Category Archives: Bruce Rondon

Your Detroit Tigers 2015 Season Preview: Part II

We are so close to Opening Day! Like, oh gosh, so close! But we still have time to sneak in a few more preseason predictions that are absolutely sure to come true due to the incredible insight that Roar of the Tigers has into the minds and bodies of the Detroit Tigers and their entire management team. That’s right Brad Ausmus, I’m reading your mind right now and I’m loving it.


illustrations by Samara Pearlstein

–Ian Kinsler goes kosher, Bubbies everywhere plotz.

–Dave Dombrowski will, like Miguel Cabrera, have a slow start to the season. But where Miguel’s slow start is at the plate, Mr. D’s slow start is on his torso. It will be way too cold in April, and possibly some of May, for short-sleeve striped polo shirts at the ballpark. But eventually the temperature will rise, and the second-most realistic tiger stripes* worn by a Detroit employee will once more be displayed before our adoring eyes.

(*obviously the most realistic stripes belong to Paws)

–Every single time Justin Verlander is injured, K*te Upt*n gains a year of life thanks to her dabbles in the black magicks of app wizardry.

–Bruce Rondon throws 105 mph exactly once, and never again.

–Joe Nathan is so old and so out of touch with the modern age that he begins pitching not forward, into the future, but straight down, through geologic time. It is as if his ancient bones are yearning to join their brethren beneath the soil. Dinosaurian remains beckon. He knows he belongs among them more than he has ever belonged here among us. If he cannot yet go among their ranks, he can at least send his pitches there.

–It doesn’t much matter, though, because by August MLB has pushed through the controversial First Name Enforcement (FNE) rule, banning all players with two first names from the league, on the basis of it making for confusing and annoying jersey name-on-back situations (which everyone knows are no good for merchandising). Joe Nathan, Alfredo Simon and Kyle Ryan are promptly banished to independent ball. There is lively argument for a while over the fate of Rajai Davis; at the end of the season his case is still being decided by the commissioner’s office.

–JD Martinez switches his name around, becomes involved in an intense DJing battle with the Rays’ DJ Kitty.

–In an unexpected bid to become the new Don Kelly, Andrew Romine starts teaching himself how to play catcher. He also begins to aggressively befriend Jim Leyland, leaving little gifts of cigarettes and Barbra Streisand CDs on his desk. Brad Ausmus is slightly hurt but will never let on.

(But I can tell, because I’m reading his mind.)

—-

Now, this is kind of unrelated, BUT if you like baseball cards you may find it to your liking. An artist friend and I have been working together on this weird, goofy project for quite a long time, and we finally got it to the point where it’s ready to become real.

It’s called Art World Universe Series One, and it is a set of trading cards for a deranged world where contemporary artists are superheroes and supervillains and Legends (who transcend those former categories).

As I said, it is more about art and comic books than it is about baseball, but it is a set of trading cards and I did draw them all, so I figured I should let you guys know about the project. We have a Kickstarter where we are trying to make this dumb thing happen– take a look, read about the project, check out the cartoons, enjoy the video, and hey, if you happen to see a reward that you want, go ahead and grab one!

Why Spring Training is exciting.


illustrations by Samara Pearlstein

The Spring! A magical time of renewal and rebirth, birds stretching their wings and beginning to think about those long migrations, Canadian geese settling down to poop all over your city, a time for fresh green buds to appear only to be immediately buried by the next snowstorm. A time for people in cold northerly climes to sit transfixed by photos and videos on their screened devices, showing them what Florida looks like. A time for Ryan Raburn to be employed, although not, for once, by the Tigers. A time for the joyous resumption of baseball activities and all that that entails. But what does it entail? So many wonders. Let us share them, friends.

The Spring brings us Dave Dombrowski’s arbitration-stomping dance, executed with great style each year, this year no less than the others. Should a potential arbitration arise, there he is, our President/CEO/GM/savior-in-stompy-boots, ready to dance like a veritable superb bird of paradise, to dazzle his players and beat any hint of arbitration down into the dirt where it belongs. Filthy process.

The Spring also brings us a stunning new array of striped polo shirts for Mr. D to display at the ballpark, as is only fitting and proper.

(note: those are all Detroit News photos from this Spring)

The Spring brings us a healthy Victor Martinez, his knees filled not with loose shards of bone, or excess fluid, or anything else likely to cause pain, terror and trips to the DL, but instead filled with sunshine and flower petals and the tender breath of sleeping kittens.

Bound freely upon those knees, O Victor! But not too freely. Let us keep them nice and unhurt, yes?

The Spring brings us a delightfully fresh crop of quotes from Jim Leyland, such as when he says that one of his own relief pitchers is “rowing with one oar.” He says it with love, mind you. But it is a very Jim Leylandian species of love, one that blossoms best and most readily in the low-stress environment of early Spring Training and in the presence of one Phillip Douglas Coke, which must of course not pass unremarked.

You row that boat, Phillip. You row your little heart out, with your singular oar and your quixotic determination in the face of this impediment.

The Spring brings us an opportunity to gaze upon the sizable noggin of Bruce Rondon, so that we may wonder at his potential ability to be a Major League closer with the assistance of visual aids instead of the cold words and numbers that have tried to form our perceptions of him all this long winter. Can Bruce Rondon close? Let us look at him and see.

The Spring brings us a stimulating debate on the topic of the new batting practice hats. Are they good? Are they hairball-inducingly bad? Are they naught but mediocre? All have thoughts and feelings on the matter. We do not even have to debate the BP hat. We may engage in a BP hat dialectic if we find that mode of communication more pleasant and useful. All these things are permitted in the Spring.

The Spring also brings us Justin Verlander’s super super dorky golfing outfits. It may in the final estimation be the best wonder that the Spring has to offer.