Category Archives: photoblog

a quick reminder for Rick Porcello and other Tigers pitchers

Hey, FredFred! Do you see this guy? This one right here:


all photos by Samara Pearlstein

OK, you do see him, right? Great. Great. Do you know who he is? We can help you out. His name is Jason Hammel. Probably sounds vaguely familiar, huh? Like maybe you heard of him before this game started. Maybe someone mentioned him, oh, once or twice.

Do you know what he does?

Here. Let us help you out:

Does that clear things up? Do you see what he’s doing? No?

Yeah. He’s pitching. This is because Jason Hammel is a pitcher. Now, I know you’re not used to thinking about pitchers facing you at all, but you’re in an NL park right now and you need to remember that pitchers can hold bats. But they generally aren’t very good at it, because they’re still pitchers. In fact, this is more along the lines of what you should expect to see with a pitcher at the plate:

Attempting to bunt, and probably failing. That’s what pitchers do, FredFred. Jason Hammel is batting .160 and that is just about right.

So when you are facing the pitcher, with the bases loaded, the LAST thing I want or expect you to do is WALK IN THE PITCHER to SCORE A RUN. That is NOT how you handle a PITCHER in that situation, FredFred. I can only assume that you didn’t realize he was the pitcher, and thought you had to carefully handle a legitimate batter, to make sure he didn’t hit a grand slam or something.

Or we can blame it on Evil Twin Rick Porcello. Whichever.

This post brought to you by: the fact that I was excited I actually had photos I could use for an interleague game post.

The Red Sox are still in love with Victor Martinez.


photo by Samara Pearlstein

This post is going to be a mess because I am basically just melting into the internet with the blinding power of my love for Victor Martinez, and melting does not lend itself well to molecular cohesion, or writing cohesion.

Oh my GOODNESS, the love that the Red Sox have for the Martinez family. First, before today’s game, there was this blurb in the Boston Globe:

Francona also had a great relationship with Martinez’s son, 6-year-old Victor Jose. The younger Martinez had the run of the clubhouse last year and Francona often pitched rolled up socks to him.
Peter Abraham/Boston Globe

During the game, the radio guys mentioned how much Francona liked Victor, and how much all the Red Sox had enjoyed having him around. After the game, Jason Beck put this puppy up:

Sure, Red Sox manager Terry Francona would’ve liked to have kept Victor Martinez in Boston. But he would’ve gladly kept his slugging son, too.

“We’re trying to make a move today,” Francona jokingly announced. “We’re trying to acquire Victor Jose [Martinez]. They’ve asked for [Carl] Crawford, but we’re holding out for a little less.”

Replacing the younger Martinez’s presence might be tough, though.

“I think he’s officially the cutest kid in the American League,” Francona said.
Jason Beck/DetroitTigers.com

To put this into even more context for you, let us recall that Roar of the Tigers was in Cleveland when Victor Martinez was traded from the RLs to the Red Sox. I was listening to sports radio immediately after the trade, while on a longish drive from Cleveland to beautiful Niles, OH (note: not actually beautiful). They put on Victor’s exit interview, where he sounded like he was crying in front of the reporters.

In this interview he said that he had tried to explain things to his son, Victor Jose, who was nearly five years old at the time and had known nothing but Cleveland baseball in all his young life. Little Victor had come up to him that very day and anxiously uttered, in his adorable little piping nearly-five-years-old voice, these immortal words: “Daddy, are we still an Indian?”

So Victor is crying, the reporters are probably crying, people calling into the radio stations are crying and threatening to drive their trucks off the road in anguish (fact), Little Victor is undoubtedly somewhere crying, and why? BECAUSE VICTOR MARTINEZ IS LOVE. He is adorable, his family is adorable, everyone loves his family and everyone loves him.

Maybe it was just Cleveland, desperately in love with one of the few viable signs of hope their team had left at the time? NO. Because THE EXACT SAME THINGS happened in Boston! EVERYONE LOVES VICTOR. Everyone loves Little Victor! THERE IS TOO MUCH LOVE, IT CANNOT BE CONTAINED. THERE MUST BE HUGS. HUGS FOR ALL. HUGS FOREVER.

So.

