Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Custom Card of the Day: Weaver Edition

And it looks like the Angels are definitely heading to the postseason.

It's kind of weird, because they began the season, like usual, as a punchline. Hamilton wasn't hitting, the pitchers were slumping, and the only person actually doing any damage was Mike Trout. But as the season went on, and as the Athletics slipped more and more, the Angels got better and better, stronger and stronger. The pitching staff improved, they got Huston Street and Gordon Beckham, and by September, they had a playoff team on their hands.

So, really, way to go Mike Scioscia for getting his crap together over the course of a single MLB season. And kudos to Ron Washington for letting his team implode like that.

Jered Weaver, after a mostly disappointing 2013, finally has another good season, piling up wins and dozing down batters. Him, Matt Shoemaker, Garrett Richards and CJ Wilson are all doing pretty well this year, and are one of the reasons the youth-led roster is doing so well.

I have no idea how the postseason will go for them, but I imagine they'll go very far.

Coming Tomorrow- A Dodger.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Custom Card of the Day: Soler Edition

The Cubs are no longer in contention for the playoffs. Over the course of the season, they traded away the one person that was actually playing well in the first half of the season. But you shouldn't take that away from this season.

You should take away the fact that the Cubs brought up a bunch of really nice rookies with the soul purpose of saving the team. Jorge Soler is one of these rookies. And, judging by his first month in the bigs, he's going to make an impact.

Soler was one of my late-season fantasy pickups, and he certainly made me happy about that decision, blasting home runs and hits all over the place, edging out Javier Baez in the 'making contact with the ball' category.

I don't really know if this will amount to anything next year, because we all thought Kosuke Fukudome would lead them to a championship, and they led them...to the NLDS. So it could just be potential, but he's a great hitter, so I'm going for that.

Coming Tomorrow- The Dodgers' pitchers have all been customized this season, save for one. Here is his custom.

Box Break: 2014 Panini Elite Football


..hey guys!

...I think we've got a good one!

Last Year, I broke a box of Elite, and was very, very impressed. Not just with the base set. I was impressed with the EFFORT. Panini could have brought back a treasured Donruss product and severely screwed it up. They could have totally mailed it in. But they didn't. They made it exactly like what an Elite set would be like if Donruss was still making it.

My mystery contact heard I liked Elite. They gave me another box. How very, very kind of them.

20 packs. 5 cards for pack. Relics should be abound.

Pack One. No real star power, save for maybe Schaub. The silly thing is they gave Schaub a new uniform, while Jared Allen's still in his old uniform with a new team next to his name.

You get to see the base set here, and I'll be honest in saying I don't like it as much as last year's. It's still pretty sleek though, and does have the kind of Elite quality, or at least a 2004-2005 Elite quality. Maybe it'll grow on me.

Antonio Brown is our insert here, which is an Elite Series insert. They look pretty cool. Nice use of color and foil.

Pack Two- Cam Newton and Drew Brees are the stars here. I rather wish I didn't pull the second from the left, especially this week.

Two packs, two Steelers inserts. This one's a rookie parallel of Dre Archer, numbered to 299, I believe.

Pack Three. Jackson, Wayne and Bush are all really nice pulls, though Jackson missed the meeting where the other three decided to lean to their right.

This is a Face 2 Face insert. Tony Romo and Eli Manning are indeed in a division standoff. Not exactly sure if it's going to be one that matters this season, but oh well.

Pack Four: Wow, this is cool. The two teams who played in Super Bowl I on the left. The two who played in the last Super Bowl on the right. Kind of cool. Lacy is also a very nice pull, as is Manning.

...this is one of the coolest inserts I've ever pulled. Even if it's of Gronk. I do not care. This card is literally transparent. And it's a freaking brick.

You can see my stacks of cards from through this card. It is that clear.

...only sucky part is that I can't fit it into a binder page very easily.

Pack 5- Boldin, Brown and Welker are all great pulls. Welker also didn't get the 'lean to the left' memo. I understand, it may have to do with his suspension.

This is another cool insert set, Legends of the Fall, and here's a black-and-white Vincent Jackson.

Hang on...there's something else in this pack...

