Saturday, August 30, 2014

Custom Card of the Day: Suzuki Edition

I want to talk about something that may or may not have to do with Kurt Suzuki.

Back in the day, the NFL Network's Top 10 series did an episode with the Top 10 guys that replaced a legend at their position. And they talked about Aaron Rodgers, and Steve Young, and then they spent a good seven minutes talking shit about Richard Todd. And then there was the segment where a bunch of people from Dallas basically tore Danny White a new asshole, by saying he was nowhere near as talented, and versatile, and anything as Roger Staubach.

Being that MLB Network's Prime 9 series...may have leapt off the face of the earth, I thought it'd be interesting to think of the current players who have replaced absolute legends at their position, and how they're doing.

We might as well start with Kurt Suzuki, because his name's on the post. The Twins signed Kurt because they knew he'd be starting at catcher this year, because A.) Screw Drew Butera, and B.) Joe Mauer was moving to first base to conserve his knees. So basically, Kurt Suzuki is hired to replace our generation's version of Johnny Bench, and how does he do? Actually, pretty well for himself. He made the All-Star team this year, along with Glen Perkins, and did a nice job playing backstop this season. Plus, he's doing so well that the Twins already re-signed him for next season.

However, Joe Mauer is still on the team, so it's not really a fully weighted replacement. So, for that, we can go to somebody like Chris Johnson, who replaced Chipper Jones as the Braves' third baseman. And while Johnson is doing well, he's nowhere near legend status, or even 'so good you forget about the legend' status. He can hit, but he's...okay. I think he's more similar to Tony Batista, when he took over for Cal Ripken. The fans came in expecting another Cal Ripken, and they got...Tony Batista, who was okay, but he wasn't Ripken.

David Robertson's a little better of an example, as he's taking over for the greatest closer who ever lived, Mariano Rivera, and he's doing pretty damn well. I mean, he's not at Greg Holland levels, but is anyone? Robertson is basically just what we needed- a solid, consistent enough closer who at least does the job. If you're replacing a legend, that's really all you can do.

There are a few more I could talk about. I could talk about Roughned Odor taking over for Ian Kinsler, or Drew Smyly filling David Price's shoes, or Jonny Gomes having to fill in for Yoenis Cespedes.

But instead, I'm going to talk about Yangervis Solarte. If you think YOU'VE had a bad year, folks, wait until you here what this guy's been through in an entire year.

The Yankees called him up in late April, at third base. So already, you're replacing Alex Rodriguez, who may or may not still be a big deal in New York. I mean, there may be one or two people that still care about him, I don't know. So yeah, already you have a big enough deal. BUT THEN, he's traded for Chase Headley, and goes to San Diego, and then has to replace Headley, who's basically the only good person on that team. So...if replacing a steroid-abusing Yankee wasn't enough, now Solarte now has to replace the only reason people are going to Padres games.

Jeez. He must envy Danny White.

Coming Tonight (?)- A member of the somehow-still-in-first Baltimore Orioles.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Custom Card of the Day: McCann Edition

What's that? The Yankees are winning games?

That's unbelievable.

After a while, when your team gets bashed by literally everyone else, you begin to believe what they're saying. So, as the Yankees were falling lower and lower down the stands, I actually started to believe that they weren't really meant to do well this year.

But...the last five games have all been victories for the Yankees. So that's a start. Plus, the materials are actually playing well, including people like Brian McCann and Jacoby Ellsbury, and the pitching, like recently activated Michael Pineda, who, I hope, learned his lesson.

So...the team is playing well. However, I'm an idiot if I think that it'll just keep going well for the rest of the year. Obviously, they're gonna lose some games, and obviously some crucial players are going to get injured. But, as the season begins winding down, the Yankees have somewhat of a shot at getting back on top, or at least to Wild Card level. The Orioles, while good, are beginning to decline after Machado got injured again. This could be the Yankees' shot.

I just hope things keep getting better for the Yankees. They deserve something big.

Coming Tomorrow (?)- I might just throw down the guy who had the daunting task of taking over for Joe Mauer.

