Category Archives: Fu Te Ni

Tigers win, Toledo takes Ni, and other such tales.


illustration by Samara Pearlstein (click for bigger)

I realize that I am a little late on the ‘Fu-Te Ni is sent to Toledo’ news, but it’s because that news upset me so much and I needed some time to deal with it on my own. I know that his ERA in the month of June is, like, 20.00. Do you think that matters to me? No, it does not, because my love for Fu-Te Ni is beautiful and pure and untainted by things like a logical consideration of his pitching statistics.

Anyways, he’s in Toledo now, hanging out with Rick Porcello and his companion donkey Ryan Perry. Daniel Schlereth was called up to take his place. I was hoping Schlereth would pitch tonight, because it’s doubtful I’ll see much baseball over the holiday weekend, but no such luck. So right now Fu-Te Ni has been replaced by A YAWNING VOID for all I know, which does not, of course, do anything to ease my pain.

Damn you, Muddy. Damn you.

–Max Scherzer pitched really well tonight. Like, really, really well. The definition of ‘really well’ that includes eight innings of one-run ball. I will admit that when he was over 100 pitches after the 7th, and Leyland sent him out to pitch the 8th, I almost ripped my own teeth out in frustration. WHY DO YOU DO THIS JIM WHY WHY WHY. Scherzer got out of the inning unscathed (easily, even) and made Leyland look smart, but I still hate it.

–Further ruminations on Max Scherzer’s super powers: with the blue eye Max Scherzer gazes into the future, with the brown eye he sees into the past. Where the two fields of vision overlap, he sees the present, but in extra dimensions. This is how he can tell that Joe Mauer is an evil robot.

–Brennan Boesch is a beast, a machine, a beaschine. A beaschine who is apparently trying to grow a beard right now. This is either an attempt to look older or an attempt to compete with the Verlander/Avila BeardMasters. Both are losing battles.

–Miguel Cabrera spent the night on the bench because his back was tight/stiff/sore. This could have been dire news indeed for the lineup, but the bats managed to do sufficient damage to keep his absence from being too keenly felt. Of course it helped that these are the Mariners, and neither Cliff Lee nor King Felix was pitching in the game. Miggy is the always aggravating ‘day-to-day’.

–They aren’t making Brandon League wear the full sleeves to cover his arms anymore?

Brandon Inge, ladies and gentlecats. Professional athlete, public figure, role model.

–While I’m at it, here’s Fu-Te Ni in a charity fashion show. Do I adore it? Is Paws mostly orange?

–Our old friend and fellow lover of a good brawl, Kirk Gibson, is now managing the Arizona Diamondbacks, after they fired everyone else. Gibby, managing the team. I KNOW. If they don’t start winning games, he’s going to start breaking legs over there.

–I finally got all the photos from that Tigers/Mets game on the magical internets. They can be found right over here, if you’re interested. Lots of photos. Lots. Many.

dreams of Fu-Te Ni and other such pleasantries


illustration by Samara Pearlstein

We are starting to get close to the Real Season, which means that it is time to start getting REALLY EXCITED about baseball! The inevitably overpriced tickets, the even more overpriced mediocre-to-bad food, the terrible hat hair, putting on the jerseys of our favorite players who have been traded, the mockery of other divisions, the anticipation of the miserably oppressive heat of July… ahhhhh yes.

Or you could be like me and get SUPER WICKED EXCITED for a full season of FU-TE NI!

Here is my Dream for the 2010 season:

–The Tigers get a strong start out of the gate. The first three series are against AL Central teams so this will set them up nicely. Someone also explains to me why the entire first home series is made up of 1:05pm starts.

–Brandon Inge’s bionic knees are so wonderful that he is able to defy gravity at third with ease throughout the entire season. He finishes the season with a .295/.390/.558 line and does not at any point shave his head.

–FU-TE NI IS SPECTACULAR AND GETS LOTS OF PLAYING TIME AND ALL OF IT IS GOOD

–Justin Verlander splits the Cy Young award with FredFred. They agree to not force a winner-determining vote to promote the importance of sharing to baseball’s youngest fans.

–Jim Leyland quits smoking but swears much more often.

–Dontrelle Willis returns to a starting pitcher role, goes the entire season without getting hurt, and is a perfectly serviceable anchor to the back end of the Tigers’ rotation.

–FU-TE NI GOES TO THE ALL STAR GAME. Brandon Inge accompanies him.

