Category Archives: Miguel Cabrera

Things of late, as Terrible Cartoons, of course.


illustrations by Samara Pearlstein

I’m just going to lead with that one because it makes me happy in my optic nerves. Everyone in the wide world of Tigers fans has his or her own opinion about the team. There is naturally a great deal of disagreement. But there is one thing upon which we can all agree, one thing that may be safely and universally acknowledged as an unequivocally beautiful sight: Alex Avila, pleased with his own walk-off hit, being doused in purple Gatorade by an almost unhealthily giddy Papa Grande. It is a fine thing, a fine thing indeed.

Especially when Avila’s jersey then gets all wet and it’s all sticking to his torso and it’s a home jersey so it’s white and bits get translucent when soaked, and you get all mad at FSD for not getting longer and more torso-inclusive shots post-soaking, and now I’ve said too much. Thank you, Papa Grande.

This keeps on happening, and I suppose it too is a fine thing. Every silver lining, of course, has its cloud, and Scherzer’s high K-counts are still tagging along with the logically attendant high pitch counts, but for now we will accept it.

Doug Fister injured his groin. The jokes came thick and fast and inevitably. Everyone is just real sorry about that, Mister Fister, but what do you expect from us? We are baseball fans. We are all ten years old.

Miguel Cabrera’s ankle has been sore for a while, and Leyland is finally paying attention, giving him some DH time and just now a day off. I haven’t seen anything more specific than “sore” to describe the State of Miggy’s Ankle, aside from this Mothership blurb earlier in the month:

During the Boston series, Miguel Cabrera fouled a ball off his left shin and, as a result, the third baseman has been experiencing some “drainage” in his ankle, head athletic trainer Kevin Rand said on Sunday morning.

“He’s just getting some drainage in his ankle from that,” Rand said. “His [lower] leg gets sore just the more he’s on it.”
Jason Beck/Anthony Odoardi, DetroitTigers.com

What in the world does that mean? How can an ankle be experiencing ‘drainage’? That sounds anatomically difficult and worrying. I cannot know, I can only draw.

Drew Smyly is back! He got a spot start and should be sticking around in the bullpen even when he gets bumped from the rotation.

The persistence of Delmon Young’s mustache should be a source of concern for us all. But he has also been on a bit of a hitting tear lately. Does this… does this mean that the mustache is actually doing the hitting for him?? I think this is a possibility that we need to deeply consider. It would explain how that upper lip d├ęcor has hung around this long, despite (what must surely be) the strong recommendations of everyone who knows Delmon personally and also has eyes.

Just throwing this one in for good luck. The mantises have been back in attendance, all over MLB, and yes, they have been spotted– and occasionally photographed— in Detroit. Praise be!

Good things.


illustrations by Samara Pearlstein

Dropping two to the Rangers was bad. But taking two from the Twinkies is good! We shall concentrate on the good.

–Those throwback uniforms, as depicted above. Still way into them. Stripes! Orange! Messing with the away uniform and not the home uni! Encouraging Miguel Cabrera to wear his socks up! It’s all to the good, except for the orange hat logo with the white outline. That just looks messy. Everything else is great, though.

–I assume you all saw the Brandon Inge play by now, but just in case:

He dove for, and came up with, a ball, landing hard on his shoulder in the process. As he sat up, it became clear that his shoulder was dislocated. He was holding his arm awkwardly away from his body, like he couldn’t put it down. So what does Brandon Inge do? He grabs his own arm, and freakin’ pulls his own shoulder back into the socket. At this point I would probably be vomiting from pain and terror, because Roar of the Tigers is not Brandon Inge.

So Brandon Inge has just performed a medical procedure on himself right there on the field. The trainer comes out. Brandon Inge WAVES HIM OFF.

He then went on to get a hit and an RBI, which turned out to be the game-running run. With his self-repaired shoulder. Which has now landed him on the DL, because sanity and the human body eventually had to make themselves felt. In any event, Brandon Inge is a hero.

And yes, he is of course an Athletic now. But let’s not even pretend that this blog has stopped caring about all things Brandon Inge.

–Andy Dirks is back, and is playing like he doesn’t want to be forgotten and Toledo’d again any time soon.

–Omar Infante is at second base.

–The RotT little brother was recently at a Lakewood BlueClaws game, where apparently they have little photos of their ‘alumni’. Including:

Aww, yay. Something seemed off, though…

Fixed it.

Terrible Cartoons from a Not-Terrible Weekend


illustrations by Samara Pearlstein

I will be honest: although I did watch the entire game yesterday, after that top of the 10th I was quite thoroughly mired in Despair. It just seemed like the sort of thing that the Tigers absolutely do not overcome. I was resigned to my fate, willing to watch the sad final eep of the Tigers as they finished off the game, probably with something horrible like a weak groundout double play.