Monday, August 25, 2014

Custom Card of the Day: Harrison Edition

That expression on Josh Harrison's face represents how caught off-guard every Pittsburgh fan was when they realized that their team was heading for a decline. And I think that sort of says it all.

Coming Tomorrow- The Yankees are somehow still in the playoff race, and this guy has at least been helping a bit.

Football Custom of the Day: Manning Edition

Here I am, in Purchase, New York, close to Westchester and White Plains (I've heard that they throw a mean card show). For the first time in my life, I am surrounded by Yankees and Mets fans, as opposed to the plethora of Philadelphia Phillies fans that used to crowd the scenery everywhere I went. And it's pretty nice to be around all these Yankee fans.

The only downside is being an Eagles fan around all of these Giants and Jets fans.

Don't get me wrong, the Giants are a fine team. I even have a Michael Strahan jersey hanging next to my LeSean McCoy jersey in my dorm, just in case. They're a good team, and I rooted for them to win both Super Bowls (because screw the Pats). see, Giants fans don't really treat Eagles fans too kindly, as retaliation for all the general asshole Philly fans who dump beer on the Giants fans.

True story- I once went to an Eagles-Jets game, and not only was their a beer-dumping, but there was a full-fledged fight. Like, fisticuffs. And both fans were from opposing teams, and drunk. So really, there's a reason our fans get a bad name. We're really awful.

So now I have to be quiet while I see all of those Eli Manning jerseys, and Victor Cruz jerseys, especially on Sundays on campus. And I am definitely not looking forward to my first Eagles-Giants game. That won't be fun at all.

So...I guess I'll just go along with everything. Besides, if the Eagles do well and the Giants don't, I might look like some kind of fortune-teller.

Coming Tonight- This time last year, the Pirates were the ultimate MLB story. Sadly, this year is not the same story, as a Pirate All-Star fights for a piece of the glory.

Custom Card of the Middle of the Night: Rendon Edition

Well, now that I'm trying to post more, write better, and make the overall blog content a little more crisp, I guess the first step is to stay on top of big baseball stories. And right now, the Washington Nationals are a pretty big baseball story.

Right now they're way out front in the NL East, have one of the strongest infields in baseball (LaRoche-Rendon-Desmond-Cabrera is as nice as it gets), and, yes, are the best team in the National League.

Going into the All-Star break, Anthony Rendon was cited as one of the larger snubs of the roster, because he'd had a great defensive start, and also he was one of the better younger players that the Nats had in their roster (nice try, Harper). Now he's at the forefront, sort of, of one of the best teams in baseball, in his sophomore year. How about that.

Do I want this to go on? Well, it's better than one alternative (The Braves suddenly getting really good and slaying everybody out of absolutely nowhere), but not as good as another alternative (the Phillies going on a gigantic winning streak). Still, it's a good story for a good team, so I'll stick with it.

Coming Today (?)- Might end up posting a football custom. Expect it to be a quarterback.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Custom Card of the Day: Hudson Edition

Tim over here was one of the first really big free agent signings of the 2014 season. He spent close to a decade playing for Atlanta, and then suddenly he decided that it would be a great idea to go back to the Bay Area. Only he missed and landed in San Francisco. (Before my geography experts start commenting, please, it's just a joke. He was on the A's once.)

So, now he's basically taken Barry Zito's place in the youth-oriented rotation, featuring a surprisingly okay Tim Lincecum, a surprisingly not-very-okay Matt Cain, an unsurprisingly awesome Madison Bumgarner, and now Jake Peavy. For the most part, he's holding his own, though he's far from perfect, and far from where he was in his prime.

He's 39 years old, pitching 9-9 with a 3.00 ERA, and he's not the top starter in the rotation. It's a bit obvious that he's aged a bit, and may be on the last legs of his career, but still, he's doing what he can for the Giants, who are still careful contenders for the NL Wild Card (and the Braves and Cardinals aren't being too generous there).

Still, it's nice to see he's still pitching, and still performing at a major league level at this age.

