Category Archives: Jhonny


illustration by Samara Pearlstein

We all knew this was coming, but I suppose it still requires a post. Jhonny Peralta, Biogenesis, steroidy steroids, 50-game suspension.

The Tigers obviously knew this was coming too, as the signing of Jose Smooth Defensive Operator Iglesias shows. Thus nobody is surprised by any of this, and because Mr. Dombrowski had taken the steps necessary to make sure that Jhonny’s suspension would not put the team in an immediate bind, it’s hard to get too worked up. Some dudes did steroids, or at the very least made the mistake of associating heavily with a company positively schmeared with steroid residue. Those dudes are now being suspended, and potentially, depending on how much meddling they’ve tried to do pre-suspension, banned (good work, ARod). The Tigers lose a shortstop; the Tigers have a shortstop. The wheel turns.

The only one who really got run over by all this was Avisail Garcia, cruelly ripped from the tender bosom of his role model and sent to the dank, Miguel-Cabrera-less south side of Chicago as part of the series of moves that brought Iglesias to Detroit. So it goes.

Jhonny Peralta walks off the bullpen.

illustration by Samara Pearlstein

Walks off to help the bullpen, anyways. Not that any particular Tiger was really, spectacularly, traumatically bad last night (just a smidgen bad; just enough to require a walk-off, you know), but the bullpen as a whole really needed a win tonight– something to take the pressure off, even if only briefly.

The Potato is out, more or less*. Benoit is in, sort of, but might not be able to pitch effectively on consecutive nights in closing situations, so there’s also Phil Coke (who had some ‘issues’ last night), and Drew Smyly, who, like Benoit, is not particularly stretched out, and… well. Jim Leyland and friends are doing everything in their power to avoid uttering the phrase “closer by committee,” but a rose by any other name etc etc.

A win like last night’s was welcomed and necessary. Of course it’s not as though the sight of Jhonny Peralta toddling happily around the basepaths with that rosy walk-off glow on his spherical face will completely erase the Bullpen Drama from the minds and increasingly neurotic hearts of Tigers fans. But it’s a nice break, and I’m sure a nicer break still for the denizens of the bullpen themselves.

Hhip hhip hhooray fhor Jhonny.

*ETA: So much for that. The internet is now saying that the Potato has been designated for assignment.

Some more important Spring Training matters.

illustrations by Samara Pearlstein

Here we are at the tail end of Spring Training. It is a wonder that we have arrived at this point, is it not? Many of us are looking out our windows right now at piles of snow surrounding more or less indifferently cleared sidewalks, piles of snow obliterating perfectly good on-street parking spaces, piles of snow melting off of rooftops onto the unlucky, uncovered heads of passersby, piles of snow that someone’s labradoodle has peed on. But real live Baseball That Counts is starting in two weeks. Truly it is enough to make one ponder the mysteries of the universe, or at least the mysteries of summer-associated sports played in April in northern climes.

In any event, things have been occurring. We all learned that Jhonny Peralta is allergic to shellfish, for instance. This vital information came to light after he consumed what he thought was clubhouse potato soup, later to be revealed as treacherously potato-white and potato-chunky clam chowder.

There are lessons to be learned here. The first one is for the kids still in school: don’t make fun of your peers for food allergies, because that stuff is serious, and also they might one day grow up to be a Major League Baseball player and then won’t you look dumb? You will. Be nice. Secondly: maybe the clubhouse spread should be labeled. Like, really clearly. With big black letters on brightly colored pieces of cardstock. In English and Spanish. Thirdly: Jhonny Peralta has a serious food allergy. This was not widely known information before this incident. Now you know.

Another thing that occurred: Miguel Cabrera was involved in a MLB Network video art project. It involved Rihanna and Adam Jones and the kind of digital video effects that one would in fact expect from video art created by, say, your average contemporary art student– a little more Ryan Trecartin than Nam June Paik, you know.

As much as I love Miguel Cabrera, obviously, I have to note that Adam Jones is near-criminally underused in this project. From his brief appearances it is clear that the man can, and more importantly, wants to (over)act, with a readiness and enthusiasm that all the props in the world cannot approximate. But while ruing our lost opportunities to see Adam Jones flower into his full performative potential, we must not fail to appreciate that which we are given, that being Miguel Cabrera flailing around in a scuba mask and having some sort of emotional moment with a baguette, for reasons that remain obscure even upon repeated viewings. I am sure you have all seen it by now, but I urge you to spend some more time with it: this is art that resists easy and immediate interpretation.

