Sunday, November 27, 2011

Topps Football and Update $10 Boxes

Yesterday was my 16th birthday, as I told you yesterday. Today, being that I had some money burning a hole, I stopped by target and picked up some packs. I got a pack of Topps Prime, one of my fave football sets from last year, and a box of Football and Topps Update.

94- Ed Reed
81- Jahvid Best. I still have an auto of him. Holding onto it.
135- Wes Welker
77- Beanie Wells
66- Peyton Hillis. Way to steal the Madden cover from Aaron Rodgers, Peyton.
53- Da'Rel Scott. How about Darrel? Is that okay?
93- Taiwan Jones.

118- Felix Jones
88- David Garrard
136- Brandon Marshall
394- Jeremy Maclin
159- Donovan McNabb. Sucking now. Just saying...
417- Tony Gonzalez
32- Brett Celek
100- Drew Brees.
275- James Carpenter
430- Jake Locker. Not getting any playing time thanks to Matt "I'm a character, not a good QB" Hasselbeck.
387- Da'Quan Bowers.
15- Brandon Harris.
424- Mikel Leshoure
386- Dwayne Harris
395- Ryan Williams
251- Justin Houston
319- CHAD OCHOCINCO! Still has him as a Bengal.
327- Browns
137- Seahwaks
309- Danario Alexander
8- Blair White
334- Patrick Willis. Good player.
152- Julius Peppers. The only guy left on the Bears left worth giving a damn about.
49- DeMeco Ryans
320- Santonio Holmes
120- Al- wait, no. Frank Gore.
68- Beanie Wells
328- Jerome Simpson
105- Brandon Pettigrew
221- Jacob Tamme
154- Vince Wilfork
176- Osi Umenyiora. Forgot he was still playing
109- Jermichael Finley
433- Jimmy Clausen. Haw, haw.
17- Denver Broncos
285- Joe Thomas.
416- Darnell Dockett
140- Jay Cutler. Injured now. Besides, somebody had to be 3rd place.
246- Donald Driver. Borderline hall of famer.
376- Jared Allen. His team's doing so poorly.
373- Greg Salas.
325- Jordan Todman
235- Jerrel Jernigan
259- Lee Smith. Not the guy from the Bills. Or the guy from MouseHunt in that matter.
429- Christian Ballard
412- Ronald Johnson
382- Jaime Harper
437- Stephen Paea.
278- Ben Obomanu GOLD #D TO 2011
Dwayne Bowe ToppsTown
Chuck Howley Super Bowl Legends
Cam Newton Bowman mini. That's a nice pull.
Manning/Wayne Faces
Ben Roethlisbegrer Game Day
a Pittsburgh Steelers coin. WHY CAN'T I EVER GET A CARD???
AJ Green Bowman
431- Vincent Jackson
131- Hines Ward
50- Josh Freeman
201- Brandon Gibson
341- Braylon Edwards
67- David Gettis
18- Texans
115- Malcolm Floyd
287- Santana Moss
272- (sigh). Terrell Owens on the Bengals.