Coming Tomorrow- One of the many Washington Nationals that are absolutely killing it right now.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

I Guess it's Pretty Appropriate

I don't care if he doesn't make the team. I don't care if he's a one-season wonder. Bottom line is that he's great for football, and he's an amazing story, and I love the fact that he just kicked Johnny Manziel's ass. Well done.

So yeah. My first football custom of 2014 is of the most important rookie of this century so far. This should be interesting.

Custom Card of the Day: Willingham Edition

The Tigers, going into the 2014 season, were expected to not only continue their reign atop the AL Central, but possibly even get back to the World Series that karma spoiled for them back in 2012 (because if you sweep the Yankees in four, YOU will be swept in four). Then they grabbed David Price. Then Porcello and Scherzer heated up. Then Kinsler and J.D. Martinez made the headlines. So, up to August 2014...the Tigers were basically on top of the world.

And then came the Royals...who would continue to beat them senseless in the standings for a good three weeks.

I'm not saying I expect the Royals to keep this going through the rest of the season. I'm just overjoyed that there's a baseball story that has this much inexplicable irony. The Tigers have one of the most overstocked and overqualified rosters in baseball...and here are the Kansas City Royals, a good week's worth of games ahead of them.

Josh Willingham may have scoffed, earlier in the month, when, upon being traded to an AL Central rival of the Twins', he realized he wasn't going to THAT AL Central rival of the Twins. But now that he's playing well, and his team's kicking that team's ass, he must feel pretty happy to be out of Minnesota. Though, who can blame him.

I sort of want the Royals to keep playing really well, because they're a fun underdog team, and usually the fun underdog teams that overtake heavy favorites show up in the AL East...and the Yankees are usually the heavy favorite that is overtaken. But it's a fun story, and I want it to keep going for a little while longer.

Coming Tomorrow- A pitcher for the San Francisco Giants. I have two prepared, so it could be either one, and I may just flip a coin.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Custom Card of the Day: Gordon Edition

Well. I'm unpacked, settled and mostly integrated. So, this blog is now that of a college student, officially.

I know, right? It's so different than it was, like, three days ago, when I was a soon-to-be college student. Weird.

Still, I'll try to blog as often as possible, and whenever my classes allow me, which, this semester, is quite frequently.

So, Dee Gordon sliding back into second will be the first of a new era, as I slide into the next stage of my career, or maybe even my life, if you wanna be extra deep.

Hopefully, this change of venue will at least bring an end to the one-note posts that have been dominating this blog lately. I've been focusing on a lot of stuff lately, and blogging has basically been an after-thought, to the point where I'll just resort to writing a few sentences or something. I want to write more, and I want to write stuff that's more thoughtful than the stuff I've been writing for the blog as of late. Like, I want to get back to the stories and opinions that made me want to keep this thing going in the first place.

Hopefully, the quality of this blog's gonna improve as I keep going.

Coming Tomorrow (?)- I'll try to start opening those football boxes, but in terms of customs, I'm probably going to post one of the red-hot Kansas City Royals.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014



We're just a friendly reminder that the football season will be here in less than a month.

We also wanted to give Jordan a nice plethora of cards to deal with before he leaves for college on Thursday. Believe me, we'd all like to make this whole 'college' thing easy for him. But that can't happen, because this isn't an episode of Saved by the Bell or something.

As you can see, we are...
- a box of 2014 Panini Hot Rookies, a simple set with some major bang to it.
- a box of 2014 Panini Elite, a sequel to a box featured in last year's major rip, and a really nice one.
- and a box of 2014 Bowman, which is known for rookies, and not necessarily for quality.

We're going to be ripped over the next few days. Be ready.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Custom Card of the Night: Cespedes Edition


I mean, he may not be playing as well as he was in Oakland, but's a big deal. One of the best home run hitters in baseball is playing for Boston now. Could you imagine how deadly that could be if the rest of the team ever gets good again?

Man, that must sting.

Still, I think that the most damage Cespedes'll do will happen next season on. This season, he'll hit some homers here and there, but I think in 2015 he's really going to take off. I dunno. That's just me thinking out loud.