I listened to the webcast of the game today, which was just like a radio broadcast because it was Dan Dickerson and Jim Price and there were Detroit-local ads and things between innings, but it wasn’t a radio broadcast, because it was only available on the internet. It went well. The mics were picking up too much crowd noise, I think, but I don’t know what kind of set-up is normal for spring training games and there probably wasn’t anything they could do about it. The ads were awful but when you have Yanni, Thin Lizzy, Rod Stewart/Stevie Nicks, and Celtic Woman: Songs From the Heart shows to advertise, it’s just not going to be good and there’s not much you can do about it.

It didn’t randomly cut out at any point in the middle of the broadcast and really that is all I can ask for when it comes to MLB internet broadcasts.

THINGS THE RADIO GUYS SAID but don’t ask me if it was Dickerson or Price because I forgot to note that down.

— “When I try to do too much, I don’t do too much.” What Magglio told them about pressing at the plate.

— “You make your bed, you have to lie in it. But he can change the covers on that bed very easily.” On Justin Verlander’s bad Aprils and the fact that he has to hear a bunch of questions about bad Aprils as a result.

— “They are good-looking and bright, but they do mess up on occasion!” On young Tigers.

— “I’ve gotta talk to him about that, because there are books you can read during the day.” On Clete Thomas’ complaint that he learned more than he ever wanted to know about daytime TV programs while rehabbing from his busted knee.

— “Nothing the trainer can do except come out and offer moral support.” After Max St. Pierre got hit in the replicators.

The Tigers lost in 10 innings, in front of a record crowd of over 10,000 people at Joker Marchant, but it was hard to be too upset. Miggy homered, most the pitchers looked good (including Verlander), and there was just too much Victor-love in the air to hold onto any upsetting emotions.

The Tigers are all blue. Not sad. Blue.


photo by Samara Pearlstein

Not blue in a ‘look at these handsome blue high socks’ kind of way either. Wouldn’t that be nice, though? If all the Tigers were looking at photos like that and realized, hey, those kids have the right idea, that really looks sharp, I’m gonna wear my socks like that all season long… wouldn’t that be sweet? It would.

But that’s not what I mean. I mean REALLY BLUE.

Now, there is a fine history of ridiculous Spring Training Photo Day themes, which probably reached their peak with The Great Oakland Sunflower Seed Lulz of 2007. The Incredibly Blue Tigers Photos of 2011 are not a sudden departure from the solemnity of Spring Training Photo Day; they are simply another example of an already rich tradition.

They are also not the result of a photographer who doesn’t know what he’s doing. The gentleman responsible for the bulk of the Tigers’ Photo Day stuff this year was Getty Images shooter Nick Laham, who knows how to light a photo. He also shot the normal Photo Day poses which came out, you know… normal (to the extent that the thing currently inhabiting Daniel Schlereth’s face can be considered ‘normal’, anyways).

We are still left with the question WHY. I always thought that the portrait stations were supposed to generate stock-like images of the players that could then be used by the team (or whoever else had rights to use Getty or MLB photos) for a variety of different applications throughout the year. For instance, near the bottom of the Mothership right now there is a little image of Cabrera, Verlander, and Jackson. The shot of Miggy is from a 2009 Getty photog on Spring Training Photo Day (Nick Laham again, actually), Justin’s is from 2008 (also Laham), and Austin’s is from a 2010 MLB-licensed shooter. Stuff like this is what I imagined Photo Day was for.

But what purpose do the Blue Photos serve? For that matter, where in the world were those Sunflower Seeds shots ever used, or even last year’s photos with the giant Olde English D on the wall*– where were those used? What are they for? Have I totally misconstrued the point of Photo Day? Is there some SECRET PURPOSE involved, alongside the more easily-comprehended stock photo generation and head-scanning for video game modeling?

WHAT IS THE SECRET PURPOSE? I mean, does the team ask for these creative and, er, limited-application shots? Is it all up to the photographers? Is there a secret underground plot to turn Major League Baseball creative and artsy?? IF SO, WHY HAS NO ONE TOLD ME?

These are important mysteries to ponder, alongside the very serious question of what Miguel Cabrera’s absence from camp means in terms of Photo Day. He wasn’t AT Photo Day! Does he not get a Blue Photo? Turning Tigers blue requires a fair amount of equipment, and that’s a lot of set-up for just one cat at some unspecified future date.

I don’t know WHY the Tigers had to be blue this year, but if all the other starters had to turn blue, Miggy clearly has to be blue-gel’d too. This is what being a team is all about.

