Sunday, March 31, 2013

A Hazy Season in Waiting

Every year I've done the blog, I've assessed the Yankees, usually before the season or before Spring Training, and marked their acquisitions and losses, and given an overall preview for the year. Well, this year my task will be tougher.

People all around the country have predicted 2013 to be The Year the Yankees Don't Make It. And I can see why, too. Their best players injured, no real rookie support, no real hitters left. It seems like the Yankees are destined to fail, which is precisely why they won't.

First, a look at who they added for 2013:
  • Kevin Youkilis, a free agent signing
  • Chien-Ming Wang, to a minor league deal
  • Vernon Wells, a minor league deal
  • Travis Hafner, a free agent signing
  • Juan Rivera, a free agent signing
Of course, they lost a few people as well:
  • Eric Chavez, to the Diamondbacks
  • Andruw Jones, to Japan
  • Rafael Soriano, to the Nationals
  • Nick Swisher, to the Indians
  • Freddy Garcia, to free agency
  • Russell Martin, to the Pirates
 Also, they'll have to deal with Jeter, A-Rod, Teixiera and Granderson not being definite for opening day. This should be a declining team. However, this is what the team has going for it:

1. Good pitching. Even though our hitting's been depleted, out pitching has hardened and improved. C.C. Sabathia is our ace, and will remain our ace. Hiroki Kuroda and Andy Pettite are solid, strong starters that could last us through the year. You can't count out Phil Hughes, and Ivan Nova, when he's healthy, will be a strong fifth man. Really, the problems aren't in this department.

2. A good running game. This is something the Yankees have never relied on, and something they're going to be forced to. With their big stars injured, what they'll need to do is rely on small singles and a lot of baserunning. This may seem pretty hard, but people like Ichiro, Cano, Gardner and a lot of the young stars they're going to be circulating will help with that. Also, Chris Dickerson is looking for a job, and he might return to the team. You never know. But still, the Yanks will need to run a lot this season.

3. The best closer in baseball. I don't care if Rodney and Kimbrel are here. Mariano Rivera is the greatest closer ever to play, and people will want to see how he ends his career.

4. Those stars that are injured? They're not gonna be injured forever. Jeter, Teixiera and Granderson will eventually come back, and go back to what they do best. And whenever that happens, it's gonna be tough for the other teams to compete. Hell, Michael Pineda might get healthy, or A-Rod might come back, however unlikely that seems. Either way, the injuries, however short lived, will only shut us down for parts of April and May.

So there. The Yankees will do well this season. I have no idea how anything else will go. However, that right there is what makes baseball so great.

Easter Packs: 2012 Series 1, Opening Day and Heritage

Easter for a 17-year-old usually consists of getting a crapload of candy, plus some packs. While the mounds of Starburst Jellybeans will last for a while in my house, I'm glad the packs will give me a short-term high. I got 2 packs of series 1, a fat pack of Opening day, and 3 rack packs of Heritage, which Topps really perfected this year.

Series 1 Pack 1-
274- Miguel Montero
223- Yonder Alonso, steroid abuser
158- Chad Billingsley
63- Justin Masterson
30- Neftali Feliz, who really wished he had some bats to support him right now.
121- Delmon Young, now on the Phillies
199- Avisail Garcia. Have it.
261- Trevor Rosenthal
72 Mini of Willie Mays. I'm beginning to think I only pull Hall of Famers out of this. Hm.
117- Aubrey Huff.
325- Kevin Millwood. Good heavens. Are you still trying to win?
230- David Robertson, who will likely find some way to injure himself this year.

Pack 2-
50- Adam Wainwright. How he's still healthy, we have no idea.
1- Bryce Harper, who better have some staying power in the bigs.
313- Maicer Izturis
274- Miguel Montero. Hello again.
207- Matt Holliday
284- Angel Pagan
124- Ricky Romero, who will try his best NOT to suck in 2013.
72 mini of Nolan Ryan. Hall of Famer. Also, a double. Anybody want it?
293- Jeff Karstens
117- Aubrey Huff again
325- Kevin Millwood again
230- David Robertson again.

Opening Day-
127- Edinson Volquez
152- Brian Wilson. Still kinda looking for a job, by the way.
202- Jason Motte, who just got injured
14- Josh Willingham
19- Joey Votto
123- John Danks
57- Cliff Lee, whose improvement would really help.
108- Hunter Pence. Still a Phillie to me,
103- Desmond Jennings
117- Michael Young. He better work for the Phils.
Superstar Celebrations of Justin Morneau.
A Mascot card of Screech, for the Nationals. Hm, Dustin Diamond's lost a lot of weight.
Joe Mauer Play Hard insert. Wow, a lot of Twin love.
78- Hisashi Iwakuma
137- Yoenis Cepsedes
4- Matt Dominguez. Wow, the Astros are gonna suck.
47- Jake Peavy. Needs to stay healthy,.
77- Mark Trumbo
217- CHOOCH. Another Steroid abuser
43- Pedro Alvarez
51- Elvis Andrus
219- Troy Tulowitski, who plays well despite me never hearing anything about him.
18- Jemile Weeks
58- Chris Davis.