Then a whole bunch of magical baseball things happened, ending with MIGUEL CABRERA LEADING HIS FELID TROOPS TO VICTORY! Also, one of the most epic Super Best Friends hugs ever.

The pure, beautiful, boundless love between Prince and Miggy is one of the greatest things about this season and I think you will all agree.

Austin Jackson was instrumental in that last push to unexpected victory. He also had two triples on the day. Austin Jackson loves getting three bases at once and Comerica likes to reward him for that very specific affection.

The less said about Joe West, the better, but there had to be a cartoon.

Obligatory (?) Doug Fister with Hulk Hands doodle from Saturday’s complete game Fiesta Tigres masterpiece.

I guess the Tigers acquired Jeff Baker from the Cubs at some point, with the idea that he will be the right-handed bat that Ryan Raburn (DL’d with a wonky thumb, or at least that’s what they’re saying; could be DL’d with Persistent Awfulness) never quite was this season. The Cubbie haul has not yet been named. Verdict: meh, but I am a little concerned on behalf of Quintin Berry for the reason illustrated above.

Where in the World Tigers system is Danny Worth? He had been down, then he got called up, but now I think he’s down again? Maybe? I actually have no idea. I doubt that Danny Worth even knows where he is anymore. He has been up and down and down and up so many times this season that he’s practically two quarks, or at least this awkward yo-yo.

Super Best Friends save the day again.


illustration by Samara Pearlstein

Miguel Cabrera can hit a home run. Prince Fielder can hit a home run. But when they combine their powers for the forces of Good and hit home runs back to back… that is the very essence of what it means to be the Super Best Friends.

Miguel Cabrera is Good at Baseball, episode #300


illustration by Samara Pearlstein

Let’s talk about things that are awesome, shall we?

–Miguel Cabrera hit the 300th home run of his illustrious career on Sunday. He actually hit two home runs in the same game because he is just that Good at Baseball. Relatedly, you can click today’s drawing to see it bigger.

–Quintin Berry and Brennan Boesch also homered. It was an inspiring day for baseball flight enthusiasts.

–The Tigers stole two whole bases in this series (Jackson today, Miggy yesterday), and nobody got caught stealing.

–FredFred absolutely dominated the balls out of the Wrong Sox on Saturday. We are talking about 8 innings of one-run, 5-hit, zero extra-base-hit, zero walk domination. We are talking about Kevin Youkilis lying down on the dugout bench and whimpering a little. And while he does so, FredFred smiles on the mound and flexes like a really skinny prizefighter, just because he can.

–Justin Verlander shattered Gordon Beckham’s bat on a checked swing with a fastball more powerful than a highly-pressurized firehose of lava. Never seen a firehose spraying lava? Wrong, you totally have, because you have seen Justin Verlander pitch.

–Mrs. Phil Coke had a baby girl and Phil Coke said this about his wife:

“She’s phenomenal. She’s so, so tough,” Coke said. “She makes me feel like such a girl. But, then again, if I felt like a girl, I’m tough, too. But she’s tougher than me. It was unbelievable.”
DetroitTigers.com

–U guyz Gerald Laird is batting .299, no joke, not kidding, you can look it up on the internet.

–Eight SuperBestFriends hits total in the series.

–Jacob Turner finally got his first big league win. It was not exactly a quality start in the strict definition of the term– Turner allowed 3 runs and 7 hits in 5.1 innings– but it was solid, and it was plenty on a day when every cat who felt the urge to hit a home run did so.

–SWEEP OF THE WRONG SOX

–FIRST PLACE

The Super Best Friends are real.


photo by Samara Pearlstein

Turns out that when the whole ‘Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder in the lineup’ thing works like it was originally supposed to, the game of baseball becomes a magical land of rainbows and candy and dinosaurs riding fat ponies and kittens, kittens everywhere– or at least a Tigers win. Who would have guessed? You know, aside from every member of the Tigers front office involved in the Prince signing, and all the mediafolk and blogospherites who predicted offensive onslaughts galore from Detroit in 2012, and you, and me, and that yappy little dog that lives in the apartment downstairs whose owner isn’t even a Tigers fan. Even that dog expected Miggy + Prince to = winning.

It hasn’t quite worked out like that thus far this season, which is why last night’s game– where Miggy singled in the tying run, followed shortly by Prince homering in the winning run and then some– is all the more notable. Perhaps this is a preview for the way things will operate in the second half. Wouldn’t that be nice?

