Friday, April 29, 2016
They worried me for a second, but the Pirates have a pretty solid record and are hitting pretty damn well in some pretty odd places. The Pirates coaching staff have this miraculous ability to turn players who nobody thought could succeed, like Jason Grilli, Juan Nicasio, John Jaso and Frankie Cervelli, into serious threats and prime tools. I do adore that, and I adore that the Pirates have spent the last five seasons being a legitimate threat in the NL Central. This does not happen often, especially after the slog that was the 2000's.
Starling Marte is one of the more important parts of this lineup, because he's one of the main home run hitters on the team, thanks to the absence of Pedro Alvarez and Neil Walker (who's blowing shit up in Queens right now). He's also come a long way from his debut in 2012, and, combined with Andrew McCutchen and Gregory Polanco, make one of the most impressive outfields in baseball right now.
The toughest part of this season is not only going to be diffusing the Cardinals, as usual, but keeping up with the Cubs. Last year's season ended because, even though they had the WC spot locked up, the Cubs still won that one-game playoff because they were hotter at that point. The Pirates need some serious momentum this year, and it involves keeping what they have right now going for another few months.
It'll be tough, but they're the 2010's Pirates. They've done tougher.
Coming Tomorrow- The little guy whose breakout team from last year has hit a slight snag.
Right now the Minnesota Twins and the Atlanta Braves have the worst records in their respective leagues. I know this is early, but if this is how this season is gonna turn out, it won't be the first time.
The diehard baseball fans should know this, but I'll go over it anyway. In 1990, both the Twins and the Braves were at the bottom of their respective divisions. In 1991, they were both in the World Series.
This is a classic example of how quickly baseball can turn, and that the guys on the bottom have as much of a chance as the guys on top. Fun little tidbit.
However, it's 25 years later...and we have the same scenario. One of them, the Braves, isn't surprising, as they've made it a point to clear the team of most of the talent, in order to lose games now so they can win them in the future. The Twins...that one confuses me. Last season they were pretty damn good, and in the offseason, realigned their team around people like Miguel Sano and Byron Buxton...guys who aren't doing so well right now.
So, right now, both teams are on the bottom. Now, are they gonna be on top next year??? Ehhhh....probably not. I mean, I'm a fan of miracles and underdog stories, but there's no way that can happen in 2017. A lot of stars would have to be aligned perfectly, and that's a lot of luck that might not be on Atlanta or Minneapolis' side.
But hey...fun to dream about, isn't it?
Coming Tonight: A third of the most powerful outfield in the NL.
Way to wait your turn for me to post your custom, man.
I make the custom, I slide it in to go up in a week or so, and then you go and get busted for PEDs like an idiot, so I can't save this until the entire 80 games are off. I have to get it out of the way now, and give you a whole walk of shame thing like on Game of Thrones. This is what you're making me do, Dee.
Damn...I had so much respect for you, and then you pull something like this. Phenomenal, man...
Tuesday, April 26, 2016
Today, since it's been forever since I've done one of these, we're gonna look at Collector's Choice's last hurrah.
Yes, the penultimate Upper Deck Collector's Choice set, and the last time they could retain some of the gonzo, awesome concepts that made the set fun originally. You can see that CC's beginning to lose its way, as this is probably the most composed base set since the trial run in 1994. Plus, more kid-oriented concepts are beginning to come in, and even more inserts.
This is a changing brand, but it's still an awesome set. So, we have 36 packs, 12-per-pack. 12 packs today. Let's see how things were in 1998.
Think about that every time you see 'em win this year. Times have been worse.
I'll get around to Part 2 sometime this week, but this is a pretty cool set.