Heritage Pack 1-
291- Ryan Ludwick. Well, that's one way to start.
200- Clayton Kershaw. That's a lot better.
273- Matt Moore
42- Tommy Milone, one of the many Oakland prospects
346- Rafael Dolis
269- Justin Smoak, staring off into space.
486- David Ortiz, who I do not hate.
115- Dan Uggla. The hell happened to him?
253- Sergio "Brian Wilson called, he wants his thing back" Romo
417- Juan Francisco
98- Quintin Berry
213- Michael Morse, now back on the Mariners.
201- Oooh, this is a good one. Manny Machado and Dylan Bundy rookie stars. I will hang on to this one.
3- Leaders. Meh.
84- Jon Niese
47- Peguero/Machi Rookie Stars. No idea who these people are
422- Eduardo Nunez
52- Jayson Werth
300- Jason Heyward, who really needs to perform.
191- Anthony Rizzo.

Heritage Pack 2-
169- Elvis Andrus
30- Chad Billingsley
198- Gavin Floyd, former Philly washout.
45- Brandon Phillips, laughing and showing off his teeth
327- Heath Bell
358- Casey Kotchman, who shouldn't be here
250- Prince Fielder, another big star
20- James McDonald, who sucks.
328- Patrick Corbin
104- Jonathan Papelbon, who actually closed well last year for the Phils
385- Glen Perkins
96- Jeff Samardzjia
292- Trevor Cahill
274- Justin Morneau, whose best days are kinda over.
367- Jeremy Guthrie
9- Leaders
294- The most disturbing card of the year, Liam Hendriks
62- Starling Marte

Pack 3-
127- Edwin Jackson
63- Jason Grilli, who is not amused
163- Gaby Sanchez
381- Fernando Martinez
324- Terry Collins
183- Fernando Rodney, and his asymetrical hat
374- Luis Cruz, the new LA 3rd baseman
60- Will Middlebrooks, who's been hyped up like hell
322- Scott Baker
49- Brett Jackson
418- Pirates rookies
386- Jared Burton
182- Felix Doubront
363- Neftali Feliz
95- BJ Upton, looking like a crazed deer
258- Michael Young
470- Albert Pujols RED BORDER. NICE!
364- Russ Martin
276- Nick Swisher
13- Adam LaRoche

Those were some pretty damn nice packs. Now, to catch up on my Reese's eggs.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Custom Card of the Day: Wieters Edition


Alas, today's custom is the last of the pre-planned ones from Sunday. I imagine a lot of stuff has gone down since Sunday. A number of March Madness brackets must have gone to the floor due to a few gigantic upsets. Also, there may or may not have been another huge NFL signing that I'll have heard about by now. Nevertheless, here's the week's last custom.

The Orioles of 2012 were a cool team, one that went incredibly far and exceeded everyone's expectations. And now, everyone's expectations for them in 2013 involve them making their way to the top again. Will that happen? Well, it's a little too soon to say.

For one thing, the team has a marginally better pitching staff, but the team has also lost Mark Reynolds, a big contributor, and also Brian Roberts has been injured yet again. But honestly, was that shocking? He always gets injured. The only thing more constant than Brian Roberts getting injured is Dick Vitale saying "BAY-BEE!" (topical joke! Topical joke!)

Matt Wieters has been the centerpiece of the Orioles for five seasons now, and for five seasons I've made a nice custom of him. Also for five seasons, Topps has not issued a card of Matt Wieters. I know his license makes him exclusive to Upper Deck, or something like that, but I only have one Wieters card in my whole collection, and it's unlicensed. So that's kinda pitiful. 

Still, Wieters will likely have a strong season, make it to another All Star Game, and maybe, just maybe, lead his team to the playoffs again.

Coming Tomorrow- Hopefully by tomorrow I will have another custom for you. I need to make more. And then, when the season starts, I'll be more than stocked.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Custom Card of the Day: Upton Edition

Ah, one of the two Uptons traded to the Braves this year. Really, you couldn't go wrong with either, but I've seen more BJ photos than Justin photos, so we're going with him.

B.J. Upton had a bit of a down year with the Rays last year. Although, to be fair, the Rays had a down year themselves, only coming in third, and not even trying to knick the Yankees out of first.

I think that Atlanta will be a nice jumpstart for B.J. I think he'll get a lot of playing time, get a lot of hits, and really recreate his name as a star. Again, this depends on whether the Braves outdo the Phillies and Nationals, but it'll probably happen.

Not much else to say today.