I know some of you have grown skeptical. The Super Best Friends are fictional, you said. They’re comic book characters, cartoons, bad drawings in spandex underpants. They can’t be real– we would have seen them on the field by now if they were real. Well, you’re wrong, because the Super Best Friends are VERY EXTREMELY REAL, and they’ve totally got spandex underpants on under their uniforms.

The Super Best Friends are a powerful force when properly activated. A force for good, a force for love. A force for victory. May their deployment be regular and emphatic from here on out.

(Note: This photo is from the Pittsburgh series, lest you think their Super Best Friendness is confined to good series.)

Your 2012 All Star Tigers


illustrations by Samara Pearlstein

There you have it, your 2012 All Star Tigers: Prince Fielder starting at first base, Miguel Cabrera and Justin Verlander on the roster. You can make arguments for the inclusion of Austin Jackson and/or Joaquin Benoit, but as they are not on the Final Man Voting ballot, barring injury or other player dropout, it ain’t gonna happen. There shall be three Tigers and three Tigers is what there shall be.

Last year I think we all– myself included– got a bit riled up about the ASG, due to the potential injustice of Alex Avila not going, even though he had the most unquenchable beard in all the Major Leagues and was also playing like a dude who is good at baseball. Of course 2009 was exciting on account of THE BRANDON INGE FACTOR, yes, I know, shut up, I still wear my 2009 American League Brandon Inge All Star Game jersey with pride. So there. This year I am back to my usual state of excit-apathy for all things All Star.

I know it means something to the players, but really, it’s meaningless. We’ve been over this before, and you’re all smart cats, you know as well as I do that it’s a popularity contest only partially (some would say barely) contingent upon actual performance and numbers. We may speak of Injustice when Awesome Player X doesn’t make the team, but what possible meaning can Justice have for something so devoid of rational rule and law as the MLB All Star voting process?

The fact that something as potentially important as World Series home field advantage rides on the All Star Game does not mitigate my vexation; in fact, it only makes things worse. Something as totally vapid and pointless as the All Star Game is determining World Series home field advantage, you guys. That’s not something that should make you happy, that’s something that should terrify and/or infuriate you, depending on how invested you are in the outcome of the World Series.

ANYWAYS. Prince Fielder and Miguel Cabrera can do their weird little handshake thing on a national stage, maybe. Justin Verlander can throw a few baseballs very fast, maybe. Prince might do the Home Run Derby, because that never screws up a dude’s swing for the second half or anything. Nobody will get hurt, or Paws will have to stab Ron Washington in the spleen. It’s not that he wants to do it, Mr. Washington. It’s just that if a Tiger gets hurt on your watch, he must. It is in his job description.

It is a pointless game, but life itself is pointless when you get right on down to it, so, whatever. Will I watch it? Probably yes. It may need to be in some environment where I can’t hear the announcing, which is usually what drives me over the edge from mild tolerance to a real This Is The Worst Thing Ever What Has Become of My Life existential crisis, but yeah, I am what I am, I will probably watch the bloody thing.

ANYWAYS ANYWAYS. Apologies for the long silence between posts; I was in Pittsburgh for the Tigers series, and really wanted the next post to be the photo roundup from that trip. Happily/unfortunately, I took approximately 10,000 photos, and going through them while still dealing with work, class, and Studio Absurdity is taking a really long time. So… yeah, those will be up soon, hopefully. There’s some good stuff you lot need to see.

ALSO.

How great were those Tigers throwbacks in Tampa? How great would it have been to be a Tigers cartoonist back when they were wearing those things? WICKED GREAT.

That is Not a Bunt, and Other Illustrations.


illustrations by Samara Pearlstein

A dude meets the baseball with his bat. The baseball hits that dude in the leg. The baseball then sort of bounces away from the dude, in the general direction of most things we would call bunts. But this baseball is not a bunt! Because– were you following closely?– it hit the batter in the leg before it went in that bunt-erly direction.

Complicated, I know, which is why there is a Terrible Cartoon explaining it up top. I have tried to make it as clear as clear can be. Alas, this was not clear enough for the umpires in Sunday’s game, who called Alberto Gonzalez’s obvious FOUL BALL a bunt single instead, which may not seem so bad as bad calls go, but it was a bunt single that SCORED THE WINNING RUN in the 11TH INNING, so… yeah, not cool. Not cool at all, umpires.

We may need to make sure the above diagram is printed and distributed to all umpiring crews in Major League Baseball. They may have it free of charge. I want neither fame nor fortune; I only want justice to be done.

Anyways. Other things:

I call this The Exquisite Suffering of Rick Porcello, For Which We Have No Real Explanation.

