Tag Archives: Detroit Tigers

Miggy gets some (more) records.

cartoon of Miguel Cabrera climbing ladder of bats, number 50 behind ladder where he's standing

Miggy climbs the hit list.

With 3 series wins in a row, and this weekend’s sweep of the Twins, it can truthfully be said that the Tigers are in the midst of a very respectable streak. They’ve even managed to claw their way back to .500. Can we trust this? Of course not. Literally anything could happen at any moment, as this entire season is just a fever dream that we are all collectively experiencing. But on the whole, the things that we collectively dreamed this weekend were… good??

On Saturday Miguel Cabrera climbed to #50 on the all-time hit list with his 2,840th hit, passing Charlie Gehringer. On Sunday Miggy got his 2,000th hit as a Tiger. All very exciting, but the best bit Sunday was Miggy coming out to the top dugout step to take a curtain call, turning around to wave at the stands. The stands, of course, are empty. The part of me that believes that MLB needs to fully lean in to the post-apocalyptic aesthetic of their current situation really appreciated the reminder of Baseball as Theater.

As any long-time (mid-time?) Tigers fan knows, when Miggy is at his best he’s as much an entertainer as he is an athlete. Normally he has an audience– his teammates, players on the opposing team, fans in the stands, etc– but he’s been doin’ this since 2003, so I suppose there’s no reason why he shouldn’t have learned how to ply his craft before even an imaginary crowd.

Congrats to Miggy, and I’m glad we reached a critical mass of people who were tired of the 9-game losing streak that preceded this particular burst of competence. Let’s all do our very best to collectively imagine this team into some more wins.

mortal limbs

CJ Cron  -busted knee

kneecaps are not supposed to do that

CJ Cron is out for the year. He was trying to field a ball last week and something happened: the ball seems to have hit him, but he also maybe planted his foot wrong, or his knee just gave way for no real reason because that’s a thing that knees do when you’re 30 or older. He has described the kneecap as “just floating around.” There’s ligament damage that will require surgery to fix, the recovery period is long, and Cron was on a one-year contract with the Tigers, so that might be that and I suppose it was fun while it (extremely briefly) lasted.

sick Cardinals

this temperature would actually not be a fever for a cardinal bird but just go with it

Meanwhile, the schedule is all weird because we missed a load of games that were supposed to be with the Cardinals, who were busy letting pestilence work its way through their staff and roster. Will all these games be made up? Who knows?! I guess not?? Because I think there literally isn’t time???

The Cardinals actually returned to action today with a double-header against the White Sox. The Cards won both games. But don’t worry, the Reds are now missing games because they’ve crossed the Threshold of Positivity (not, as some imagine, actually a positive thing). The tragic fragility of human existence can thus properly remain at the forefront of our minds. Thanks, baseball.

records in Ks and innings

Tyler Alexander drawn as a letter K

Tyler Alexander maximizes the Ks

Two games, two losses. Much strangeness. So it goes for 2020.

Record Number One: Tyler Alexander, who came on in relief after Rony García only made it through 2 innings in the first game, matched and set a Major League Baseball record. With 9 strikeouts in a row, he matched the AL record for all pitchers (shared with Doug Fister, so this is a very Detroit record), and set the new record in consecutive strikeouts for relievers. This feels weird and fluke-y, but it’s definitely a good thing, so congrats to Mr. Alexander. Thanks for doing a good baseball.

Record Number Two: Due to the vast amount of shenanigans occurring at this moment in time, doubleheaders now consist of two games of 7 innings each. Like, that’s the actual rule now. The rain-out yesterday meant that the Tigers had a doubleheader today. This is apparently the first doubleheader where both games were shorter than 9 innings since 1912, and the first 7-inning doubleheader ever in Major League Baseball. There will be many more, but wet miserable midwestern weather made sure that the Tigers got there first. Hooray.

two small Detroit Ds jump holding hands, one big Detroit D looks confused

the shortened-game doubleheader

What a weird freaking day of baseball.

Next up are the Cardinals, although 6 of their players are down with the sickness right now, so is this the beginning of the end?? Stay tuned for the next exciting episode of Baseball vs. The Hubris of Man.

