Category Archives: Schlereth

Little Victor and Little Papi steal the show


Playing catch alongside the tarp.


D’Angelo Ortiz, in his home whites. His little glove has the Dominican flag on it!


Little Victor in his away uni. Can’t be wearing a home uni in Fenway, obviously.


Wicked serious business.


LOOK AT THIS KID, JUST LOOK AT HIM


Little Papi makes a big throw.


Running hard.

And here are some bonus Schlereths, with Brad Penny playing family photographer:

All photos by me, as per usual. This entire post brought to you by: THINGS THAT ARE ADORABLE.

Brandon Inge signed my sketchbook


illustration by Samara Pearlstein, autograph by BRANDON INGE

Brandon Inge signed my sketchbook. This is a real actual thing that actually happened in the real world.

As some of you may already know, I don’t really do the whole autograph hunt bit. I REALLY don’t like bugging the players, or (for instance) fighting with little kids for prime positioning after BP or whatever. This is a small part of why I like taking photos: you get something that is as personal as an autograph, in the sense that it’s unique to you and the ballplayer, but you don’t have to bother them. Heck, they don’t even have to look directly at you.

But TODAY.

I got to the ballpark early, knowing full well that there would be no BP, but figuring that if worst came to worst I could just chill out in the seats and draw (I knew ahead of time our seats were under cover). So I got into the concourse right after the gates opened. There’s a small roped-off area near the entrance I use for these seats; sometimes player family members and whatnot are standing in there. Today, as I came in, Brandon Inge was standing there, being interviewed by Ryan Field. There were two or three fans watching this.

Naturally enough I hastily got out my camera, figuring I would take a few pictures since I was MERE FEET away from Brandon Inge. This I did. The interview ended, and one of the few fans watching came up to ask Inge to sign her jersey (a Verlander jersey, if I recall correctly). There were no small children around, there was no huge press of people, and Inge didn’t seem like he was in a terrible hurry, probably because there would be no regular BP.

HOLY CATS, thinks I, I can totally get something signed. Do I have anything he can sign? Oh yeah only THIS ENTIRE SKETCHBOOK.

It just so happened that at my last Sox game, I had some downtime before my seat buddy arrived and had used that time to start drawing the seat view. So I had a mostly-completed drawing of Fenway, with all this empty space on the infield because I hadn’t finished filling in the grass yet. IT’S BASEBALL-RELATED, IT’S PERFECT. It would have been better if it was a Tigers drawing, and not a wonky sketch of Fenway Park, but whatever.

So, yeah. He signed it. I did not behave in an embarrassing fashion, although my screamingly orange hat was probably embarrassing enough on its own. I MAY or MAY NOT have fired off some capslock text messages shortly after this occurred, but I think you will all agree that is a very restrained reaction.

Then Dave Dombrowski walked by and said, “Hi Brandon!” and even though he was not wearing a striped shirt, the moment was still full of magic and spectacular hair.

THEN I went outside and looked at the tarp and sighed sadly, but my sadness was transformed into wonder because LITTLE VICTOR WAS ON THE FIELD and he was in FULL UNIFORM. And it got even better, because Little Victor was out there playing catch. With LITTLE PAPI. Who was ALSO in full uniform! And Little Papi was wearing the home whites, while Little Victor had on his appropriate Tigers away uni. They played normal catch for a bit, then Little Victor went down into a CATCHER’S CROUCH and it was just too much. I don’t even particularly like small children, but this was so adorable that it was almost painful. I do have photos, but you are going to have to wait because I am so backed up on processing etc.

Mark Schlereth was on the field before the game and he kept making various other Tigers take photos of him with Daniel around the park. Like, hey, Mark and Daniel standing on the infield! Mark and Daniel standing in front of the Monster! DON KELLY HOLD THIS CAMERA. Wonderful. At one point Brad Penny came over and led them into the Monster, because Brad Penny was on the Sox, however briefly, and I guess he’s allowed.

What of the game itself? Well, let us put it this way: given the weather, and the pitching matchup, this could have gone far, far worse than it did. I was expecting all sorts of unpleasantness. Brutally long rain delays, Phil Coke meltdowns, people being mean to Victor, etc.

None of that happened! We had one rain delay, but it was brief, and it wasn’t even that bad for me personally because I was under cover (we did get heavily misted all game long, and it was cold, but being under cover meant that we didn’t get soaked during the one downpour). Phil Coke went toe-to-toe with Clay Buchholz and pitched not just well, but EXTREMELY well. We kept just shaking our heads and laughing, because of course tomorrow’s game is supposed to be a Verlander/Beckett match, and that should be the great pitching duel… but we got a great pitching duel TONIGHT.

Phil Coke gave up zero runs in 7 innings. Phil Coke! Phil Coke did this very thing! He threw only 78 pitches in his 7 innings, which is probably the most efficient a Tigers pitcher has been this year. He allowed only three hits (all singles), and only issued one walk. All this occurred on a cold, rainy, windy night, where the mound could not have been in great shape, the visibility was awful even over relatively short distances, and the ball probably felt like a slippery lump of granite. Phil Coke goes out in that and dominates. Scintillating, dazzling, again with the magic.

And Victor got a great big cheer his first time up to the plate. ALL AS IT SHOULD BE, even though the Tigers ultimately lost.

Tiger birthdays and big sprawling wins


illustration by Samara Pearlstein

Happy birthday to Daniel Schlereth and Brayan Villarreal! Schlereth’s birthday was May 9, Villarreal’s was May 10; Schlereth turned 25, Villarreal turned 24. They’re still just kittens! Clearly it is time for celebration and sharing and cake.