(the box starts out with 5 doubles. Dammit)
48- Scott Hairston
213- Louis Coleman
96- Ryan Hanigan
241- Brandon Wood
156- Humberto Quintero
76- Nolan Reimold. Will he ever rebound?
296- Bobby Jenks
239- JJ Hardy
280- Kyle Farnsworth
327- Blake Beavan
8- David Robertson
102- Sean Burnett
123- Brad Penny
17- Craig Gentry
197- Brandon League
251- Justin Turner
245- Kevin Correia
142- Alex White. The card that can't decide what team it is.
133- Fernando Salas
304- Hunter Pence AS
321- Gaby Sanchez AS
68- Tyler Clippard AS
244- Francisco Rodriguez on the Brewers.
63- Doug Fister. Heh...
132- Jose Altuve
14- Alex Avila AS
173- Charlie Furbush RC
141- Mike Cameron on the Marlins
37- Rick Ankiel
40- Brian Fuentes
44- Matt Treanor
116- Shawn Camp
272- Jorge Cantu
182- Ronny Paulino
183- Carlos Peguero
11- Jason Pridie
217- Elliott Johnson
286- Rich Thompson
307- Casey Coleman
270- Todd Fraiser. He's from Pt. Pleasant NJ, which isn't that far from me.
36- Josh Judy
83- Brandon Belt Rookie Debut
312- Danny Duffy RC
7- Nate Schierholz
246- Alcides Escobar
Carlos Pena
Stolen Bases Leaders Card 1984. WHY CAN'T I GET ANYTHING GOOD?!?!?
75- Gio Gonzalez AS GOLD #D TO 2011
Grant Balfour Shiny
King Felix and Pineda Duo
Casey McGeehee LiquorFractor
Joe DiMaggio Topps 60
That is awesome. It's so cool. It'll go great with the Schmidt liquorfractor
278- Jacoby Ellisbury AS
273- Miguel Montero AS
105- Joel Hanharan AS
254- Dustin Ackley Rookie Debut
186- JD Martinez
106- Ryan Ludwick
143- Craig Kimbrel AS
204- Brian Wilson AS
247- Zack Cozart Rookie
166- Ortiz cl
84- Pablo Sandoval AS

Awesome packs. Nothing much else to say.

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Wax Boxes from my Uncle

I apologize for the lack of posting recently. The holidays can be a bit busy. Nevertheless, I'm posting, on my birthday. Today is my 16th birthday, and I already recieved a LeSean McCoy jersey, amongst other things. But at Thanksgiving, my uncle offered up a huge gift- 4 late 80's/early 90's wax boxes. Among them:

2 boxes of 1989 Score
1 box of 1989 Donruss
1 box of 1990 Donruss
A bunch of extra sleeved cards

These were originally from my late grandfather, who has since passed on. My grandfather split his collection before he died, giving a majority to my father, and some to my uncle. The 4 boxes I recieved were from my grandfather, and my uncle felt I needed them more, which is nice.

In the sleeved extras, I'm sorry to say that there weren't many highlights. There were mutliple copies of Barry Bonds' 1987 Topps rookie, along with other stars (even Charlie Hough). But the three highlights:
1987 Donruss Barry Bonds rookie
1985 Topps Mark McGwire Team USA rookie (If I had acquired this 15 years ago, I'd be exstatic)
1993 Upper Deck Alonzo Mourning Rookie (I'm not into basketball, but this is pretty nice. He also gave both collectors a Shaquille O'Neal rookie a few years ago.

Now, for the results of the boxes. In these, I was looking mostly for rookies

1989 Score:
Gary Sheffield (book price: 1.50)
Edgar Martinez
Roberto Alomar
Randy Johnson (book price: 2.50)
Craig Biggio (!) (book price: 4)

1989 Donruss:
Mark Grace
Gary Sheffield (book price: 1.50)
Edgar Martinez
Robetro Alomar
John Smoltz (book price: 1.50)
Randy Johnson (book price: 2)
Craig Biggio (book price: 3)
Curt Schilling (Book price: 4)

1990 Donruss:
Larry Walker
Jim Abbott
Juan Gonzalez (not much, rookie-wise)

nice boxes, overall. close to a complete set with 1989 Score.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

2011 Achievements: Taste of the NFL

I am many things: a bragger is not among them. Despite the fact that blogging is meant for showing off your acquisitions to the general public, which is generally bragging, I rarely get to show off things that I am priveleged to have. This year, because it was a pretty big year for me, I'm proudly displaying some of the baseball/football related achievements I pulled over the course of the year. With pictures, too.

I have told you many times of my trip to Dallas in January to watch Green Bay defeat Pittsburgh, and I have campaigned for its legitimacy even more. Therefore, here is proof: The night before the Super Bowl, my father got tickets to a high-end NFL Event: Taste of the NFL. And when I say high-end, it was classy to the point that I wondered how the hell we got tickets in the first place. Around the convention center, there are stations with every NFL city, and a classy food dish from each. The food's appeal to me, a normal human being who only dresses in a suit every once in a while, varied. But knowing me, and knowing the event that would take place the next night, you can already guess that it was about more than food.