–Miguel Cabrera and Gerald Laird both successfully and completely give up alcohol. Their lives are so much better without it that they have great seasons: Cabrera breaks half the batting records in the books, and G-Money brings his batting average up to right around league average.

–Joel Zumaya remains healthy for an entire season. Papa Grande Valverde begins grooming him for a future closing role, and also teaches him about responsibility and successful business ventures.

–Adam Everett films a series of shampoo commercials, which are subsequently played often on FSN Detroit.

–Austin Jackson and Scott Sizemore both prove to be 100% ready to play in the big leagues.

–Scott Pickens is allowed to bring Wallace into Comerica. Wallace hangs out in the bullpen during games and becomes a massive favorite of fans and players both.

–The Yankees decide they really want Traitor Damon again and are willing to do a straight-up TDamon-for-Granderson deal.

–A DEDICATED AND RIGHTEOUS GROUP OF FANS CREATES A ‘NI IS NEAT’ SECTION IN THE STANDS AND THAT SECTION IS ALWAYS FULL AND ENTHUSIASTIC AND THEY PUMP UP THE TEAM SO WELL WITH THEIR GOOD CHEER THAT THE TIGERS WIN MORE GAMES

–Someone forgets to finish production on the April in the D ads, so they are never aired.

–WHO’S YOUR TIGER?! makes its triumphant return as the official team slogan.

–Magglio grows his hair back out, even more lush and glorious than before.

–The Tigers win the division handily, and they win all the games RotT attends this season.

it’s the Tigers’ year, literally

painting by Wen Ning, be-hatted by Samara Pearlstein

This past Sunday kicked off the Chinese New Year. As this is a major holiday for a whole heck of a lot of people around the world, Roar of the Tigers wishes any of you who happen to be celebrating it a very happy New Year! I hope you stuffed yourselves stupid with food.

Now, as many of you know, the Chinese calendar is accompanied by a 12-year cycle of zodiac animals. There’s the Year of the Rat, the Ox, the Dragon, the Horse, the Rabbit, etc. But this year, just-before-Spring-Training and on, is THE YEAR OF THE TIGER. This is not something we made up for the lulz over here, this is glorious, stripey, only-once-every-12-years FACT.

Of course you can see where this is going. The 2010 season will be, LITERALLY, the Year of the Tiger. The Tigers will, for once, have someone who actually celebrates it on the team (thank you for existing, Fu-Te Ni!). WE CANNOT LET THIS ASTROLOGICAL OPPORTUNITY SLIP AWAY. There are signs in the heavens! The stars are aligning! And stuff! The world is parading and dancing with Paws’ cousins! It is clearly Meant To Be! Nuts to April in the D, this is the Year! Of! The Tiger!

Now if the universe and the front office and the team can all take note of this fact, and act accordingly, we could really be in for a good season here, folks.

So Happy New Year again to those of you celebrating, Happy New Year to Fu-Te Ni, and Happy Year of the Tiger to each and every fuzzily stripe-hearted one of us.

Roar of the Tigers illustrates recent important Tigers news

First we start out with the world-shattering tale of Aubrey Huff and Brandon Inge and Brandon Inge’s home run trot this past Thursday. The Freep took the opportunity to break out what may well have been the first use of the phrase “dirt facial” in a baseball article.

As he rounded the bases after his home run, Inge wiped dirt off his face. Apparently, good friend Aubrey Huff, the Orioles’ first baseman, provided a dirt facial as Inge rounded the base. Inge said he tried to keep from laughing as he trotted around.

Mark Snyder, Detroit Free Press article

“I know (Orioles first baseman) Aubrey Huff pretty well and as I rounded first, he doused me with a mouthful of dirt. He kicked dirt all over my face. I was dying laughing,” Inge said. “But I didn’t bust out because I didn’t want the pitcher to think it was about him.”

Tom Gage, Detroit News article

In a turn of events as tragic as tragic can be, I have not seen any photos or video of this incident. My woe knows no bounds. So it has been rendered in Terrible Cartoon form,for posterity, and stuff.

Tigers manager Jim Leyland said Fu-Te Ni does a hilarious impersonation of fellow left-handed reliever Bobby Seay.

He apparently has Seay’s mannerisms down, based on an imitation of Seay he gave this week for Leyland in the manager’s office.

“I laughed (a lot),” Leyland said. “He (Ni) has some personality. I like him.

