Category Archives: Prince Fielder

THERE HAS BEEN A TRADE


illustrations by Samara Pearlstein

This is an accurate depiction of me right now, even down to the flashing emergency vehicle lights, as an ambulance went screaming by my apartment in full wail at the very moment I received the textual message informing me of this trade. For a brief moment I thought the local EMTs had started employing some sort of precog system and they were coming for me.

Let’s take a look at this in bald print:

PRINCE FIELDER HAS BEEN TRADED TO THE TEXAS RANGERS FOR IAN KINSLER.

Additional facts, or semi-facts:

–Prince Fielder did not perform well in the postseason. The reasons, or potential reasons, for this do not even fall under the category of ‘semi-facts’ at the moment, so let us not even go there. But that he did not hit the baseball in a timely fashion, that is known and documented.

–Ian Kinsler has been to the All Star Game three times.

–Ian Kinsler is signed through 2017, with an option on 2018. Prince Fielder is signed through 2020. Ian Kinsler is owed $62 million, or $69 million if that option is picked up. Prince Fielder is owed $168 million. That is a difference of $106 or $99 millions of American dollars.

–The Tigers will also be sending the Rangers $30 million, according to the Freep. This is not exactly getting out of Prince’s contract scot-free, but given the amounts in play it is close enough to be functionally astonishing.

–Therefore we must now come to grips with the fact that Dave Dombrowski might be a real life actual wizard.

There are many things that can happen now– the extra money freed up for the Tigers should allow them to extend Max’n’Miggy, and maybe pursue some much-needed help in other areas. There are now newly created needs, like someone who can intimidate opposing pitchers into not avoiding Miguel Cabrera’s place in the lineup, and someone who can be Miguel Cabrera’s new BFF. We have already seen what life is like without a functional Prince backing up Cabrera, but we can’t go forward with some weakling who won’t command pitcherly respect in the cleanup spot; that way a Major League record for intentional walks lies.

I don’t know. In all honesty, this move came so completely out of the Detroit navy blue for me that I am still too stunned to react in any intelligent way to it.

I will however say this:

I am going to miss Prince Fielder. Not Postseason 2013 Prince. But the fun, huggable, mysterious-handshake-doing Prince, with his desire to always run hard down the line, even when it meant jettisoning his batting helmet into center field with a slide. The Prince Fielder who went into a potentially terrible situation, with the shadow of his father still looming large in Detroit, with as good a will as one could ever hope for. The Prince Fielder who seemed to have fun on the field; the nacho-stealing Prince Fielder. The Prince Fielder who saw a Tigers fan hanging out quietly behind the dugout during batting practice on a cool July day in Boston and went out of his way to go up and ask if she wanted anything signed.

This is a very different Prince from the one we’ve been hearing about, with greater or lesser degrees of accuracy, in whispers and half-statements and flights of speculative fancy ever since the postseason. But that’s the one I’m going to think about when I think about Prince Fielder in Detroit. Haters to the left.

Now, Ian Kinsler…

Let’s just say it’s going to be, for the first time in a VERY long time, an extremely special Chanukah here at RotT. Get psyched.

Please hold (but also eat some nachos).


illustrations by Samara Pearlstein

A combination of work, grad school, and an avalanche of increasingly baroque personal issues have combined to slow Roar of the Tigers down to a ‘lead-footed backup catcher’ kind of crawl– as you’ve no doubt already noticed. We are working on getting these things into a steady juggling rhythm, hopefully so that I can cartoon you through the end of the season (and beyond??), but it is very much a work in progress.

In the meantime, remember that we are living in a world where Brayan Pena is an active tweeter, and is obsessed with his own nipples.

I also highly recommend taking a look at this video of Prince Fielder from today’s game. From this we may learn that Prince Fielder is always willing to run like heck after a ball; that said running, for Prince, works up a prodigious appetite; that Prince always keeps his wits about him and is thus able to react quickly to unexpected stimuli; that Prince Fielder has a magnificent sense of humor; and that nothing– neither ballpark wall nor active game status– can or should come between Prince Fielder and his true love 4ever: nachos.

The Tigers welcome 2013, and it’s cold.


illustration by Samara Pearlstein

Detroit baseball is back! and yes, it’s not back in Detroit quite yet, but it’s back in Minnesota, and that’s close enough. It was, judging from the players’ attire and the fans in the stands on Monday, cold as balls. Obviously baseball being back is a good thing; the frigidity is also a good thing. Why?

–First and foremost: baseball players in spandex face-eating hoodies. The best example of this was, of course, Prince Fielder, who attempted to stuff his entire sizable head, plus dreads, into one such hoodie, leaving it stretched and lumpy. Then he tried to fit his hat on top. It was exactly as magical as you’re imagining.

–Cold weather right away will harden the Tigers right away, preparing them for their (no doubt not any less cold) early season home games, instead of softening them up with games in warmer, softer, squishier climes.

–It will be swelteringly hot at baseball games soon enough. Let’s enjoy this for now.

–Team food can be stored under the bench and will probably remain fresh without forcing any rookies to throw out their shoulders toting around oversized coolers.

–The cold keeps Justin Verlander’s mind rapier-keen, as evidenced by his first Opening Day win. And we all know his fastball is hot enough to keep his hands warm regardless, so it’s all good.

–Remember how cold it was in October? Right. Just saying.

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.

Prince Fielder’s home runs are the prettiest.


illustration by Samara Pearlstein

I don’t really care who wins this abysmally stupid Home Run Derby, because we all know that, regardless of outcome, this is the truth.

ETA: He went and won it anyways, right in the face of my apathy. Take that, Major League Baseball.

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.

new chapter in an old story


by Samara Pearlstein