This is a game-used card of A.J. McCarron, who was a pretty big deal in college ball, now the backup QB for the Bengals. That's a pretty good cut of jersey, first of all. I like that. Second of all, it looks like McCarron's going to be their Matt Barkely this season, basically taking a bench job for shoulder soreness, and because the Bengals seem to think that Jason Campbell is a good idea for a backup. I hope he gets playing time somewhere.

Pack Six: Marshall, Ivory, Smith and Gronk are all really good pulls. Ivory especially, after his awesome Sunday.

Passing the Torch is a returning insert set from last year. On the front is the legend, in this case Marshall Faulk...
And on the back is the guy they're comparing him to, in this case Zac Stacy. Good concept, decent enough execution.

Pack 7: Luck, Tannehill and Jones are the highlights here. Julio Jones must have lost his ball.

Our insert is an Elite Series of Colin Kaepernick. Hopefully he'll have another nice season.

Pack 8- Murray and Fitzgerald are the stars here.

Our parallel is a Michael Campanero, numbered to...I believe 999? I can't see that far in.
This is a Turn of the Century parallel, and those are #d to 199. Deone Bucannon is our guy here.

Pack 9- Jordy Nelson is really the only standout here, as the other three aren't household names. Then again, neither really is Jordy. Unless it's my household, I guess.

Face 2 Face insert of Steve Smith and Aqib Talib. And yet evidently Smith was good enough to warrant the photoshop job, while Talib wasn't.

Pack 10- Ooh, good, they decided to piss me off and throw a Redskins uniform on DeSean. Man, Panini is just trying to piss me off, aren't they.

This is another Turn of the Century insert of Steve Johnson, who missed the cutoff for a Photoshop job. Numbered to 199. Pretty nice, I think.

...one more card in the pack...

...by golly, is this a relic of someone I've actually heard of???

...someone from a team that doesn't piss me off?

Someone that's actually a really nice player??

This is a Gridiron Kings relic of Derrick Johnson. Even better, that is a big 'ol red swatch of jersey, which is a nice one. Johnson is sadly injured right now, but he's a great player, and this is a nice pull, especially considering the rookies I usually end up pulling from this.

Pack 11- Wow, this is a really nice one. Two of the greats of the league...and two players whose rookie cards were really big in 2010.

Speaking of Calvin Johnson, here he is again, on a Face 2 Face insert...with a guy he's not even in the same division as. Ah well, at least the thought was there.

Pack 12- Jimmy Graham and AJ Green are the heavy hitters here.

What box I open wouldn't be complete without me pulling a numbered card of a Cowboy. Jeez, they must get tons of Eagles hits down in Dallas.

Pack 13 features two of my favorite Philadelphia Eagles, and one of my favorite former Packers. THAT is how you rebound from a Cowboys relic.

And there's a Legends of the Fall insert of Mike Wallace, who seems to have found his footing in Miami.

...This is relatively nice, I guess. Chris Smith of the Jags auto. You know, this would be a lot nicer if they didn't just cut the guy a few hours ago. Man, it's like they were waiting for me to write the post in order to cut him. Man.

Pack 14- Doug Martin is the headliner here.

FINALLY we get an ON-CARD AUTO! That's very nice. I appreciate when Panini has on-card autos. This guy is supposedly going to be used as a WR/RB hybrid for Kansas City, which sort of bodes well. He's also hurt this week, but he's expected to get playing time. Cool. Man, my only good hits in this box have been Chiefs.

Pack 15- Foster and Charles are the biggest stars here. Again, this set is pretty nice, as the photos are crisp.

Well, there goes all my shit-talking. I finally got an insert card of one of my favorite players, Shady McCoy. Well done, Panini.

Pack 16- There are three Quarterbacks on this page. Only two of them are any good.

Our passing the torch insert is of Drew Brees. I believe Peyton Manning is on the back. I forgot to scan the back.

Pack 17- Dalton, McFadden and Colston are all great.

Face 2 Face of Marshawn Lynch and NaVarro Bowman. My, that's quite a coincidence. You see, these two guys actually pl...nevermind, it's too meta.

Pack 18- Manuel and Cruz are great. Moreno just got hurt.