John Lowe, Detroit Free Press article

Partly because of the language barrier and partly because he’s a middle reliever, we just have not been exposed to a whole lot of Fu Te Ni, the dude. But we want to know him! We crave ever more reasons to shower affection upon our Tigers, and adorable if superficial nuggets of personality will help us do just that.

What are Bobby Seay’s imitable mannerisms? We need to know, this is Important. Ni should maybe do the Bobby Seay impression on camera, so that the people can see it, and Bobby Seay should be standing awkwardly in the back not really knowing what to do about this, and we can have Jim Leyland laughing/wheezing/coughing in hysterical glee off to the side, and isn’t this the sort of thing you’d want to see on FSND?

I would watch that. I would watch it so hard.

CONFIRMED: Brandon Inge is, in fact, growing a mustache. It is, in fact, terrible. Before today’s game he claimed that it was a Rally Mustache, an attempt to change the luck of the Tigers. Will it help his bat? Will it help the bats of other Cats? Brandon Inge does not know. He hopes it will help him, but if it helps someone else– if they manage to hit better “due to [his] ugliness,” as he said in the pregame interview– the Rally ‘stache will have served its purpose.

I say, look, OK, Magglio’s hair removal did not ultimately solve his bat problems. Brandon Inge growing a sketchy little pale mustache is not on the same level as the shearing of the Magglio locks, but it is also in its own way painful to look at, and Magglio conclusively proved (with Science!) that doing sad, misguided things to the physical appearance of Tigers is not a good baseball strategy.

In THE TIGERS COME TO BOSTON news: I will be at Fenway, weather permitting, for the Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday games. Weather permitting, again, I will be there when the gates open on Tuesday and Wednesday. I won’t lie, I am so excited I might gnaw off all my fingernails by then. Are you going to be there? If so, drop me a line, we can awkwardly meet somewhere in the park and reflect on how we know each other from the Internet. It will be good times.

Fu-Te Ni is everywhere in my life now

I scanned these because I own them, yes you are jealous, I know, try to contain yourselves.

Bad game, good game, stupidly bad game. What have we learned from this series? Nothing except for the fact that Jason Giambi is loathsome, which we already knew, and that it is always funny to see Cabrera guarding first base while Cabrera is the runner at first base.

So have a look at that image up top. Guess what came in the mail today? It should not be hard to guess because there it is.

WORLD BASEBALL CLASSIC BASEBALL CARDS

I tore open the box like a junkie and what is the first thing I see? A Fu-Te Ni Chinese Taipei baseball card. I did a literal dance of happiness. Feet movin’ and everything. It was a perfect moment, a moment in which all was right. It was like Topps was calling out to me, “Yes, you have been rewarded for your love! Here is a Tiger you would never in a million years otherwise expect to see at the top of your baseball card pile! Just for yooouuuuuu!”

And what was right beneath him? A YU DARVISH CARD. And then Miggy! And then Yulieski Gourriel!

Basically I am a happy happy cat right now, because you know what I love? Baseball cards. And you know what else I love? The World Baseball Classic. And not even Dallas Braden’s stupid Tiger-baffling fastball can take that away from me.

Just a couple other things today:

–ALBERT PUJOLS IS THE GODFATHER TO PLACIDO POLANCO’S CHILDREN. They are, according to Rod, “that close”. I… I love it.

–Magglio had the high socks today. He went 0-for-4. Stick with it, Magglio! High socks for great justice!

–Nate Robertson’s surgery was successful and he ‘should’ be throwing in about a month. They’re calling the offending bits “muscle masses” now. I still think we might have a freak teratoma situation on our hands.

–Brandon Inge had today off, and everyone will have tomorrow off. His knee has been wonked since he had that baserunning hiccup on Sunday, and the next series will be on the famously knee-hating turf in Minnesota, so this was a reasonable move.

“That son of a gun — he’ll be mad,” Leyland joked. “No, he won’t be mad. … I need him for the long haul. I was going to DH him. I slept on it last night, woke up and said, ‘You know what, when he gets on base, he’s got to run the bases.’ Thought he could use the day off.”

Adam Loberstein, MLB.com

Only Jim Leyland would unironically utter the phrase “that son of a gun”.

–Happy Canada Day!

it's Ni time

photo illustration by Samara Pearlstein

The nice thing about this game was that, because it was in Oakland, I did not have to sit through 9 full innings. That’s about the only nice thing, though.

–So you know how yesterday I said that we should get to see Fu-Te Ni fairly soon, since the Tigers go through bullpen pitchers like a house cat goes through kitty litter? Yeah. That happened.