Coming Friday: The catcher for a cinderella team.

Monday, March 25, 2013

Custom Card of the Day: Reyes Edition

I'm on a college road trip this week, so you'll be getting a few pre-planned customs that I made on Sunday. Sit tight, because I'll be back by Friday.

Reyes was one of the bigger moved stars of the offseason. I'll also say that Reyes was one of the bigger moved stars of last offseason. Of course, the Marlins wanted a clean sweep, and a last place finish, so he was shipped to Toronto.

Like I've said a million times before, the Jays will fall this year because the Marlins fell last year. I think Reyes is still gonna have a great season though. Steal bases, get hits, play good defense. Do what he usually does. The only problem I see him having is adapting to an AL setting, which is new for him.

It'll be interesting to see how things turn out for Jose Reyes in 2013.

Coming Wednesday: One of the Atlanta Uptons.

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Card Show: Current Stuff in demand

Yesterday, my spring break began. Spring Break for me is going to consist of a college road trip, a few days off, and a lot of down time.But today, I thought I'd celebrate Spring Break's arrival by jaunting out to the local card show and feasting upon the 10 cent bins, mostly containing 2012 and 2013 stuff. Nevertheless, I indulged.

2013 Topps: (and there is a lot of this stuff. I needed a lot of stars from the base set)
Justin Verlander, Aeideny Hrchevarra, Desmond Jennings, Matt Kemp, Dillon Gee, Brian McCann, Dee Gordon, Hiroki Kuroda, Andruw Jones, Edwin Encarnacion, AJ Ellis, Josh Reddick, Angel Pagan, Starling Marte, Pablo Sandoval Playoffs, Darwin Barney, Ted Lilly, Dexter Fowler, Yonder Alonso, Jon Jay, Jake Westbrook, Carlos Zambrano, Alex Gordon, Matt Holliday, Kurt Suzuki, Eric Chavez, Jordan Pacheco, Chad Billingsley, Kyle Seager, Bronson Arroyo, Buster Posey, Jason Motte, Ian Kennedy, Michael Morse, Carlos Santana, Alex Rios, Matt Latos, Evan Longoria, Dice-K, Dan Uggla, John Axford, Trevor Bauer, Justin Masterson, Brandon Crawford, Howie Kendrick, Chris Sale, Adam Wainwright, Jaime Garcia, Jeremy Hellickson, Yadier Molina, CarGo, AJ Pierzynski, Paul Konerko, Mark Teixiera, Prince Fielder, Dan Haren.

2013 Topps Heritage: (I got a lot of this, too. I also think the cardstock is cool. So nyah.)
Nick Markakis, Josh Johnson, Michael Bourn, CJ Wilson, Carlos Beltran, Ian Desmond, Curtis Granderson, Jayson Werth, Brett Lawrie, Austin Jackson, Starling Marte, Ivan Nova, Chris Young, BJ Upton, Tim Lincecum, Shin-Soo Choo, Mark Trumbo, Josh Beckett, Dan Haren, Carlos Pena, AJ Pierzynski, Zack Greinke, Carl Crawford, Mark Buehrle, Juan Pierre, Mark Reynolds, Josh Hamilton, Prince Fielder, Torii Hunter, Vance Worley, Kevin Youkilis, Nick Swisher, Trevor Bauer, Lance Berkman, Russell Martin, Andy Pettite, Tommy Hanson, Mike Napoli, Pablo Sandoval, Joe Mauer.

2012 Topps Update:
Todd Frazier, Andrelton Simmons, Prince Fielder AS, Angel Pagan, Joey Votto AS, Will Middlebrooks RD, Yadier Molina AS, Ian Kinsler AS, Giancarlo Stanton AS, Rafael Furcal AS, Carlos Lee, Starlin Castro AS, Anibal Sanchez, Matt Kemp AS, Kris Medlen

2012 Gypsy Queen:
Reggie Jackson, Nick Swisher, Juan Marichal, Ernie Banks, Hunter Pence, Carl Crawford, Curtis Granderson, Paul Goldschmidt, Ryne Sandberg
Moonshots Prince Fielder and Jim Thome

2012 Topps Football:
Andy Dalton, Fred Davis, Vincent Jackson, Matt Scahub, Cam Newton ROY, Cam Newton, Jimmy Graham, Mario Williams, Steve Smith, Ray Rice, Anquan Boldin, Calvin Johnson, Josh Cribbs, Darrelle Revis, Dallas Clark, Jamaal Charles, Owen Daniels, BJ Raji, Joe Thomas, Willis McGahee, Reggie Wayne,

