Category Archives: Terrible Cartoons

the game within the game

pokemon baseball

illustration by Samara Pearlstein

Let me tell you cats something real quick. The last time I was at a baseball game was when the Tigers were in Boston earlier this season (more on that shortly, when I have a hot second to catch my breath and upload the rest of these freakin’ cartoons). There was a fair amount of baseball and a lot of heat and a Bostonian gentleman who recognized my 2009 All Star Game jersey in the security line out front, expressed surprise at seeing it, then saw that it was a BRANDON INGE jersey and said, “Inge… Brandon, right? You don’t see a lot of those!” No sir. No, sir, you do not, but I very much appreciate your recall of short white third basemen refugees from the catcher’s mitt.

I also almost (literally) ran into Al Avila in the Fenway Park concourse, which was cool, but Mr. Avila, please do not stop on the ramp and block the way. C’mon now.

But I’m not cartoon-ically ready to talk about all that just yet. What I want to talk about is the fact that THERE WAS SO MUCH POKEMON GO.

Seriously. There were people playing Pokemon Go all over the park. Outside the park, in the concourse, in the aisles, in their seats. People were coming down the stairs playing Pokemon Go while looking over the shoulders of people in grandstand seating playing Pokemon Go, so that they could confirm that that other person was in fact playing Pokemon Go, and maybe to see what creature that person was pursuing (??), or whether they were battling for a ‘gym’ (????) or doing whatever one does at a ‘Pokestop’ (????????).

There were definitely more people playing Pokemon Go in Fenway Park than there were people scoring the game on paper scorecards.

pidgey at the park

Image obtained via Pokemon-Go-capable seatmate.

I don’t even have Pokemon Go on my phone (I couldn’t download it even if I wanted to; my phone is too old and is not supported by newer apps). But since my seatmate does, I was privy to the madness and the wonder of Pokemon at the Park. There was so much happening! There were small creatures in the stadium, not entirely unlike mantises! The gym was constantly changing hands! People had something to do between innings that did not involve spilling extremely expensive beer on each other! Of course people were also staring at their phones during the actual gameplay, sometimes, and missing out on some pretty decent baseball so that they could superimpose digital monsters on the very real Green Monster….

but…

I cannot remember ever seeing anything like this, where so many people were interested not just in the game that was happening on the field, but in playing a separate game in the stands, one that was in some ways its own thing, but in other ways was dependent on the particularities of Fenway Park (moving around to catch different Pokemon; the intensity of activity that was a direct result of the number of people in the park at one time; the pleasure of seeing your Pokemon not just on a digital landscape, but actually putting its butt in Justin Verlander’s face; etc.). I know that it is cool to poop all over the entire phone-tethered existence of which Pokemon Go is a part, but this seemed more fun and communally entertaining than anything else. These folks were delighted to see Pokemon at the baseball game, more so than they would have been to see Pokemon at the local CVS. That was cool and I have to say that I, a non-participant, did enjoy seeing it.

The focus on phones also prevented a few more people from doing the wave. Good outcomes all ’round, I say.

A couple things that are not cool.

JD Martinez and his broken elbow and its ghostly results.

Illustrations by Samara Pearlstein.

Not cool: JD Martinez breaking his elbow and being out six weeks. It’s not even like he broke it doing something irresponsible like skateboarding or jumping on a trampoline or carrying a bag of frozen meat up the stairs. No, he was just playing baseball and he played baseball a little too hard and there you have it, now the ghostly spirit of Tigers offense can waft right on up and out of that break. Not cool at all.

Also not cool: this situation.

Paws crushed beneath Sluggerrr and the dumb Cleveland C.

Just sayin’.

Is it possible for the Tigers to be pulled up out of the muck?

muck1

muck2

muck3

muck4

muck5
illustrations by Samara Pearlstein

The Tigers are mired pretty far down into the muck right now. Is it possible for them to be pulled up out of it? Most likely, at this point in the season, no. But if there is any cat who can manage it, that just might be Miguel Cabrera. Come back soon, Miguel! Please!

