Category Archives: offseason

Tigers things on a Lions Thanksgiving


photos by Samara Pearlstein

That is what I was doing on Thanksgiving, but of course you can’t go down to Ford without getting an eyeful of Comerica in its winter plumage. Here are just a few Tigers things that we stumbled upon on an otherwise very football-centric day.

The ferris balls have been bagged up.

Champions of the Central, champions of our hearts.

Ford/Comerica face-off.

Dave Dombrowski was there! Just walking around like any other mere mortal! Not, alas, wearing a striped polo, but wearing Tigers orange, which is almost as good. I did not run after him and make him aware that he had been recognized, because that would have been creepy. Not that taking a photo from afar isn’t creepy, but at least it’s a type of creepy that didn’t bug him in person. Right? Right.

So unseasonal, so beautiful.

Found these on the windows of the Germack Pistachio building out by Eastern Market. Germack is a nut supplier for the Tigers (and other Detroit teams), so I guess it makes sense for them to have baseball-related decorations in their windows, but these generic baseball decals are somehow unexpectedly funny– and much more charming than an outdated mini-Fathead of Magglio or whatever.

BEHOLD THE PAWSMOBILE. GAZE UPON IT, AND BE AWED.

Stupid Awards Season

Well, here we are. The postseason is over. The preseason is many months away. Roar of the Tigers has stopped watching TV in the name of actually (gasp!) doing work. This season… what season is this? It is a season constructed by Major League Baseball in an attempt to appease us, to give us something to talk about that isn’t trades involving Melky Cabrera or the sad state of Oriole affairs. Yes, we are firmly in the midst of Stupid Awards Season.

Stupid Awards Season asks you to care deeply about these poorly determined awards. And you want to care! You want to care because you want your favorite super wicked awesome baseball player to be recognized by everyone for his super wicked awesomeness. At the same time, you don’t want to care, because you (if you are a sane, moderately educated baseball fan) recognize that these awards are at some essential level mostly what Jim Leyland would call, ahem, horsesh!t.

FOR INSTANCE.


drawings by Samara Pearlstein

Miguel Cabrera wins the batting title. Miguel Cabrera does not win the Silver Slugger. I would tell you how this makes sense, but I cannot, because it actually makes no sense whatsoever. Adrian Gonzalez is a good hitter and all, but Miguel was better than him at basically everything you can legally do with a bat in the game of baseball this year.

It’s ok, because Miguel loves his own bat and has no need for that stupid silver hardware, but it’s the principle of the thing.

BUT THEN

Alex Avila wins the Silver Slugger at catcher. Did he catch more games than anyone else in the universe? Yes. Does this mean that, in my biased little fan-heart, I think he deserves all the awards ever? Yes, yes, of course. Were his overall numbers better than, saaaaay, those of Mike Napoli, who basically hit better across the board and went to the World Series to boot? Erm. Well.

But, you see: this we like. Alex Avila’s durability and (perhaps more importantly) dogged tenacity convince voters that he deserves a metal stick more than Mike Napoli’s 1.046 OPS does. Stupid Awards Season!

Then Austin Jackson fails to win a Gold Glove. Okay. The fact that I wanted him to win is almost certainly, in this case, the tiny Paws in my brain guiding my thoughts. And again, it’s not as if he desperately needs it to tell us all that sometimes he makes plays so good that Rod Allen loses his mind and control of his vocal cords. Just more Stupid Awards Season nonsense.

We are still waiting on the MVP results. But Justin Verlander did get another award recently. It was Player of the Year (or something?) in the Players Choice Awards (or something?). These are even MORE made-up than Silver Sluggers and Gold Gloves. They are nice because they involve charity, but basically they are a measure of how much a particular dude has impressed all the other dudes in the MLBPA in any given year.

Justin Verlander frightens his opposition and his stunning good looks have charmed his peers. He commands respect and he’s popular. This particular Stupid Award is perfect for him, and he has duly received it. Woo, yay, etc.

