Thursday, May 29, 2014

Custom Card of the Day: Sale Edition

I shelved this one for a month when Sale ended up on the DL, but now that he's back, and now that he's throwing fire again, I have an excuse to post this.

Chris Sale's claim to fame is being basically the only great pitcher on the White Sox, making him the equivalent of Felix Hernandez in Seattle before Iwakuma came along.

Chris Sale can be a consistent pitcher when he's really good, yet every season there's always the "Chris Sale Injury Break", which Chicago fans have come to expect, which basically halts most of the momentum, and the team loses sales, until Sale comes back (HAHA! A PUN!)

However, this year the momentum kept going in Chicago after Sale was sidelined, due to the exploits of one Jose Abreu, who is having a monster rookie season, and basically turning into Yoenis Cespedes for the deep-dish crowd. Plus, the team is hitting for the first time since the 2000's. People are doing their jobs. Konerko is having a nice final season.

So when Sale actually got back, he had more support than just a thin roster and a vacant pitching staff. He was the top pitcher for a good team. And that's all the support he needed.

Coming Tomorrow- One of the best hitters in baseball, coming out of Colorado.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Custom Card of the Morning: Jones Edition

Two seasons after defying the odds and being really, really good, the Orioles...well, the Orioles are doing okay.

I mean, they're not shattering any records, they're not doing incredibly well. They're just...kinda there, kinda still in it. The Yankees and Blue Jays are circling the top of the division, while the Orioles seem to be bopping around the middle.

That isn't to say that the team is bad. Nelson Cruz is hitting the living crap out of the ball. Chris Davis has been hitting a nice amount of home runs. Adam Jones, as usual, is putting up a bid for an All Star spot. Rookie Jonathan Schoop has been doing beautifully in place of Brian Roberts. So, the pieces are there, but the problems are in the pitching, and the fact that some of the other teams are pretty good.

I don't know if the Orioles are going to get any better or any worse, but as long as people like Adam Jones keep playing well, they'll be fine.

Coming Tomorrow- He just got off the DL, and he's throwing fire for a surprisingly surging AL Central team.

Monday, May 26, 2014

Congrats, Josh

Now that is one way to spend your memorial day weekend.

Well done, Mr. Beckett. Here's to a nice rest of the season.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

No, Manny, No

Now...think about what you're doing for a second, Mr. Ramirez. I mean, the fact that you're bringing me out of my self-imposed hiatus to talk you off the ledge is mind-shattering enough.

Please...this makes your, what, second return from retirement? So, two different times, you've said 'enough of this', only to come back? And both times, you were leaving some pretty meaningless teams. Like the 2011 Rays. And...okay, the 2012 Athletics turned out to be pretty awesome, but they would have sucked if you were DHing.

So after all of decide that your best move is signing with the Chicago Cubs.

I'm sorry, Manny, but that is not your best move. That is the move you go with when the other 29 do not work. You could have gone to ANY of the other 29 teams, and they would be happy to have you. Go back to Boston for all I care. Go to Houston, or Seattle, or San Diego. But no, you had to go to the butt of every joke this season. Chicago. A city where their best pitcher can't even win a single game.

I honestly doubt you'll play any major league games this year, but if you do, be prepared for things to not exactly go as planned. Like, if your comeback game is mainly met with boos, be prepared for that. Or if you come in the eighth inning, do your Manny shtick, and then get absolutely no other run prepared. Or most importantly, if the pitching from 24-year-old players absolutely befuddles you, a 41-year-old prepared for that.

And yeah, you're saying that there's no chance of you coming back, because you're coming into the minors as a 'mentor', and 'player/coach'. Yeah, you know what is one half of player/coach? 'Player'. As in, 'YOU WILL BE PLAYING A LITTLE BIT OF BASEBALL'. I mean, mentor is kinda like a joke. They tried having mentors on Big Brother one season. You know how that ended? They ended up PLAYING the game. Not just watching and sitting on the sidelines the whole time. They played. Sure, they got their asses kicked by 20-year-olds named after planets, but they PLAYED.

So honestly, what you're really trying to say, Manny, in saying 'I'm joining the Cubs so I can be a mentor to their minor league teams', is 'Manny wants to play again, and Manny is really, really desperate for a job'.

Yeah, whatever. See you at Wrigley, Manny.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Custom Card of the Day: Trout Edition


A great custom for one of the best players in baseball.

Coming Tomorrow- His team isn't doing great, but he's playing terrific as usual.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

Custom Card of the Day: Howard Edition

So the Phillies really suck this year.


COMING TOMOR- Okay, maybe I should actually do a more elaborate post than that.