This is another really awesome insert of Cam Newton, it's a Profiles insert. The helmet portion has been stamped out like a netting. It's really, really cool.

Pack 19- Two of the best QBs in the game right now in the same pack. That's not to say Bowe and Austin aren't also awesome.

Here's a Legends of the Fall insert of Peyton Manning, one of the best Quarterbacks of my generation.

Pack 20- Johnson and Sherman should be the bigger names here.

This is an Aspirations die-cut parallel of Julio Jones, numbered to 89, which is a pretty nice pull.

Overall: Not as good as the 2013 release, but I was still very impressed. Very well done, Panini. This box made me regain my respect for you.

Grade: B

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Week Two Football Break: Topps Football

Continued from earlier, this is a hanger box of Topps Flagship football. I've been hearing mixed things about this one. I guess I'll have to make the opinion myself.

124- Leonard Hankerson. There's a lot going on on the front of the card, and while it does look different than most of their other recent designs, it's still a bitty busy. Plus, the backs are a bitty frenzied as well, and they're devoting a lot of space to Fantasy information, and only two lines of stats, even for veterans. It's a bit pathetic.
186- Justin Tucker
6- Patriots
265- Fred Jackson.
297- Carlos Dunlap.
203- Matt Flynn, who was the least awful of the Packers' backups last year.
98- Ryan Succop
267- Justin Tuck, photoshopped into a Raiders uniform.
296- Steven Hauschka. Is it bad that the first thing I think of when I hear this guy's name is this?
291- Jordan Reed.
307- Miles Austin. Jeez, could the photoshoppings be any less convincing this year?
278- Andy Dalton.
43- Jimmy Smith
105- Titans
215- Brandon LaFell. Three bad PS jobs. I might even make a tally.
175- Carson Palmer
182- Broncos
195- Robert Mathis. With this guy, I usually think of Casino Royale. "Your Mathis is my Mathis".
113- Garrett Graham, second billed star of Used Cars. (Ooh, a really obscure movie reference. Jeez, I think less people will get that than the MST3K one).
217- Jared Allen. FOUR! FOUR bad PS jobs.
53- Drew Brees, who will more than likely not need a bad PS job in the need future. He's Drew Brees. He's that awesome.
141- Colin Kaepernick, badass QB extraordinaire.
213- Lions
115- Clay Matthews, master of cursing on the sideline.
334- Arthur Lynch RC
404- Scott Crichton RC
349- Trent Murphy RC
396- Shaquelle Evans RC
362- Marcus Roberson RC
382- Xavier Grimble RC
337- Davante Adams RC
375- Allen Robinson RC
211- Philip Rivers, after that parade of rookies
331- Prince Amukamara. Oh, a guy named Prince. If only I had another MST3K reference for this.
10- Coby Fleener
133- Nick Fairley
1- Jeremy Kerley
63- Recent Retiree Sidney Rice
23- Captain Munnerlyn.
328- Owen Daniels. This PS job isn't that bad.
206- Eric Weddle
129- Charles Clay
316- Kembrell Thompkins
228- Vernon Davis
104- Darrelle Revis. SIX!
281- Cecil Shorts
120- Marvin Shorts
85- CJ Spiller GOLD #'D TO 2014
Fantasy Focus insert of Tony Romo
1000 Yard Club of Adrian Peterson
Greatness Unleashed of SHADY MCCOY!
4000 Yard Club of Drew Brees
Fantasy Strategies of AJ Green
359- Zach Mettengberger RC
Antonio Brown mini
Play 60 insert of Martellus Bennett
A Purple Rookie of Ha-Ha Clinton Dix
146- Panthers
187- Gerald McCoy
50- AJ Hawk!
257- Super Bowl Champion Seahawks
415- Jalen Saunders
407- Josh Huff RC
389- YES!!! THIS IS A MICHAEL SAM ROOKIE CARD!!! Even if he's already been cut. I don't care, because this is still a milestone card.
374- Blake Bortles.
397- Devin Street
395- Timmy Jernigan
428- Troy Niklas

So, that was a decent enough purchase. I got a Sam rookie out of it. That's good enough.

Week Two Football Break: Panini Prestige

Due to a last-minute transition, I was not able to post the Predictions post for today, so my ineptitude will have to wait until week three.