ETA: Oh ho! Now it comes out that the Phillies have been red gel’d, by the same photographer who blue gel’d the Tigers. What is happening here?

*Gregory Shamus for Getty Images was responsible for these.

2010 in Amusingly Amateur Photo Review


all photos by Samara Pearlstein

It is time once again for this thing that we do every year! Roar of the Tigers goes to a few Tigers games, takes some photos from the stands, now we gaze upon them.

June 22, Citi Field, Jonath0n Niese vs. Justin Verlander (14-6 Mets)

Ha ha, this game. What a freaking mess. There was an hour-long rain delay in the third, knocking Verlander out of the game. Not that it mattered much– he was busy melting down long before the rainfall brought things to a screeching halt. I was not even able to properly enjoy the hilarity of seeing him bat because his pitching was so tragic at the time, and because the rain-removal meant he only got to bat once. UGH. Thanks for nothing, game.


It was my first trip to Citi and I did like the park quite a bit. So that was a positive, I guess. I just typed ‘Shea’ there instead of ‘Citi’ and had to go back and delete it.


Mr. Dombrowski delivers with the shirt.


Austin Jackson and Rod Allen commune.


It was my first time seeing Brennan Boesch in person.


Tigers pitchers with bats: a sight both strange and sad.


Jay Sborz made his big league debut. He felt the need to eat his jersey because he gave up 5 runs of his own, plus 2 of Verlander’s, in just 0.2 innings. Welcome to Major League Baseball!


Yeah.

The rest of the shots from this game can be found over here.

July 30, Fenway, Armando Galarraga vs. Jon Lester (6-5 Tigers)

Another mess, but while the previous one was disastrous, this one was only NEARLY disastrous. After Detroit had led all game, Papa Grande almost let it slip away by issuing a bunch of walks and throwing 60 pitches in 1.1 innings and letting David Ortiz smash a grand slam in the bottom of the 9th. The Tigers pulled it off, though. Somehow. I was there and I’m still not quite sure how.


Victor Martinez loves his Tigers. Now he’ll be able to love them up close and for as long as he wants!


Ryan Perry and the Worst Sunglasses on the Field That Day.


Alex Avila tries to help Traitor Damon stretch out his back before the game. I was looking forward to seeing what sort of reception TD would get now that he was back in Boston with a non-Yankee team (this would have been the first time), but despite Avila’s best efforts he couldn’t get his back right, and was a last-minute scratch.


Jeff Frazier made his big league debut as the DH. Here he is, scoring his very first ever big league run. THEY GROW UP SO FAST.


Jhonny Peralta made his Tigers debut, and hit two whole home runs all by himself.


POTATO WAR CRY OF VICTORY

The rest of the shots from the game can be found over here.

Click the link to continue!
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DIBS awards 2010


illustration by Samara Pearlstein, click to view larger

In previous years the DIBS (Detroit Independent Baseball Scribes) awards were things like Pitcher of the Year and Breakout Player of the Year and Overall Player of the Year, and it was always incredibly obvious who was going to win (Justin Verlander, whichever rookie had had the best season, and Miguel Cabrera respectively). This year I guess Kurt got bored, so he sent out an email asking everyone for suggestions for new categories.

Naturally I fired off a response full of stupidity, rambling, and categories like Most Creative Injury of the Year and The Kyle Farnsworth Brawl Enforcer Award. It is my way. I assumed that everyone else would pipe up with legitimate award categories and maybe I would sneak in one Best Pitching Face award or something and all would be well.

THEN FREAKING NOBODY ELSE RESPONDED and the Bless You Boys AXIS OF EVIL decided to go with a bunch of RotT-style awards as though that was normal and appropriate. It just goes to show that you cannot trust that massive blog-nopoly. I’ve got my eye on you cats from now on.

Best On-Field Celebration

Jose PAPA GRANDE Valverde

Best Hair, Facial or Otherwise

Phil DRINK ME Coke

Best Pitching Face

Justin WAIT THIS AWARD CLEARLY SHOULD HAVE GONE TO VALVERDE Verlander

Best Use of Social Media

Will INTERNETS Rhymes

Biggest Surprise

Brennan FIRST HALF Boesch

Best Value

Austin ACTUAL ROOKIE OF THE YEAR Jackson

Most Valuable

Miguel MVP OF OUR HEARTS Cabrera

So there you have it. You can probably guess which categories were RotT-generated.