2009 Topps National Chicle Football: (They had a bunch of these)
Andre Johnson, Michael Turner, Tony Dorsett, Dan Marino, Beanie Wells, Austin Collie, James Harrison, Matt Forte, Greg Jennings, Ed Reed, Brian Orakpo, Eli Manning, Jim Brown, Calvin Johnson, Larry Fitzgerald, Frank Gore, Joe Flacco, Ray Rice, Troy Aikman, Matt Ryan, Ben Roethlisberger, Adrian Peterson, Troy Polamalu, Stars of the Gridiron Brian Westbrook

The Rest:
2012 Topps Shiny: Chien Ming Wang, Gio Gonzalez, Dan Haren, Nick Swisher
2012 Topps Blockbusters: Prince Fielder, Ivan Rodriguez, Ryne Sandberg, Tom Seaver, Carlos Gonzalez
2010 Topps Update Mike Minor, Jon Jay
2011 Topps Update Brandon Crawford
2012 Topps Archives: RA Dickey, Madison Baumgarner, Mark Teixiera, Johan Santana, Freddie Freeman
2011 Bowman 93 Felix Hernandez
2009 UD Series 1 OPC Chien Ming Wang
2012 Topps Gold Numbered of Chien Ming Wang. You'll notice a theme, here.
2005 Donruss Team Heroes of Mike Schmidt and Steve Carlton
2010 Topps CYMTO Carl Yastzemski, Brooks Robinson
2010 Topps Vintage Legends of Willie McCovey
2006 Bowman Heritage Nick Markakis Rookie
2009 Topps Legends of the Game Wade Boggs and Greg Maddux
2006 Flair Showcase of Greg Maddux,

Football etc:
1986 Topps Eric Dickerson,
2012 Topps Magic: Clay Mathews
2008 UD Masterpieces John Elway and Chuck Bednarik

Well, that was a pretty nice show.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Custom Card of the Day: Hamilton Edition


Like last year, it took me about a month to make a custom of the biggest star traded or signed by another team during the offseason. So, welcome to the Angels, Josh. Here's an awesome custom.

The Angels baffle me. By all intents and purposes they should be touted to rule the league. They have a strong outfield, a strong pitching staff, good pitching, good hitting. For some reason that can never fit together to create a solid final standing. Last year the Angels came in 3rd. Back when 3rd was 2nd-to-last place in the AL West. 

Maybe now, with Josh Hamilton and his surplus of homers, the Angels could be a legitimate force in the AL. I know that it may be hard for the team to string it together, but I hope it happens. They seem like a fun team.

Not much else to say, except for the fact that I made a Josh Hamilton custom. Yeah.

Coming Tomorrow- Once again, I'm all out. Any requests?

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Custom Card of the Day: Jeter Edition

The last time I made a true, actual Derek Jeter custom, not a recobbled one, it was 2010. I haven't made a Jeter custom since their thrilling heartbreak in the playoffs. Not that one, the other one. So finally, I've made a pretty awesome custom of Derek Jeter playing shortstop, making the routine throw to first, doing what he does best.

However, the Yankees will be finding out how tough it will be to do what they do best in 2013. Their stars injured, their pitching improved slightly, their infield aging, their replacements uncertain. What seemed like a bonafide lock for 2012 has turned into a questionable 2013 team, which is sad.

All I hear lately, about the Yankees, is that this is gonna be the year. This is gonna be the one year where they stop being good, and give everyone else a chance. This is gonna be the one year the Yankees don't win everything. And the more I hear that, the more I keep denying the fact that it might be true. Youkilis could fail, the lineup could buckle, the pitching could weaken, and so on, and so on. Though misguided, these common fans do have a point: The Yankees aren't going to be as good as they used to be.

That doesn't mean the Yankees are out of it for sure, though. Like the 2012 Phillies, hidden beneath the injuries, the questionables, and the doubt, there is hope. I think that when Granderson, Teixiera and maybe even A-Rod and Pineda get back, the team will be stronger, and go on an absolute rampage. I think that a team's fate can't be decided 13 days before the season starts. I think that the Yankees are going to do well SPECIFICALLY because everyone thinks they're NOT going to do well, just like the Blue Jays are going to end up in third because everyone thinks they'll be in first.

Yeah, I said it. The Yankees will not be terrible in 2013. And I'll yell it from the rooftops.

Coming Tomorrow- That was a good run, wasn't it? Now I need to make more customs. Any requests? Is there anyone I've never, ever made a custom of in my five year run, who deserves one?

Monday, March 18, 2013

Custom Card of the Day: Prince Edition

Last year, over the course of two weeks, the Tigers swept, and were swept. Think about that for a second. That's pretty hard to pull off.

You know what else is hard to pull off? Eclipsing your father has most iconic Tigers star named Fielder. True, Cecil made a name for himself in the 90's, but at the rate his son is heading, he might become a much more important Tigers player than his dad.

Last year, Prince Fielder had a tremendous season, his first in Detroit. He got to the World Series, hit numerous homers, and gained the respect of his city who thought he was signed to prevent other people from signing him. In that order.