Remember when Prince Fielder stole a base? Remember when that was a real thing that really happened in a baseball game that counted? Whenever these latest Tigers failures start to get you down, just think back to that stolen base, and the jetpack that clearly had to be there to make it happen.

And hey, you know who got two hits on his own birthday, back on April 18? THIS CAT! Happy 29th, Miggy!

super best friends


illustration by Samara Pearlstein

Good
Miguel Cabrera and Prince Fielder sure can hit some baseballs. They can hit a baseball a long distance.

Now, it’s only been three games, but in those three games as a 3-4 combo Miggy and Prince have been everything we’ve dreamed thus far. They are best lineup buddies. They are super in both the superlative and hero senses. They are magical and lovely and by their powers combined even greater heights of magical loveliness will be attained.

Good
Justin Verlander. Everything about Justin Verlander.

Bad
Doug Fister is on the DL. (Insert ten minutes of hysterical screaming here.) He has a ‘left costochondral strain’, which means that he over-stretched/strained the cartilage connecting his ribs to his sternum. It’s not an oblique injury, or at least that’s what they’re telling us right now, because they know how that one little word will send us all into death spirals of panic.

Ha ha! Shows what you know, team! I’ll go into a death spiral of panic ANYWAYS! You can’t stop my Tigers-related neuroses!!

The only thing Fister can do about this particular injury is rest. This is both a good thing (noninvasive and uncomplicated healing procedure) and a bad thing (no quick and solid fix, no real way to prevent it from happening again).

We’re not yet sure who will replace him in the rotation, because I guess it builds character to make us panic a little longer. Good thing we had that prolonged competition for the 5th starter spot, though, right? That means we have a bunch of cats in the minors right now who are all starter-ready and chomping at the proverbial bit, right? Right??

Good
Alex Avila is fresh and not yet so exhausted that he can barely heft a bat. It is nice to see, and the results of such freshness are also nice to see. Beardy and nice. Walkoff nice.

Bad
Max Scherzer on Sunday. Seven runs in 2.2 innings, with no injury excuses (so far as we know). Even under normal circumstances this would be somewhat worrying; having just lost Mister Fister, it is THOROUGHLY worrying. Consider me duly worried.

(Use the blue eye, Max! The blue eye! Stop pitching with the brown!)

Good
The fact that even with two starters leaving games early, the bullpen was effective and helped keep both games from getting out of paw. This is like the exact opposite of what happened with the Red Sox, and is in fact rather heartening if you can ignore the reasons why we had to see so much of the ‘pen in this series.

Bad
Jose Valverde blowing his first save in a million years or whatever it was. Of course then he went on to officially get the Win, so… I guess that’s something. A terrible something that does little more than point to the foolishness of statistics like Wins, but, you know, maybe it will make him feel better about himself deep within his own heart.

Good
Miguel Cabrera making funny, awkward-acrobatic plays at third.

Bad
Miguel Cabrera making equally funny, but much more inept plays at third.

Good/Bad
I really personally enjoyed the heck out of what the Tigers did in this series, ridiculous and unreliable as much of it may have been. HOWEVER, as soon as the Tigers buzz wears off, I am going to be freaked out by the (non)performance of the Red Sox. Not as much as many in Boston, who are already crying ULTIMATE DOOM and all that, but a good amount of freaked out. This is a team that is doing its best to announce that it has capital-P-Problems, and if you think Detroit sports radio can get crazy when Detroit teams are starting to lose, let me assure you, it is as nothing compared to Boston sports radio.

Good
Because these games were all broadcast on the Red Sox TV network, I have not yet had to see/hear whatever fresh chthonic horror is being visited upon us this season under the guise of April in the D.

A message to Baseball in the spring, on behalf of Miguel Cabrera.


illustration by Samara Pearlstein

Dear Baseball:

HOW DARE YOU HURT MIGUEL CABRERA? STOP IT. STOP IT THIS VERY INSTANT.

Sincerely and angrily,
Tigers fans

In case you missed it, Miguel Cabrera took a grounder to the face yesterday. He was bloodied and dazed and it was generally Not OK. The Internet is saying that he has a small fracture under his eye and will be out two weeks, optimistically but at least somewhat reasonably slated to return a tad before Opening Day.

There’s no reason to panic. The damage could have been MUCH worse, and, barring unforeseen additional difficulties, the consequences of this will not cut into games that count. But… it’s just not what Miguel Cabrera or the Tigers needed right now, you know?

Sigh.

Staying calm. Staying calm. Miggy will be fine. Baseball just needs to agree to not be a jerk to him, and we’ll continue to get along okay.