Friday, December 19, 2014

Late to the Party: On the Supposed Future San Diego Dynasty

I had a post last week about the three teams that made a killing at the Winter Meetings, the Cubs, Red Sox and Marlins, and how probable it actually was for them to be decent next season. And I stressed the fact that getting a bunch of big stars and huge contracts to beef up your team won't work if they don't fit with what you have already. The Marlins deal is likely going to work, because the Marlins already have a nice, young squad, and the players they acquired are only supplementing this.

The Padres' dealings over the last week or so are in the same vein as the Marlins. However, whether the Padres will be as successful as the Marlins is under question currently.

It helps that, unlike the Cubs, the Padres already have a lot set up. They have a nice pitching staff of Tyson Ross, Ian Kennedy, Andrew Cashner and potentially Josh Johnson again, which, while not an A+ rotation like LA's or Detroit's, is still a servicable rotation, filled with a bunch of pitchers that can pitch pretty damn well. I like the fact that even through these mega-deals that San Diego has been making, the rotation is still basically intact.

In addition, the team also had people like Will Venable, Carlos Quentin, Jedd Gyorko and Seth Smith, who have been around for a few years and know what they're doing, as well as a few prospects like Cory Spangenberg, who are trying to prove themselves. There's a balance, which is rare.

What the Cubs had before the deals was one or two big veteran stars, and a whole host of call-ups that could be hit or miss. The only real veterans on the team are Starlin Castro and Anthony Rizzo. Everyone else is either a rookie or a second-year. The Padres have enough experience, paired with enough potential, that they already had a nice roster before the deals came in.

The deals, if anything, are going to help them become a potentially great team. Derek Norris will be an excellent fit at catcher, and it'll work because they literally just dealt Yasmani Grandal to LA. Justin Upton will be a fantastic fit in the outfield, because he's still in his prime, and he was still playing well last season. Providing that he's better after the injury, Wil Myers could have an impressive renaissiance in San Diego.

The only real question mark here is Matt Kemp, and depending on which of their current outfielders that the Padres trade away, he may not have enough room to make a significant impact. Unfortunately, it's really unclear exactly what Kemp has left, and the Padres made a risky move in trading for him.

As is, however, the Padres have too many outfielders. Upton and Myers are being added to an outfield that includes Will Venable, Seth Smith and Cameron Maybin. Plus, Matt Kemp is still technically in the mix. Unless the Padres do something, there could be a crowded configuration there.

The bottom line is that if everything gets sorted out, I imagine the Padres will do pretty well this season. I don't know if they'll be as good as the Dodgers or Giants, but they could be a solid, surging team in 2015.

Uncustomed Heroes of Baseball: Indians

I have all the respect in the world for the Cleveland Indians, in that it absolutely crushes me whenever they have a sub-par season. Of late, they've had a few hit-or-miss seasons, and they definitely have the foundations for a good team there. It's just a tough division when you've got the Tigers, Royals and White Sox hammering it out.

Carlos Santana had a less eventful first season as something other than catcher than the OTHER catcher-turned-1B in the division. He's still one of the longest-tenured Indians, with five seasons under his belt, which says a lot about the youth movement on that team

Meanwhile at Santana's old position, Yan Gomes had a breakout season, and proved he could be an everyday starter at the backstop. We'll see if he has a good 2015.

Coming Tonight: A few Mariners.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

UPDATED WANT LIST: 2013 Topps Archives

I've gotten a lot of these lately, so I might as well update the blog want list. Let me know if you're willing to help me out here. Email is on the sidebar.

5 Allen Craig

12 Jarrod Parker

40 Prince Fielder

50 Miguel Cabrera

92 Ken Griffey Jr.

95 Reggie Jackson
97 David Wright

140 Dylan Bundy

145 Alfonso Soriano
147 Hiroki Kuroda
152 Craig Kimbrel

158 Mike Olt
162 Carlos Ruiz


201 John Mayberry
202 Mike Greenwell
203 Denny McLain
204 Charlie Hough

206 Tim Salmon
207 Lee May
208 Keith Miller
209 Dwight Evans
210 Bob Tewksbury
211 Tom Brunansky
212 Otis Nixon
214 Fred McGriff
215 Bob Welch

