subject!

One strange part of being a baseball fan in 2008 is that you want baseball players to be fit, but not too fit. Muscles are good, but really big muscles arouse suspicion.
Freep article

Currently under suspicion: Nook Logan
Not currently under suspicion: Kyle Farnsworth

Just sayin’.

I am pleased to report from Saturday’s TigerFest that Miguel Cabrera looks excessively … good. He is fantastically … healthy.
Freep article

Michael Rosenberg… might be hitting on Miguel Cabrera… with ellipses… indicating… serious intent. Cabrera’s kinda cute, so I won’t hold that against Rosenberg. The ellipses, however… those I will hold against him.

The Tigers acquired Cabrera in November, but there is less Cabrera now than there was then. He doesn’t know how much weight he lost. But he sure looks like he is in great shape.

“I feel like I had to lose,” Cabrera said. “I feel more comfortable.”
Freep article

That’s what I wanted to hear. After all, this isn’t about how much Cabrera actually weighs. It isn’t about how he looks with his shirt off. It’s about Miguel Cabrera being IN SHAPE, at whatever size he happens to be. If the weight was keeping him from playing third base properly, then hell yes, that fish-turned-cat needed to lose some poundage. I did NOT get used to Brandon Inge’s 700-square-foot range at third just to find myself having to watch someone who can’t lunge more than a couple inches in any particular direction. No. I refuse to allow it.

The Rosenberg article then wandered off into a vague thing where Carlos Guillen talks about Miguel Cabrera and Miguel Cabrera talks about Vlad Guerrero and I lost interest and started watching the Australian Open.

The point is that, if Rosenberg’s assessment of Cabrera’s bodacious bod is to be believed, I am already feeling better about this trade. It also helps that no one had jumped at the Brandon Inge bait yet, so it seems like we might still get our wish and see him supersubbing it up in ’08. If Cabrera has gotten himself in shape, that indicates several good things:

1. He took the need to get in shape seriously, which says good things about his mindset.
2. He had the mental and physical fortitude necessary to get himself in shape.
3. He cares enough about the Tigers, and about his career on the Tigers, to bother getting himself in shape. The whole ‘making himself care’ thing may have been a bit of an issue on the Marlins.

Of course I’m still reserving judgement until I see Cabrera moving around on a diamond in Spring Training for myself, but this bodes quite well for him, and for the Tigers.

In vaguely related news, if you weren’t aware that Dontrelle Willis has his own blog, I highly suggest that you go check it out. It is WONDERFUL and if Dontrelle pitches well this year, I may be COMPLETELY IN LOVE.

Game 2: Prolonged Pregame

ATTENTION! ATTENTION!

Eric Byrnes has just announced that he has manlove for Derek Jeter.

Eric Byrnes. Derek Jeter. Manlove. His word, not mine.

Vernon Wells, refusing to throw himself into the madness, used the word ‘respect’ to describe his feelings towards Everyone’s Favorite Shortstop (Except for Filthy Satanists Who Hate America and Fun).

We’re in a rain delay, in case you didn’t know, and I’ve been watching bits of the Painfully Prolonged Pregame Show, otherwise known as the Derek Jeter LoveLove Show. Seriously you guys, did you know that Derek Jeter has been in the postseason, like, so many times?? OMG I HAD NO IDEA. Also dude he hits so well in October, it’s like he actually is October, like his head is in reality a carved pumpkin and his hands are skillfully grown gourds and his uniform is stuffed with straw and fall leaves.

And he’s so great with his teammates and he’s so great with the fans and he’s a great human being and the best baseball player to ever play baseball and also he’s a Yankee which is America’s team because America is basically New York with some other crummy business tacked on and he’s a Real Man of Genius and his lady conquests are many and he is the embodiment of perfection in the modern male form and Derek Jeter Derek Jeter Derek Jeter.

OMG IF I WUZ A MAN I WUD TOTALLY MANLUV HIM.

They also used the word “aura” when describing him. I am not making that bit up.

DID U GUYZ NO THAT DEREK JETER WENT 5-5 YESTRDAY???! OMG LOLLERSKATEZ ITZ SO TROO! I edit: Jon Miller honestly just said, “We haven’t seen any action here yet, so let’s look at Jeter’s 5 hits from last night.”

You can’t even make this stuff up. You just can’t. It’s too much to be fake.

edit 2: Ugh, game’s been postponed until 1 pm tomorrow (Thursday), on ESPN. Now the Great Schedule Juggle begins… let’s see if I can swing this one.