Coming Tomorrow- Man, there's a lot for me to post. I might throw a custom of one of the Dodgers' pitchers on there, and I might even start a series of impressive football box rips, because I know that a few very powerful people could be waiting for it.

A Belated Rookie

Made this before my Lake George trip. He's killing it now. So...I guess it's timely? I really don't know. Either way, he's big, he's awesome, and he's got his own custom.

Tonight: FINALLY Yoenis Cespedes.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Custom Card of the Day: Lester Edition

It only took about half a month, but I finally got to posting customs from one of the biggest trade deadline deals of the year.

I'm padding this out a little bit.

Jon Lester is lucky that he's playing for one of the best teams in the AL, and also lucky that he's pitching alongside Jeff Samardzija, Scott Kazmir and occasionally A.J. Griffin. Also, if everything holds up, he could be pitching into the postseason yet again.

Not really too much else to say tonight.

Coming Tomorrow- The other half of the trade.

One Last Blaster of Topps Archives 2014

I leave Thursday for college, so I'm getting all the good shit out now. Today I went to the local Target for what may be the last time until I come back for break. Because it's so sentimental, because a part of my youth is sort of ending, I figured I'd commemorate with a blaster of a product that reminds me a lot of my childhood, Topps Archives. Because it charmingly rips off the sets of the last thirty years.

So, let's dive in:

Pack 1:
35- Patrick Corbin. Have it.
34- Enny Romero RC. Have it.
25- Jim Palmer. Three cards, three cards I don't need.
A Heads' Up Insert of Brandon Phillips. Which is nice.
9- Josh Donaldson. FINALLY, SOMETHING I NEED! And it's of a really good player.
61- Matt Davidson. Need it. Too bad I've never heard of him.
55- Jay Bruce. Need it. K, this I can deal with.
143- MIKE SCHMIDT! One of my favorites. AND I need it!

Cards I need: 4/8
Inserts: 1/8
Doubles: 3/8

Pack 2-
107- Michael Choice. Have it.
147- Jose Bautista. Have it.
153- Fergie Jenkins. Jeez, I have this one too.
173- Allen Craig. Four straight. Plus, this one's the dreaded Red Sox-Cardinals combination.
ALL STAR INSERT of Mike Trout.
123- Jarrod Parker. Finally, one I need.
160- Don Mattingly. Need it, and he's a Yankee!
200- Buster Posey, which I also need.

Cards I need: 3/8
Cool Inserts: 1/8
Doubles: 4/8

Pack 3-
189- Jose Altuve. Have it.
176- Adrian Gonzalez. Great shot, but I sadly have it.
131- Ian Kinsler. Have it. Is this how every pack starts?
Deckle Edge of David Eckstein. Gaaahhhh!
191- Justin Upton. NEED IT.
150- Miguel Cabrera. Great shot and I also need it.
72- Evan Longoria. Need it.
91-ROBERTO CLEMENTE. That is a great card.

Cards I need: 4/8
Inserts of Awful Players: 1/8
Doubles: 3/8

Pack 4-
67- Jonathan Villar. Have it.
87- Eric Davis. Have it.
38- Jason Grilli. Have it.
211- BO JACKSON!!! AND it's a short print, which is awesome.
Wow. It's a Major League insert of Corbin Bernsen, star of Celebrity Mole Hawaii, as Roger Dorn. This is pretty cool.
29- Carlos Gomez, and I need it.
18- Rickey Henderson. Sadly I have this one.

Cards I need: 3/8
Really Cool Inserts: 1/8
Doubles: 4/8

Pack 5-
71- Nick Franklin. Have it.
57- Tom Glavine, Hall of Famer. Need it, too.
77- Joe Morgan, another Hall of Famer. Need it.
219- John Smoltz, Future Hall of Famer. Need it, and Short Print.
50- DEREK...JETER!!!! I needed this one too.
30- Alex Gordon. Man, I'm on a roll.
45- Lou Brock. Also need it.
28- Joe Kelly. On the Sox now, but who cares. Need it.