Home Opener, 2020

groundhog gesturing to burrow with baseball hat on it, speech bubble says 'Check out my Beau Burrow'

this groundhog has made a very beau burrow

What a hot garbage pile of a home opener. There were a million home runs. The Tigers jumped out ahead early and then fell behind with horribly familiar speed. I dunno, it’s like a thousand degrees in my apartment right now so my ability to deal with any of this is… reduced. A thousand degrees, for the home opener? Yes. Sadly, tragically, yes. Remember when we used to have home openers threatened by snow? Those were the days.

This whole thing may swiftly become a moot point anyway. The Marlins have had a third of their team test positive for COVID-19 and are not playing today. The Orioles, who were supposed to play them, are obviously not playing today. The Yankees were supposed to play the Phillies today, but the Marlins had just finished up a road trip in Philly when they started testing positive, so the Yankees/Phillies game is also postponed, because nobody in their right mind would go into that visiting clubhouse right now. The Marlins are still stuck in Philly, because it is probably not a good idea to have a team get on an airplane when a huge chunk of their squad is shedding virus. There are 4 teams out of action tonight. It is at the moment entirely unclear when the Marlins will play again. What in the world are we doing? Are we really trying to have a season like this?


The one thing I wanted to make sure to mention was the fact that the Tigers had several players make their big league debuts today, and there are some delightful names involved that I am only capable of seeing in one way: through the medium of cartoons. Up at the top of this post is Beau Burrows, who is obviously working very closely with the many groundhogs who inhabit the state of Michigan.

And here’s Kyle Funkhouser:

Kyle Funkhouser wearing star sunglasses and baseball pant bellbottoms, doing a 70s-ish dance, with a tiger stripe background and funky lettering spelling out his last name

I don’t apologize. He has that mustache in real life right now, there was no other option.

Anthony Castro also made his MLB debut in this game, but it happened in the 9th and I had already drawn, scanned, and colored these cartoons by then, so let’s be real, there was never any chance I was going to make yet another drawing at that point. It’s after 10 pm and still the aforementioned thousand degrees in here. Sorry Anthony. If we ever play another game again and you get some more time on the mound, I’ll draw you as some kind of dumb pun.

Anyway, I just wanted to put these cartoons out there before this entire disaster show gets shut down because Florida doesn’t understand what a mask is. Final score: Royals 14, Tigers 6. Happy Home Opener, everyone.

Welcome back to baseball.


Paws sanitizes Matt Boyd.

Hey everyone. It’s July 24! It’s a global pandemic! It’s the first day of real live 2020 baseball! And the Tigers got whomped by the Reds. BASE BALL IS BAK BABEE!!

No need to worry. It’s very clear what happened. After all, we’ve got all these new pandemic-related rules and procedures in place, and folks are still getting used to them. Obviously Paws was just a little too overenthusiastic in his application of hand sanitizer to the players. Poor Matt Boyd must have gotten sprayed in the face with an extra-heavy mist of 70% ethyl alcohol. A faceful of scouring disinfectant would put anyone off their game, or at minimum seriously impede their ability to do things like see the strike zone. You can’t fault Paws for his scrupulous attention to sanitation protocol, especially for the first proper game of the year. I’m sure that he’ll figure it out as we get deeper into the season.

There’s so much that’s new and exciting about this season! Like the fact that more elaborately patterned high socks seem to be coming back into fashion across the league (at least a little). The fact that extra innings start out with a man on second base! There’s the fact that both leagues have the DH! There’s the fact that the Tigers are only playing teams in the Midwest during the regular season, so this very tired cat will not have to stay up until ass o’clock in the morning to watch west coast games! There’s the fact that fans can’t go to games, so MLB has chosen to pipe in crowd noise because… uh… because they can, I guess. Because they are terrified of silence. Because MLB knows that when there’s nothing but silence, that’s when the evil thoughts creep in.

Speaking of evil thoughts… I guess maybe because we don’t see him super often, sometimes I forget how truly terrifying Mr. RedLegs is.


