Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Custom Card of the Day: Lester Edition

This man is the Boston pitching staff's last hope...which is why he's coming up several times on the lists of people who will likely be dealt before tomorrow's trade deadline.

This baffles me. Jon Lester has been pitching beautifully for Boston since 2007, and has been their main arm ever since Josh Beckett left in 2012. So...why would they give him up? He's done nothing but good things for the team.

I dunno, it baffles me. Boston should hang onto Jon Lester. They already dealt Doubront, and it looks like Lackey is on the way out as well. If they lose Lester, they will have nothing.

And to be at that point a year after winning a world sad.

Coming Tomorrow- Depends on a lot of things.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Custom Card of the Day: Greinke Edition

Right now the NL West is working like a see saw. One week it goes LA's way. One week it goes San Francisco's way. And it's getting even more heated as the season goes on, because it's becoming evident that both teams want it.

Zack Greinke certainly wants it, because he got close enough to it last year while having a generally good season. This season he's playing beautifully, and he's just as good as Clayton Kershaw, giving the Dodgers three surefire arms along with Hyun-Jin Ryu.

I'm pulling for the Dodgers, because I think they're a fun team, and I think they're playing a lot better than the Giants. Also, I think there are 75 more Dodgers bloggers than Giants bloggers, so the blogosphere seems to be on my side.

Coming Tomorrow- Meanwhile, in Chicago, a fan-favorite rises to the top at the very bottom.

Monday, July 28, 2014

Custom Card of the Day: Byrd Edition

I am very tired tonight, so I really don't have much to say about Marlon Byrd, the only person on the Phils who is currently hitting. Because if I do say something, he will likely land on another team by the end of the week.

So I'll say this- Marlon Byrd's finally having a nice season in Philly, ten seasons after leaving. And for that reason I'm glad he came back.

Coming Tomorrow- Kershaw's right hand man.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Custom Card of the Day: Molina Edition

For the latter half of the 2000's, there were always two NL catchers that I'd constantly mix up, and it was Yadier Molina and Brian McCann. Why? Because they'd constantly trade off in the NL as the all star catcher. It was like they'd take turns. McCann'd take it one year, and Molina'd take it the next year, and maybe for variety's sake they'd throw in Buster Posey.

Of course, this year Brian McCann landed in the AL. So Molina had the whole league to himself.

I'm gonna be honest. I used to hate Molina a lot more than I do now.  He's sort of grown on me, and I really don't hate him as much as i hate the rest of his team. I do think he deserved to start the All Star Game, and was kind of sad when he got injured and Jonathan Lucroy had to take over.

Either way, he's a great player, and one of the few Cardinals I do not hate.

Coming Tomorrow- A major force for the Phillies...who'll likely be on another team by Thursday.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Custom Card of the Day: Price Edition

I think that the number one question that's floating around the MLB this month is 'Will David Price be traded?', followed closely by 'Can't Chris Berman Just Shut Up Already?'.

And it's a valid question. David Price is one of the most dominant, powerful pitchers in the MLB. He's had several really good seasons, and 2014 is no exception. Yet since his contract is running thin, there's a mystery as to whether Price will stick with the Tampa Bay Rays for the remainder of the season.

A lot of people are adamant that the Rays would never let such a major pitcher leave, and that they'd have to hold onto a piece that big. To those people, I suggest to look here and here.

At this point, it's a coin toss. One side says he sticks around, one side says he leaves. And remember, last year it was looking like Asdrubal Cabrera was on the verge of being traded. And he's still in Cleveland. So for David Price, it could go either way.

However, being that there's still a possibility he might be moved, I'm going to list some teams that I'd rather not trade for David Price.

  • Red Sox. This one goes without saying, because I'd rather not hate Price more than I already do. This may happen because Boston's pitching has decayed a bit, but it may not happen because Price has lost already this year.
  • Dodgers. There comes a point where every GM has to come up for air and say enough. Ned Colletti has yet to reach this point. The bottom line is that, as much as I respect the Dodgers, they have enough, and I don't think they can handle all that pitching talent AND Price.
  • Cardinals. Same as Red Sox. Also, the Cardinals have enough young pitchers that they don't really need Price, other than for the sole purpose of cock-blocking every other team that actually NEEDS Price. Speaking of cock-blocking...
  • Angels. While this is one of the years where the Angels' rotation is actually lightweight, the Angels would be swooping in at the last minute. Plus, if this happens, the Wild Card is a foregone conclusion for them, and I'd like for the Yankees to grab that one.
  • Rangers. This one I absolutely fear, because it makes sense. The Rangers are in need of pitching because half their rotation's injured. Price is enough to give them a boost for 2014 without hindering them in the long run. If this happens, then it'll leave the Astros in the corner by themselves. And I severely wish this would be avoided.
  • Tigers. This would turn a playoff team into a foregone conclusion for the World Series. And I'd prefer that if it didn't happen.
He could just stick with the Rays, and that I'm fine with. But...expect hell if any of those teams grabs him.

Coming Tomorrow- The catcher for the Cardinals.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Custom Card of the Night: Scherzer Edition

Not enough can be said about the Detroit Tigers' rotation.

Okay, by that I mean the Detroit Tigers' rotation with the exception of Drew Smyly. Drew Smyly is the Steve Avery of this rotation. He comes fifth, and simply isn't as good as the rest of the gang.

Any other year it'd come down to Verlander and Scherzer. This year it's Scherzer and Porcello. That doesn't count out Verlander and Anibal Sanchez though, because both are having modest enough seasons. Max Scherzer is, once again, having a dynamite season, and Rick Porcello, who was basically a failed prospect a second ago, is also surging.