You see, in a span of five years the Phillies have gone from one of the best teams in the NL to one of the most pathetic. And why, exactly, has this happened? Because nothing's really changed. The star status hasn't changed. The pitching hasn't really changed. The mediocre farm system hasn't changed. And because of this, the only thing that IS changing is their place in the standings.

Case in point: Ryan Howard. Because he didn't get out of Philly while he could, his numbers have gotten less and less impactful, and he's way less relevant than he was in 2008. He hasn't changed anything. And he's suffering because of it.

I don't think the Phils are gonna get anywhere this season, or for a few seasons anyway. Not until they regroup. This little squad of Howard, Rollins and Utley has had its run. Now, let's wait for the next big-ticket Philly roster to shake things up.

Coming Tomorrow: He just had a three-game stint back near his hometown, and he's one of the best young players in baseball.

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Custom Card of the Day: Kershaw Edition

I made this custom back in early, early April. It is a good time to point out that I have really bad luck.

The second I made this custom, Kershaw goes on the DL. It's a little sad, because then I had to wait a month and a half to actually post it. it is.

I'm kinda exhausted, so I really don't have much else to say.

Coming Tomorrow: Five years ago he was one of the biggest stars in the MLB. Now he's just really big.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Custom Card of the Day: Upton(s) Edition

That's right, y'all. Two Uptons. One Card. Fascinating, eh?

Forget the fact that one of these Uptons really hasn't been playing well lately. They're brothers, they're Braves, and I fit them one card. And in my opinion, that is awesome.

It's in the same vein as those cards from the 70's that would have both brothers, like Paul and Rick Reuschel, and George and Ken Brett, and ALL THREE ALOU BROTHERS. Only instead of it being a subset, just do what they did with the Molina Bros. in 04, and fit them on the same base-designed card.

I might make a separate card for Justin if he keeps playing well, but as a standalone I love this.

Coming Tomorrow: The best pitcher in the National League, finally back on the mound.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Custom Card of the Day: Hamilton Edition

Do you know how long I have been waiting to make, let alone post, a Billy Hamilton custom?

Since 2012.

2012 was the year that Hamilton went on an absolute rampage for a minor league affiliate of the Reds, stealing practically any base he came into contact with. And the more I heard about him, the more I desperately wanted this dude to make it to the MLB. Why? Because if I could get a shot of him stealing a base, it would be absolutely amazing.

So, last year, I waited for a good 5 months. And nothing happened. The Reds smoothly sailed along. Homer Bailey had a no-no. Joey Votto had a nice season. Brandon Phillips played as well as he usually does and just THEN got recognition, making him the Black Keys of the MLB (wait...does that mean his 2014 season's gonna suck? Yeah, I said it.) And I just sat there, patiently waiting for them to bring this kid up.

Well they did. In September. This gave me exactly ONE MONTH to find a good enough photo, one that could be zoomed wide enough, and didn't in ANY WAY look boring or commonplace. And in one month's time, my trusty photo source managed to absolutely crap out, bringing me generic, boring Billy Hamilton photos. I was going into conniptions. I thought I'd never make a custom of him.

And then...and then...and gentlemen, and then...*

2014 came along. The Reds were nice enough to give Billy Hamilton a starting job. Which meant MORE BILLY HAMILTON PHOTOS FOR ME! So I waited a good month for the right photo to come around, and BOOM! It was there.

So if this custom is in anyway disappointing...I'll probably just make another one the second I get a better photo. Because I'm a perfectionist like that.

Coming Tomorrow (?): Two players on one custom. Have I ever done that before? No. Is there a good enough reason? Yes.

(* I'm pretty sure the people who would get that reference aren't reading this blog. Though you never really know. Either way, somewhere Ben Vereen gets a royalty.)

Friday, May 9, 2014

Custom Card of the Night: Darvish Edition

Due to my fear of jinxing a probable MLB event, I'm not commenting on this custom until the Rangers game ends. Then I'll talk.

You'll have to wait one inning for all of this to boil over, to paraphrase Simon Pegg.

(Eleven Minutes Later)

It has come to my attention that I cannot catch a fricking break.

Exactly one inning away from Yu Darvish pitching a no-hitter. What do I do? Post a card of him, basically in the hopes of him finishing the no-hitter. What does David Ortiz do? Kindly bash the no-hitter out of Yu Darvish's hands, making me look like an idiot, and Darvish look like he cannot simply pitch a no hitter, something that Nolan Ryan could do in his sleep.

I mean....THIS POOR GUY! TWICE NOW, he's come so damn close to pitching a no-hitter, and TWICE NOW he's failed miserably. What rotten luck. I think he needs a hug. I know it's kinda rare for me to say that about someone on the Rangers, but this guy needs a serious hug.