But I know a cursed demon when I see one.

the arbitration ship sails on Placido Polanco

illustration by Samara Pearlstein

Goodbye, goodbye sweet Placido! We shall sorely miss your breathe-right strips and your cold-weather snoods and your little goatee and your giant skull and your grimacey batting faces on these Detroit shores. *sniffle*

Today was of course the deadline for teams to offer arbitration to their arb-eligible players. The Tigers elected to make that offer to Brandon Lyon and Fernando Rodney. They did not make the offer to Adam Everett, Aubrey Huff, Jarrod Washburn, and Polanco.

Polanco was a Type A free agent, which means that if the Tigers had offered him arbitration, other teams would have had to give up a first round draft pick and a supplemental first round pick to sign him. This would have made him less valuable on the open market, because he’s kinda old and teams don’t generally like giving up those early slots. So it was at least somewhat likely that if the Tigers had offered him arb, he would have accepted it, and gotten a snotload of cash on account of his Gold Glove and all that. Sure, it would have only been a one-year deal, and maybe in rosier economic times the Tigers would have done it, but all we’ve heard about this winter has been ZOMG THE MONEY IS GONE, GONE, ALL OF IT GONE– the amount of money Polanco was likely to make in arbitration was apparently a deterrent for the Tigers. He should still be able to get a good contract elsewhere, now that interested teams know they don’t have to give up The Future to snag him.

Fernando and Lyon are both Type B free agents, which would net the Tigs someone else’s first round pick (no supplementals) some random supplemental picks if they’re signed away. Ugh. I guess it wouldn’t be terrible if Lyon accepted… he made $4.25 million last year, which is pretty high for what he did, but there are worse things in life than effective-but-overpaid middle relievers, right? Right.

Fernando made $2.7 million in ’09. I won’t comment on his performance. You all know my feelings there. He may decide to decline arb and feel out free agency anyways. This does raise the question of what in the hell the Tigers are planning to do for a closer if they don’t go with Fernando again. Paws knows I don’t recommend holding your breath and hoping Zumaya stays healthy or sane, and the FA market is not exactly brimming over with scintillatingly brilliant closers at the moment. I guess we’ll see. Mr. Dombrowski’s got a plan, that is what I will keep telling myself.

Everett, Huff, and Washburn are all Type Nothing free agents, so nobody cares about them.

OK, mild lie. Everett’s presumed (although, I guess, not totally guaranteed) departure raises the question, as with Fernando, of what the Tigers are planning there for 2010. Right now the idea for second base seems to involve bringing up Scott Sizemore, whom we can all only hope is as willing to pose nude as Grady Sizemore, but there isn’t any clear plan for shortstop that I’ve seen. WORRISOME.

I just keep thinking back to how badly I freaked out about the lack of catching options after the Tigers jettisoned Pudge, and how tidily the Tigers patched up that problem. That was an example of the Tigers having a serious need at a hard-to-fill position, and it all worked out just fine (if not as offensively glorious as we might have wished, SHUT UP OK GERALD LAIRD IS AWESOME AND GOOD). Just fine. Everything will be fine. Finety fine fine.


Don’t forget to work on your entries for the contest!! December 10 is the deadline!

tiger-striped Thanksgiving, 2009

photo illustration by Samara Pearlstein

Things for which we can be thankful:

–Despite his very best efforts, Fernando Rodney did not actually manage to kill any of us this year.

–Justin Verlander.

–Tiny fluffy kittens.

–Having an inconsistent, frustrating, disappointing season from the majority of the players on the team, and STILL coming thisclose to winning the division.

–Best lookin’ home unis in the league for the millionth year.

–Comerica seat prices as compared to the prices in Yankee Stadium.

–Gerald Laird’s defense.

–The fact that Gerald Laird’s defense allowed Brandon Inge to play at third base.

–Frederick Alfred Porcello the Third is NOT a figment of our collective imagination.

–Ernie Harwell is one of us.

This right here.


–We’re not Racist Logos fans.

–Mr. Dombrowski’s willingness to bail his players out of jail at unholy hours of the morning.

–Rod Allenisms.


–All of you cats, readers and commenters and lurkers and fellow bloggers, makin’ the blogosphere what it is today.

Yet another year of turkeycats! We must savor them while Polanco is still on the team and we can.