In his big league debut, Fu-Te Ni pitched 1.2 innings, coming on in the 5th in relief of a struggling Rick Porcello. Ni allowed only one hit, but this was most unfortunately a homerun off the bat of Ryan “Not Mark” Sweeney. The Tigers were down 5-1 before the homer and 6-1 after it. As those are almost equally impossible deficits for the Tigs to make up, it wasn’t a big deal. Ni also struck out 3 and didn’t walk anyone. It took him 27 pitches to get through 6 batters, which is not bad at all.

He didn’t look like he was overtly freaking out. FSND had a shot of him in the dugout afterwards, doing an elaborate pantomime with Gerald Laird, which seemed to have something to do with keeping pitches down and making sure to follow through on the pitching motion. At least the language barrier is being cheerfully tackled with grappling hooks, even if no one’s exactly vaulting lustily over it just yet.

Overall it was an encouraging first appearance. I for one look hopefully forward to a productive career for Fu-Te Ni, filled with Monty Python jokes.

–Raburn moved from left to first in the bottom of the 8th, and was using Miguel Cabrera’s glove. I don’t know if this is because he doesn’t have a first baseman’s glove of his own (or he didn’t bring it on the road), or because he just felt like using Miggy’s glove, perhaps as a sort of safety blanket. I would understand that.

–There’s a Curtis Granderson Q&A thing over at the Big Stew right now. How amazing would it be to see Granderson on an episode of Psych? Holy cats. I might die of Amazing Overdose if that were to happen.

I agree with him that the Lowell Spinners’ ballpark is really nice. And his statements about ballplayer book readin’ (lack thereof) are very sad. The response to the last question is A+, though, you should check it out just for that.

–Magglio stole a base today. Many lulz. Inge also stole a base, on his gimpy leg.

–Basically terrible hitting from the Tigers in this one. How? Why? Who knows. This team is so damn inconsistent, not to get all Joe Morgan-y on you or anything. FSND had a shot of Jim Leyland and Lloyd McClendon in the dugout. Here is Rod’s take on the scene:

“Jim’s askin’ Lloyd what happened, and he can’t say nothin’, just shakes his head… that’s a beautiful shot. He couldn’t say nothin’. Just shook his head.”

It was a very sad, disbelieving shake of the head. Most eloquent.

–Mario: This might be the smallest crowd the Tigers have played in front of this year.

Rod: And a lot of them are Tigers fans too…

The official attendance tally for this game was 10,563, and the actual number may well have been less than that.

–The Tigers starting rotation right now has an average age of 24. The youngest member of the rotation is Rick Porcello, at the tender (under)age of 20, and the oldest pitcher is Armando Galarraga, a veritable geezer at the advanced age of 27. Just think about that for a while.

–Nate is having surgery on Tuesday. Now the mass is being described as “fibrous”, so… yeah, I still have no idea what it actually is. How crazy would it be if it was a teratoma and there were, like, teeth and hair and eyeballs growing in Nate’s arm? Let’s believe that it is until we hear otherwise.

–I keep forgetting that Jason Giambi is still in baseball. So grotesque. I wish there was a way to watch this series without accidentally seeing his face sometimes when I look at the TV screen.

the Knights who say Fu-Te Ni

photo illustration by Samara Pearlstein

I’m sure everyone else in the world has made this joke already. I just… I can’t help myself. I AM SORRY.

The Tigers have signed Taiwanese pitcher Fu-Te Ni (Ni Fu-te, if you follow the Asian convention) to a minor league deal.

Who is Fu-Te Ni? He’s 25 years old, he’s a side-armer, and, when not pitching for various Taiwanese national teams, he pitched for a professional team called the Chinatrust Whales. I know little about the Chinatrust Whales beyond the fact that their team name is AWESOME. Was awesome, I should say– the team appears to have played its last season in 2008. At least the Brother Elephants are still around.

The Chinese/Taiwanese baseball circuit is not nearly as strong as the Japanese or Korean leagues, neither of which is as strong as MLB or even MiLB (although Japan has been steadily working their way up, talent-wise), so although Ni is coming to Spring Training and will have a chance to compete for a big league roster spot right away, I would expect him to start the year in the minors. Unless, of course, he has some sort of crazily impressive spring (a happy possibility) or everyone else coming into camp flames out spectacularly (a sad but real possibility).

Naturally I also expect his chances to join the bullpen right away will improve if he shows up at Lakeland with a nice shrubbery.