Category Archives: Austin Jackson

The newest Tiger is not a tiger.


illustration by Samara Pearlstein

Honest truth: after the Red Sox/A’s trade earlier today that saw Jon Lester and Yoenis Cespedes swapping sides, I was not expecting too much from the Tigers. The trade deadline loomed ever nearer as the afternoon wore on, and I figured, eh, Mr. Dombrowski made that solid attempt to shore up the bullpen in the acquisition of Joakim Soria; that’s probably as big a move as we’re going to make. Sure, if all goes as planned we will be having to deal with Oakland in a real way come autumn, but we’ll tackle that big ol’ elephant when we get to it.

Mr. Dombrowski contemplated this line of reasoning, and he cackled a mad cackle, and he rejected it. Hell naaaaaw! he almost certainly yelled to his subordinates. We’re not goin down that easy! Bring me my phone! Bring me the scouting reports! Bring me my set of giant brass balls! Bring me a slice of Little Caesars pizza!

Armed with these essentials, he set in motion a series of moves that ended with Austin Jackson going to Seattle and Drew Smyly going to Tampa Bay and DAVID PRICE coming to Detroit.

This trade was so unanticipated by everyone that Austin Jackson had to be pulled from the field, in the middle of the game, and told that he was no longer a Tiger. Another honest truth: that sucks. That is a hard way to go, and I am sure that if there had been a saner way to do it, the Tigers would have preferred to do it in that saner manner. But Mr. D saw an opportunity (and/or a necessity) that, even as little as a day earlier, he had not seen. He decided that it had to be done, and so it was.

The Tigers now have the kind of rotation to make a pretty good lineup tremble, and a weak lineup weep copiously. May this be a bulwark against the inconsistency of the bats, now and as we totter unsteadily on into maybepossibly the postseason.

MORE IMPORTANTLY, David Price does not come alone! As you may already know, David Price has a FRENCH BULLDOG named ASTRO. David Price is obsessed with Astro and likes to take him places like the dugout and on the field for BP and on road trips and basically every kind of place. This is potentially HUGE news, just ENORMOUS, SUPER IMPORTANT news, and I am going to say right now:

Dear Brad Ausmus and the Detroit Tigers:

Please allow David Price to bring Astro into the clubhouse and onto the field and on the occasional road trip, for the good of the team and the well-being of your brand new pitcher and for the PURE JOY of the fans. Thank you.

hugs and kisses,
Roar of the Tigers.

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Terrible Cartoons from a Not-Terrible Weekend


illustrations by Samara Pearlstein

I will be honest: although I did watch the entire game yesterday, after that top of the 10th I was quite thoroughly mired in Despair. It just seemed like the sort of thing that the Tigers absolutely do not overcome. I was resigned to my fate, willing to watch the sad final eep of the Tigers as they finished off the game, probably with something horrible like a weak groundout double play.

Then a whole bunch of magical baseball things happened, ending with MIGUEL CABRERA LEADING HIS FELID TROOPS TO VICTORY! Also, one of the most epic Super Best Friends hugs ever.

The pure, beautiful, boundless love between Prince and Miggy is one of the greatest things about this season and I think you will all agree.

Austin Jackson was instrumental in that last push to unexpected victory. He also had two triples on the day. Austin Jackson loves getting three bases at once and Comerica likes to reward him for that very specific affection.

The less said about Joe West, the better, but there had to be a cartoon.

Obligatory (?) Doug Fister with Hulk Hands doodle from Saturday’s complete game Fiesta Tigres masterpiece.

I guess the Tigers acquired Jeff Baker from the Cubs at some point, with the idea that he will be the right-handed bat that Ryan Raburn (DL’d with a wonky thumb, or at least that’s what they’re saying; could be DL’d with Persistent Awfulness) never quite was this season. The Cubbie haul has not yet been named. Verdict: meh, but I am a little concerned on behalf of Quintin Berry for the reason illustrated above.

Where in the World Tigers system is Danny Worth? He had been down, then he got called up, but now I think he’s down again? Maybe? I actually have no idea. I doubt that Danny Worth even knows where he is anymore. He has been up and down and down and up so many times this season that he’s practically two quarks, or at least this awkward yo-yo.

Action Jackson vs. The Evil Ivy


illustration by Samara Pearlstein

We’ve missed you, Austin Jackson. Please don’t leave us again any time soon.

Hello to Quintin Berry, and other things.


illustrations by Samara Pearlstein

I am just not sure what to make of this team right now. It seems like every time I watch a game, they find some slightly different, equally exciting way to make a mess of things. The Justin Verlander almost-no-hitter? I was in a bar, watching the Red Sox/Phillies game. You see? My gaze is apparently poison. This does not bode particularly well for next week’s Tigers-in-Boston series, but we’ll shove Gerald Laird over that hurdle when the time comes.

Anyways, welcome to Quintin Berry, who made his Tigers debut and his big league debut at the same time. He also got his first hit out of the way, and it was special indeed: a bunt double. I’m sure every cat wants his first hit to be a home run, but this has got to be memorable. Let’s hear it for the aggregate fruit!