Cards I needed: 7/8
Doubles: 1/8

Pack 6-
159- Bob Gibson. NEED IT.
178- Carlos Martinez. NEED IT
190- Julio Teheran. DAMN! KILLED THE STREAK!
102- Goose Gossage. Need it.
Deckle Edge of Cal Ripken
89- R.A. Dickey. Have it.
63- Austin Jackson. Have it.
93- Xander Bogaerts. Have it.

Cards I needed: 3/8
Doubles: 4/8
Inserts: 1/8

Pack 7-
136- Whitey Ford. Have it.
128- Avisail Garcia. Need it.
125- Jose Fernandez. Have it.
All Star Insert of Bryce Harper.
133- Yovani Gallardo. Have it.
161- Johnny Bench. Have it.
180- Chris Archer. Have it.
117- Mike Mussina. Have it. Man, this pack sucked.

Pack 8-
3- Freddie Freeman. Need it, thankfully.
15- Ralph Kiner. Need it.
144- Adrian Beltre. Need it
137- Pedro Alvarez. Need it.
Jose Fernandez Future Stars insert
94- Mike Napoli. Have it.
113- Cal Ripken. Have it.
142- Joe Mauer. Have it.

So I got a lot of cards I needed, a bunch of doubles, and Corbin Bernsen. Nice.

Friday, August 15, 2014

Custom Card of the Night: Werth Edition

Oh, it feels so damn good to be home.

I don't care that I have to go to college in less than a week. Home feels good. Home feels nice, refreshing, etc.

Meanwhile, the Nationals have cemented their hold over the NL East. It used to be kinda close with Atlanta, but now the Braves have sort of choked, and the Nats are way out in front. Jayson Werth, while not the absolute centerpiece, is still one of the more important pieces of the team. It's kinda odd, because when the Nationals signed him to a mega-contract back in 2011, we all thought he'd flame out and burn, but he's been hanging in there and becoming a crowd favorite over there.

I hope they hold on, because I have roughly a zillion more Nationals customs in my folder.

Coming Tomorrow- I might post both pieces of the major A's-Red Sox trade from a few weeks ago.

Custom Card of the Day: Davis Edition


Man, his folks must have had a real sense of humor about them. They could have just named him Chris. BUT NO. KHRIS. Now whenever I hear this guy's name, I either think of the Karate Kid or this bit from Whose Line (CHREEEESSS!)

Anyway, KHRIS has been playing pretty well so far this season, as have his Brewers. The Brewers have inexplicably been right there in the pennant race with the Cardinals (as the Pirates are resting at the moment. Give them a minute). It's a bit weird, because the Brewers don't really have that many star players, with the exception of dat cheater Ryan Braun (who may as well just be a long-lost nephew of Eva by this point, as that's basically what I think of him), and maybe Carlos Gomez, who's been a lot healthier than the other CarGo in the league.

I don't know if the Brewers will hold on, but it is FAR BETTER than the Cardinals taking another NL pennant. At this point, I'm hoping for the Pirates to just start burying them in the stands so that there's no chance of a comeback.

But still...KHRIIIIS...

Coming Tonight/Tomorrow- He used to be a Philadelphia Phillie. Now he's a good part of the Nationals' power lineup.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Proof That Topps Has Indeed Learned Something (!!!)

(once I get a good enough photo of 2015 Topps' base set, I will paste it here)

Well, it finally happened. D'you see the border of the upcoming Topps' set? What color is that border?

If you said any variant of the word 'white', for the first time since 2007, you're WRONG! 

The border for this year's base cards will VARY with team colors, which is usually reserved for some insignificant decal hidden somewhere amidst the white. 

I bring this up because I was talking about THIS EXACT THING earlier in the year. I even said that if Topps made a set with a varying border for each team, I'd even stop talking crap about their products. And while I should be clear and say that the whole border isn't all in on this (it trickles down and starts at about halfway down the card), it's still better than basically doing a variation on the same formula for five straight years. 

So...the base set is different, finally. It looks nothing like any of the last five Topps sets. One could even argue that it has more similarities to a Topps Magic Football set than a Topps Baseball set. Plus, they've made the decision to raise the number of base-cards to 350, meaning that our final tally could be around 700, not counting Update. That means that there are FORTY MORE CARDS, which could either be FORTY PLAYERS that have not been on Topps cards before (one of which better freaking be Matt Wieters), or FORTY BULLSHIT SUBSETS that we really didn't need. I, obviously, would prefer the former.