This year, Prince has a lot more to prove. He needs to prove that he can hit even more home runs, make another All Star Game, and make his old team in Milwaukee feel even worse about themselves. I believe he'll end up accomplishing all three tasks. I don't know about him appearing in another World Series, but you never know.

Coming Tomorrow- The Shortstop. Number Two.

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Custom Card of the Day: Haren Edition

Ten years ago, as many people have been needlessly reminded, Dan Haren was a rookie for the Cardinals. I believe he was on the Cardinals team that I was hoping would win the World Series against Boston. After stints with Oakland, Arizona and Anaheim, Haren has settled in Washington. I believe that both the city and the pitcher are good fits.

The city needs someone like Haren; after an amazing underdog season, the Nationals fell short of postseason expectations in a loss to the Giants. However, the pitching staff wasn't entirely to blame; though they included such arms as Gio Gonzalez and Jordan Zimmerman, the staff wasn't 100%. Now, with a healthy Strasburg, the team could use someone like Haren to round out the staff, and send some bombs past opponents.

Also, I'll add that this is the third super-rotation Haren's been a part of. He was a member of the Oakland Staff back when Zito, Mulder and Harden ruled the mound. He was a proud member of the ever-changing Anaheim staff, featuring Jered Weaver, Ervin Santana, CJ Wilson, and at times Zack Greinke and John Lackey. Now hanging with Gio Gonzalez and Stephen Strasburg, it appears Haren's destined to be a part of epic pitching staffs. I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that the Phillies' staff is kinda roomy, though I doubt he'll want to stoop that low.

As for Haren, I imagine he'd fit the Nats perfectly. He's a nice, solid pitcher, one that rarely gets injured and one who is consistent. I think he'll do well for the Nationals, and I hope the Nationals exceed the already-high expectations of millions.

Coming Tomorrow- A member of another team touted for a huge run this year; a big-time first baseman hoping to help his team have another awesome winning season.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Custom Card of the Day: Worley Edition

In the trade that brought an outfielder with a very appropriate last name to Philadelphia, the man you see above, a former can't-miss Philly prospect that was doing exactly what the scouts said he wouldn't do (read: miss) last season, was shipped to Minnesota. And while the city's football team had ran to inexplicable (and short-lived) glory months before, I'm guessing that Vance won't be part of a mass revival for the Twins.

The Twins of 2008, like the Phillies of 2008, were a young, sharp team that got to the playoffs for a few years because they were young and had those elements. Over the next few years, half of those elements were traded, while the other half got injured repeatedly. All the Twins have left are Justin Morneau, all 2/3rds of him, Joe Mauer, who is still pretty good, and dozens of prospects.

Vance Worley may or may not be able to help the Twins this year. I am unsure with a combination of it being too soon to day, and not being sure when in the year Vance will inevitably land on the DL. But again, if he has a strong year, the Twins could at least stay out of last.

Hopefully, this won't be the end of the Vannimal's run. Nobody in Minnesota wants it to be.

Coming Tomorrow- One of the most consistent pitchers in baseball that can't seem to stay on one team for more than three years. Now, predictably, on another team.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A review of the latest NFL acquisitions

Baseball's trades have ceased. NBA is passed the deadline. Hockey trades are semi-nonexistent. To be honest, the only other trade in the world that mattered was an Argentinian being traded to Vatican City, but that's besides the point. What people really want to know is the football stuff. Who's going where, at whose expense, for who? Today, a whole bunch of crucial deals were set loose, in review:

Probably the most crucial one was Wes Welker signing with the Broncos. Last year the Broncos were the heavy favorite to win the Super Bowl, and came up short. They need a guy like Wes, who's used to playing in a few Super Bowls (and losing). Also, Manning needs someone other than Demaryius Thomas to throw to. As an added bonus, I don't have to see Welker in a Patriots uniform anymore, which is a plus.

Another big one is Reggie Bush being shipped to the Lions. This benefits both parties, as the Lions need a good guy to run the ball, and Bush needs someplace other than Miami to showcase his talents. The Lions are a team in progress; one that should be doing great but unfortunately have to contend with three other great teams. Bush might push them over the line.

Shonn Greene, another nice star, has left the sinking ship known as the SS Jets, to settle for another ship in need of repairs, the Titans. The Titans have some materials, and a lot of holes to fix. Greene could fix a few of the problems with the team, and may give them some nice games.

One of the more shocking trades of the day has been Alex Smith being shipped to Kansas City. For a few years back there, Smith was an elite QB for San Fran, until they found an Elite QB that was way more elite. So, Smith will have to play QB for the worst team in the league, and inevitably begin the slow slide that will lead to being the backup QB for a team that doesn't need one. The Chiefs may or may not benefit from this, so long as they have a better season.