If a Tiger does not win the MVP award, it will not matter in the least. The award is not strictly based on merit. At root it is meaningless. But that won’t stop our righteous and strident indignation. Something to look forward to! Thanks, Stupid Awards Season!

Why isn’t it baseball season yet?


illustration by Samara Pearlstein

Kind of starting to lose it over here. I need spring, but really I need BASEBALL.

Right now is the worst. All the football that I care about is over. I guess there’s still hockey and basketball going on, but I can’t make myself care about them the way I care about baseball and football. Sure, Spring Training starts soon, but we’re still a ways off from actual baseball games. I can only get so invested in Spring Training. It’s a nice sign of AlmostBaseball but mostly it’s just a bunch of guys running drills and not caring about the soft games they’re playing and spewing forth an endless stream of cliches and boring quotes. Maybe someone will grant us good quotes. Who’s a likely candidate, Phil Coke? Let’s have daily Coke quotes, Detroit media. Do this for us, The People.

Mostly I spend Spring Training worrying about someone getting injured and checking out everyone’s new facial/head hair configurations and hoping Scott Pickens brings his St. Bernard in to work again and one of the news photogs takes some photos. It’s not the same as real baseball. There is no World Baseball Classic this year. In terms of my job I guess it’s good that I won’t be waking up at 4 am to watch Tokyo Dome games, but in terms of my baseball-watching happiness, this is not a good thing.

I guess I’m just going to ramble here for a bit because IT IS NOT BASEBALL SEASON YET.

The snow is piled up higher than my head, literally. Right now it’s freeze-raining on top of these giant snow piles, so we can look forward to the massive ice structures that will develop overnight. Roads are narrowed to a ridiculous degree and every drive is a potential death-defying spinout joy. I had to drive into the city a few days ago and I’m still traumatized. Will this all melt by the time the season starts? It seems doubtful, especially since the season technically starts in March.

Look at Paws. Look at him flying through the sky on a trail of spring light and baseball flowers. This is what is happening in my brain right now. Note also his hat. I wish to wear that hat again. But right now I can only wear winter hats, because otherwise my ears and possibly my brain will freeze.

WHERE IS MY BASEBALL

Expect some more drawings and doodles over the next few days, as I sit here hemmed in by ice and snow and my own slowly unraveling mind.

Armando is gone, as expected, plus some other things.


image by Samara Pearlstein

No shock here, but Armando Galarraga has been traded to the Diamondbacks, where he will definitely get more of a chance to start than he would have gotten in Detroit (barring immediate Tiger injury/disaster, of course). The Snakes will pick up his entire salary, and the Tigers get pitchers Kevin Eichhorn and Ryan Robowski.

Eichhorn will be 21 this year. He spent most of ’10 in rookie ball, with brief appearances at low and high single-A. Robowski will be 23 and spent all of 2010 in high-A. Both of them had some Issues last year. They will be low minors fodder; this was mostly a Move Armando kind of deal. The Dbacks get a pitcher they need to make some starts, the Tigers get a pitcher they weren’t going to use off the books. Everyone wins, at least until Brad Penny’s shoulder falls off and Armando throws a no-hitter against the Rockies and the Tigers are left looking stupid.

The nice thing is that if Ryan Robowski makes it back up at a time when Ryan Raburn is still on the roster, we can start to recoup the loss of Rs that we suffered when Arrrrrrmando Galarrrrrrraga departed.

Other News That I Am Too Lazy to Make a New Post for

–The Tigers are retiring Sparky Anderson’s number. There has been a fair amount of chatter on the internet about this being a too-little-too-late kind of thing. I think most people agree that it’s the right thing to do, on its own, and I think most people would have liked to see it done while Sparky was still around, ideally while he was still mobile enough to make it out to the ballpark.

Obviously it’s way too late for that now, at least until the zombie apocalypse. So do you keep on being annoyed that they didn’t give him this honor in a timely fashion, or do you look past that and just try to be happy that it’s finally happening? I don’t know. Life sucks and then you die. But if you were awesome, they retire your number.