The DIBS bloggers responsible for this ridiculousness are:

Bless You Boys AXIS OF EVIL: Kurt Mensching, Allison Hagen, Matt Wallace, David Tokarz and Al Beaton
the Daily Fungo: Mike McClary
DesigNate Robertson: Scott Rogowski
Detroit Tigers Scorecard: Austin Drake
Detroit Tigers Weblog/TigsTown: Billfer
MLive: James Schmehl and Matt Sussman
MLive/SB Nation Detroit: Ian Casselberry, aka THE FATHER OF THE AXIS OF EVIL
Motor City Bengals: John Parent, Matt Snyder, Zac Snyder, and Chris Hannum
Old English D: Jennifer Cosey
TigerBlog: Brian Borawski
Tigers Amateur Analysis: Erin Saelzler
Tigers by the Numbers: Mike Rogers who apparently ALSO writes for BYB, I tell you, it’s getting FRIGHTENING, they are MULTIPLYING like lemmings or zebra mussels
Tiger Tales: Lee Panas
Where Have You Gone, Johnny Grubb?: Greg Eno

And me, of course. So there you have it. Again.

The Roar of the Tigers Series, Games 2 and 3, the photos (finally)

It’s been a while since these games were played, but I did say I would get them over here at some point and I try to keep my promises to you readin’ cats, even if they are not so much promises as they are ‘things I more or less plan to blog about in the somewhat nearish future on my clearly srs bzns blog’.

First, Game 2 of this RotT Series, which was the July 31st game, where this happened:

…yeah.


Max got the start. He actually out-pitched Dice K, but this was a good thing that could not last.


Jeff Frazier got his very first big league hit and it looked like this. It was HOORAY FOR JEFF FRAZIER time in my section, let me assure you.


Ortiz singled, then bumped chests with Miggy while he was on first. Did I faint dead away from the adorableness? No. Was it a near thing? YES.


Someone was harassing Danny Worth by putting stuff on his hat. He realized and brushed it off shortly after, though.


There were some adventures with a mourning dove on the field.

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The Roar of the Tigers series: Game 1, some photos

OK I lied, I managed to get a few preview photos up before the Saturday game. Behold.


TRU LOVE. They had already hugged and Jhonny was trying to go take BP, but Victor would not let go of his hand. He may be the only person on the planet who misses Cleveland this much.


Alex Avila trying to help Traitor Damon get his back right.


This one’s for Tiff.


Varitek, Pedroia, Ellsbury. THE INJUREDS.


Ryan Perry’s toolbag sunglasses.


You sir are out.


I did manage to catch the David Ortiz grand slam right off the bat. So… yeah. There it is.


I have about a million photos of Papa Grande and he is making an amazing face in practically every single one of them. It is remarkable and wonderful.


JUST LOOK AT THIS FREAKIN’ BALLPARK

instead of talking about how baseball-wretched these past couple of nights have been, let’s look at some photos from the Tuesday Tigers/Mets game


all photos by Samara Pearlstein

So, Citi Field!

good:
–tons of different food options
–ok, I do like the apple
–foul poles are orange, not the usual yellow
–cheery greeters outside offer to take your photo with the park if you look like a tourist
–wicked nice video boards (HD or something)
–public transit is wicked convenient and always runs when the game ends (unlike in certain other cities *cough*Boston*cough* where the trains stop running at X time and if the game runs long you’re just out of luck; or certain other cities *cough*Detroit*cough* where taking public transit to the game is difficult, inconvenient and complicated to the point of near-impossibility)
–Mr. Met

less good:
–crazed park-wide obsession with keeping people out of sections for which they are not ticketed
–if you enter through the front, you have to go through at least two levels of mall-like space and enclosed concourses before you can even glimpse the field, which is disorienting and weird
–scoreboard appears to have even more ads on it than the Comerica scoreboard, if that is even possible
–strong discouraging of autograph-seeking/ball-begging during batting practice
–HAY, that’s our Pepsi Porch you’re copying there


Overall I think it’s a nice park. The annoyances were small compared to my general impression of good-ballpark-ness. The section hawking thing was the most obnoxious, as it’s enforced– stringently– from the moment the gates open until the end of the game. Why? Is it really so bad, for instance, to allow anyone who wants to be there to stand behind the dugouts during batting practice? (The answer is ‘no’.) Anyways.