As far as the huge ones go, that was it. Sure, Anquan Boldin was sent to San Francisco, but I won't talk about that yet, because to talk about the Boldin deal, I'd have to tell you the incredibly appropriate place I found out about it. Which will come later.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Custom Card of the Day: RAAAUUULLL Edition

Well, after a few days of photo drought, and an incident in Baltimore that won't go unblogged-about, I finally have another Custom up, and am hoping to reclaim my consistent last few weeks. Although, Zimbio will probably stop putting up good photos the second I get a nice cache of customs together.

But onto the card, of a man who's played for my two favorite teams, Raul Ibanez. Man, what a raw hitter. He's not good for anything else other than hitting you out of a game. Raul became the first player to have two consecutive games with postseason homers after being brought in later than the 8th inning, which is a very specific feat. But, thanks to him, the Yankees clobbered the Orioles in the ALDS, and Raul's homers sure helped.

Now, he's found himself back where he started. The Mariners saw Raul as a rookie, reacquired him in 2004, and lost him again when he signed with Philly in 2009. Now, they have him back one more time, only now they really need him. Last year was a poor year for the Mariners, as they relied too much on stars that couldn't get them very far (Looking at you, Figgins). Now, with a lineup built around people like Raul, Michael Morse, and a surprisingly-rebounding Jason Bay, they could theoretically end up in 3rd or 4th, depending on how the Rangers and A's finish.

Still, Raul still hits like he's young. I would suspect him of using Bartolo Colon's Cuban Mystery Cream, but I have so much respect for Raul that I don't want to put the thought of him taking steroids into my head. Because then it'll end up happening. And I don't want it to.

Coming Tomorrow (Yes, I actually have one planned for tomorrow): A former Phillies prospect looking to keep his new team from sinking even further.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Custom Card of the Day: Choo Edition

I really don't have too much to say tonight, so I'll make it pretty quick.

Shin-Soo Choo was, for a long period of time, one of the most underrated outfielder of the AL. Then, last year, he became one of the most overrated ones. In his span with the Indians he posted some pretty average numbers, and he was pretty good for fan-cheering purposes only. I'm not saying he was a bad player, because he isn't. I'm just saying that the Cincinatti Reds took a gamble on trading for him.

Choo is an aging outfielder, and his best years have most likely past, unless something spectacular happens this year. The Reds might not play him everyday, but injuries happen. I have no idea what's going to happen with Choo, but I'm certain that some part of Ohio will want to know.

Coming Tomorrow- The last of my batch of customs before Zimbio went back to posting one spring training game every two days, infuriating me. Still, a veteran of the Yankees, Phillies, and Royals, back on the team he started with.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Custom Card of the Day: Dickey Edition

I know this one's kinda long awaited, as Dickey hopping the border to Canada was one of the offseason's biggest moves. Now, about a few weeks after I should have, here I am showing you my Dickey.

Aim the boos and spoiled tomatoes at the chest. Keep my face out of it.

All jokes only 13-year-olds find funny aside, Dickey's move to the Jays was one of the biggest of the offseason, as New York's decision not to resign him was incredibly bold. It's not like he just won the Cy Young or anything, guys. Then again, after what the Rays did to the man that threw their only no-hitter, I'm not surprised.

Dickey's 2012 season was one to remember, as it was one of the finest showings from a knuckleballer since Phil Neikro and Charlie Hough ruled the roost. Also, it was a commanding presence from one of the worst teams in the league, containing a pitching staff comprised of two injured pitchers, a few pitchers no one has heard of, Chris Young, and someone resembling, though not confirmed to be, Mike Pelfrey. So it was a pretty big deal.

It's very odd why the Mets would just show him the door, but I can understand they're too busy giving David Wright money to be the 3rd or 4th best 3rd baseman in the league, so it fits. Keep such classic players like Ruben Tejeda and Daniel Murphy in exchange for letting go one of the best pitchers of the year.

It's not like I'm bitter or anything, I'm just confused that the Mets would have done that. Maybe they saw that R.A. wouldn't have quite the season he had this year than he will in 2013, which very well might happen. Still, if they held onto him, it would have been much more advantageous in my opinion.

Alright, I'm getting off my soapbox. Please don't hurl anymore tomatoes at me as I lower them. I mean the Mets fans no harm whatsoever. I just think they should have kept him is all.

Coming Tomorrow- Thanks to the incompetence of zimbio's staff, my supply is running low. So low that a B-lister Korean player recently traded to another side of Ohio is finding himself in the first three weeks of customs. For the second year in a row.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Custom Card of the Day: Swisher Edition

(Two Indians, No Yankees. I know. Blame Zimbio)

In early 2009, Nick Swisher came to the Bronx. I had absolutely no idea what to think. Sure, he was okay with the A's and White Sox, but I really had no idea how he'd fare for my team. And in his four seasons, he was actually pretty awesome. He had hits, homers, and was a hell of an onfield personality. Even if he wasn't the best, he was still fun to watch, and for that he was pretty awesome.

