Category Archives: Verlander

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!

a proposed solution


illustrations by Samara Pearlstein

We all, at this point, know that Justin Verlander has had his struggles. Now, if the cold and unfeeling universe happens into a spurt of goodwill, he will be coming out of this funk sooner rather than later, and will resume his old dominant-pitching ways. But just in case that does not happen in a timely fashion, I think we have a possible solution for Justin.

Give him a few months to work on his running, and he could make this transition easily. Right? Right. Justin gets to keep feeling good about himself as a professional athlete, the USMNT gains a player who can make the best throw-ins FIFA has ever seen, the Tigers get the positive karma associated with making a personal sacrifice for the good of the nation, the fans get to see Justin in one of those really tight soccer jerseys. EVERYONE WINS.

Also, apparently this happened:

Torii Hunter had hurt legbits, so Miguel Cabrera carried him into the clubhouse. Because Tigers are love. And we just have to hope that the Tigers will be carried through any and all rough patches on this vast and beautiful, uh, raft of love. The metaphor is getting away from me here so just look at the cartoon and we’ll call it a post.

What is going on?!


illustration by Samara Pearlstein

I’ll tell you what is going on. First of all Justin Verlander had ‘core muscle surgery’ and will be down’n’out until the end of February or something. ‘Core muscle surgery’ is not a thing and the above image is the only thing I was able to see whenever I heard it. I’m only a little sorry because it is really the fault of everyone who decided to report this as a ‘core muscle injury’ instead of a real injury to a specific body part.

In actuality Verlander probably had a sports hernia, and we all know there are few things in this world worse than herniating your sport. But it was not his arm, and he won’t miss too much of Spring Training, so cross your paws and hope that all’s well that ends surgically repaired.

As for what is going on with Roar of the Tigers– well, you have probably noticed how quiet it has been ’round these parts. To that I can only say: uh, I’m in my last year of grad school. And now I am in my last semester of grad school. This is both amazing and terrible; more to the point, it is a lot of work, and especially a lot of drawing, which leaves me little time for non-thesis-related drawing. Ugh! I know. The worst.

My thesis show will be in May and if you’re in the Boston area you should totally come because it will involve a lot of DRAWING and also a lot of BASEBALL and some of that will involve the DETROIT TIGERS and also it will be ART and it will mean that I GET A GRADUATE DEGREE. Imagine a world where one can receive a graduate degree for generating hundreds, or possibly thousands of weird baseball drawings. I am living in that world. I invite you to live in it with me. At least come May.

So that is the story, and I will try to be better about giving you things to look at here– who knows, maybe some tids and bits that end up not being used for thesis? or somesuch?? But if things are slow and quiet and calm on the RotT front, well, now you know why. Bear me with me, please. Luv u catz!

This is Upsetting and I am Upset.


illustrations by Samara Pearlstein

Seriously! What else was Justin Verlander supposed to do? He was more than good, and he left the Tigers more than enough chances to swing themselves back into the game. I am not a happy cat right now.

Also, John Lackey, gross.

A message for Justin Verlander.


illustration by Samara Pearlstein

More Verlander, more Verlander for all.


illustration by Samara Pearlstein

Ladies! Gents! Cats of all descriptions! There is marvelous news!

Justin Verlander has apparently signed a 5-year contract extension, keeping him in Detroit through 2019, with an option for 2020.

The contract is, of course, absurdly expensive, but do you really care? I hate to answer for you, but no. No, you do not really care. You have Justin Verlander for the next five years. Every sort of objection is invalid.

Nuts to free agency. Nuts to the market. All hail the beautiful loving relationship between the Detroit Tigers and Justin Verlander, forever and ever, or at least half a decade, amen.

Why Spring Training is exciting.


illustrations by Samara Pearlstein

The Spring! A magical time of renewal and rebirth, birds stretching their wings and beginning to think about those long migrations, Canadian geese settling down to poop all over your city, a time for fresh green buds to appear only to be immediately buried by the next snowstorm. A time for people in cold northerly climes to sit transfixed by photos and videos on their screened devices, showing them what Florida looks like. A time for Ryan Raburn to be employed, although not, for once, by the Tigers. A time for the joyous resumption of baseball activities and all that that entails. But what does it entail? So many wonders. Let us share them, friends.

The Spring brings us Dave Dombrowski’s arbitration-stomping dance, executed with great style each year, this year no less than the others. Should a potential arbitration arise, there he is, our President/CEO/GM/savior-in-stompy-boots, ready to dance like a veritable superb bird of paradise, to dazzle his players and beat any hint of arbitration down into the dirt where it belongs. Filthy process.

The Spring also brings us a stunning new array of striped polo shirts for Mr. D to display at the ballpark, as is only fitting and proper.

(note: those are all Detroit News photos from this Spring)

The Spring brings us a healthy Victor Martinez, his knees filled not with loose shards of bone, or excess fluid, or anything else likely to cause pain, terror and trips to the DL, but instead filled with sunshine and flower petals and the tender breath of sleeping kittens.

Bound freely upon those knees, O Victor! But not too freely. Let us keep them nice and unhurt, yes?

The Spring brings us a delightfully fresh crop of quotes from Jim Leyland, such as when he says that one of his own relief pitchers is “rowing with one oar.” He says it with love, mind you. But it is a very Jim Leylandian species of love, one that blossoms best and most readily in the low-stress environment of early Spring Training and in the presence of one Phillip Douglas Coke, which must of course not pass unremarked.

You row that boat, Phillip. You row your little heart out, with your singular oar and your quixotic determination in the face of this impediment.

The Spring brings us an opportunity to gaze upon the sizable noggin of Bruce Rondon, so that we may wonder at his potential ability to be a Major League closer with the assistance of visual aids instead of the cold words and numbers that have tried to form our perceptions of him all this long winter. Can Bruce Rondon close? Let us look at him and see.

The Spring brings us a stimulating debate on the topic of the new batting practice hats. Are they good? Are they hairball-inducingly bad? Are they naught but mediocre? All have thoughts and feelings on the matter. We do not even have to debate the BP hat. We may engage in a BP hat dialectic if we find that mode of communication more pleasant and useful. All these things are permitted in the Spring.

The Spring also brings us Justin Verlander’s super super dorky golfing outfits. It may in the final estimation be the best wonder that the Spring has to offer.