At each station was a former (or current) NFL player. Also at each station: a sharpie. That's right- you had the option of getting an autograph of a bunch of NFL stars. Some people went for grandeur, in getting the players to sign a ball, which itself cost about $100, no joke. But I, being a simple human being who takes what he's got, wanted to up the importance of the program given to me at the door, with pictures of every NFL player in attendance- perfect for signing.

To make a long story short, I got quite a few autographs that night. I'll go through all the ones I got, and didn't get.


Bob Lurtsema, also known as Lurtzy to his friends, was the famed leftover defensive lineman for the Vikings of the 70's, always overshadowed by his teammates at the same position. My dad met Benchwarmer Bob while on a shoot with members of the 70's Vikings team, who were working in a gold mine. The reason for not getting Bob's auto was simple: He was in a hurry, and had to leave his station before I got there. My dad and I talked with him later, and while I didn't get a signature, I got a nice conversation, which is still pretty cool.

Jan Stenerud was another one signing, but the line for him was quite long. Apparently, when you're from another country and you're the only kicker in the Hall of Fame, a lot of people respect you.

Others I missed because I couldn't find their booths. Gino Cappelletti was one of them. A New England legend, Gino would have been a decent addition to the book, had I found him.

Another one of the lost players: Dick Anderson, who had been with the event from the start.

Jack Youngblood was going to be one of the next auto's I'd get, but I was interrupted in order to find the Philly station, to try the out-of-this-world brisket. Sadly, I never got back to Jack.

And sometimes, the sheer realization of who is about to vy for a championship made it difficult. Because of the large scale amount of Packer and Steeler fans, I couldn't get to either of the players. Danny Anderson would have been a nice one.


Upon my dad's request, I achieved the autograph of Karl Mecklenburg, a former Denver Bronco. Karl was very polite in signing, and seems like a nice guy.

I don't remember too much about Bobby Bell, but from what I can recall, he seemed like a nice guy. One of my goals was to snag all the Hall of Famers, so Bobby was a plus.

Joe DeLamielleure, a former first round pick and Hall of Famer, was another nice acquisition.

Bobby Mitchell, one of the first African Americans to play for the Redskins, was a guaranteed auto, as soon as I realized who he was. He wasn't very happy, for some reason, as I remember.

Tommy Nobis was another interesting find. Nobis, Lurtzema, Stenerud, Mitchell and Floyd Little were among the founding members of Taste, which is why they had their own special section. Nobis was a nice guy.

Out of everyone, I'd say that Randall McDaniel was the funniest. When I gave him the program page to sign (which has a picture of the chef on it as well as the player), he pointed to the chef, and said "This ain't me!" I chuckled, as I pointed to the picture of him, which he gladly signed. One of the few Hall of Famers that were actually recent.

My dad, having been a Raider fan, was looking forward to Pete Banaszak. As he signed the page, I said to him "by the way, that touchdown you had in the Super Bowl....made my dad's LIFE!"

Before I get to the Philly player, I have to go over the chef, whose restaurant I had actually heard of. Jack's Firehouse is in Philly, and the brisket they had at Taste was very very good.

Also very very good? Jerry Sizemore, the Eagle that signed below him. Good guy.

Floyd Little, out of all of them, may have been the nicest. He was the newest Hall of Famer at the event, and he seemed quite happy.

The biggest star at the event was Steve Largent. A Seahawk legend, and my uncle's favorite player. After a long line, I got to the front, and explained Steve that my uncle adored him. I eventually got a picture with him, which we sent to my uncle. But the autograph from Mr. Largent may have been my favorite out of all of them.

Well...that's enough bragging for one post. I'll do another one of these later on, only cards will be involved. Actual cards!

Friday, November 18, 2011

New Logo

The ten customs above my bed have been sitting there since last November, and I figured a few of them would be coming and going. So last week, I decided I would make a whole new roster of customs, now having 14 on my wall. Only 4 customs stayed from last time, the rest are newbies. And if anyone on the wall leaves before the season, they'll be replaced, and the logo will be updated.