Another thing that occurred a while ago and it is just now showing up in this section of the internet because GRAD SKOOL: Spring Training, as we all know, is the period during which all the most important stories have the space and time to be written. The Detroit baseball writers stretch their fingers with ease in the humid Floridian air. Their minds are sharp, honed on a long offseason of laughing at the misfortunes of the hockey beat writers; sometimes this involves laughing at themselves, and this too serves to sharpen the mind. They are at the pinnacle of their unathletic game, and the athletes, lulled into a calm good mood by renewed baseball activities and covert clubhouse clam chowder, are willing to give them a little more attention than usual.

All this led to the most important reportage of the Tigers’ Spring: Phil Coke (the relief pitcher) met and conversed with Phil Coke’s Brain (the Twitter account).

MLive’s Chris Iott is a gentleman and a scholar. Phil Coke is hilarious and a jolly good sport. His Brain abides.

One last thing: Brennan Boesch, he of the surfer-boy hair and dubious oblique and frustrating 2012 stats, was finally jettisoned from the team. Mr. D said many expected things about “moving forward” and “potential” and “a change of scenery” and all those related phrases that mean the team believes there might still be a cache of talent lurking somewhere within the corporeal person of Brennan Boesch, but they’ve tired of trying to coax it out of hiding and have decided that someone else can give it a shot if they’re feeling feisty.

The Yankees are not feeling particularly feisty these days, but since they are already gunning hard for the prestigious Most Injured Outfield of 2013 award, they extended their grubby little Yankee paws and snatched Brennan up almost immediately. May he enjoy his time in New York, although not to the point where he’s enjoying it because they are actually winning games of baseball.

stop the skid

illustration by Samara Pearlstein

True story: I drew this cartoon before the game started, with vague intentions of this post being something along the lines of, “Come on now, Cats, we do not want to be riding a skid into Boston.” Then, of course, they won, and I threw in the stop sign. THEN I’m about to start writing, and I pull up the Mothership to check the box score, and…

Fister, Peralta help Tigers halt skid in finale.

Thanks for stealing my headline/cartoon thunder, Mothership! And while we’re at it, stop reading my freakin’ mind, ok? It’s CREEPY.

Skid Stoppers:

Doug Fister. One run, 8 innings. Nine Ks. No extra-base hits allowed. A positively Verlanderian pitch count. Doug Fister had had enough of losing on the road and decided that there would be no more of that. I was listening to the radio broadcast and they could not stop talking about the size of his hands, which left open a whole other field of unspoken speculation. Not exactly what I expect from my baseball radio, but, you know, I’m ok with it.

Jhonny Peralta. Two home runs. Two home runs. Two home runs. Two Hhome Rhuns!

Stopping this skid was critical, because the Tigers are heading into Boston, and that means they’re entering RotT territory. The most important thing being my mental and emotional well-being, obviously the Tigers have to be on point when they’re on my turf. There are some other side considerations at the same time, of course: little things like keeping up with the Wrong Sox, and salvaging the road trip, etc etc. Minor stuff. Keep RotT happy and you’ll be ok, Tigers.

Of course, last time around, the Tigers handed the Sox a bunch of wins, even though things were going badly in Boston at the time. The Red Sox are a jumbled mass of drama, failure, and overly strident emotional characters right now, but that does not mean that this series doesn’t have the potential to be a trap. The Tigers have had trouble in Boston in recent years. Care must be taken. Nothing is to be taken for granted.

Going into that series on a skid of loose shale and endless losing, that’s just not the position that you want. The Tigers still have an Ugh, No Thanks record on this trip– one day of Mister Fister putting his no doubt enormous foot down and Jhonny putting his modestly-scaled bat up couldn’t change that. But they’re heading to Boston on a positive immediate note.

The Big Cats just need to pitch like they’re supposed to pitch (Justin, lookin’ at you) and everyone needs to stop wasting Super Best Friends contributions. Maybe sacrifice Ryan Raburn to the baseball gods in some sort of ritual that I will leave to your imagination (it involves dead muskrats and vanilla extract, I’ll tell you that much). Get this done, and perhaps Paws can get off the skidding slope altogether.