Papa Grande tight back woes? Papa Grande tight back woes.

Austin Jackson’s strained abdomen was supposed to be fine by now, but he was scratched from the lineup due to lingering ouchies. This is obviously Not Good, although I don’t think Quintin Berry is complaining too loudly.

Last bit: this happened about a week ago, but it’s still a good story. Will Rhymes got hit during a game, then passed out from the adrenaline response or somesuch. When he woke up and was asked some questions to determine his brainstate…

Yeah. He said he was Batman.

Come back to us, Will Rhymes? Please? Pretty pretty please??

Stupid Awards Season

Well, here we are. The postseason is over. The preseason is many months away. Roar of the Tigers has stopped watching TV in the name of actually (gasp!) doing work. This season… what season is this? It is a season constructed by Major League Baseball in an attempt to appease us, to give us something to talk about that isn’t trades involving Melky Cabrera or the sad state of Oriole affairs. Yes, we are firmly in the midst of Stupid Awards Season.

Stupid Awards Season asks you to care deeply about these poorly determined awards. And you want to care! You want to care because you want your favorite super wicked awesome baseball player to be recognized by everyone for his super wicked awesomeness. At the same time, you don’t want to care, because you (if you are a sane, moderately educated baseball fan) recognize that these awards are at some essential level mostly what Jim Leyland would call, ahem, horsesh!t.

FOR INSTANCE.


drawings by Samara Pearlstein

Miguel Cabrera wins the batting title. Miguel Cabrera does not win the Silver Slugger. I would tell you how this makes sense, but I cannot, because it actually makes no sense whatsoever. Adrian Gonzalez is a good hitter and all, but Miguel was better than him at basically everything you can legally do with a bat in the game of baseball this year.

It’s ok, because Miguel loves his own bat and has no need for that stupid silver hardware, but it’s the principle of the thing.

BUT THEN

Alex Avila wins the Silver Slugger at catcher. Did he catch more games than anyone else in the universe? Yes. Does this mean that, in my biased little fan-heart, I think he deserves all the awards ever? Yes, yes, of course. Were his overall numbers better than, saaaaay, those of Mike Napoli, who basically hit better across the board and went to the World Series to boot? Erm. Well.

But, you see: this we like. Alex Avila’s durability and (perhaps more importantly) dogged tenacity convince voters that he deserves a metal stick more than Mike Napoli’s 1.046 OPS does. Stupid Awards Season!

Then Austin Jackson fails to win a Gold Glove. Okay. The fact that I wanted him to win is almost certainly, in this case, the tiny Paws in my brain guiding my thoughts. And again, it’s not as if he desperately needs it to tell us all that sometimes he makes plays so good that Rod Allen loses his mind and control of his vocal cords. Just more Stupid Awards Season nonsense.

We are still waiting on the MVP results. But Justin Verlander did get another award recently. It was Player of the Year (or something?) in the Players Choice Awards (or something?). These are even MORE made-up than Silver Sluggers and Gold Gloves. They are nice because they involve charity, but basically they are a measure of how much a particular dude has impressed all the other dudes in the MLBPA in any given year.

Justin Verlander frightens his opposition and his stunning good looks have charmed his peers. He commands respect and he’s popular. This particular Stupid Award is perfect for him, and he has duly received it. Woo, yay, etc.

If a Tiger does not win the MVP award, it will not matter in the least. The award is not strictly based on merit. At root it is meaningless. But that won’t stop our righteous and strident indignation. Something to look forward to! Thanks, Stupid Awards Season!

Action Jackson’s cannon arm.


illustration by Samara Pearlstein

This was a game of great indecision. At first it was not clear where the Tigers stood on the question of WINNING THE BASEBALL GAME. In the third inning it seemed evident that they DID want to win, as they methodically went about stripping the dignity from Ubaldo Jimenez to the tune of a lot of runs all in a single inning. As Ubaldo Jimenez is employed by the Racist Logos and not the Detroit Tigers, the removal of his dignity would seem to indicate a desire to achieve victory on the part of said Tigers.

But then in the very next inning, there were a great many SHENANIGANS and the RLs scored a whole bunch of runs of their own, stripping the dignity from Rick Porcello. Now each team had a starting pitcher who felt most at ease sitting on the bench while letting his head droop in shame. They sat in opposing dugouts, staring at one another across the infield, only not staring, because of the drooping heads. And the shame.

It went on and on like that, a tense battle between two teams, neither behaving as if it wholeheartedly wanted to win, yet neither wishing to lose. Wilson Betemit steals a base, all is well. A questionable call is made and Jim Leyland gets himself thrown out of the game in 0.2 seconds, all is lost. Travis Hafner gets an RBI, all is RL-well. Travis Hafner’s leg implodes while he tries to stretch a single into a double, all is RL-lost. Etc.