Among the players up there: ( top) Rodriguez, Teixiera, Cano, Granderson, Rivera, Sabathia, Jeter, (bottom), Rollins, Utley, Pence, Hamels, Lee, Howard, Halladay.

Also, this is my 700th post, after 3 years. I figure it's taken me long enough anyway.

So, I hope everyone enjoys the new look, because I'll be keeping that header for a while.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Where's the Unpredictability here?

With the exception of Jeremy Hellickson, every award has gone according to plan so far. I'm happy for Kershaw and all the Dodger bloggers (all 5 million of them). I also hope that at least one Yankee/Phillie gets something tomorrow. Preferrably Curtis Granderson. He's awesome.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

We all saw this coming

But even if we all knew Verlander would take the Cy, at least most of us are happy for the man. Me, I'm just happy they didn't go with the one that has few wins and a buncha strikeouts like last year.

Still...bring on the NL one.

Monday, November 14, 2011

Rookies of the Year

Called it. Had a spectacular season.

Would have chose Michael Pineda or Mark Trumbo instead, but he'll do.

Friday, November 11, 2011

When Jonathan Papelbon came to Philly

(Note: The original title of this post was Papelbon Smear, but the mental image it would give people would be unworthy of my 15th best blogger status)

Understandably, Jonathan Papelbon was never my favorite closer. The lasting image of him going nuts after getting the final out against Colorado sealed it for me. He was cocky, he was hated, and he was a member of the Boston Red Sox. I thought I would never cheer for this guy, no matter what. Unfortunately, according to Bill Cosby, "God...has a sense of humor".

Today, Papelbon signed a 4-year deal with my Phillies, despite warnings from the angel on his right shoulder. For four years (or less), I'm gonna have to root for this guy. He'll be closing out games for us, in place of the dearly dejected Ryan Madson, which I resent. Madson was already an excellent pitcher, and he closed games for us. And now we're giving him up on account of a shady closer who's been struggling for the last few years? It's insane.

You can say I'm a little mad at the Papelbon deal, but if he starts throwing fire again, it could work to our advantage. Papelbon in a good year would strengthen the bullpen, and give us a guaranteed arm to close out games, something we didn't have with Brad Lidge.

So the deal could go either way for Philly...maybe he'll close out the last inning of the world series again...only I won't be infuriated this time.

Nice Bloggers Finish Fifteenth

I was already having a productive day. I'd already had a musing about what could happen in Miami next season (other than uniforms that remind me to never take acid), and was planning on rehauling my wall of customs in my room. I checked JayBee's blog (cause that's how I roll), and was perplexed by his post about John Bateman of Donruss 1982's countdown. This was the first I had heard of the countdown, and I had a thought that JayBee was placed too damn low, at #16. So I checked the site, to see why he was placed so low.

John already had #15 up. That I could understand. Of course, this blogger happened to be #15. (And if you require proof, it is proof you shall recieve). Naturally, I was quite enthusiastic about my placing on the countdown.

First of all, it's a bit of an honor for me. I started with literally no other readers, other than my collector friend Dan (who has since left the blogosphere), and I posted for fun. And after I started doing customs, people started to applaud my work.

Secondly, I find it odd that I was placed one numbering higher than one of the pioneering bloggers in the sphere. Bdj610's blog was one of the first blogs I ventured onto, and his blog is a minor influence of mine. It's a weird feeling, to be ranked higher than one of your heroes. It's almost like winning an Oscar over Jack Nicholson, Leonardo Dicaprio, Matt Damon and Jim's just weird.

Still, I look forward to the rest of the countdown. I don't want to discourage the other bloggers by sharing my opinions on who'll take #1 (though it will probably be Dayf or NightOwl).

Besides...15th is better than nothing.

What is going on in Miami?