Don’t forget to work on your entries for the photo contest! A few folks have gotten their images in early, and it’s gooooood stuff. You’ve got ’til December 10, get crackin’.

Have a very Happy Thanksgiving, kids and kittens! May it, as ever, be filled with delicious NOMs and only the most minor of familial stress. Go Lions, Go Not Trading Tigers I Love, Go Turkeycats!

The First Ever Roar of the Tigers Photo Contest of Incomparable Awesomeness

So here’s the deal, folks.

I have prizes. You want prizes. I want to have fun. You want to have fun. I want to look at funny/pretty/cute/interesting/otherwise somehow engaging pictures. You want to look at them too. It is November and we are baseball fans. All this adds up to something very simple:


Holy cats, you say, I want to be a part of this incomparable awesomeness! How can I go about doing so? It is simple, friends. Below this paragraph you will see several Terrible Cartoons of several of our favorite Tigers. Clicking on each image will take you to a clean page where you can easily print it out. Once you have your Tiger or Tigers printed, cut ’em out, and take a picture of your Tiger(s) in an interesting place, in a funny situation, being eaten by your cat, whatever. I’m not necessarily looking for the artistically composed and professionally shot image (although if you want to go that route, more power to ya). I’m looking for something eye-catching, cool, hilariously funny, just incredibly weird, etc. Be creative, be smart. I know you cats are both!



The winner, as determined by me and my cats, will receive a copy of the 2010 Bill James Handbook. It’s got my photos on it. If the winner wants I will deface his or her copy with a Terrible Cartoon of the Tiger of his or her choice on the inside cover. Two runners-up will each receive a 5×7″ print of one of my photos of the Porcello/Youkilis fight. SO EXCITING, NO?


–You must use at least one of the Tigers that have been provided to you. You do not have to use all of them, but you can if you want.

–Images must be at least 400 px in their shortest dimension, and cannot have any dimension larger than 1024 px. If you really, truly do not have a way to resize your images, you can send them to me anyways and I will do it, but I would prefer to not have a zillion enormous files piling up in my inbox, you know?

–Images may be captured in any reasonable way. These are not being judged on image quality, you don’t need a fancy camera or l33t kamra skillz. You can use a cameraphone or a webcam or whatever you’ve got… but the image MUST be clear enough and bright enough to be seen. A dark pixelly mass is no good to anyone.

–Keep it (reasonably) clean. All images must be worksafe.

–You can use a little Photoshop to brighten an image or fix the colors, things like that, but don’t, for instance, just ‘shop Justin Verlander onto a photo of the Tokyo Dome (unless you’re in Japan, and you go out and photograph him by the Tokyo Dome for real). That’s cheatin’.

–Pro-tip: To keep the Ugie that I photograph in various places in good shape, I printed him out, covered him entirely in clear packing tape, and THEN cut him out. It’s like lamination for cheap people.

–Two images per person. You can enter just one image if you want, of course, but not more than two.

–The winners will be posted to this blog, so that all may view their majesty. Make sure you let me know what name (your real name, or a pseudonym) you want attached to your image. A number of additional runners-up may be posted as well, if I get a whole bunch of entries and feel like it.

–All entries must be in by December 10. That gives you about 3 weeks.

Got it? If you have any questions, feel free to ask ’em in the comments. When you’re ready to rock, send your image in an email, as an attachment, to bluecatsredsox at gmail dot com, with the subject line “roar of the tigers contest entry“.

Feel the excitement, Tigers fans! Feel it, participate in it, and ignore the heck out of those Edwin Jackson trade rumors.

Porcello does not win Rookie of the Year

photo by Samara Pearlstein


FredFred finished third in the RoY voting, behind the winner, Andrew Bailey of the A’s, and Elvis Andrus of the Rangers. Sure, Bailey had a sub-2 ERA, and Elvis Andrus is wicked cute, but did either of them come straight up from single-A because they were desperately needed by the big league club and then live up to that frankly impossible situation and somehow manage to avoid traumatizing themselves for the future by reprising Jeremy Bonderman’s 2003 season? THAT’S RIGHT, I DIDN’T THINK SO.