Happy ValenTigers Day!

drawings by Samara Pearlstein

Just a little Tigers affection for all you cats!

pug marks, 11/8

illustration by Samara Pearlstein

It has been approximately one thousand years since our last pug marks post, so you know what that means! No you don’t, you’ve forgotten because it’s been so long since we did one of these. Anyways. It means that it’s time for a pug marks post.

pug mark 1
Apparently the Tigers have signed Jhonny Peralta to a two-year deal. Good news for a team without a hot sexy shortstop prospect chomping capably at the triple-A bit, bad news for twitchy newspaper editors. Jhonny had said that he wanted to stay in Detroit, so nobody is exactly screaming with uncontrollable joy, but everyone is moderately pleased, and that’s fine by me.

pug mark 2
Brandon Inge won the Marvin Miller Award for being so freakin’ awesome. This is a league-wide award, mind you, not one of those where one guy on every team gets it. Brandon Inge is such a stand-up fellow that the entire league stands in awe of him. Am I surprised? No. Of course not. Am I pleased. Yes. Yesssssssss.

pug mark 3
Were you wondering who won the pumpkin carving contest? Wonder no more. Although technically that is a scraping, not a carving. Also I think that to win a Brandon Inge bat, you should have to create a Brandon Inge-themed pumpkin. I believe that would have only been fair.

pug mark 4
The Tigers sent Brent Dlugach to the Red Sox for the usual cash-or-a-PTBNL. I’m assuming that most of you don’t really care, but he has been in the system for a while so maybe someone has strong feelings about it. I hope he makes it up with the Sox so I can listen to Jerry Remy struggle to pronounce his name.

pug mark 5
Happy belated Diwali! I don’t have an image of Paws holding a bunch of candles ready to go or anything, so have some Comerica lightbanks. That works for a festival of lights, right? Right.

pug mark 6
Will Rhymes has been having some dog problems.

The dog is a pug; I can’t remember whether or not we know his name, though. Anyone? This is vital information.

pug mark 7
Lee is doing a contest: correctly guess the first new player to sign with the Tigers (from outside the organization), win a book! It’s a pretty good book, you know. It’s got some nice cartoons in it.

pug mark 8
So I guess it’s really the offseason now. If there’s anything you’ve been dying to see rendered in Terrible Cartoon form, speak now and maybe I will draw it. I’ll need little drawing warm-ups now that it’s coming into Wicked Massive and Intense Holiday Card Creation Season anyways.


Papa Grande by Samara Pearlstein

You guys. You guys. You guys. You guys, I was at that game. I was, for the last couple of innings, sitting one row behind home plate. I was chewing my scorecard and thinking about maybe vomiting on the rich people in front of me. But I am getting ahead of myself. Bullet points of incoherence, yes.

–Traitor Damon took BP and was all over the field, doing his time in the cage, running about, etc, so I assumed he would be playing in the game. He must have been scratched literally minutes before it started. When I was going over my photos a bit between innings, I realized I had a series of pregame shots of Alex Avila picking TDamon up, trying to crack his back. So I guess he was feeling it earlier in BP and was trying to work it out but couldn’t quite manage to get it loose. Or maybe the brawny arms of Alex Avila busted his back up, who knows.

–Jhonny Peralta’s Tigers debut! Hitting two home runs in one game is a pretty good way to introduce yourself to a new team.

–Jhonny Peralta and Victor Martinez are in love. VMart came RUNNING over when he first saw Jhonny during BP. They hugged, and then Victor laid his head down on Jhonny’s shoulder and snuggled him. It was probably the single most adorable thing I have ever associated with the Racist Logos.

–Will Rhymes is SUPER TINY. He is listed at 5’9 but I don’t know about that. Let the internet record also state that I was very pleasantly surprised by his defense today. He looked crisp on almost everything, he made some fine plays out there. Refreshing.

–I don’t know how it looked on TV, but the way Armando Galarraga went down when Youk hit that ball off his leg, I seriously thought something had broken. He looked like he was in AGONY, to the point where it was almost unbelievable that he was able to get up and walk off the field on his own– without even too much of a limp! Scary moment, needs to not be repeated, thanks.

–Brennan Boesch’s swing is all kinds of messed up right now, and it felt even more obvious up close and in person. I think he is starting to come around, but there’s clearly plenty of work left to do.

