Friday, November 29, 2019
Last year, Dave and Adam's had a sale on Panini Chronicles from the previous year, where you could get 3 blasters of Chronicles for a nice price. I did really well, getting some base cards, some awesome inserts, and relics of Miguel Sano AND Mike Piazza.
So, when the offer came around again, I jumped at the chance. Chronicles, while a little flawed, is still a very fun box to rip. The 2018 version may be my favorite so far, as it's got the best subsets, as well as the more impressive rookie class to pick from (Acuna, Albies, Torres, Ohtani). So, I figured I'd go with it.
15 packs per. For 12, we have 5 cards per pack, and for 3 packs we have only 3 special Revolutions inserts.
Let's dive right in:
So, uh...you know how last time I got good hits?
...not the case this time.
Chris Flexen is the rare homegrown Mets pitcher that sucks donkey balls. The guy has had TWO STRAIGHT seasons of disastrous starting opportunities. And of course, he's my auto here. Terrific.
And an Andujar Prism to balance it out.
Not a bad break, despite the lack of a substantial hit. There's still enough cool subset and parallel action going on to make me feel satisfied here, which is nice. And lots of Yankees, which definitely helps.
Wednesday, November 27, 2019
Funny, I was just talking about the Brewers and Padres' new uniforms, and now they're doing business together.
The interesting part of this deal is that it comes on the heels of an initial move between these teams- Drew Pomeranz, who finished the season in relief for Milwaukee, signs with San Diego. And then this swap happens, and it just looks like Pomeranz was just involved in the trade. It was just cleanly executed.
The actual deal is, on paper, kind of a simple one- mid-tier starters traded for each other, Zach Davies for Eric Lauer. And rookie-level position players that don't have a spot in the 2020 picture traded for each other, Trent Grisham for Luis Urias. Both teams are kinda even at the end of the day, and no team feels like they're fleecing the other.
Honestly, the biggest piece of this deal, at least to me, is Zach Davies. Dude's been a solid starter for Milwaukee since before the come-up, and had a pretty good season in 2019, with a 3.55 ERA and 10 wins. I definitely foresee Davies becoming a big SD pitching asset, right there with Chris Paddack. Lauer will probably be a lower-key rotation guy for Milwaukee, and I'm guessing they're gonna make a major free agent move in that department.
The intriguing stuff is in the other two guys. Luis Urias is a high-caliber defensive performer, and can definitely be an upgrade from Orlando Arcia, who...might be finding his way to a bench spot. Urias does concern me in that he hasn't been hitting extremely well of late, but his fielding numbers are a lot better, and he had a 1.0 WAR in 71 games, which is...something.
And then there's Lewis Grisham, who was a great replacement for Yelich towards the end of the season, despite a defensive blooper costing the Brewers a crucial game. Grisham could factor into the Padres' outfield, despite a chance for Taylor Trammell to get in on the chase. It's looking like Wil Myers, Manny Margot and Hunter Renfroe are the main players for that outfield, but seeing as none hit over .250 last year, a shuffle may be in the mix. So having Grisham as a steady young option could definitely help.
I'm kinda surprised as to how well all of this fit together, and am very impressed at both GMs who pulled this off. Padres might have gotten the best pitcher, but Brewers got the best lineup piece.
Sunday, November 24, 2019
I...haven't been the hugest fan of Topps' Wal-Mart exclusive Gallery sets, as they're a bit too rookie-centric for no reason, and have the weirdest checklist logic. But they're a modest wintertime seatfiller, so I deal. I kept coming back to Wal-Mart in order to see if the Holiday Boxes had finally hit my area. They hadn't, but the Gallery mega-boxes had. I got one, thinking it'd be the same price.
It wasn't. But...whatever, I have a birthday coming up.
This is pretty much a...traditional box of this. Like, it's patterned like a hobby box, with 20 packs, 5 cards per, two hits, and a box-topper. But...it's a Wal-Mart product. So because Topps can't sell hobby boxes in hobby shops because it's a retail-exclusive, they're selling them...in the retail store?
Because in a retail store like Wal-Mart, people aren't exactly looking for hobby-box amounts of cards. Target did the same thing, presenting HOBBY BOXES of Fire. And back in the day, Upper Deck deployed a similar strategy for Sweet Spot, selling a 30-dollar tin of the product in Targets everywhere. The goal, I guess, is to get kids into the more competitive stages of the hobby through a simple climate like a retail store. But to established collectors, it looks...backwards.
Pack 5- Topps heard me there, as this one is ENTIRELY made up of unneeded rookies. Which is one of the reasons I don't love this product. At least Harold Ramirez' looks cool.
So...as much as I gripe about this set, it's not BAD. It commits no sins. It just does some annoying things that are indicative of Topps' current release strategies. Base design is fine, inserts are great, hits are...expectedly meh, and I didn't feel gypped. So, all in all, not a bad deal.