Category Archives: Brayan Villarreal

Tiger birthdays and big sprawling wins

illustration by Samara Pearlstein

Happy birthday to Daniel Schlereth and Brayan Villarreal! Schlereth’s birthday was May 9, Villarreal’s was May 10; Schlereth turned 25, Villarreal turned 24. They’re still just kittens! Clearly it is time for celebration and sharing and cake.

What a win for the growing boys, huh? Rain delays could not keep the Tigers offense down, a statement that seems to need a ‘for once’ tacked onto the end of it. Liriano looked like a struggling maybe-starter, not a thrower of no-hitters. Victor Martinez is blowing up the baseball, Austin Jackson is making some welcome offensive noise, and JHonny fhreakin Peralta hit a hhomerhun.

The outcome is maybe not so impressive when you consider who the Twins are running out there (what is a Tosoni?), but I will happily take it. Anything to hoist that sodden mess of a record up above .500, however briefly.

Both birthday boys pitched scoreless innings in this latest game, because that is right and just. Schlereth hit a Twin and gave up a walk, Villarreal gave up a single, neither one allowed further damage to occur. Because of the rain delay/FredFred only being able to go five innings, it was actually semi-important for the bullpen to pitch productively, even though Detroit had a decisive early lead (for once). All’s well that ends with birthday cats contributing to a win.

the Alaskan Assassin and other such cartoons

illustrations by Samara Pearlstein

Apparently Daniel Schlereth, who was born in Anchorage, wishes to be known as The Alaskan Assassin. True fact (thank you, Mr. Beck). Who am I to deny Daniel Schlereth? So here he is, attired for Alaskan climes, with his sidekick seal and a knife for assassinatin’ folks.

Of course everyone already knows about Papa Grande/the Big Potato. Brayan Villarreal says that he has been calling Al Alburquerque ‘Avatar’; Jason Beck says like the movie, but I don’t really get what he has to do with the movie… it doesn’t matter anyways since I’m just going to keep calling him AlAl. Brad Thomas does not get a nickname because everyone has been content to simply make fun of his accent, which is stupid because his accent is awesome. Still! There are other worthy nicknames in the bullpen!

Villarreal is Zorro. The explanation given for this was “the hair”, even though I thought Zorro didn’t have particularly long hair, he just had that pencilly mustache thing. But… I mean… whatever.

Ryan Perry is Cyclops, because of his recent eyeball-related DL stint. Before that he was apparently called Agent P, and also the Platypus, for reasons completely unknown to me until I googled it and discovered Perry the Platypus. This is sort of amazing and as soon as the eyeball thing has faded from the forefront of our collective memory a little bit I am going to start drawing Ryan Perry as a platypus at all times.

Magglio Ordonez’s bat has been waking up a little. Thank cats.

Joel Zumaya is having exploratory surgery. He is probably done for the season (as if anyone expected otherwise?), he is possibly done forever. At least with the Tigers. Everything is very dire and sad and filled with wistful what-ifs and coulda-beens. If you own Guitar Hero, take your controller outside and burn it as a fitting memorial.

You may notice that Zoom is in civvies here. I just can’t reasonably draw him in a Tigers uniform anymore.

Paws had a birthday! He turned 16 years old, and is now legally able to drive, but he still cannot partake of celebratory champagne (if the Tigers ever start playing consistently and skillfully enough to deserve such things).

There is no real reason for this last, but Brandon Inge has been playing some cruddy baseball lately and I am angry with him, so he gets tattoonsulted. Also, have the rest of you noticed that we’re over a month into the season, and the goatee is still absent? I’m going to keep drawing him with it, though, so as to not upset the balance of the world.

Brayan Villarreal goes shopping and other Terrible Cartoons

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.

Aw yeah.

We have a roster, now we just need the season.

image by Samara Pearlstein

The roster is SET! Or… mostly set. I keep counting 26 in the version currently inhabiting the Mothership, with both Joel Zumaya and Carlos Guillen still on it, so… is one of them not hitting the DL? Just gonna try to tough it out with rest or something? Hmm. Anyways. MOSTLY set.

Of course we already knew that Will Rhymes had won the second base job. The ‘surprises’ are Brayan ‘That Kid With The Hair‘ Villarreal, and The Only True Casper in MLB History.

Villarreal snagged the last bullpen spot and would instantly become the youngest player on the team if this was not a team that was willing to deploy Rick Porcello. The Only Casper is a backup outfielder. The Tigers are carrying a lot of extra outfielders right now (three spares for three positions, as opposed to two spare infielders for the four positions [and one of those is Guillen so it hardly counts]), probably because Magglio, at this stage in his career, has a body made mostly of Twizzlers.

The roster as it stands right now:

Starting pitchers
Justin Verlander
Max Scherzer
Brad Penny
Phil Coke (eventually)

Papa Grande
Joaquin Benoit
Brad Thomas
Ryan Perry
Daniel Schlereth
Brayan Villarreal
Joel Zumaya (until inevitable DL’ing or fresh injury)

Victor Martinez
Alex Avila

First base: Miguel Cabrera
Second base: Will Rhymes
Shortstop: JHonny Peralta
Third base: Brandon Inge
backups: Ramon Santiago, Carlos Guillen (see Zoom disclaimer)

Austin Jackson
Brennan Boesch
Ryan Raburn
Don Kelly
Casper Wells
Magglio Ordonez (for now)

I’m actually not sure who’s starting in the outfield and who’s considered a definite bench player… I guess it depends on how healthy (or injured but still baseball-functional) Magglio turns out to be. We shall see.