Still, like I said, he wasn't the best out there, which is why he signed with another team this year: the Indians, whose last trip to the postseason was only propelled by a bunch of flies.

I think Nick will be a nice fit for the Indians, as they're the kind of team that can reward his goofy, awesome style of play. A lot of people think he won't do too well, I think he'll at least have a decent enough time of it. I mean, I doubt he'll be as big a star he was with the Yankees, but he'll still be pretty good.

Coming Tomorrow- One of the big ones. The knuckler that fought to keep his dignity, and his relevance.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Custom Card of the Day: Lee Edition

Though my Yankees are a series of question marks, I feel like the Phillies are going to do slightly better this year. Why? Because for once, they followed our lead and went younger.

They have a younger outfield, some new blood in the pitching staff, and some more overall power. I feel like they can try their hardest to repeat with this team. And the pitching staff is still as good as before. Lee is still around, and hopefully he can rebound from a poor 2012. Him and Halladay are going to need to be at their best this season in order to truly thrive.

I really don't have too much else, but the Phils need to be better.

Coming Tomorrow- An ex-Yankee, stranded on a faraway mideastern city, with nothing but a pair of sunglasses and his trusty ego.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Custom Card of the Day: Panda Edition


First of all, I think this card's pretty cool. Just the massive size of Pablo's torso makes this one.

The 2012 Giants were a great team, and one that was well developed, moreso than the 2010 team. They were stronger, better on the mound, and more consistent. 

They also kinda won because a lot of other teams lost. But that's besides the point.

 It's too early to say how their 2013 offering is going to be, as the team is slightly different, but hopefully they'll have a nice run. Pablo Sandoval is just too much of a fun player to have a down season. I know a lot of Dodger fans hate him, and want him to go back to the Panda Express logo where he belongs, but I think he's a neat 'little' player. 

Besides, what kinda of player gets the moniker 'Kung Fu Panda' if so many people hate him. That name, like those movies, are intentionally lovable.

Coming Tomorrow- Finally, our first Philadelphia Phillie of the year. A pitcher who really needs a comeback (which really could be any of them).

Two Rack Packs and a $10 box of Topps Series 1

I'm one of those poor souls that, immediately arriving upon a gigantic mall such as the Palisades, only wanting to find someplace with cards. So, I swung by the Target and picked up some. And it was some pretty nice stuff, as I found a lot of base cards I needed.

Rack Pack 1-
191- Chris Capuano.
227- Jose Altuve. On the short list of reasons the Astros can somehow succeed. And yes, pun intended.
70- Todd Frazier, Pt. Pleasant man
126- Dan Uggla, whom Braves fans really want to get back to the stuff he was doing in 2011.
36- Jered Weaver. He is always either yelling or making a weird face on a card. Here he does the latter.
112- Mark Reynolds. Strikeout King.
23- Jemile Weeks, who needs to return to the family business.
100- Mike Moustakas
86- Henry Rodriguez RC
305- Shelby Miller RC
187- Nick Marone RC
111- Casey Kelley RC
Calling Cards of...RA Dickey. I have that one.
181- Jeff Keppinger.
248- Colby Lewis
192- Javier Lopez. Not the former Braves catcher
18- Mitch Moreland
53- Alex Cobb
68- Colby 'Why did I get cornrows' Rasmus
201- Jonny Venters
302- Aaron Hill
200- Scott Downs
81- Leaders
269- NLDS Gmae 5
297- Michael Saunders EMERALD SHINY
Chasing History of Matt Kemp
Chasing the Dream of Jose Altuve. Funny, we were just talking about you a short time ago...
1972 Matt Kemp mini. I still love these.
Ryan Ludwick. Not bad, not bad at all
SHINY Chasing History of Roberto Clemente. These inserts are kinda awesome
SHINY Chasing History of CHIPPAH Jones
182- Randy Choate
156- Dillon Gee
160- Stephen Drew, now on the...sighhh...
92- Clint Barmes