–Apparently the team is going to wear a patch with the word SPARKY and the number 11 on it this season. So are they retiring the EH patch? I think they should wear both. I’m aware that’s creeping up on Patch Overload, but quite frankly I don’t think that part of one season was enough to patch-honor Ernie Harwell. I’d give it at least another full season.

–TigerFest and the Winter Caravan happened, and obviously I could not attend any of the festivities. I guess TigerFest was streamed online in some capacity? but I wasn’t home at all that day, so I really missed it. WOE. Under the link are a whole bunch of linked photos from the internet, in case you too missed it.

Continue reading

It’s getting dangerously close to the time when I start to panic about pitching.


DO YOU WANT TO SEE THIS IN THE FIRST INNING ON A REGULAR BASIS, I MEAN I’M JUST ASKING, THINK ABOUT IT. Photo by Samara Pearlstein.

No pressure, Mr. Dombrowski. I’m just saying, this insistence that Phil Coke as a starter will be totally fine and workable and not at all a terrible idea that will backfire horrifically is going to make me a nervous blogger. And when I get nervous, I start yelling at Jeremy Bonderman to get off the blasted dock where he’s undoubtedly spending his offseason, barefoot and wearing overalls and holding his fishing pole (actual fishing pole, not euphemism), and come SAVE OUR ROTATION even though Jeremy Bonderman is not likely to save our rotation.

Nobody wants that, Mr. Dombrowski. Please address this situation, for the children. The blog-reading children.

Since basically nothing else is going on, here, feast your eyeballs upon this baseball drawing I did. It’s not strictly Tigers-related, but people have been seeming to enjoy it elsewhere on the internet, so whatever, here ya go.

A few other items:

–The Tigers caravan is coming up, and I don’t have an exact date or time for this yet, but I guess it will be either Jan. 20 or 21. If you are AT ALL able to get out to southwest Detroit on one of these dates, you need to go. Why? Because Papa Grande and Rod Allen are going to be having a dance-off.

AAAAAHHHASD;FLKJADSFLKJADS;FKJASDFL;JASDF;LKJ

Is this going to be the greatest thing since Curtis Granderson took his shirt off for charity? DO YOU EVEN NEED TO ASK THIS QUESTION?
(h/t)

This was the Mothership’s photo of the day. Austin Jackson’s doing his very best Tigger imitation, and Brandon Inge, if you click through to view the photo full-size, has the most adorable adoring look on his face ever. He is just so charmed by airborne Austin Jackson. We all are, Brandon. We all are.

–There were a bunch of ‘super clearance’ sales on the official team stores through tonight, so I was idly looking at the available items (protip: most of them are still wildly overpriced), and I came across this hat. I think there should be a new Comerica Park rule making it legal to dump a full soda on someone wearing this hat out in public. Although I guess that would waste an expensive stadium soda. So maybe we should just kick them in the shins. And then prohibit them from calling themselves Tigers fans ever again.

–Also, this.

I’ve been thinking, oh and also Merry Tigers-related Christmas.


illustration by Samara Pearlstein

Ever since I read that the Tigers were looking for new members of the Energy Squad (that’s Paws’ entourage, if you weren’t already aware), I have been thinking. This is all part of someone’s idea about What People Want to See at Comerica. To be honest the Energy Squad is already kind of borderline with me: I understand the need to keep sugar-drunk children and alcohol-drunk adults from mobbing Paws, but they’re toeing a very fine line, and the other side of that line is where Baseball Cheerleaders live. I have gone to Marlins games. I know firsthand how very, very, VERY terrible it is when a team slips into full-on Baseball Cheerleaderism.

But what would I like to see at Comerica?

