Category Archives: Casper Wells

Things we learned from a series sweep of the Wrong Sox.

illustration by Samara Pearlstein

–Max Scherzer is good at throwing a small white ball near the midriff sections of Chicago-employed creatures. Like, really good. Really REALLY good. There are people out there who will talk about Max Scherzer’s arm and Max Scherzer’s knowledge of the lineup and even Max Scherzer’s rapport with Savior Avila. But we all know the real reason for his success.

Max Scherzer is so good because he is seeing the strike zone in extra dimensions, far beyond what normal human beings can see. And this, of course, is because of his magical eyes.

–Every time the TV cameras zoom in for a closeup on Max Scherzer’s eyes, a kitten gets gently, lovingly hugged somewhere in the world.

–Brent Lillibridge is a wood elf. Brent Morel is a mushroom. Nobody should trust a team with this many Brents on it.

–Alexei Ramirez is an alien who crash-landed at Roswell and is trying to remain hidden in plain sight by joining a professional baseball team. Evidence.

–It doesn’t really matter how the bats perform when Ryan Raburn gets the start at second base, it is still going to give us a horrible spine-tingling shiver every time we see him penciled in next to that 2B.

–Miguel Cabrera is what opposing pitchers and managers see when they fall into uneasy, nightmare-riddled sleeps. So he’s going to be walked intentionally 5,000 times until Victor gets healthy again, and a couple thousand more times after that.

–Brandon Inge has been kind of yippy in the field lately, but we must take deep breaths and remember that things will be OK and we can’t let the words of the haters take up residence in our minds. Make your mind a happy place for Brandon Inge, and happiness for you will follow.

–Sure is nice when good pitching is backed up/rewarded by good hitting.

–When mascots interfere with FSD broadcasters, everyone wins. On Sunday Trevor Thompson got bothered by both Paws and the giant Easter bunny, and it was good.

–Rod Allen eats his hot dog with mustard, a little ketchup, and a few onions. He also likes it slightly burnt.

–Casper Wells takes a foul ball to the shin, Brandon Inge decides this means he needs to draw an Easter egg on it. This actually happened. I want to know who thought it was a good idea to allow Inge a silver sharpie.

–The essence of true happiness cannot be found in something so prosaic as the result of an early regular season baseball game… but when you decisively sweep the Wrong Sox, you can come quite close to it.

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.

how many pitchers would Minnesota pitch if Minnesota could pitch pitchers

illustration by Samara Pearlstein

Praise be to Paws! A win against the Twinkies! Of course it took 13 innings and a combined 15 pitchers to get it done, but I’m not complaining. About that, at least.

–Up top is your inevitable Casper Wells Terrible Cartoon, in honor of his first ever big league home run. There were a lot of home runs in this one, and many of them were from unusual HR hitters: Don Kelly, Jhonny, Rhino, and G-Money, in addition to The Only Casper. Austin Jackson hit a ball that bounced off the top of the wall and MIGHT have been a home run, but was called a triple. But the Casper Wells home run was the most special, because it was THE FIRST of his career, so he gets the cartoon.

–Miguel Cabrera left the game with “left biceps tendonitis”, basically meaning his left arm is sore, maybe a little inflamed, and nobody could immediately determine the reason why. We shall see if anything comes of this (he’s day-to-day at the moment), but my initial reaction is of course

IRRATIONAL SHRIEKING PANIC zomg we’re all going to diiiieeeeeeee NOT MIGUEL, NOOOOOOoooOOOOOO!!!11!

I mean, it’s Miguel Cabrera, you know?

–I believe this was the first time Jhonny Peralta had ever played at first base. Not his first time as a Tiger; the first time ever, in his career. Since he hit the Majors he has always played third base or shortstop, with occasional appearances as a DH. But now all that has changed! His horizons are ~expanded~.

–Ryan Raburn is a Bench Hero. He came into the game in the 8th inning, yet somehow finished the night 3-for-4 with 2 RBI, which is a more-than-respectable night for someone who STARTED the game. One of those hits was a home run. It’s like magic.

–A nice night for Don Kelly. He had a rare Don Kelly home run, and he made a SPECTACULAR diving catch, managing to get the ball in his glove mere inches above the grass. We see you, Don Kelly.

