On release.

Dave Dombrowski has been released. Released??

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illustrations by Samara Pearlstein

Released like RELEASE THE HOUNDS?

No.

dombrowskireleased-gravity

Released like RELEASED FROM THE CONSTRAINTS OF GRAVITY?

No.

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Released like RELEASE THE DOMBRO-KRAKEN?

No.

Released like: RELEASED FROM HIS CONTRACT aka politely asked to move on aka FIRED (and I do tend to think it was a firing, instead of the much bandied-about ‘mutual decision’… if it was mutual it just seems like the kind of move that would have happened after the season and not during it, no matter how wretched the Tigers’ record).

The trading of David Price saddened me, but was understood. The Yoenis Cespedes move makes a kind of sense, especially if the door is open to bringing him back next year. I can handle the idea of a ‘reboot,’ even if it forces me to think of the Tigers as a collective cybernetic organism, or like a Power Rangers-style mecha or something. You know, something that can actually be rebooted. Maybe this is another cartoon? But this… this… I just don’t know.

Al Avila will be taking over, and while I know that he has done good work for the Tigers, Dave Dombrowski’s 14 years up top of the organization have been some of the most solid GM/pres/CEO work in baseball. They haven’t won a World Series, and of course there have been questionable decisions along the way– certain managerial choices spring to mind, and the entirety of 2003– but on the whole he has been a Good Solid Positive Influence for the Tigers. He has been heavily invested in the team for a long time, and there was no reason to think that that was going to change any time soon.

This release smacks of a kind of… I don’t want to say panic, or desperation, but it has certain overtones of both those things. It feels like an attempt to prove something: that the team is not content to say that 2015 is in any way okay, that the Tigers are still capable of being major players, that a record like this will not be tolerated. Something. But the fact that it seems to have gone down with little (or insufficient) notice given to Mr. D, the timing, all this does not give the impression of a coolly reasoned decision.

IT’S KINDA SKETCH, THAT’S ALL I’M SAYIN’.

I don’t know about you cats, but this move makes me uneasy. I don’t feel good about the way that it seems to have gone down, and I am not very happy about the decision itself. Mr. D is not perfect. He made decisions that sometimes did not work, and sometimes did not work in spectacular ways. But the majority of the time, as a crazed fan of this fine feline team, I had a lot of confidence in him, and was pleased to know that he was at the helm.

Nothing against Al Avila, but I wish we weren’t pushing him into the captain’s chair just yet.

Something to think about in this time of trades.

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illustration by Samara Pearlstein

I know, as we all know, that the Tigers are in Less Than Good shape right now. Perhaps this is the time to make some major roster changes. Perhaps this is the time to clear out contracts there is no reasonable hope of extending, in favor of some other, future contracts that may do us more good in a season other than this.

But I would ask you all– and Mr. D most of all– to consider precisely what it is that you would do.

Kyle Lobstein gets his carapace

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illustration by Samara Pearlstein; click for bigger

A good outing for the one and only crustacean in Major League Baseball this season. May his moulting be ever easy.

Also good: Miguel Cabrera. Jose Iglesias. Rod and Mario accidentally both showing up to work in pale paisley ties.

Not so good: Rajai Davis tweaking his precious groin. Joe Nathan injuring himself to the point where his career may be over. Whatever the heck is going on with Justin Verlander.

But repeat after me: I will not get too excited when the Tigers win a few games in a row. I will not get too dejected when the Tigers lose a few games in a row. It’s only April.

It is only April for a few more days, so soon enough we can fully indulge all hysterical baseball-related reactions.

some thoughts on the recent games


illustrations by Samara Pearlstein

Jose Iglesias is a defensive wizard, the end.

No I lied, here are a couple more things.

Have you ever seen that video of the guy throwing a brick into a washing machine? It’s chugging along and then this brick gets tossed into its drum and it starts spinning out of control and tearing itself to pieces with the force of its own motion, and stuff begins flying off until eventually the whole thing breaks apart? (This is what I’m talking about.)

Watching that washing machine is like watching Victor Martinez run right now.

There was a moment in last night’s game where Victor had to try to score from second base. Watching him chug his way around the bases was amazing and terrible. He did make it home, so, you know, that showed strength and determination and some degree of capability, but holy cats did the journey look painful. Yesterday was also the Boston Marathon, and there were people who in the last mile of 26.2 looked like they were doing better than Victor in his last 90 feet.

It’s been a busy few weeks and I have not been able to sit down and watch as much Tigers baseball as I would like, so it is possible that I just haven’t seen enough of Victor to realize how truly f’ed his body is until this last game. But now that I have had this realization… man, I know he wants to play, but can’t we declare this a humanitarian issue and make him sit quietly for a while so his bodily tissues can settle into some slightly less inflamed state?

Other things:

It’s the LAST WEEK for the Art World Universe Kickstarter!! Please give it a look and help make these actually pretty awesome weird things a reality.

I wrote a short story of baseball fiction, and Hobart Pulp published it! It’s called The First Rule is: Don’t Speak and it’s the first fiction I’ve put out into the world in a very long time (aside from whatever you want to call what happens over here). NEAT.

Opening Day 2015: a roaring success


illustration by Samara Pearlstein

Everything old is new again. There is green grass in the world, if not in our yards. The crack of wood is a welcome sound, and no longer a reminder that the roof needs to be shoveled. Suddenly it is acceptable to eat hot dogs at all hours of the day again. It’s Opening Day, and the Tigers are victorious.

David Price: 8.2 innings, 5 hits, 5 Ks, no runs, no walks. This is precisely why he got the Opening Day start. This is the kind of pitching that causes Tigers fans to walk around with hearts in their eyes, chanting his name under their breath all day. Maybe that’s just me? No, I know some of you are doing it too.

JD Martinez hit the first Tigers home run of the season, and I believe the first home run of the MLB season. May this be a sign of hits to come.

Yoenis Cespedes hit a double and a triple and it was all to the good.

Alex Avila homered and called a good game (although some of the umping was interesting). Kirk Gibson, new in the booth this year, could not for the life of him pronounce ‘Avila’. He kept saying ‘Avill-eeah’ and similar. This despite the fact that Rod and Mario were right there in the booth with him, pronouncing it correctly. I suppose Alex will just have to keep on hitting home runs so that Gibby can get a lot of practice saying his name. Obviously this is the best possible solution to this problem.

Joe Nathan faced one batter, did not immediately die or embarrass himself or the Tigers organization.

Jose Iglesias stole TWO whole bases! Rajai Davis stole one. What is this Tigers team, that runs on the bases and isn’t necessarily a sure out? Is this going to be our new reality? I will need some time to adjust.

Baseball is back, you guys. Bask in the warmth of this Opening Day win, and rest secure in the knowledge that there will be even MORE baseball in a couple of days. And then we have Tigers baseball for weeks and months after that! There is much that is terrible in the world, but this fact is a force for good.

PS: This Kickstarter is still a thing! Be on the lookout for a special drawing process video soon!

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!