Also! If you are still upset by the way the Tigers have been conducting their business in Kansas City, here, take a look at this photo of Little Victor examining video of his swing, which Justin Verlander posted on Instagram, in what I can only assume is a bid to prove that there are still decent things in this world.

Happy Tigers Passover 2015!

It’s time once again for everyone to learn a thing or two about Passover via Tigers cartoons: the best educational method the internet has ever devised.

As many of you know, ceremonial dinners called seders mark the first two nights of the Passover holiday. The centerpiece of a seder is the seder plate, which displays food items symbolic of various bits of the Passover tale (which is the ‘Moses leading the people out of slavery in Egypt story’).


illustrations by Samara Pearlstein

The Paschal lamb or shankbone represents the sacrificial offering, which was traditionally a lamb. Alex Avila, as the most consistently beat-up Tiger, is very obviously our sacrificial lamb. We offer him up on the altar of home plate, hoping that the Baseball Gods will be appeased by the gift of his body.

The karpas is a green vegetable (often parsley) that is dipped in salt water. This represents the tears shed by the Jews while they were enslaved in Egypt, building pyramids for the Pharaohs and whatnot. As he will be starting the season on the DL, it is only appropriate that Justin Verlander is the karpas this year. His tears flow as freely as his triceps do not.

The maror or bitter herbs is just shredded horseradish (although horseradish is naturally white, at a seder you often see bright red maror, which has been mixed with beet juice). This represents the bitterness and harshness that the Jews suffered while they were enslaved. JD Martinez experienced great bitterness and suffering while in the Astros organization, before he was led through the Red Sea by Dave Dombrowski to the promised land of Detroit.

What is the deal with the egg? It is always included on the seder plate, but there are many conflicting stories about why it’s there. One story has the egg as an ancient symbol of fertility and rebirth (as the Jews come out of slavery and are reborn as a free people). One has the egg as a symbol of mourning, because all sorts of Jewish holy sites had been destroyed. One has the egg as another representation of the sacrificial offering, which is confusing because that’s also the shankbone, and those are from two different animals, so… it’s there because it’s a nice symbol for all sorts of things, I guess. This is Miguel Cabrera, certainly a fine symbol of the rebirth of the Tigers, and sometimes a sacrificial offering in the lineup, especially if he’s not adequately protected by a strong slugger batting behind him. He’s not really a symbol of mourning right now, and hopefully we will keep it that way.

The charoset is a mix of chopped up nuts and apples and spices, representing the mortar that the Jews had to use to build things for the Egyptians. Nick Castellanos, as the youngest member of the Tigers right now, is what we are going to build upon.

The matzah is usually next to the seder plate, not on it, but it is a vital part of any seder, and one of the most recognizable symbols of Passover for Jews and goys alike. When they were getting out of Egypt, the Jews had to leave ASAP, with very little warning. They had to grab bread right out of the ovens to take on the journey, so it didn’t have time to rise. That’s matzah. The fastest Tiger is Rajai Davis so… Matzah Davis.

Have a very Happy Passover, cats and kittens!

Your Detroit Tigers 2015 Season Preview: Part II

We are so close to Opening Day! Like, oh gosh, so close! But we still have time to sneak in a few more preseason predictions that are absolutely sure to come true due to the incredible insight that Roar of the Tigers has into the minds and bodies of the Detroit Tigers and their entire management team. That’s right Brad Ausmus, I’m reading your mind right now and I’m loving it.


illustrations by Samara Pearlstein

–Ian Kinsler goes kosher, Bubbies everywhere plotz.

–Dave Dombrowski will, like Miguel Cabrera, have a slow start to the season. But where Miguel’s slow start is at the plate, Mr. D’s slow start is on his torso. It will be way too cold in April, and possibly some of May, for short-sleeve striped polo shirts at the ballpark. But eventually the temperature will rise, and the second-most realistic tiger stripes* worn by a Detroit employee will once more be displayed before our adoring eyes.

(*obviously the most realistic stripes belong to Paws)

–Every single time Justin Verlander is injured, K*te Upt*n gains a year of life thanks to her dabbles in the black magicks of app wizardry.

–Bruce Rondon throws 105 mph exactly once, and never again.