To fill the void, I stopped by the local Target and got two different card products. A fat pack of 2014 Panini Prestige, and a hanger box of 2014 Topps Football. I'll be posting the Panini pack first, because it's a bit less.

81- DeMarcus Ware. Man, you have no idea how refreshing it is to see this guy out of a Cowboys uniform.
24- Chris Johnson. Meanwhile, Johnson is still in a Titans uniform, even if the card says 'Jets'.
63- Trent Richardson. Are we still talking about him? Not sure.
15- Julian Edelman. Not sure who this guy is.
34- Marvin Jones. The design is a bit sleek, and very color-driven. I like it.
94- Denarius Moore.
88- Jamaal Charles. Good to see this guy's been doing well.
75- Delanie Walker.
2- Steve Johnson. Still in a Bills uniform.
87- Donnie Avery. A lot of guys I've never heard of here.
58- Reggie Wayne. Every year I get a feeling in the back of my head that he's retired. And every year I'm wrong.
97- Philip Rivers. Glad to see this guy finally got a postseason run last season.
5- Scott Chandler.
93- Andre Holmes
23- Eric Decker. That's the thing about Panini that frustrates me sometimes. They photoshop some people into new uniforms, but when they don't get the chance to, they just throw an old uniform in a new team status. It's a bit annoying. Topps, even in all its frustration, will keep a card as it is if the player gets traded after photoshopping time is up.
86- Dwayne Bowe. Boy, I'm getting a lot of Chiefs in this pack.
32- Andy Dalton.
Sweet- this is a really cool Captains die-cut semi-transparent insert of Matthew Stafford. I love Panini because they think of the coolest inserts ever.
290- Terrance West RC
224- Cyrus Kouandjio RC
277- DeMarcus Lawrence RC
257- Kelvin Benjamin RC
193- Aldon Smith
129- Matt Forte.
194- Russell Wilson, Mr. NFL this year.
135- Reggie Bush, Mr. NFL a few years ago.
191- Vernon Davis.
114- Jason Pierre-Paul. Great guy.
173- Timothy Wright
196- Percy Harvin, who must be pretty glad he left Minnesota.
122- Pierre Garcon
180- Patrick Peterson
134- Kris Durham
105- Terrance Williams
175- Carson Palmer, who literally just got injured.
108- Sean Lee.
141- Julius Peppers, which is a decent enough PS job for the Panini guys.
176- Larry Fitzgerald

The set is a bit flawed, but it's a good set with effort put into it. Later I'll post the Topps.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Custom Card of the Day: Severely Unfortunate Timing Edition

To quote the sheriff from Blazing Saddles, "aw, prairieshit".

I made this custom yesterday, midday, when the Orioles were so far out in front that I kind of HAD to make a custom of one of their stars, and Crush fit. And I planned on posting it very soon.

Well, leave it to Crush Davis to make me regret it.

I mean, usually people wait until AFTER I've posted a custom of them to do crazy stuff (be thankful I didn't have an Adrian Peterson custom made). But Davis was nice enough to get caught for using Adderall RIGHT when I was going to try to make good with all the Orioles fans I frustrated last week.

If it makes you feel any better, O Nation, it looks like you guys are gonna win the division Crush or no Crush. And I doubt that it'll make too much of a difference. I mean, in Oakland, you take away Yoenis Cespedes and the whole team falls apart. In Baltimore, you take away Davis in a comparatively down season, it's not like that. It's not like taking away the magic hat. You guys still have Jones, Markakis, Young, Schoop, Hardy, and tons of other really nice hitters.

Besides, we're going into a postseason with potentially no Phillies or Yankees. Which means I'll probably be rooting FOR the Orioles. You read that right. NOT AGAINST. FOR. I actually enjoy watching Orioles games. I've been to a few. They're awesome. I only thought otherwise because I forgot to check how many games out of first my team was, mistakenly thought "four", and typed away.

So yeah. I hope that clears a few things up. As for me, I'll be making a custom of an Oriole that won't get busted for drug use.

Coming Today (?)- One more guy who definitely won't be making the playoffs, and he's a rookie for a Cubs team full of 'em.