–There were about a million double plays in this game that should have been turned, and were not, due to errors and near-errors and general baffling incompetence. At least these were evenly distributed: the Tigers and Twinkies each had two errors.

–I cannot believe Gerald Laird hit a game-winning home run. After he did, the FSN mics were picking up someone saying, “G-MONEEEEYYYYYY,” which was cracking up Rod and Mario something fierce. I don’t know if it was someone in the crowd or someone in the dugout, but aces either way.

–It got to the point where I totally forgot that Justin Verlander started this game (104 pitches through 6 innings). Papa Grande closed it out after making things far too interesting (nothing quite like the blown save + win to get the ol’ paranoid fan blood pumpin’). Between them were: Eddie Bonine, Alfredo Figaro, Phil Coke, Robbie Weinhardt, and Brad Thomas. I guess it’s good that tomorrow is a night game.

–But the Tigers still ended up in better shape than the Twinkies, who had to use TWO starting pitchers to finish up the game. Their starter, Scott Baker, had to come out after two innings with some soreness or other. They got 8 innings from their bullpen, but I guess they were tapped out after that, because they had to bring in Brian Duensing to start the 11th. This was a Thursday game, and he had just pitched the Tuesday game.

Starting the 13th they called in Nick Blackburn.

Now, the Tigers don’t get the immediate benefit of this, because they don’t play the Twinks again for a bit, but I like to think it will screw up their rotation so badly that when they do come back, they’ll have TC Bear out there pitching because the rotation is all in a shambles. This is my great Twinkie hope for the future.

So the Tigers played the Red Sox and they won some games and I have a lot of thoughts about that but I’m not very organized right now, so you get whatever this is.

photo by Samara Pearlstein

Oh man you guys I am so tired right now. This weekend just absolutely killed me, in both baseball and non-baseball terms. I kept trying to write a post but then I would fall asleep on the keyboard. That is not even exaggeration. I woke up at one point with a very stiff neck and a blog entry that said djsssssssssssssssssfldfsssshjjkhlllllllllllllllllllllllll……, Maybe I could turn that into some kind of art project, but it doesn’t say much about baseball.


–On Saturday I was listening to the Red Sox radio broadcast of the game as I was driving home from a 14-15 hour workday. My back was killing me, my knees were killing me (my knees are still killing me), my throat was killing me since I had been screaming almost nonstop for 10 of those hours. I was beyond tired. Right before I got in the car I had gotten a text message from my friend Beth saying, “So yeah, this pretty much looks like the hastily reanimated corpse of what I remember as Dontrelle Willis.” This is just to set the scene for you.

The Red Sox radio guys start talking about Dontrelle. I paraphrase, but it was something very much like this:

“He’s a guy who is known for playing the game with such open joy. He just loves to play.”
“Well, maybe not anymore. You might have to go back to 2003 for that. That was another Dontrelle.”
“Oh, you’re right. He’s different now. These days he doesn’t seem to play with that joy anymore, he just doesn’t seem to get the same happiness from the game of baseball.”
And more in a similar vein.

THANKS A LOT, RED SOX RADIO GUYS, I’LL JUST BE OVER HERE, SOBBING HYSTERICALLY ON THE HIGHWAY. I almost had to pull over into the breakdown lane. Granted, I was in a particularly susceptible state at the time, but Dontrelle used to pitch with a beautiful boundless delight and now the game of baseball seems to now be bereft of joy for him? Why not just say that all the light and color have been drained out of his life, oh and by the way, any Tigers fans listening to this broadcast, I hope you can stay in your lane while tears are streaming down your cheeks. BLOODY HECK.

–Also according to the Red Sox radio guys, Casper Wells is the first Casper to ever play in the big leagues (not just in the minors). I searched the Baseball Cube to verify this and found Casper Asbjornson, who had played for Boston and Cincinnati in the late 20s-early 30s, but his real name was Robert Anthony Asbjornson; Casper was just a nickname. The card on his Wikipedia page has his name as ‘Asby Asbjornson’. So it is true, Casper Wells is the first.

–I noticed that Alex Avila seems to have already shaved down his mohawk. Way to hate fun, Avila the Younger. Both the Red Sox radio guys and TV guys made fun of Eddie Bonine’s mohawk.

Continue reading