Sure, Bailey had a WHIP of 0.88, and Andrus is adorable, but did either of them take down a raving Kevin Youkilis and live to tell the tale with hardly a scratch on them? Does either one of them have THE THIRD at the end of his name? YEAH. DIDN’T THINK SO.

Whatever, Rookie of the Year voters. Whatever.

Justin Verlander also failed to be awarded by MLB, coming in third in the Cy Young voting. But the winner this year was Zack Greinke, who was better than everyone in the entire world, so I am not complaining.

On the Hot Stove front (can we call it the Hot Stove yet?), there has been some light chatter between the Tigers and the Mariners, regarding Edwin Jackson and what “sources” are calling “minimum-salary pitching” in exchange. I guess that’s interesting, kind of, but the Mariners may not be able to retain King Felix after 2011 and have shown interest in dudes like John Smoltz (6.35 combined ERA in ’09), so I think they’re just feeling out as much pitching as they possibly can right now.

Dombrowski wants Verlander forever and ever; DIBS awards Tigers!

illustration by Samara Pearlstein

Dave Dombrowski has said that he wants to keep Justin Verlander clutched to his stripe-shirted bosom for as long as is humanly possible. This is despite the fact that Verlander is up for arbitration again in just a couple of seasons, and we all know how much Mr. D hates that whole process.

I know this ought to be a “file it under O for Obvious” sort of thing, but this is an offseason where practically every cat has been rumored to be bloody, dripping trade chum, we have been told that payroll must be panic-slashed or Comerica is going to implode where it sits, not even Paws is safe, etc. Given that, it’s nice to hear that some small degree of sanity, at least, still has a toehold at the top.

It will be interesting to see if Mr. Dombrowski manages to tart up a contract with Verlander this winter to avoid that next round of arb. He’s got a good track record so far, but it might turn out to be unavoidable this time. If so, he just might have to break out his most clashy, eye-rendingly color-combo’d striped shirt to express his sadness.

In other news, DIBS (Detroit Independent Baseball Scribes) is back! To celebrate its return we have reinstated the DIBS awards for this season. You are going to see this on every other Tigers blog ever, but just in case, here were the winners:

DIBS 2009 Season Awards, oooooooooh shiny

top position player: Miguel ‘the Puma’ Cabrera

top pitcher: Justincredible Verlander

breakout player of the year: Frederick Alfred Porcello the III (FredFred)

comeback player of the year: Justin Verlander again

I was going to tell you who I voted for in each category, but I totally forgot. Awesome, right? Anyways, these are pretty self-explanatory, although I wish that someone other than Verlander had won for Comeback Player of the Year, because we should spread the love around, you know? Man, I really can’t remember who I voted for in that one. It was probably someone like Bobby Seay or Ryan Raburn.

Curious as to who had a say in this? Your 2009 DIBS members are:

Bob Biscigliano, Detroit4lyfe

Brian Borawski, TigerBlog

John Brunn, TigerGeist

Ian Casselberry, Bless You Boys

Jennifer Cosey, Old English D

Austin Drake, Detroit Tigers Den

Greg Eno, Where have you gone, Johnny Grubb?

Bill Ferris, Detroit Tigers Weblog

Patrick Hayes, It’s Just Sports

J. Ellet Lambie, Eye of the Tigers

Mike McClary, the Daily Fungo

Kurt Mensching, Mack Avenue Tigers

Lee Panas, Tiger Tales

John Parent, Tiger Tracks

Mike Rogers, Fire Jim Leyland

Scott Rogowski, DesigNate Robertson

Eric Saelzler, Tigers Amateur Analysis

Jamie Samuelsen, Jamie Samuelsen’s blog

James Schmehl and Scott Warheit, the Cutoff Man

Blake VandeBunte, the Spot Starters

Matt Wallace, Take 75 North

and me, of course.

Damn, y’all. We need some more exciting blog names in this here blogosphere. I think DesigNate Robertson is the only truly creative one in the bunch, and don’t even get me started on the worst offenders, you cats know who you are. Stern glare, etc.

In additional exciting news, if nothing much happens in actual Tigers news, I will be putting up a contest with FABULOUS PRIZES sometime this week, so keep an eye peeled and a whisker wary for that!