So...JUST FROM THE BASE SET ALONE...Topps is really hooking me in. I usually back into contrarian stance whenever the new Topps subset comes out, but the base set alone is really impressing me, and I say this with definite shock in my fingers.

Plus, the insert sets, while not entirely progressive, are a lot better than the same tired cliches. I mean, there is a Legendary Lineage kind of set, but that's basically it. The one Baseball/History set that they're putting out looks pretty cool, and definitely a step up. I like the Free Agency one, as it may produce some very nice cards of signed-players, doing exactly what the 2012 Update Insert Series did painfully wrong. 

For the first time in a while, I haven't found too many things wrong with the Topps set. Give me time, they'll turn up eventually.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Custom Card of the Day: Ortiz Edition

I don't really hate David Ortiz. I mean I used to really hate the guy, but then I sort of channeled my hate onto Man-Ram. Ortiz I can at least respect, because he's a tremendous hitter, and because he hit two home runs for me during a recent game of MLB The Show.

I also want to take this opportunity to talk about the elephant in the room. You see, last week, there were a good...couple really big targets that i really should have made customs of, with the trade deadline and all. But...that never really happened, with the exception of Asdrubal Cabrera. big exception. And it's a teammate of the guy above the paragraphs. Yes, last week I did manage to make a Yoenis Cespedes custom.

So, why, you ask, am I not posting the custom? First of all, I need to make a point- I don't always go 100% in order of completion. There's a Khris Davis custom I've been hoarding since July that's finally going up tomorrow (?), but there's also a Jon Lester custom that I literally finished today that should be going up in a few days. So it's not because I want to wait, because I don't. It's also a really good Cespedes custom, so I wouldn't wait to show it off.

It's because I screwed up. I forgot to flash-drive this custom over to my laptop from my PC before I left for Lake George. Needless to say, when I get home, I'll be sure to flash-drive it over, along with a Javier Baez, and a few others. And THEN it'll go up.

So yeah. That's my state of mind tonight.

Coming Tomorrow- The aforementioned Khris Davis.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Custom Card of the Day: DeGrom Edition

Greetings from Lake George, New York!

I know, this is the exact same place I go every year, and there's no use making it any different, but let's just pretend that it is. Either way, I'm sitting on the front porch of my cabin with my Staten-Islander cousins. One of them's a Mets fan.

He's not just a Mets fan. He's one of those Mets fans that believes that in exactly three years' time, his team will be the best in baseball, and have the best pitching staff, and have the best record in the NL, and yada yada yada.

The trouble with Mets fans is that they don't usually score very well in the common sense department.

I will admit that Jacob DeGrom is a fantastic pitcher, and he's good for the club. If Harvey, DeGrom, Gee and Wheeler can all stay healthy, they can possibly do a lot of damage. However, pitching only gets you so far. What the Mets lack is offense. They have a lot of young, speedy players who hit little bloop singles, and only one or two real power hitters like Daniel Murphy or Lucas Duda.

So...can it happen? It's too soon to say. I wouldn't put money on it though.

UPDATE: Wow. The day I post this, DeGrom hits the DL. Just my luck.

Coming Tonight (?)- Big Papi.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Custom Card of the Day: Brantley Edition

In honor of the Indians dismembering my Yankees last night, with the help of Corey Kluber, I'd like to post a custom of one of the best players on the Indians right now, Mr. Michael Brantley.

Brantley has decided this season to become an absolute beast at the plate, smacking big hits and homers all over the place, and completely erasing the memories of one Travis Hafner (speaking of which, is he even still playing anymore??). Even in a season where their best shortstop has moved to D.C., and their best catcher became their worst first basemen (making Joe Mauer feel really, really good about himself), Michael Brantley has risen to the top in Cleveland, even if the top isn't that far from the bottom.

I don't see the Indians making the postseason, but they could always sneak in if Detroit's not looking. Still, I'd love to see what this guy does in October.