218 Darrell Evans
219 Dave Lopes
220 Ellis Burks
221 Hal Morris
222 Howard Johnson

224 Paul Blair
225 Kent Hrbek
226 Larry Bowa
227 Mickey Rivers
228 Delino DeShields
229 Hubie Brooks
230 Ray Knight
231 Kevin McReynolds
232 Travis Fryman
233 Vince Coleman
234 Don Baylor
235 Gregg Jefferies
236 Jesse Orosco
238 Frank White
239 Dave Parker
240 Darren Daulton
241 Fred Lynn

243 Lloyd Moseby
244 Eric Davis
245 Leon Durham

Uncustomed Heroes of Baseball: Giants

I am really sad that this guy's going to have to wear a Boston Red Sox uniform next year. I don't really want to hate him. He's a likable guy, he's got a hell of a fan base in San Francisco, and he's too lovable to be hated. So I'm not going to enjoy hating him.

I already made a custom of him earlier on this year, but since he had an amazing postseason, I gave him a cooler one.

This guy is one of the game's unsung heroes, always coming in at odd places and being a good veteran journeyman guy for various teams to pick up. I was happy he finally got a World Series ring this year with the Giants, and I was happy he had a nice year with them. He just signed with the Marlins today, so hopefully that will lead to good things.

Man, Jake Peavy got extremely lucky that he got picked up by the second World Series winning team in a row this July. Whoever's gonna get him next July better pray for success...unless it's the Cubs.

Coming Tomorrow- The Indians weren't nearly as good as in 2013, but they're still improving. A bunch of catchers premiere tomorrow.

1984 Fleer Baseball Wantlist

It's kind of nice when a friend of your spots a binder containing a complete set at Goodwill, and snags it for you. Trouble is that being that it's from Goodwill, there are some empty spots in it that people must have taken things out of. i might as well complete the set, because I've got most of it anyway.

14, 17, 48, 80, 109, 131, 152, 197, 219, 239, 301, 307, 336, 339, 345, 352, 392, 412, 447, 459, 462, 504, 595, 599, 636, 640

Not much at all. Let me know if you want to trade some to me, and we'll work out a deal.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Uncustomed Heroes of Baseball: Dodgers (Part Two)

Andre Ethier had a decent enough season in 2014, but I feel like either injuries or the prevalence of the other two Dodger outfielders held him back a bit. Either way, hopefully he'll have a better season in 2015.

AJ Ellis had another nice, if serviceable, season behind the plate for the Dodgers. He'll have to contend with Yasmani Grandal for starter rights for next season, but I imagine he'll be fine.

This was the season that Carl Crawford finally started hitting like a champ for the first time since his days with the Tampa Bay Rays. He had a stellar end to the season, and reclaimed a lot of the fans that hoped he'd do well with the Sox a few years ago. Hopefully this means the rebound just keeps coming.

But come on, now. I can't talk about the Dodgers without talking about the greatest Dodger pitcher since Sandy Koufax, Clayton Kershaw. This was his THIRD Cy Young award, and his first MVP, which means if he has more seasons like his 2014, sans the injury, he'll be a lock for Cooperstown eventually.

Tomorrow- The last few Giants from their World Series win.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Uncustomed Heroes of Baseball: Dodgers (Part One)

I made a good amount of Dodgers customs a few months back, because I was intent on them advancing in the playoffs. Sadly, that didn't...really...happen, so they were sentenced to my unposted folder. Thankfully, they're seeing the light of day today.

I'm starting with Kemp because he's the big story this week, as he was recently traded to San Diego for another catcher that they didn't especially need. I'll be sad to see Kemp go, but I don't know what he has left in the tank.

Meanwhile, Juan Uribe had another nice season at third, continuing his ascension as one of the Dodgers' most trusted position players since his arrival in L.A. in 2011.

Kenley Jansen was the Dodgers' closer this year, and he did a pretty nice job, landing on the NL closer charts for most of the season, and making the fans forget that Brian Wilson and Chris Perez were even on the roster. Plus, unlike those two, Jansen lacks sufficient facial hair, and that works for him.

I meant to post this a few days after Joc Pederson's rookie debut, but that didn't happen, due to the playoffs. Pederson will likely get some more playing time due to Matt Kemp's departure, but whether he'll pan out like Yasiel Puig did remains to be seen.

Tonight I'll post the rest.