Let's flash back exactly one offseason ago. The Marlins had practically no chance. Two of its biggest stars were headed to Atlanta (including Fredi Gonzalez), its star pitcher was hurt, nobody was going to their home games, and the young stars weren't developing at the rate they wanted. So it looked like another 4th place season for Florida. And it was. Han-Ram slumped, Lo-Mo slumped, and it was a down year.

Flash forward to right now. One of baseball's most iconic current managers is presiding in the front office, there is talks of moving to a new stadium, and three of baseball's biggest stars are thinking of spending a few months there. Is this a Twilight Zone episode, or are the Marlins looking like a huge team for 2012?

I realize at this point that some of this may not happen, but lets assume for a post here. Because if Ozzie Guillen does eventually lure Albert Pujols, Jose Reyes and Mark Buerhle to Miami, it'll be one of the best power shifts in the game's history.

But that's only if this gets off the ground. Because Pujols and Reyes have a lot of options. Pujols has the option of angering his former team by signing with Chicago. Reyes has a similar option, due to a certain Philadelphia shortstop being low on a contract. Buerhle could stay loyal, but under the circumstances (Francona could take over, and the man still smells like Boston) he'll likely side with his former manager.

And if the new stadium idea works, this could be a renaissiance in Miami. People in the area could flock to Miami to see the huge stars, along with the ones they already have, swat homers and make plays. Hell, the Marlins could even be a challenge for Atlanta and Philadelphia for the throne (the Mets are kinda out of it). Hell, the only thing working against the Marlins are those terrible new uniform concepts floating around the web. A marlin does not look like that. To this, I would prefer the teal.

But back to the point- like I said before, this musing is not cemented just yet. Pujols and Reyes could sign with other, stronger teams. Buehrle could go back to Chicago, to be managed by Terry Stinking Francona (or someone else, like I care). And people may not even go to Marlins games next year even if they were playing in the Colliseum. But it's still fine to dream.

So the Marlins may not have a huge power shift next year. But wouldn't it be cool is they did?

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Some more Topps Update

Thanks to yet another Election Day that doesn't matter, I was given a day off to roam in my own teeanged world. Of course, being that I felt a hankering for cards, I got a Formerly Cereal Box and a single pack of Topps Update. I'll open the pack first...due to weight differences.

311- Drew Butera. Last year, when this guy was a rookie, I joked that he'd have no playing time, due to Minnesota's catching mainstay. Said mainstay didn't play very often this season. Hi Drew. No hard feelings, right?
93- Matt Downs
283- LaTroy Hawkins. When you have about as many saves has you have losses, it's time to rethink your strategy a bit.
17- Craig Gentry
218- Matt Kemp HRD
16- Wellington Castillo.
Drew Stubbs ToppsTown
120- Mat Latos BOOZE PARALLEL.
109- Jair Jurrjens
38- Josh Hamilton AS
193- Lonnie Chisenhall Rookie Debut. Saw this guy play, decent prospect.
108- Ubaldo Jiminez. Nice to see this guy out of a Rockies uniform.