–Actual Fenway conversation when Peralta was up to bat in the 7th inning (an at-bat that ultimately ended in a single).
Me: “Go Jhonny!”
Drunk Red Sox fan: “Jhonny SUCKS! You SUCK, Peralta! You suck!”
Me: “He’s hit two home runs today, how bad can he be?”
Drunk Red Sox fan: *silence*

–That play where Rhymes was called out trying to steal third was SO bad. He was obviously safe even in the park, where we did not have the benefit of multiple angles and slowed-down replay. Even the Sox fans sitting next to us thought he was safe. It was so blatantly ridiculous that I’m kind of surprised Leyland didn’t get tossed… although maybe now with the upcoming suspension, he’s trying to be a bit more careful.

–Ryan Perry has some of the biggest fratboy jerkcod sunglasses I have ever seen. The stems are made to look like chains, you know? but they are clear plastic. Congratulations Ryan Perry, you look like a tool.

–Robbie Weinhardt looked good, for the most part. And Alli, I paid close attention during BP, and you are quite right, the eyelashes are truly somethin’ else.

–You know who I really missed? The Bird. There was always a good chance he would show up at the park when the Tigers came into Boston and at one point during BP I found myself looking around for him before I remembered. THEN I WAS SADFACE. I did see two Tigers fans wearing Fidrych jerseys, which was nice.

–PAPA GRANDE WHAT IN THE WORLD WAS THAT. WHAT WAS IT. WHAT. WHAT WHAT. I will tell you what it was. THAT WAS FERNANDO. I suffered enough Fernando when we actually had Fernando, I don’t need to Fernando-suffer when he’s not even here anymore. That was the most nerve-wracking 9th inning I have experienced in ages. When David Ortiz hit that grand slam, I thought the Red Sox just HAD to come back to win it; it was starting to feel inevitable. But somehow he (and G-Money) pulled it out. Whew. Whew.

–Needed this one so badly. SO BADLY. Not just in the standings, but in order to get a road win under our belts for the first time in however long. Ages.

–Max Scherzer really needs to go deep into the game tomorrow, because who’s left? Brad Thomas? Paws?

–I have a bazillion photos from this game, especially when we moved up to right behimd home, but you lot will have to wait on that, as it’s going to be ages before they’re all internet ready. Sorry. TOO MANY BASEBALL GAMES (never).

Forget everything you know about spelling: Jhonny Peralta is a Tiger.

The fact that Jhonny Peralta is now a Tiger is notable for two reasons:

— The amazing wandering H.

— His head is naturally shaped like a near-perfect sphere, instantly making him the Tiger closest in form to a Real Life Terrible Cartoon.

Aside from those two most vital factors, he was acquired because the Tigers urgently, desperately need infielders who are not raw untried kittens. Jhonny is not someone who can propel the team back into high spirits and contention with his bat, but he IS a veteran. It’s actually kind of sad to see him leave the Racist Logos (if we can feel any emotions for the Racist Logos that are not ‘disgust’ and ‘disdain’ and similar). He had been with them for his entire career, including his initial signing.

To get him the Tigers had to give up Giovanni Soto, another awkward spelling (given the fact that there is already a ‘Geovany’ Soto in the league).

Game? What game? This is all I can concentrate on, obviously.

Well, alongside one more thing: Jeremy Bonderman’s thoughts on retirement.

“(Owner Mike Ilitch) and the Tigers’ organization have given me an opportunity to provide for my family really well, and I feel like I’ve saved a lot of money and I have the ability to be able to do what I want — whether it’s be with my kids every day or go on fishing trips with my dad or brothers,” he [Bonderman] said in the clubhouse at Tropicana Field. “At times I love it. At times I’m like, ‘Man.’ “

“I feel I have a lot left,” Bonderman said. “If I really want to play, I can play. I’m just kind of thinking about it. I don’t know if it’s what I’m going to do.”
Vince Ellis/Detroit Free Press

Bondo. Kiddo, we need to talk. For one thing, this was only ever intended as a Terrible Cartoon joke, not a reality to which you should aspire. Maybe we should have clarified that?

For another thing, you are twenty-freakin-seven years old. You really want to retire at 27? I know you probably DO have enough money to comfortably do it, assuming you were smart with it and don’t plan to spend the rest of your life living lavishly above your means, which doesn’t really seem like your kinda thing anyways. Well, you probably bought some asinine car. Aside from that.

But what are you going to do with yourself? Sit around the house all day? Not to be rude, Bondo, but what other skills, exactly, do you have? Hunting season is not year-round, and you can only go fishing so often.

And: look. Unless your home fishing grounds are on the Gulf, the fish will still be there five, ten, fifteen years from now.