–A live tiger. This one is obvious. The Rays have a touch tank full of live rays, there has probably been a live bald eagle at a Nationals game at some point, the Athletics have live athletes at every game. Give us our live tiger. LSU can make it happen, why can’t Detroit? I know there are tigers at the Detroit Zoo, so there are people in the area who are already experts when it comes to tiger-housing and tiger-treatment.

Tigers need large enclosures, but Comerica already has a vast outfield going to waste. It just needs some small adjustments. Figure some boulders, downed tree trunks, a moat, etc. This is the sort of problem that I expect Mr. Ilitch can just throw money at until it solves itself.

There may be a SMALL chance that a full-grown tiger is too much trouble… well, that’s where the toyger steps in. I will accept a phalanx of people-friendly toygers in place of a single large tiger. They can patrol the concourses during the game, drawing in the crucial Old Cat Lady demographic. Plus, everyone knows that the Internet loves cats, and everyone is on the Internet. What a draw!

–Matte batting helmets. The Tigers obviously do not need an alternate jersey or alternate hats due to the inherent beauty of their uniforms and the inherent perfection of their logo, but maybe we could get a couple alternate batting helmet days a year just so we could break out some matte loveliness? I’m talking about something like what Japan was rocking during the last WBC. Sharp. I want this with an olde English D on it.

–Dugout cams. We the Internet have been asking for this in Boston for years now. Just imagine: during broadcasts, there are cameras at all times trained on the dugouts, waiting to catch Brandon Inge or Rick Porcello or Miguel Cabrera acting like an oversized manchild (oversized child-child in FredFred’s case). Hundreds of these moments are lost to history every game simply because there are no high definition glass eyes watching the dugout. A CRIME AGAINST BASEBALL. Set up the dugout cams and everyone’s viewing experiences would be improved.

–A skate park. Some of you may say that it is courting danger to encourage young people to show up at the ballpark with skateboards in tow, all those ruffians with their slang talkin’ and flat shoes and disregard for skinned knees and whatnot. I say none of us have truly lived until we’ve seen someone do a 360 hardflip off the giant tiger sculpture by the gates.

–Dunkin Donuts stands, at least one in each corner of the ballpark. Comerica is already successfully courting the RotT Blogger demographic by offering kosher hot dogs and Dippin Dots in multiple locations, but Dunkin Donuts would really put it over the top in the RotT Ballpark Food books. I know there’s the Dunkin Donuts race, but is there an actual Dunkin Donuts in the park? I haven’t seen one.

–Striped polo shirt giveaway day. There are already various shersey giveaways. There is already a worthy polo up in the online store (the only one that would qualify for the ladies is a sad offering, though). Why assume that fans only want to dress like their favorite player? Bring Dave Dombrowski fashion to the masses.

–A bullpen car. Everyone is always complaining about the fragility of relief pitchers and the subsequent awfulness of signing them to any kind of multi-year contract. Well, here is one simple way to ease their physical burden and maintain (enhance, even) the beauty of the game.

–Coke products. I know Comerica is a Pepsi stadium and this will probably not go over very well but come ON, Tigers, you are a team that is employing Phil Coke. RUN WITH IT. Make it happen.

–Better official bobblehead offerings. This one is no joke. As of right now your options are: Miguel Cabrera, Magglio Ordonez, Justin Verlander, Paws, not-nearly-discounted-enough Dontrelle Willis and Edgar Renteria, and… whatever the hell this Terrible-Cartoon-esque thing is. There’s a discounted three-pack with Magglio, Miggy, and Pudge in it. That’s IT.

The Red Sox shop right now offers 13 different players in various bobblehead and figurine forms. The MFing Yankees have 20 different players. The Tigers get SIX? Seven if you include 3-pack-with-Pudge? This is UNFAIR and an OUTRAGE and must be rectified IMMEDIATELY.

(If you go off the official site, you can of course get all sorts of Tigers bobbleheads– Bobby Higginson bobblehead, anyone?— but it’s the principle of the thing. WHERE IS MY OFFICIAL WILL RHYMES BOBBLEHEAD, OK. WHERE IS IT.)

