Tag Archives: MLB

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 GarcĂ­a 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.

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!

RotT hates the offseason

illustrations by Samara Pearlstein

I’m bored. Are you bored? Here, have some old school Tiger doodles that I did to test out a new pen tip. And this other stuff.

What else is going on in baseball:

–The arbitration deadline is, what, Tuesday? Mr. Dombrowski’s all cracking his fingers one by one, preparing for battle.

–Bud Selig says he’ll step down after the 2012 season. Maybe. Possibly. According to unnamed sources.

–Even Japan has rejected Jose Contreras. Harsh.

–Dat Morosi dude sez the Tigers are more aggressively shopping Jackson than Granderson. For whatever that’s worth. He also did this thing about where the allegedly shopped Tigers might go. I don’t know, it has a chart. Go look at it if you like charts.

Rock band Kasbian promote their new single “Underdog” with a football-powered rendition of the song on Guitar Hero.. For the love of cats, NOBODY TELL JOEL ZUMAYA ABOUT THIS.

–Grady Sizemore likes to get naked in front of his iPhone camera (link NSFW). Five parts LOL, five parts Ooooo, Hello There Grady. This and kittens are what make the internet great.

–This happened a while ago but I never bothered to say anything about it: Scott Sizemore, Ryan Strieby, Audy Ciriaco, and Brennan Boesch were added to the 40-man roster. I fondly recall Boesch’s name pretty much only because he got locked in the dugout bathroom that one time and they had to break him out with a crowbar, and Jim Leyland made fun of him. Good times.

–Ross Ohlendorf is spending his offseason working as an intern for the Department of Agriculture. Dear Ross Ohlendorf: you are magnificent.

–Andruw Jones is now a Wrong Sock. How the mighty have fallen.

–Did you all see that Tim Lincecum was busted for marijuana possession earlier this month? Least surprising bust ever. Why, next thing you know they’ll be telling us that nice Barry Zito was on the Mari-juana as well, and gosh golly, I never!

–The 2010 Hall of Fame ballots went out to the voters, and there are some Cats of Interest on there. MICHIGAN WOLVERINE Barry Larkin, former Tiger Jack Morris, and former Tiger Alan Trammell. The rest of the ballot can be found on the current front page of the BBWAA site, but I don’t know how long they’ll have it up there.

–Bored bored bored bored.

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!

unacceptable, Tigers

screaming tiger by Samara Pearlstein

There is a rumor going around saying that the Tigers are shopping Edwin Jackson and Curtis Granderson.

In short:



Just go ahead and try to read this without vomiting and/or bursting into tears:

In a cost-cutting frame of mind, the Tigers have let teams now [sic] that Curtis Granderson could be had for the right package, an NL executive told The Post.

Granderson would be attractive to many teams, with the Yankees near the top of the list.

NY Post article

Every time I try to type out how this little blurb makes me feel, I end up just mashing my hands repeatedly on the keyboard while screaming and twitching. asl;dfkjhas;ldkfjasl;dkfjas;dlfkjas;ldfkj. aAalkjasdflikuhoiqwefih;ashv98yq9283rydf, I say. This is, basically, NOT OK. It is possibly the LEAST OK thing I can think of right now when it comes to the Tigers. Holy FREAKIN’ cats, I know it’s the Post and the grain of salt we should take this with is therefore more like a hearty salt boulder, but even the MEREST, SLIGHTEST HINT OF A THOUGHT of this happening is derailing my brain. Screeeeeeech, thud, brain splattered all over the tracks.

Curtis Granderson stays. Period. End of sentence. END OF SPECULATION ABOUT SOMETHING SO HORRIFIC AS THE DEPARTURE OF CURTIS GRANDERSON FROM THIS DETROIT TIGERS TEAM. I hate to get fuzzy on you here, but he is really the heart and soul of the squad, he is one of the most popular guys on the team with the fans (if not THE most popular), he is amazing for the community and for baseball and HE IS A DETROIT TIGER, HE STAYS. HE DOES NOT LEAVE. IT IS NOT ALLOWED.

