Category Archives: Anibal Sanchez

Games 1 and 2 of the Conflict ALCS

illustrations by Samara Pearlstein

Now that the Tigers have lost a game, we can safely bump Maneki-Paws from the top spot here. Not that we are giving up on the good luck power of Maneki-Paws, of course… we’re just acknowledging this momentary lapse in his ability to influence the world around him. I’m sure he will be back at full strength tomorrow night.

Game 2 can be safely summed up in the image above. Max Scherzer was pitching firmly on the side of the blue eye, the offense had for once managed to exert itself for more than the absolute minimum of runs, Torii Hunter laid himself all out on the line in a near-literal sense if you call the outfield fence ‘the line’… but it came down to Big Papi’s tendency to be, well, big, in the ‘coming up huge’ sense of the word. As a Bostonian I can assure you all that this is just what he does, especially in the postseason, and it’s nothing personal. Not that this makes last night’s game any better, but there you are.

Game 1 had a rather different outcome.

What happens when Anibal Sanchez and assorted relievers very nearly no-hit the Red Sox? ALCS victories happen, that’s what. That the Tigers should get such a pitching performance out of NotMax/NotJustin is inestimably valuable. Anibal did his bit and then some in the effort to move onto the next round, and in commemoration of his efforts I hereby present him with this Terrible Cartoon.

It has been, as is usual when the Tigers and Red Sox play each other, a brain ‘splodey experience for me. This time it’s ramped up to a particularly high and squealy pitch because of the playoff factor, and the fact that I conduct much of my daily life within technical walking distance of Fenway Park. I am honestly a little surprised that my Olde English D’d car has not been keyed yet, but maybe Boston has mellowed out. Certainly everyone was perfectly pleasant when the Tigers were in town during the regular season, even when I was wearing more Tigers gear in public than anyone other than an actual Detroit Tigers employee would ever reasonably need, and I haven’t gotten more than a side-eye for wearing a Tigers hat out and about this past weekend.

The tough thing is that, when they aren’t playing the Tigers, there has been precious little reason to dislike this 2013 version of the Red Sox. It’s hard to not be sort of fond of David Ortiz swearing in public, or Koji Uehara’s various weirdnesses; the beards, while objectively horrific, are actually pretty fun. So I do like these Sox. They aren’t quite as cranky and drunk as they have been in the past, they’ve provided the city of Boston with a highly entertaining season, and they have absolutely no sense of tonsorial propriety. I don’t especially like rooting against them.

But I do especially like rooting for the Tigers. That’s pretty unambiguous. And John Lackey’s starting Game 3, against Justin Verlander. Nobody likes John Lackey, and all right-thinking folk like Justin Verlander. Should make things easier.

Go Tigers.

Miguel Cabrera’s special sauce and other Tiger tales.

illustrations by Samara Pearlstein
Miguel Cabrera is a historically excellent hitter. Miguel Cabrera frightens opposing pitching. Miguel Cabrera must have a lineup constructed around him so as to minimize the number of times opposing pitchers walk him out of sheer terror. Miguel Cabrera went 4-for-4 yesterday with a walk and 3 runs, two of which were home runs. Most importantly: Miguel Cabrera has his own line of salsa.

Have any of you consumed this fine item yet? In general I think it’s difficult to really badly screw up salsa, but this is not just any salsa– this is MIGGY’S SALSA. It could be filled with chopped up bits of Southpaw or flakes of Silver Slugger silver or some weird kind of bean grown only on the now sort-of vacant lot where Tiger Stadium once stood. You can buy the stuff online but there is no ingredient list so for all I know these speculative salsa-bits could all be reality.

It also comes in three varieties: Mild, Medium, and Hot. Does this refer to, as is typical for salsa, spiciness and mouth-feel? Or is it instructional, telling you which salsa you should turn your corn chips towards at any given time, based on how Miggy is doing at the plate?

If you have a report on this stuff please tell me. The People and Cats must know.

So like there was that game where a Tigers pitcher threw 17 strikeouts, a Detroit record, and that pitcher was neither Justin Verlander nor Max Scherzer. It was Anibal Sanchez. Everyone was sort of like, “Wait, what?” and then, “Oh, cool!” and then, “Man gimme some more of that salsa.”

How many really long games have the Tigers had recently? I am sure it is actually something like 2, but I am not going to go look it up, and it feels like a whole heck of a lot of absurdly, unreasonably long games have been happening as of late. There are two possible images for this. One is me, passed out on my computer, drooling onto the keyboard while the cold bluish light of the game on some sort of screen washes over my pasty skin. The other is the cartoon above.

Also: Bruce Rondon got sent down and Phil Coke landed on the 15-day DL with a strained groin. I leave the potential cartoons of that last to your fertile imagination.

Anibal Sanchez jumps into a giant pile of money.

illustration by Samara Pearlstein

I hope you cats all really liked the Anibal Sanchez preview that you got towards the end of the 2012 season, because the Tigers have just signed him to a 5 year, $80 million deal. Sanchez will be 29 this coming season, which makes him 33 at the end of this contract. Of course he has already played 7 years in the majors, but it does not seem unreasonable to think that if he is going to have a prime, the Tigers may have just set themselves up to possess him during it.

Word on the digital street is that they outbid the Cubs to get this done. I suspect this says more about Theo Epstein’s unwillingness to go completely bat-guano insane to sign a free agent (unless we’re talking about Daisuke Matsuzaka, which may have been the result of some sort of seizure or other neurologically damaging event) and Mr. Ilitch’s total willingness to fling bat-guano insanity in every direction in order to get this World Series business squared away before he shuffles off this mortal infield than anything else. Don’t get me wrong, it is also pretty damn funny on the lol cubs front, but so is much of what happens in baseball.

Eighty million dollars is a heck of a lot of money, but it’s Mr. Ilitch’s pile, and if he wants to let Anibal jump into it like an insanely extravagant pile of leaves, who am I to tell either one of them to do otherwise?