324- Melvin Mora. Whatever happened to this guy?
35- Eduardo Nunez. When A-rod and Jeter retire, this guy will fit well into the equation.
32- Matt Stairs. It is funny when you are named after the one thing you cannot get up. I kid, of course. What a career for a pinch hitter.
67- Miguel Olivo. The Catcher That Couldn't Stop Moving
101- Scott Downs
120- Bobby Parnell. Not to be confused with the other guy from Lazy Sunday
33- Jayson Nix
5- Josh Willingham. How can a team with so many sluggers and decent pitching end up in 3rd?
176- Xavier Nady. So how's playing time? You're giving some to D-Backs? We couldn't we have any?
54- Jerry Sands. Outfielder of the Future for LA.
187- Bobby Wilson
168- Bruce Chen. Another Journeyman pitcher
171- Matt Lindstrom
231- Charlie Blackmon.
288- Eric Thames. This is what happens when an under-the-radar team's prospects finally come up
328- Kevin Gregg
39- Eduardo Sanchez
264- Alex White Rookie Debut. That would imply he's good
185- Orlando Hudson. After Alomar left, there had to be a new Awesome Defensive 2nd Baseman. O-Hud is that man.
71- Jeff Francis. Doubles already?
(2 more cards I already had)\
59- Matt Kemp AS
163- Adrian Beltre AS
293- Howie Kendrick AS
323- Jhonny Peralta. I'll say it...did they MEAN to spell it like that?
249- Starlin Castro
310- Scott Rolen AS
252- Derek Jeter cl
248- Octavio Dotel
134- Michael Bourn. Well...great.
37- Rick Ankiel. Crazy story...
311- Drew Butera...oh, you again.
(2 more doubles)
281- Mark Melancon
61- Nick Masset
70- Michael Wuertz
124- Xavier Paul
289- Eric Chavez. Didn't play very often, but still good.
313- Tyson Ross
256- Mark Kotsay. He's still playing? Jeez...
126- Adrian Gonzalez AS. Way to rub it in our faces, dude...
209- Rubby DeLa Rosa
240- Blake Tekotte
279- Trevor Plouffe
80- Jose Bautista AS...just great. Now one of my least favorite players.
100- Cliff Lee. One of my favorite players
2- Ty Wiggington. Overatedness.
1990 Todd Zeile Future Star. WHY CAN'T I GET ANYTHING GOOD?!?!
Hey, at least I dug up a Nolan Ryan ring!
58- Tim Lincecum AS GOLD #'D TO 2011. Nice star to get a numbered card of
326- Trevor Bell Regular Shiny
Reggie Jackson mini. Bent edge. Grrr
Buster Posey/ Brian McCann Duo
395- Tyler Flowers LiquorFractor
329- Drew Stubbs Liquor Fractor. Nice...two straight young stars in Shiny
Frank Robinson Topps 60. Good star
That was awesome!
130- David Robertson AS
91- Brandon League AS
287- Matt Joyce
292- Mike Adams
50- Jered Weaver AS
230- Miguel Cabrera AS
85- Roy Halladay AS
140- Clay Kershaw AS
247- Zack Cozart
166- David Ortiz Cl
84- Kung Fu Panda AS

Those were some nice packs. The Schmidt liquor fractor is nice.

On a related note, I just traded a 1974 card I had in Diamond Giveaway for a 1974 Manny Mota. If anyone wants it...have at it. I'm really hoping to get something out of this site.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Melk- it does nobody good, or Save HIM San Francisco?

(7/11/12 DISCLAIMER: The following post is filled with quite possibly the biggest amount of dramatic irony on the face of the Earth. Reading this about a year later, this writer has discovered exactly how wrong he was about a seemingly good-natured trade. Said trade's outcome ended up the exact opposite of how this writer expected, and the smack talk below regarding a certain Melky Cabrera has been deemed "so ironic that it's funny. The writer realizes how terrible a prediction he has made, considering Mr. Cabrera has excelled, and Mr. Sanchez has basically dropped off the face of Kansas City.  Therefore, as you read this post, just know how wrong it is currently. To help with the irony, all of the ironic, or just plain wrong parts have been bolded. There is a lot.)

(Before I rant endlessly about Melky Cabrera, I should point out that I am not a fan of the Giants or Royals. I just know a dumb baseball move when I see one.)

Back in 2008, before anyone had ever heard of Brett Gardner, the Yankee outfield consisted of Bobby Abreu, Johnny Damon, and a young, aspiring centerfielder with a funny name. Melky Cabrera may not have sounded like the ideal outfielder, but back in 2008, he did the trick. Of course, toward the end of the season, Melky was powering down, and we figured that he was going the way of most outfielders- getting fatter, slower and more tired. So we traded him to Atlanta for a few pitching prospects (unfortunately, NOT THE RIGHT ONES!)

I bring this up because today, a sad, slow, underperforming centerfielder was traded to San Francisco. His name was Melky Cabrera. This is already angering enough, how a strong, rebuilding team has to rely on a youthful but unreliable bat to help the already fine outfield. The more angering detail is who they traded him for.