Coming Tonight (?)- WOW, those Mets sure are awful. But this one pitcher dude is pretty awesome.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Custom Card of the Day: Kimbrel Edition

Last year, one of the greatest closing pitchers of all time left the game. Mariano Rivera commanded the ninth inning for seventeen seasons. The worst part of this departure is that he left without choosing an heir. I mean, David Robertson may be good, but he is no Mariano Rivera.

Luckily, we may have one in Atlanta.

Craig Kimbrel has absolutely dominated as a closer for the past few seasons. I'm not even exaggerating. Every year he always ends up leading the league in saves, and he flat out earns it every time. Even the seasons where the Braves aren't doing as well, he still does really well. This season they're between second and first all the time, and Kimbrel's still killing it.

I kinda hope he sticks it out for a few more seasons, but I don't want him to break Mo's record. Nobody should.

Coming Tonight (?)- The Brewers! Are! STILL IN FIRST! Here's one of their speedy outfielders.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Custom Card of the Day: Buehrle Edition

Oh, man. We weren't quite sure about Mark Buehrle for a while.

I mean, after he left the White Sox, things got a bit inconsistent with Mark. He had an okay season with Miami, got traded to Toronto and was upstaged by a slightly-less-disappointing R.A. Dickey. But now...with his really decent season this year, we're all wondering why we ever doubted him.

I mean, I don't think Buehrle's a Hall of Famer, but he's very, very close. He's had some really good seasons, and he was a mainstay in Chicago. I have a feeling he's going to end up being this generation's Jack Morris. Great pitcher, great seasons, lots of tenure, postseason experience, and just not good enough for Cooperstown.

I mean, it may be too close to call. He may have a few really nice seasons in the future.

Coming Tonight- One of the most fun closing pitchers in baseball.

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Custom Card of the Day: Wong Edition

The only good thing about Kolten Wong is that he seems to be doing well for my fantasy team. I really don't have much else to say about him tonight.

Coming Tomorrow- One of Toronto's best arms.

Custom Card of the Day: Beltran Edition

Back in February, when all of the Spring Training photos come out, it is a Mint Condition tradition to make a 'wish-list' of sorts, of all the recently-traded players that I desperately need to make customs of. Some of the more obvious ones were up first, like Robinson Cano.

Unlike a lot of other years, there are a lot of people that are on that list that I still haven't customized. And a lot of them are Yankees.

If you've been watching the blog carefully, you'd notice that Carlos Beltran, Jacoby Ellsbury, Brian McCann and now Brandon McCarthy haven't been customized. The only excuse I can make is a genuine one- they haven't had really good photos.

I had to dig deep for this Beltran custom, but I keep checking Ellsbury and McCann's photos for something outstanding...and I never find it. It's very infuriating, because I want to customize these guys. These guys are playing pretty well, at least for 2014 standards.

It's similar to last year, where I waited to long to make one for Kevin Youkilis, although unlike Youk these guys haven't made as many trips to the DL. I have opportunities. I just don't have good photos.

Long story short, if you see a Jacoby Ellsbury custom in the near future, expect it to be really good.

Coming Tonight- A Cardinals' prospect that has been doing rather well lately.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Custom Card of the Day: Cabrera Edition

This is the first of the major deadline deals to be enshrined in custom form. You know, besides the ones that happened before the deadline-heavy day.

I know that Asrdrubal Cabrera isn't the greatest choice for the first guy from 7/31 to be customized, especially when there are so many awesome choices (I can name some on one hand- Cespedes, Lester, Price, Gomes, McCarthy I guess).

But just looking at Asdrubal Cabrera, who was Mr. Cleveland Indians for a nice five-year stretch,  adorned in a Washington Nationals jersey, it just seems like it fits.

Plus, I have a theory on Cabrera's addition, and it's a good one. Already, the Nationals' infield is rock-solid. Adam LaRoche, Anthony Rendon, Ian Desmond and Ryan Zimmerman. Trouble is that Zim's been on the DL a lot. The way this deal works, Rendon can play third, and Cabrera can play second.