In the final throes of torturously overlong Sunday afternoon baseball, the score was 8-7, Tigers holding the scant lead. Papa Grande entered the fray. On five pitches, he walked Kosuke ‘Still a Cub at Heart’ Fukudome. Then, with the count 0-2, he hit Jason Donald in the back. Legendary Lloyd emerged from the dugout to try to speak of pitching things, even though his Legend is in hitting and not in the throwing of baseballs.

There was a sac bunt, moving the runners to second and third. All was nervousness, uncertainty, fear. Matt LaPorta pinch hit for a shard of Cliff Lee bait. LaPorta hit a long fly ball to center. The Cub set forth for home.

BUT THERE WAS TO BE NO TIE, FOR AUSTIN JACKSON WAS IN THAT CENTER FIELD. He caught the ball (out number two), then fired a THROW OF SPLENDID PERFECTION. It sailed through the air, touching not one blade of grass, not one speck of dirt. It landed squarely in Alex Avila’s glove, a little ways up the third base line, not too close to home, giving Avila plenty of room to set a block and prevent the Cub from reaching his goal.

Out number three, your basic 8-2 double play, game over, Tigers win.

Austin Jackson and his cannon arm cannot and will not be denied.

Also, Jim Leyland said this:

We kept trying to milk outs and almost ran out of milk.

… OK.

a variety of Tigers things, related in the usual manner

So I haven’t posted in a few days. Things have been busy in RotTLand, you know, a bunch of work stuff, some friends I don’t get to see much up to visit, cat vomit to clean off the carpet, the usual. Anyways. Here’s a round-up of some of the things that have been happening.


illustrations by Samara Pearlstein

You know I was in Detroit, right? It was hot. It was WICKED hot.

But it was OK, because I got to see Jacob Turner’s debut! So exciting for Rick Porcello; for one brief moment, he was the baby in the rotation no longer. Of course then Turner went right back down and Porcello was back to being the tiniest kitten.

I mean, there are rookies on the team, and FredFred (in his third season!) is still the youngest. It must be kinda rough. He’s probably hoping Turner comes back in September and then Porcello can say things like “KIDS THESE DAYS” to someone in the clubhouse who’s not Little Victor.

We were THISCLOSE to seeing Justin Verlander throw another no-hitter in the Sunday game. I have never seen a no-hitter in person and although I get out to a fair number of baseball games, I rarely get to see them in Detroit, so I was sitting there (roasting in the sun), thinking… oh man, imagine if Verlander does this and I get to see him do it, at home! Also, it seemed only fair that we be rewarded with a truly remarkable game if we were going to sit in those scorched frying pan seats for 9 innings.

Alas, such riches were not to be mine. Justin was still immense, though, and it was still A Thing to See.

I finally met @WhosYourTiger and he took me around the ballpark to look at some things I would not have looked at otherwise and it was exactly like this.

What else has been happening? Hmm.

Austin Jackson made a RIDICULOUS catch. Like an old school Torii Hunter Spiderman move, but he was catching air, so it was more of a Superman. I drew him with a cape but that’s really the only thing that I changed. He saw the ball going over the wall, said to himself, “Mmm… nope,” and stole that home run away. The kind of play to give a fan with a delicate constitution a proper attack of the vapors.

If you haven’t seen it already you should really watch the video, if only to hear Rod’s call and way his voice breaks from sheer joy.

Victor hurt his knee doing one of his weird little dances at the plate. He is back in the game tonight, which is how behind I am on Current Tigers Events, but it was still not pleasant to see at the time. My first thought was OH NOOOO and my second thought was Oh my goodness I hope Little Victor is not watching this.

He’s DHing tonight and right now he’s 1-for-3, so that’s OK, I guess. It’ll definitely be something to watch, though: even Jim Leyland has admitted that Alex Avila has been beaten up a bit too much at this point in the season, and now his backup has this knee strain or sprain or whatever that has nominally healed, but you KNOW how those things are when it comes to recurrences and re-tweakings, especially when it comes to the Tigers. And Victor has a ton of wear on his knees already, lots more than Random Infielder X would have, on account of his accumulated years of catching experience.

So we all say that Avila has to rest more, but do you really want to take Victor away from the DH spot too often and risk him getting hurt, or more hurt, or whatever? Do you bring up another catcher and hope you can limp along on a slightly smaller bullpen or bench until the rosters expand in September (unlikely)? Do you tell Don Kelly to start getting his gear ready again? DO YOU JUST WORRY ABOUT EVERYTHING EVER, LIKE ROAR OF THE TIGERS?

Dave Dombrowski and Jim Leyland were both signed to contract extensions. Leyland is locked up through the 2012 season and Mr. D is on board for four more years, through 2015. My thoughts on this move are really disorganized and I’m not sure you need to hear them, but generally I am in favor. Generally. I would like Leyland to actually DO something about the players he overuses, though, instead of just giving the overuse lip service.

I mean, the fact that he even acknowledges it now is some progress, but let’s take this thing all the way to the pot of freshly rested ballplayer gold at the end of the rainbow, you know?

I also hope the Dombrowski contract contained a Striped Shirt clause.

And for no real reason, here’s Doug Fister wearing Hulk Hands.