Phil Coke threw a baseball to some fans during batting practice, then one of the on-field security guys ran over and started yelling at him, because the security guys had been telling the fans over and over to stop asking for balls. Coke just kind of laughed it off and even got the security guy laughing… still, what the hell, Mets?


~striped perfection~


Hard to tell from the shot, but this is Austin Jackson and Rod Allen fist-bumping one another. It was a moment short in duration but massive in glory.


I realize it seems crazy, but this was my first time seeing Brennan Boesch in person. His little face!

More photos after the jump!
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what to do for Father’s Day when you’re sort of an artist and also you’re out of your mind

FredFred is not all better yet. Edwin Jackson knows how to perform up to the occasion. Alex Avila makes a nifty block at the plate. Magglio Ordonez’s oblique is probably feeling better.

OK, now that we’ve dispensed with the Saturday night game, let us instead discuss Father’s Day!

Because I have problems with this. I know my dad enjoys Tigers-related things, but how shall I present him with such a thing? I can always give people nice prints of photos, but people who are directly related to me end up with, erm, rather a lot of photos after a while. I can always do drawings, or even a painting, but that stuff also starts to pile up after, you know. More than a decade.

A stuffed critter? Well, I could make one of those, but… eh. If I wanted to give someone a stuffed Paws, I could just BUY one, and where’s the fun in that? So I decided to make something that I thought he might get a kick out of, something that cannot (to the best of my knowledge) be purchased in a store but is still within the reach of my (definitely meager) abilities.

BEHOLD. I HAVE CREATED BOBBLEHEAD.

DERANGED TERRIBLE CARTOON DAVE DOMBROWSKI BOBBLEHEAD

His shirt is striped! He clutches a scouting report! His hair is… you know… whatever! HE BOBBLES! (Seriously, the fact that he bobbles just like a real bobblehead is the bit that makes me happiest. I had no idea what I was doing and was afraid his head would, like, stick there awkwardly or something, but it doesn’t, it has great bobbling movement.)

BOBBLING ACTION!

Seeing him from all sides really gives you the sense of how I tried to maintain the Terrible Cartoon proportions. And yes, he is lumpy. Do you have any idea how long it had been since I last sculpted something? We’re talking years here, kids and kittens.

I don’t really know where this post is going anymore, but here are a couple in-progress shots, if anyone cares.

Nothing complicated. The main stuff is all SuperSculpey, the base is MDF from a bit of discarded cheap shelving that was just lying around (sawing this down was by far the worst part of the Dave Dombrowski Bobblehead Construction Process). There’s a dowel and a little spring to make the bobble happen, and the important bits are stuck together with epoxy. Throw in some acrylic paint, and there he is.

My dad will be getting this dubious marvel for Father’s Day. It is far (faaaaar) from perfect, but it’s the spirit of psychotic Tigers fandom that lets us enjoy a bobblehead of the team President/CEO/GM that counts. That’s something you truly cannot buy in stores, you know?

Yes, you all know. You are reading this blog.

What does it look like when your heart is broken in front of 38,000 people?

Let me show you!


all photos by Samara Pearlstein, with immense sadness

For those of you who were not following the game, the Red Sox lost in 10 innings. Curtis Granderson hit a homer off of Jonathan Papelbon for the go-ahead run in the top of the 10th. I almost cried in the ballpark. The Worst Thing. This is seriously like just ripping the heart out of my chest and stomping on it. Why. WHYYYYYYYY.

Anyways, it sounds like Scherzer looked good, even if the Tigers game ultimately was filled with its own special brand of suck. I guess it’s good that Scherzer didn’t bomb it in his first start, we want him to retain confidence as the season gets going and we start playing teams that are not Kansas City or Cleveland. Thursday we get our first regular season look at Dontrelle. Whee?

I would probably have more to say about the Scherzer game, but quite frankly I am still emotionally drained from what I just saw at Fenway. I had tried to prepare myself for the up-close and unavoidably in-real-life sight of Curtis Granderson in the raiment of evil, but I was not prepared. It hurts, kids and kittens. It is a hard thing to see. It is a pure and simple Wrongness.