(I could make one, I guess, but that is so not the point.)

–Mandatory high socks. No explanation necessary.

That’s really all I had time to think about. Reflect upon these as you will in your time off.

Merry Christmas from Paws, the heads of Alex Avila, Justin Verlander, and Miguel Cabrera, and Roar of the Tigers! Those of you who are celebrating, we all hope it’s a good one. Those of you who are not celebrating– enjoy the Chinese food. ;)

So what’s going on in the world of the Detroit Tigers?


NOTHIIIIIIIIING

It has been Victor, and then: crickets (possibly Brandon Inge and Will Rhymes attempting to sing). Don’t get me wrong, I’m not ungrateful. I’m happy with Victor. I live in Red-Sox-Land, I am familiar with the hitting wonders that Victor Martinez promises to spray forth all over our ballpark. Even if he no longer has the Monster at his disposal. Even if some of his home runs will probably not be home runs in Comerica. It will be ok, because Victor Martinez is good at hitting a baseball when full of health, and that is more than SOME cats in lineups recently past could say.

So, what else? Phil Coke might have to be a starter next season, apply whatever level of confidence or terror seems most appropriate to you. Cliff Lee has left the American League, and that is good. We did not get Carl Crawford or Jayson Werth. Nothing happened in the Rule 5 draft.

Alfredo Figaro was released and has signed with the Orix Buffaloes of Japan. They’re pretty awful. The Cardinals have signed Gerald Laird, for reasons best known to the Cardinals. I’m sure Yadier Molina is really going to be watching his back now.

Magglio is not ours yet, but he’s not anyone else’s yet either. Scott Boras continues to be Scott Boras. The Tigers were vaguely rumored to be talking to the Cubs about Tom Gorzelanny, but who knows and/or cares. The Metrodome collapsed, but that too is no longer relevant to us.

A pile of nothing. There haven’t even been any touching personal interest Victor stories filled with charming quotes and anecdotes straining to relate to Detroit yet. I am so bored.

tiger-striped Thanksgiving, 2010


image by Samara Pearlstein

I know that our Polanco days have passed, but it’s Thanksgiving! We cannot have Thanksgiving without gazing upon the succulently roasted head of Placido Polanco. Maybe next year I will be sufficiently recovered from his departure to do a Jhonny Peralta spherical turkey, but for now, look back on Placido’s perfect merging with the bird with fondness.

Things for which we can be thankful:

–Miguel Cabrera, in all ways.

–The fact that at least one half of the Jackson/Sizemore experiment worked out better than we had any reasonable right to expect.

–Will Rhymes on the Internet.

–A multitude of stupid hair decisions to amaze, delight, and amusedly horrify us.

–Brandon Inge on into the Future.

–The graciousness of Armando Galarraga.

–The fact that Dontrelle Willis is still in baseball.

–The Big Potato’s facial expressions.

–Max Scherzer’s magical X-ray vision eyes.

–Rod and Mario, and Rod-isms, and Mario’s gentle tolerance of the Rod-isms.

–The fact that somehow, against all reason, Justin Verlander has survived another season of eight zillion pitches without his arm disintegrating in the middle of a game all Joel-Zumaya-style.

–Still the best home uniforms in the league.

–Max St. Pierre’s big chance.

–Brennan Boesch’s first half.

–Ryan Raburn’s August.

–The critical mass of Venezuelanness that convinced Victor Martinez that Detroit was the Place to Be.

–Dave Dombrowski’s striped polo shirts.

–Alex Avila’s unstoppable beard.

–Scott Pickens’ dog.

–We may be getting more of their former cats on our team, but we are still not Racist Logo fans.

–All you cats who read Tigers blogs, and comment on Tigers blogs, and all the other cats who write Tigers blogs, and twitter Tigers tweets (?), tumble Tigers Tumblrs, and take photos of Tigers and put them on the internet, and comment on Tigers message boards (but not Yahoo commenters, those people are the lowest of the low). Wicked thankful, as ever, for the whole digital lot of you.