Picture that for a second. LaRoche, Cabrera, Desmond, Rendon. That is practically an All-Star infield. That reminds me of the 2000 Mets, the ones with Ventura, Ordonez, Alfonso and Olerud. Or the 2010-2011 Phillies, with Howard, Utley, Rollins and Polanco. Or even the 2009 Yankees infield- Tex, Cano, Jeter and A-Rod.

That is what, in theory, this infield could end up being. This could be pretty huge for a while. I mean, LaRoche may not have much in the tank, but they could always switch Zim to first or something.

Or maybe I'm just overthinking this whole damn thing.

Coming Tomorrow- The Yankees got this guy this Spring, and while he hasn't been amazing, he's still been pretty nice.

Custom Card of the Day: Kazmir Edition

No, LL Cool J. We have to call this a comeback.


Seriously, Scott Kazmir has become one of baseball's best stories this year, finally returning to his 2008-era glory. I mean, last year in Cleveland he was a modest pitcher, but he really took off the second he got to the A's. Now, if it weren't for Jon Lester and Jeff Samardzija popping over, he'd be the most important starter in the repertoire.

I'm really happy for him, because I felt awful for him when things didn't work out with the Angels. He was one of the Rays' best, and the second he hit Anaheim he had disappointing numbers. It was sad. Now he's finally got a great team, a great season, and amazing numbers.

Coming Tonight (?)- Speaking of people that were very recently in Cleveland, their former shortstop becomes a major catalyst in Washington's new mega-infield.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Custom Card of the Day: Rizzo Edition

(I can't really think of anything funny, so here's a sonnet)

When one thinks of the many teams that suck
Without putting much effort toward their games,
They mainly see the North Side run amok
When every Cubs season ends up the same.
Sure, different stars will come and go at ease
And win some batting titles here and there.
They'll all remember Sosa's, Dawson's, Lee's,
And all want to forget Bryan LaHair.
Yet in the long run, the team is sub-par
Unable to perform and, yes, compete.
Anthony Rizzo's great, but can't go far
'Less backed up by a roster that's complete.
So Chicago, with nothing else to do
Fixates their eyes on Jose Abreu.

Coming Tomorrow- The Athletics' secret weapon, a guy who basically everyone counted out after the 2010 season.

Custom Card of the Day: Smith Edition

Okay, let me explain.

Prior to the All Star Game selections, I looked at a bunch of the stats, and sort of made customs for people I thought would somehow end up on the team. I did this for a lot of the teams that I thought would only have one rep, due to being really bad.

One of these teams was the Padres.

The Padres...I feel sorry for everyone that has to root for them this year. NOBODY is hitting. I'm not exaggerating. The two guys that WERE sort of traded. Chris Denorfia and Chase Headley are both no longer on the Padres.

Back at the end of June, the guy who was leading the stats, with the most home runs, hits, BA, etc...was Seth Smith. So, I figured 'I bet this guy's gonna get the nod. He's sucking the least'. So I made this custom of him.

Tyson Ross eventually got the nod, making me look very silly when I had a custom of a sucky outfielder in my folder.

I'm posting him now because it feels nice to get it out of the way, before any waiver deals screw everything up.

Coming Tonight (?)- One of the few people who is not sucking on the Cubs.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Custom Card of the Day: Santana Edition


This weekend, I got to see Guardians of the Galaxy, and I'm happy to report that it definitely works. I, and a lot of other people, were really worried, because this movie was teetering between good and bad for a while, so I'm happy that it turned out alright.

And as Marvel's risk pays off at the Box Office, Atlanta's risk is paying off in Ervin Santana.

Santana was one of the last few people signed by the Braves before the season, and he was signed because both Brandon Beachy and Kris Medlen would be starting the season on the DL. He went from a throwaway deal to one of the more consistent starters in the Braves' repertoire. He's also currently a major asset on my fantasy team.

So, for a Braves team that hasn't really needed much effort to stay on top, this is a risk that definitely paid off, and one that hopefully will stay good for the rest of the season.

Coming Tomorrow- Someone from the Padres.