–Joe Nathan is so old and so out of touch with the modern age that he begins pitching not forward, into the future, but straight down, through geologic time. It is as if his ancient bones are yearning to join their brethren beneath the soil. Dinosaurian remains beckon. He knows he belongs among them more than he has ever belonged here among us. If he cannot yet go among their ranks, he can at least send his pitches there.

–It doesn’t much matter, though, because by August MLB has pushed through the controversial First Name Enforcement (FNE) rule, banning all players with two first names from the league, on the basis of it making for confusing and annoying jersey name-on-back situations (which everyone knows are no good for merchandising). Joe Nathan, Alfredo Simon and Kyle Ryan are promptly banished to independent ball. There is lively argument for a while over the fate of Rajai Davis; at the end of the season his case is still being decided by the commissioner’s office.

–JD Martinez switches his name around, becomes involved in an intense DJing battle with the Rays’ DJ Kitty.

–In an unexpected bid to become the new Don Kelly, Andrew Romine starts teaching himself how to play catcher. He also begins to aggressively befriend Jim Leyland, leaving little gifts of cigarettes and Barbra Streisand CDs on his desk. Brad Ausmus is slightly hurt but will never let on.

(But I can tell, because I’m reading his mind.)

—-

Now, this is kind of unrelated, BUT if you like baseball cards you may find it to your liking. An artist friend and I have been working together on this weird, goofy project for quite a long time, and we finally got it to the point where it’s ready to become real.

It’s called Art World Universe Series One, and it is a set of trading cards for a deranged world where contemporary artists are superheroes and supervillains and Legends (who transcend those former categories).

As I said, it is more about art and comic books than it is about baseball, but it is a set of trading cards and I did draw them all, so I figured I should let you guys know about the project. We have a Kickstarter where we are trying to make this dumb thing happen– take a look, read about the project, check out the cartoons, enjoy the video, and hey, if you happen to see a reward that you want, go ahead and grab one!

Your Detroit Tigers 2015 Season Preview: Part I

It has been a winter of suffering. A winter of bitter cold. A winter of more snow than this tender land has seen in the age of recorded snow totals, if you live with me in the greater Boston area. A winter of no baseball, the same as every winter, because every year we must go through a time of horrible void and dumb fast indoor sports on TV in order to properly rekindle our appreciation for the noblest slow game that makes a modicum of sense and therefore isn’t cricket.

But now it is March! The players we know and love are in Florida cavorting with the players we know and hate, and forgetting the names of players we might eventually come to know if they get called up at some point. Wealthy young men are parking their excessive cars near a field of play. There is probably a fragrant breeze blowing through palm fronds or something, I don’t know, I still dwell in a landscape dominated by enormous filthy piles of road snow. We are mere weeks away from the beginning of a new baseball year.

What will 2015 bring? I think we can hazard some decent guesses.

–David Price is tapped to pitch the Tigers’ opener. Justin Verlander is extremely sad, until an emissary is sent to cheer him up.


illustrations by Samara Pearlstein

–Miguel Cabrera has a slow start to the season, as he is healthy enough to be on the Opening Day roster, but is still working his way back from his injuries. Rival pitchers begin to feel overconfident and stop pitching to him as cautiously as they have in years past. Miggy takes advantage of this collective moment of weakness at the peak of his recovery and has a monster middle of the year, a middle of the year the likes of which Major League Baseball has never seen before. He leads the league in slugging percentage by a wide margin in July. He is intentionally walked a record number of times in August.

–Alex Avila suffers 12 concussions over the course of the season, declares the year a massive improvement.

–Joba Chamberlain punches a cooler in the dugout, inexplicably begins pitching better after.

–Al Alburquerque is recognized for his contributions to visual culture with a gallery exhibition of his Instagram photos.

–Victor Martinez injures both knees again, has radical new surgery in Germany, becomes first MLB player with robot legs, touching off a whole new class of debate about performance enhancement. Little Victor learns how to say ‘transhumanism’.

Part II coming soon!

Meanwhile, as the Tigers report to Spring Training…






illustrations by Samara Pearlstein