May your day be filled with turkey and thoughts of what Placido Polanco’s head would look like as a turkey, family and friends, and quality football (please, Paws, let there be quality football. I have to go home to Patriots fans in a couple of days). Have a wonderful Thanksgiving, kids and kittens!

the Tigers pumpkin that will confuse my entire neighborhood

I HAVE CREATED PUMPKIN. And it is… uh, well, not exactly good, but it’s definitely going to make a statement. A statement that will not be understood by anyone who lives near me, but that’s where the internet and you lot come in, right? I know that you cats will understand, even when my neighborhood child-wranglers may not.

Behold!

It’s a very wonky Tiger Stadium! I figure that since it’s a ‘dead’ stadium, it works for Halloween.

On the sides it looks like this:

So, yes, I have a pumpkin at the corner of Michigan and Trumbull.

I realize this looks like it was carved by someone trying to gnaw the image out of the pumpkin with their own teeth, or possibly the teeth of a household pet, but that’s as good as it gets. Let us all recall that Roar of the Tigers has absolutely zero aptitude in the third dimension, and I am counting pumpkin carving as a 3D art.

Lessons learned:

–It is wicked difficult to do small detail with carving that goes all the way through the pumpkin. The way to do small detail work is to carve down only a thin layer of pumpkin, not cutting all the way through to the cavity. Otherwise you have little bits falling off and it all ends in tears.

–When you haven’t used your gouges and chisels in three-four years, you are guaranteed to stab yourself in the hands multiple times.

–It helps to have a pattern. Otherwise you end up trying to eyeball Tiger Stadium onto a curved surface without consideration for the (limited) abilities of your tools, and you get this.

–You will never get all the stringy bits out of the inside. Never. There will always be one stubborn patch that does not come off, or one that you can see but not reach with your spoon.

–If the pumpkin wall is too thick for your weeny CVS pumpkin carving saw to go all the way through, it is going to take you a long freakin’ time to carve that pumpkin, and your hands will start to hurt because also you have been stabbing them with gouges meant for wood, and you will get fed up and start cursing all of gourd-dom.

Next year I’m just doing a cat again. That is the sane course of action.

Oh, and these are my companion pumpkins, to flank the big boy:

Hopefully the Boston B will keep the local delinquents from smashing anything.

What are you folks doing for your pumpkins this year? I hope some of you submitted things for the contest!

It’s October, do you know what that means? It means TIGER PUMPKINS.


illustration by Samara Pearlstein

You guys, Tigers are ORANGE. Pumpkins are ORANGE. (Mostly. There are actually two white pumpkins on my front porch at this very moment, in addition to the traditional orange pumpkin. But white is ALSO a Tiger color so it still works.) This means that your Halloween pumpkins should be FILLED WITH TIGER GOODNESS, because Nature has decreed it. Who are we to work against the wishes of the natural world? Think about that.

The Mothership is actually running a Tigers pumpkin carving contest this year. The entries will be judged on a combination of Tigers Spirit (51%) and Originality (49%), and the prize is A BRANDON INGE SIGNED BASEBALL BAT.

My face when I first saw this contest was all

But then I read more closely and realized that the contest is only open to residents of Michigan, Ohio, and Indiana. So there will be NO BRANDON INGE BATS for me. But if you are in one of those states, you should most definitely carve up your pumpkin in a combination of Tigers Spirit and Originality, because it will be awesome, it is what Nature wants, and you might get your hot little hands on a bat that Brandon Inge has blessed with his own personal scrawl. There is no way to lose in this situation.

Unless you injure yourself carving the pumpkin, I guess. MESSAGE TO JOEL ZUMAYA: DO NOT CARVE PUMPKIN. Repeat: do not carve pumpkin. Have someone else do it for you. Do not pick up those pointy implements if you are Joel Zumaya. OK. Thank you.