illustrations by Samara Pearlstein
There were 3 good things that came out of the Monday game: Will Rhymes bat production, two scoreless innings from Brayan Villarreal, and the following story (as related by Rod Allen, naturally).
Villarreal was pitching, and Rod said (with no preamble) something about Villarreal needing a new suitcase. See, when they got to Baltimore, Rod realized that he had forgotten to pack his socks. Tragedy! But Rod Allen does not panic in the face of adversity. I guess there was some sort of clothing store either in the hotel or in the immediate area, because he took charge of the situation and ‘went down’ to get himself some emergency socks.
In this clothing store he saw Brayan Villarreal, who was being attended to by Jose Valverde and Enrique Gonzalez. They were buying Villarreal suits! Jackets and pants and things! I wasn’t taking notes so I forget Rod’s exact wording, but it was something like ‘getting the young man some nice threads so he’d look good on road trips’– you know, something along those lines. There was no indication that Rod interacted with them, so we are left to imagine him standing quietly off to the side, clutching his fresh socks, watching this tender team-building scene unfold with Olde English Tiger Pride tears in his eyes.
I know the whole Buy the Rookie a Suit or Two thing used to be big, but I didn’t realize it still was. In any event, I LOVE IT, I LOVE IT SO MUCH, and as soon as I heard this story I knew that it had to be a cartoon. THE WORLD NEEDED TO SEE.
Rod never did bring the story back around to the suitcase comment, but viewers who were paying attention could conclude that Villarreal would need that new suitcase to hold all of his new clothes.
Wait, I lied, one more good thing to come out of that game:
The sight of Will Rhymes and Derrek Lee standing on first base together. Lee is listed at 6’5. Rhymes is listed at 5’9 and may be shorter than that. It was a beautiful thing to behold.
Also, congrats to Jose Valverde and Mrs. Valverde for creating a baby! Jose Miguel Valverde (according to FSD) was born several weeks ago. There is already a daughter Valverde (Montserrat), so this is the first boy. Papa Grande has another Tater Tot.
So many Tigers are sick right now. It sounds like Verlander’s is food poisoning, but everyone else probably just has a stomach bug.
LEARN THE WAYS OF THE HAND SANITIZER, BOYS. I know germs fly around a big league clubhouse faster than a kindergarten classroom, and I know ‘professional baseball players’ and ‘impeccable personal hygiene’ don’t really go hand-in-hand, but seriously. Hand sanitizer. It’s your friend.
(Only the alcohol-based ones, though, not the ones with anti-bacterial chemicals in them. Those just contribute to superbugs.)
Really hope the rest of this series goes better. I do not enjoy being bothered by the Orioles.
Finally, you all know that I’m a Wolverine. But you may not know that the RotT little brother went to UConn, so when they aren’t playing Michigan or playing against Michigan’s interests, I root for the Huskies.