Will Scherzer repeat for the AL Cy Young. It'll be the first time a Jewish pitcher has won multiple Cy Young awards since Sandy Koufax. And as a half-Jew myself, I could use something like that. Again, it's looking like it's either Scherzer or Felix Hernandez for the Cy, which means it's two pitchers looking for their second, and while I'd like to once again bring up the fact that Felix didn't exactly deserve the first one, I'd still prefer it if Max Scherzer finished strong and got two in a row.

Unless somebody else comes into the race and takes it away.

Coming Tomorrow- A pitcher for the Rays. Whether he will still be pitching for the Rays by the end of the month is up for debate.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

Local Card Shop: Randomness Prevails

My days are numbered.

Not on the blog, but in my hometown.

This is likely my last full week in my hometown, before three weeks of vacation, a few extra days back home, and college. I'm trying to take everything in for one last time, or at least the last time for a while. And one of those things was the card shop that I'd been frequenting ever since I got into the hobby. It wasn't going to be easy to walk in, grab cards, and go...and then not come back until likely a year from now. But it had to happen.

Well...I visited this card shop two days ago. It was sad, and it was sentimental, but it had to happen. And I got a good 120 cards that I felt like getting (all baseball).

Let's see what I got.

90's stuff:
As usual, the card shop had stocked its 10 cent bins with 1990's junk wax, which I'm always on the lookout for. More specifically, I'm looking for the Topps sets from the glossy-era, which is 1993-2005 (all the sets I don't have complete box sets for). Luckily, the guy had some assorted Topps, including those five 1995 Topps cards. The Thome is a CyberStats insert.

1997-1999 Topps. A few Bagwells. You'll notice a lot of Tony Gwynn cards in this 90's bunch. The guy had a lot of his stuff.

2000 Topps (these next two photos aren't 90's, but they fit the theme). It was nice to finally nab a card of McGriff on the Rays. That one had been eluding me for a while.

2001 Topps. A few more current stars, although 2/3rds of them are retired, and the other third is basically at the end.

Now, knowing me, you're probably wondering if I nabbed any stray Stadium Club singles. And the answer is yes, of course. This Alomar is just an example of the really nice photography the '94 release had.
Assorted early 90's Stadium Club. I think the Bagwell is pretty cool.

Two 1980's superstars on unfamiliar teams. Dawson is on a 1993 Ultra issue, with the Red Sox. Murray is on a 1996 Bowman card, with the Indians.

This was in 1995 Upper Deck, two years after Robin Yount's final season, yet still serving as a final tribute to his nice career, which I thought was pretty cool of UD to do. They also did final tributes for Nolan Ryan, George Brett, and Ryne Sandberg, who would be back in baseball by the time the card came back.

Now...THIS is what we call a rarity.

Not Black Diamond. Black Diamond's pretty common. No, I'm talking about Randy Johnson in a Houston Astros uniform.

I didn't know that he was an Astro until far into his (future) Hall of Fame career. It was a bridge between his two landmark teams, his Mariners run and his Diamondbacks run. For the longest amount of time, I've always wanted a card of Johnson on the Astros. Thankfully, now I have one.

2000's Upper Deck:

The last time I went to this shop, this turned out to be a major pattern. I kept finding lots and lots of 2006, 2007 and 2008 Upper Deck cards peppered throughout, which was nice, because I collected those sets intermittently when they came out. This Johnny Damon was the only 2003 Upper Deck card I found.

The players on top are currently not employed by an MLB. The players on the bottom are. Two of them are playing for the Dodgers.

Mike Piazza isn't with the Padres in this shot, but the shot is so awesome that I really don't care.

This one's my favorite of the 2006 cards I got. This is a triumphant Thomas, finally getting a World Series trophy to call his very own, even if he was injured for most of the 2005 season. Really great shot, even though he's credited as an Athletic.

A trio of 2007 UD cards.

Upper Deck sure put out a lot of trophy cards back in the day.

Nine cards from Upper Deck 2008. A nice array of different shots and players.

Four sideways shots.

Thought this was pretty noteworthy. Upper Deck was nice enough to produce a Final Tribute for Schilling, who retired after missing the 2008 season. Class act.


Yeah, like usual, I racked up a ton of vintage stuff from the ten cent bins, including this 2008 A&G card of Tex in between his Rangers and Yankees years.

2007 and 2010 Topps Heritage. Surprisingly, these two years of Heritage aren't very well represented in my collection, though I do enjoy the 2007 release.

2005 and 2007 Bowman Heritage. Consequentially, I do own a lot of 2007 Bowman Heritage, which is kinda sad, because it's the last year that they did it, and it's a really nice line of products. The crispness of the art is what makes it so good.

A shiny brick card from the 2006 release. Good ol' Vladdie.

Six from 2005 Turkey Red, another favorite. The top three are in the Baseball Hall of Fame. The bottom three will likely be joining them eventually.

Quite a bit of 2005 UD Classic, so I scooped up these guys. You don't see a lot of modern cards of a lot of these guys, especially Morris and Kell.

Two rookie cards that probably aren't worth much anymore, yet I scooped them up anyway, because it's not everyday you pay 10 cents for a Barry Zito rookie.

The last thing I want to show you is the array of numbered cards the guy had, especially for a 10 cent bin. First of all, this is a rookie card of Yankees pitcher Brandon McCarthy. AND it's numbered to 799. But I found a lot more than that.

Smoltz: #'d to 350
Dunn and Gagne: #'d to 499
Pierzynski, Roberts and Stewart: #'d to 200
Sexson, Hudson and Dye: #'d to 100.

And all for ten cents each. That is pretty nice.

Well, overall I say that this was a fitting send-off. I'm sure I'll be back eventually, but not until I'm back from a college break. I think these cards will tide me over though.