He's a great pitcher, too. He's had a few really nice seasons, and has become a premier Japanese import. It's just sad that these things happen to him.

Coming Tomorrow (?)- A speedy Reds outfield prospect.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Custom Card of the Day: Fernandez Edition

The Marlins are a bad team that are desperately trying to be good.

This is different from a lot of other bad teams, because a lot of these other teams are just plain bad. No defining qualities. The Padres have nobody. The Cubs have practically nobody. The Astros sure as hell have nobody.

The Marlins would be in this category if they didn't have some sort of anchor, some player that carries the team, and has numerous achievements unworthy of a subpar team. And they're not. Because they have two.

Giancarlo Stanton is one of the best hitters in baseball. Jose Fernandez is one of the best young pitchers in baseball. So far, they're having very nice starts to the season. The rest of the team, save for a few younger up-and-comers (Marcell Ozuna is one to watch), is fairly basic.

The Marlins, despite their reputation as a 'bad team', are getting close. They are currently tied with the Braves and the Nationals for first place in the NL East. Remember, last year they were out of the question. They were always in last, laying around helpless. Right now they are right there, in the middle of it.

This may last for only a second, but it'll still have existed. Unless somebody shoves this week into a paper shredder, there will be evidence that the Marlins can perform. And you can thank people like Jose Fernandez.

Coming Tomorrow (?)- The big speedy Reds rookie that everyone loves.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Custom Card of the Day: Gomez Edition

The Brewers are still being talked about.

This is kinda funny, because by this point last year, the Brewers had already peaked and fell by this point. And I was mumbling about Triscuits.

But yeah, the Brewers may be a legitimate threat this year! The Pirates are slumping, the Cardinals are FINALLY playing as terribly as I want them to, and nobody is really expecting the Cubs or Reds to swoop in for the kill, although the Reds could totally get hot soon.

So, with the rest of the NL Central slumping, and the resurgence of four of the team's top arms, the Brewers have become a force to be reckoned with. Please keep in mind, Ryan Braun is on the DL. They are doing most of this without Ryan Braun. Seriously.

Carlos Gomez is the one securing most of the income for the Brewers, which is nice, because last season was terrific for him. I know he got into trouble two weeks ago, but I still think he's a great player, and he's the kind of person that the team should build themselves around.

Will the Brewers remain relevant in a month's time? I have absolutely no idea. Which is better than saying yes or no, because I'd just be wrong.

Coming Tomorrow- The reigning NL ROY.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Custom Card of the Day: Puig Edition

I'm back. I'm not dead. I got busy. Moving on.

Being a baseball fan and talking about Yasiel Puig is like being a Star Wars fan and not talking about J.J. Abrams. Sooner or later, you just kinda have to. Which is why I'm going to.

I get it, too. Yasiel Puig is the ultimate baseball story, because he defied great odds to get out of Cuba, and get to the MLB, and then basically become Lindsay Lohan for a month in LA. You don't talk about him, you're dodging a huge bullet.

Which is why I'm gonna talk about the weirdest Yasiel Puig story I heard this week.

You see, Yasiel Puig's escape-from-Cuba story has become a pretty big deal among sportswriters. It has become so big that the rights to Puig's story have been sold to Hollywood. Yes, sports fans, you may end up seeing the true story of Yasiel Puig play out in theatres all over the world.

And yes, I am that guy who spells theatre the artsy way. Come at me.

It seems pretty odd, the prospect of a movie about a ballplayer  coming out while the ballplayer is still active in the sport. Like, maybe if the movie's awful, the Giants fans could use it to taunt Puig. They would just chant the title of the movie every time he'd go up to bat. I mean, it worked the last time, too; for a good year the Yankee fans called Johnny Damon 'Fever Bitch'.

The funnier part of this potential 'Puig's escape from Cuba' movie is that a potential director is already being rumored, and said director is none other than Brett Ratner.

Anyone who paid money opening weekend to see X-Men: The Last Stand just cringed at the mention of Ratner's name.

Brett Ratner makes movies that are sort of good, but have one huge flaw preventing them from being taken seriously. And you're asking Brett Ratner to direct a movie, a SERIOUS MOVIE, about a Cuban ballplayer escaping from his homeland by stowing away with a drug cartel? Brett Ratner. The director of ALL THREE RUSH HOUR MOVIES. The guy who said 'you know what, the world IS ready for one more Rush Hour movie.'

So yeah. I personally want Yasiel Puig to keep playing really well, so that if this movie is as awful as it sounds, he can outlive it.

Coming Tomorrow (?)- He got suspended. He came back. He's Milwaukee's only hope. He's not Ryan Braun. And he fights dirty.