Rack Pack 2-
33- Cliff Lee. Excellent Way to start
147- Ivan Nova. Nice
320- Michael Young. How do we go from Phillie to Yankee to current Phillie. In one pack? In three consecutive cards?
281- David Hernandez. Good grief, he hasn't given up yet?
134- Jake Arrieta. That stache.
69- Scutaro NCLS. Got it
249- Vance Worley. Got it
272- Leaders
148- LJ Hoes RC. What an unfortunate name.
199- Avisail Garcia RC
Cut to the Chase of...DEREK JETER! I finally got one of these that wasn't a Ranger!
323- Michael Brantley
215- Gordon Beckham
279- Vicente Padilla
168- Kyle Farnsworth, and his shades
211- Jarrod Parker
184- Geovany Soto. Bleagh
123- Rickie Weeks, who needs to get back on top
80- Ryan Zimmerman
11- Yu Darvish, who's still kinda awesome
55- Tim Lincecum, who needs a MAJOR comeback
283- CC ALDS
157- Carter Capps
216- Josh Willingham EMERALD SHINY
Chasing History of Ted Williams. That's actually pretty nice. He's one of the few Sox I don't hate
Chasing the Dream of Addison Reed
Adam Jones 72 mini
CODE CARD! Let's see who I get:
Aramis Ramirez! Yeah! He needs to hit.
SHINY Chasing History of A-ROD. He had a lot of help chasing history, I guess
SHINY Chasing History of Evan Longoria. He's sorta slumping as of late
144- Jason Bay
198- Chris Coghlan
289- Jeremy Guthrie
239- Ramon Santiago

And now the box...
16- Andre Ethier. Nice way to start it off
52- CC Sabathia!
137- Edinson Volquez
34- FELIX Hernandez.
29- The slightly less overrated Adrian Beltre
325- Kevin Millwood. Jeez, he's still playing?
230- David Robertson, whose trust is failing
306- Jerry Hairston
104- Jed Lowire
273- Dexter Fowler, who really needs to accomplish something
195- Chris Heisey
291- Ryan Sweeney
331- Holy crap, I got the Reyes! It was shortprinted or some crap, but I got it! WOOOO!
119- Chris Davis
81- Leaders
269- NLCS Game 5
3 doubles
Chasing History of Tom Seaver. Nice!
Chasing the Dream of Devin Mesoraco
Cut to the Chase of...another Ranger, Yu Darvish. Must be some Rangers fan getting all the Yankees and Phillies
Pablo Sandoval Calling Card
RA Dickey 72 mini.
5 doubles
71- Kyle Kendrick, the Other Guy in the Phils' Rotation
31- Jose Tabata
208- Kurt Suzuki, still fighting for the Nats
154- Sergio Romo, World Series Hero
217- Brian Matusz, who should still be starting
264- Roy Halladay CL
87- Mike Olt RC
78- DYLAN BUNDY RC. That's a nice one.
296- Didi Gregorius RC. Just for my inner child's sake, I hope he gets on a team with someone named Dexter.
8 doubles. Jeeez
293- Jeff Karstens
117- Aubrey Huff
5 doubles. A bit silly now
CODE CARD! Let's see who I get:
Ike Davis! Yeah, he's pretty good
141- Carlos Santana. Also sings.
22- Clayton Kershaw. That's pretty awesome
213- A-ROD. Credibility gone.
75- Barry Zito. Nice.
258- Doug 'Why oh why hath somebody forsaken me with this last name' Fister
159- Felipe Paulino
221- Heath Bell, crappily photoshopped into a D-Backs uni
312- Scott Hairston
231- Melky Mesa RC. Hopefully will do better for us than the last gut named Melky
268- David Lough
247- Luis Perez
99- Paco Rodriguez rc
SHINY Chasing History of Lance Berkman, now on the Rangers
SHINY Chasing History of a badly photoshopped Mark Buehrle

All in all, pretty nice cards. A lot of stuff I needed.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Custom Card of the Day: Hosmer Edition

(First of all, I love this card)

Poor Eric Hosmer. He's on one of the league's least profitable teams, his lineup never does anything, his team's pitching staff is mediocre, and he's been touted as a high-end prospect and has yet to break out. A lot of sad stuff going on.

I mean, I get that all of Kansas City is sorta on him to do well, but you can't really help but feel sorry. Still, I kinda believe in him. I think he's gonna do well in 2013. I don't know if his Royals will, but I think he'll have a decent enough year.

(I have nothing else. This post was cooked up last minute.)

Coming Tomorrow- One of the reigning World Series champs. Skadoosh.

Friday, March 1, 2013

Custom Card of the Day: Trout Edition

Those poor souls in the AL Central. No teams too big to succeed. No teams too competitive to lose. No teams that could sink like the Titanic. Must be boring over there.

Trout is just another piece of the powerful Angels lineup, growing stronger day by day. For one thing, you have most likely the most powerful outfield in all of baseball. Hamilton to Pujols to Trout is a combination any man would kill for. Also, you have a really impressive pitching staff, and a nice speedy infield.

Trout is the centerpiece of it all. He's young, speedy, and is one of the more impressive outfielders out there. So what if he gained a little weight over the offseason? Not like he's gonna go full on Brando or anything. He still can hit, he still can play his position, and he's still a fun player. I think it's gonna be an interesting sophomore season.

But the Angels look like they're either going to do well, or fail miserably. There's no middle ground for them.

Coming Tomorrow- I know I've been AL-heavy the whole week, but here's another AL star suiting up for a bleak-looking squad, and hoping to finally break out.