Jonathan Sanchez, the strong 4th/5th starter, and the man who threw a no-hitter for San Francisco, is now a Kansas City Royal. Why? Because the Giants apparently want to take a gamble on an outfielder whose last good numbers where while as a member of the 2008 Yankees, which are a punchline on their own. (His best numbers were actually with the 2011 Royals, where he actually had a good season.) And I can't believe this.

First of all, it's almost definite that the Royals got the better half of the trade. Jonathan Sanchez may not be as reliable as the four other men in the rotation (dingdingdingdingding), but he's still a solid pitcher, with decent credentials and good pitches. Melky Cabrera was terrible for Atlanta, and was terrible for Kansas City. Therefore the Giants can only benefit from Melky if he is traded to another team for a better player, which would be the MLB version of a common rabbit trap.

I know you may think I am ganging up on Cabrera for no reason (this is true.), but would a Braves blogger say anything different? (actually, no. Dayf would have similar comments, I hope.) Would a Royals blogger say anything different? (apparently yes) Would a (nonexistent) Giants blogger say anything different, other than the fact that they are horrified that this will occur? Nope. They would say most of the same things this proud Yankee blogger is saying. Because they're close to the truth- Melky Cabrera is not the right fit for a San Francisco team hoping to rejoin the playoff race. With mistakes like this, and gambles on apparent traps like Orlando Cabrera, Carlos Beltran and Miguel Tejada, the Giants front office is going under a lot of fire lately.

My final musing is this: Who would you rather have in your arsenal? A fourth or fifth starter with a couple All Star appearances, a no hitter, and a decent amount of playing time left? Or an oft traded, slobby outfielder whose best days are behind him, even in his early thirties. The answer is obvious- the Royals are very (un)lucky right now.

As for the Giants... here's hoping they can trade Melky for someone better. Only time will tell.

(And it bleeping told.)

Saturday, November 5, 2011

A Returning Hero

For two years of my life, Jim Thome was my favorite player.

During my youth, I knew next to nothing about baseball. Due to my father's "root for the Yankees or sleep on the roof" policy, I had no choice but to root for Jeter. For a year or so, he was my favorite player. Of course, a year later I went to my first Phillies game at Citizens Bank Park. Myself, my friend Nick, and my folks sat in our seats, anxiously awaiting the team.

Jimmy Rollins was the leadoff hitter back then. Keep in mind that these were the days that J-Rol was quick enough to lead off. After him were Polanco and Abreu. Batting fourth was the star of the show. The crowd cheered as he stepped to the plate. The stadium bore his number, and the kids were carrying mini bobbleheads of his likeness (I still carry one in my room). Jim Thome was at the plate, and in 2004 Philadelphia, nobody else was bigger than him, in both senses of the word.

I forget if he hit a home run or not that night, but I remember thinking that he was an awesome hitter, and a great player. I thought that no other human being could replace the man at 1st base. And from 2004 until the day he was signed by Chicago, Jim Thome was my favorite player.

After that, my attention switched back to the Bronx, as Jeter and A-Rod ruled the throne. I still rooted for the Phils, but since Thome had left, my attention had waned. Ryan Howard had taken the irreplaceable position, and while he was excellent, he just wasn't Thome. Of course, when the Phils took it all in 2008, I cheered for them. I cheered every year for them, but it was a shame Thome couldn't celebrate with them.

Yesterday, I was sitting on the waiting seats in a Mexican restaurant far from home. I was tired, hungry, and after a long night, was hankering for a Sprite. As I was relaxing on the seats, my dad nudged me, and pointed to the TV Screens. I squinted to make out what was going on at ESPN, though Jim Thome's face graced the screen.

I slowly read the words aloud: "Thome to sign one year deal with Phillies." And at that moment, despite the fact that I was in Yankee country, I let out a cheer. I was so happy that my hero was back in town, and that he could hit for us again. Howard might be hurt for some of the season, so Thome will get his throne back.

Jim Thome will most likely retire in Philly pinstripes. And that's an idea I can get around.