What a win for the growing boys, huh? Rain delays could not keep the Tigers offense down, a statement that seems to need a ‘for once’ tacked onto the end of it. Liriano looked like a struggling maybe-starter, not a thrower of no-hitters. Victor Martinez is blowing up the baseball, Austin Jackson is making some welcome offensive noise, and JHonny fhreakin Peralta hit a hhomerhun.

The outcome is maybe not so impressive when you consider who the Twins are running out there (what is a Tosoni?), but I will happily take it. Anything to hoist that sodden mess of a record up above .500, however briefly.

Both birthday boys pitched scoreless innings in this latest game, because that is right and just. Schlereth hit a Twin and gave up a walk, Villarreal gave up a single, neither one allowed further damage to occur. Because of the rain delay/FredFred only being able to go five innings, it was actually semi-important for the bullpen to pitch productively, even though Detroit had a decisive early lead (for once). All’s well that ends with birthday cats contributing to a win.

the Alaskan Assassin and other such cartoons


illustrations by Samara Pearlstein

Apparently Daniel Schlereth, who was born in Anchorage, wishes to be known as The Alaskan Assassin. True fact (thank you, Mr. Beck). Who am I to deny Daniel Schlereth? So here he is, attired for Alaskan climes, with his sidekick seal and a knife for assassinatin’ folks.

Of course everyone already knows about Papa Grande/the Big Potato. Brayan Villarreal says that he has been calling Al Alburquerque ‘Avatar’; Jason Beck says like the movie, but I don’t really get what he has to do with the movie… it doesn’t matter anyways since I’m just going to keep calling him AlAl. Brad Thomas does not get a nickname because everyone has been content to simply make fun of his accent, which is stupid because his accent is awesome. Still! There are other worthy nicknames in the bullpen!

Villarreal is Zorro. The explanation given for this was “the hair”, even though I thought Zorro didn’t have particularly long hair, he just had that pencilly mustache thing. But… I mean… whatever.

Ryan Perry is Cyclops, because of his recent eyeball-related DL stint. Before that he was apparently called Agent P, and also the Platypus, for reasons completely unknown to me until I googled it and discovered Perry the Platypus. This is sort of amazing and as soon as the eyeball thing has faded from the forefront of our collective memory a little bit I am going to start drawing Ryan Perry as a platypus at all times.

Magglio Ordonez’s bat has been waking up a little. Thank cats.

Joel Zumaya is having exploratory surgery. He is probably done for the season (as if anyone expected otherwise?), he is possibly done forever. At least with the Tigers. Everything is very dire and sad and filled with wistful what-ifs and coulda-beens. If you own Guitar Hero, take your controller outside and burn it as a fitting memorial.

You may notice that Zoom is in civvies here. I just can’t reasonably draw him in a Tigers uniform anymore.

Paws had a birthday! He turned 16 years old, and is now legally able to drive, but he still cannot partake of celebratory champagne (if the Tigers ever start playing consistently and skillfully enough to deserve such things).

There is no real reason for this last, but Brandon Inge has been playing some cruddy baseball lately and I am angry with him, so he gets tattoonsulted. Also, have the rest of you noticed that we’re over a month into the season, and the goatee is still absent? I’m going to keep drawing him with it, though, so as to not upset the balance of the world.

the Worst Thing

Reports indicate that the Tigers/Yankees/Dbacks trade is a go.
eta: Report from The Mothership as of 3 pm Tuesday.

So the Tigers would get:
–Max Scherzer (Dbacks)
–Daniel Schlereth (Dbacks)
–Phil Coke (Yanks)
–Austin Jackson (Yanks)
–maybe Mike Dunn? (Yanks)

The Tigers would give up:
–Edwin Jackson (Dbacks)
–Curtis Granderson (Yanks)
–faith in the inherent goodness of the world

THIS IS THE WORST THING

Trading Granderson was always going to be awful, heart-rending, soul-destroying, etc, but sending him to the Yankees is like… it is like taking the most beautiful thing you can imagine– say a kitten with enormous eyes and soft fur, sitting on a bed of fresh flowers under a rainbow while butterflies soar above it and Mozart plays in the background– and setting it on fire, then dumping it into an open sewer, then setting the sewer on fire, then putting that fire out with nuclear waste, then having sex with a bunch of half-decayed donkey corpses, and throwing those onto the nuclear waste sewer, and setting fire to the whole thing again. That is what Curtis Granderson on the Yankees is like.

As for Edwin Jackson… oh my gosh who will be Justin Verlander’s dugout buddy now??

My problem with the Jackson-for-Scherzer swap is that it doesn’t really help the starting rotation, it just shuffles the problem over. The issue was never that Jackson didn’t help the rotation– because he did– it was that there simply weren’t enough Real Live Actual Starters on the team. So, fine, we pick up Scherzer, great, a new starter… but giving up Jackson at the same time and failing to get a second starter anywhere else in this trade (Schlereth is a reliever) means that the Tigers are right back to where they were before. Before, the rotation was Verlander, Porcello, Jackson, and scraps. Now the rotation is Verlander, Porcello, I guess Scherzer, and scraps. THAT DOESN’T HELP.

But I guess the payroll is reduced, GREAT, I HOPE YOU FEEL REAL GOOD ABOUT THAT, FRONT OFFICE. I HOPE REDUCING PAYROLL WAS WORTH MAKING FANS CRY.