MR. DOMBROWSKI. I HAVE A LOT OF RESPECT FOR YOU, GENERALLY. AND I KNOW THAT THE ECONOMY IS CRUDCATS RIGHT NOW, ESPECIALLY IN DETROIT. BUT YOU ARE NOT WITH THE MARLINS ANYMORE, please do not manage this team all Firesale-in-Florida style. I am begging you. As a blogger who wishes to exit this offseason with at least one strand of sanity left intact, I am begging you to let this rumor remain a rumor and never even sniff the gamy hindquarters of reality.

After that, the Jackson trade rumors seem downright mundane, although they are truly hilarious and absurd. I mean, think about it. The Tigers had soooooooo much extra starting pitching this past season! They can totally spare a dude or two! They practically had starting pitchers coming out of Paws’ ears by the end there, right?

Oh wait, what’s that you say? You say that the Tigers were so strapped for pitching that they spent most of the latter half of the year trying to limp by with three starters instead of the customary five? Ahhhh, so it was. Can’t believe I forgot. Must have blocked all those horrible memories out as a defense mechanism for my poor, suffering brain.

If the Tigers trade Jackson, that amounts to them saying, “You want to see baseball in Michigan this season? Perhaps you should start following the Big 10.”

Now (as I take a blog-version deep breath), these are rumors. Probably nothing will come of them. Probably. Because if something were to come of them… well, that would be crazy and wrong. You know, I know, Paws knows it. Right? Just making sure we’re all on the same page here.

say hello to your 2009 gold glove winning second baseman

photo by Samara Pearlstein

Is there anything fiercer than Placido Polanco? Anything more stylish, more elegant, doing more with such a large head? At second base in the American League, the answer is NO. There is Placido Polanco, and then there are the pedestrians.

Placido Polanco is an amazing defensive second baseman. He’s been great in the past and he was great again. The man was 33 years old this season (his birthday’s in October, so he’s 34 now), playing at an infield position that demands quick reflexes and good flexibility. Do you know how many games he played in this season? I will give you the answer: almost all of them.

I don’t even care about your ~*~defensive statistics~*~ and whatnot, although I know he had good ones (the Mothership sez so). Just watch this fierce cat play. He’s short and a little chunky and very balding and sometimes his little ears get cold so he wears a snood/spandex hoodie under his hat, ok, and he fields screaming line drives like a freakin’ ballerina in cleats. HATERS TO THE LEFT, YO.

He’s a free agent this offseason, so I guess this will only help his/his agent’s pleas for cash’n’years, but let me just say


the River Thames flows on

photo illustration by Samara Pearlstein

The Tigers have effectively released Marcus Thames tonight, sending him off into the thorny wilds of free agency. At the same time they set Matt Treanor free, but we barely got to know him. The River has been with us since the ’04 season.

~*~the end of an era~*~

And what a weird era it was. The River showed promise here and there, usually in the form of power. Most of us probably have a memory or two of some favorite, massive, awe-inspiring Thames home run. That was where he excelled. His ability to hit for average was always pretty weak, and his ability to get on base was usually not massively better (although it WAS better). He didn’t have much speed and he was an indifferent outfielder. But when he got around square on a baseball… hoo boy.

As Rod Allen would of course say: COUNTRY STRONG!

The River only played in 100+ games twice in his Tigers career, in 2006 and 2008. In both those years he had solid numbers: slugging percentages over .500, 20+ home runs, OPSs over .800. He was never really a proper regular, though, not even in those years. Despite their willingness to trot out all kinds of disasters at various times, the Tigers never did seem to warm up to the idea of an everyday River. Jim Leyland never acted like he thought Thames was a legitimate starter, even when there was a dearth of legitimate starters on the team. Obviously this did not work out well for The River, who ended up sitting more than he wanted to and perhaps quite a bit more than he would have on another team.

Why? I don’t know. I can assume (hope) that the coaching staff and front office had their reasons. Like I said, it’s not as though The River was some sort of star fielder, or had some amazing ability to get on base. He was always a fairly depthless power guy. But that never seemed to stop the Tigers where other cats were concerned.

The River will be 33 next season. He’s done with the Tigers; here’s hoping he catches on somewhere else and tears it the heck up. So long as said tear-ups don’t immediately and negatively affect the Tigers.