Monthly Archives: April 2010

I Only Need One Member Of The Whitesox To Pull This Off

We all love a good practical joke.  Some of the best happen on the ball field.  Whether it’s as simple as lighting a guy’s shoestring on fire or something a little more complicated like the time Kyle Kendrick got traded to Japan.  It’s all in fun and they make us laugh.  What I’d like to see is somebody from the Sox pull a fast one on throwback day.  Instead of the normal go around somebody needs to sneak these beauties into some lockers.

How funny would it be to watch a couple of guys come out for batting practice in these.  I doubt any of them would suit up in the first place, but it would be funny.

Here’s the Kyle Kendrick bit if you haven’t seen it.

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If I Ran Topps, I Would Work On Making This Reality

I was laying in bed last night when I had what I would consider a revolutionary idea for the trading card landscape.  Follow me if you can.  What if there was a way for Topps to set up a web site where you could create a custom card and have it printed off and sent to you.  I know they have something real similar for you to make custom cards of family members, pets, and what the hell ever else you want to put on there, but as far as I know you are forbidden to use any sort of copyrighted team names or photos of real players.  What I’m looking for is a process where you pick the player you want.  You then get to choose from several photos of that player.  Then slap that baby on a stock card design from the Topps vault or be able to create a custom design.  After you pick out what your card will look like you could then take it a step further.  They could then have the option of having your card autographed.  They send cards out all the time for autos.  All they would have to do is set it up with the players they have under contract to sign on or after a certain date, and as long as you meet the deadline with creating your card, you could pay the fee to have it hard signed.  I would also like to see a relic option.  Who wouldn’t love to be able to pick out the color of the swatch or a specific patch of your favorite player and put it in a card you designed.  I think this would be an awesome alternative to all the junk hits we complain about on a daily basis.  If they had this option they could cross promote it with their flagship release.  Take out all the extra autos and relics from that release and dramatically reduce the price of the wax.  Then offer a free or discounted custom card per box or insert them randomly into packs.  This way we would pay less for wax and be guaranteed a killer hit of our favorite players.  Topps would be saving some cash too because we would be directly paying them for the autos and memorabilia instead of giving the money to a casebreaker on eBay.  It’s a win win!  I’m sure there are all kinds of hurdles with the licensing agreement and player contracts but Topps is the only dog in the house right now and we can all agree the trading card industry could use a good kick in the pants right now.  If they could figure out a way that everyone makes money on the deal and can still give the collector a quality product in the end, it would be a home run.  Like I said it’s a win win.

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2010 SlangKo Trophy Winners: Cubs Edition

Not too long ago, OK, it’s been a while but I had made a nice trio of trades.  I received one a day earlier than the other two, that one was from Sean at SlangKo  Headquarters.  From what I can tell, Sean is an incredibly talented graphic designer.  I know Michael Jack Schmidt about graphic design but I know when something looks good.  These cards look good!  First here are the four cards of guys who should have their heads carved in the side of a mountain and have it called Mt. Cubsmore.

I told you they looked good.  I think we should gather together and start our own card company.  I’ve said this before and I’m sure I’ll repeat it down the line sometime soon, but there are better looking cards and better ideas coming out of what we do everyday than there has been out of the card companies over the last 20 years.  All we have to do is show up at the Upper Deck fire sale later this year and pick up some cheap equipment and supplies.  Hell, if we called the Carlsbad unemployment office I bet they could find us a couple of guys with some experience.  Upper Deck taught us we don’t really need a license.  I think now is the time to make our move!

Sean included one more card in the set and I’d have to say it is now one of my favorite cards I own.

I’m betting Sean would hate to know that he spelled Harry’s name wrong, so I just won’t tell him.  I only point it out because I find it incredibly ironic that Harry spent his whole life trying to pronounce names backwards that he couldn’t pronounce frontwards, and I now own two, count ’em TWO, Harry Caray custom cards with his name misspelled.  I also have a Phungo card with his name a bit off.  It makes me like them just that much more!  And the back of this card has to have the best picture of ol’ Harry in his prime.

The other two trades ended up in a sort of fiasco.  One was with Night Owl and the other was Larry from Emerald City Diamond Gems.  Both were great trades, a nice stack of all sorts of Cubs, including some nice vintage from both.  I left them in two separate piles on the computer desk.  I knew that Larry’s had a couple of near complete team sets from the ’70’s and Night Owls was the one with the sweet ’50s card.  That’s when the cat knocked them on the floor creating one mess of Cubs.  Then my daughter was a dear and picked them up making one tall tower of Cubs.  Then I later put that tower in my Cub’s box, not realizing they were formally two piles I had sorted for various reasons.  One was to scan and show off.  Unfortunately I have no real clue what was involved in the trade and what was in my box.   Hopefully I did with words what the scans would have shown.   Thanks goes out to all three, go read their blogs and send them cards. Do it now!

Other than trading it has been a good week here in the middle of nowhere.  Monday, I had too good of a time at the Cub’s home opener.  So did my wife.  It was awesome.  I tried the Buffalo Bison Hot Dog.  If you don’t know, the Ricketts family owns a bison farm.  I didn’t until last week, but I guess they are supplying bison meat for burgers and hot dogs at Wrigley.  The hot dog is a footlong bison dog with buffalo sauce and blue cheeseslaw on top.  Yep, bleu cheeseslaw.  It’s cole slaw made with bleu cheese dressing and it is goooood!   It was by far the best $7 I spent all day.  I would have had more but we were in the upper deck box all the way down the right field line and the dogs are sold near the Waveland entrance.  It’s like a five or six-mile hike.  That and my wife didn’t want to get me another one.  It was a great day and the Cubs kicked some Brewer butt!  Tomorrow I plan on taking the kids to see the Beloit Snappers.  They are the single A Twins affiliate, they are taking on the Mariners farm team, the Clinton Lumber Kings.  The last time I seen either  of these teams they were the Giants and the Brewers.  Hopefully if it’s warm enough and the kids don’t drive me crazy before game time I’ll get in two games in one week.  Wish me luck!

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Who’s Counting The Pitches And Why?

What do Danks, Wakefield, Hudson, Silva, and Volstad all have in common?  They all pitched very good games on Friday, they left with the lead, and their bullpen blew it.  Now I can’t say for sure why all these guys were pulled because I’m too lazy to do the research, but I imagine it had something to do with my least favorite stat, the pitch count.  When the hell did a major league pitcher become unable to throw a goddamn ball 100 times?  If they reach 120 they are considered warriors.  If they go over that the manager must be asleep because nobody is capable of throwing a ball that many times!   If you haven’t noticed this not so recent trend, you will after reading this.  Just watch your favorite team throughout the year and count how many times a starter goes 6+ innings of 1 or 2 run ball and gets pulled just to let the bullpen piss away his win.  It’s happened to the Cubs twice already and I noticed it happened on the south side tonight.  If you have a pitcher in a groove throwing through the batters, why do you pull him in favor of someone who’s been sitting on their ass all night spitting sunflower seeds?  It doesn’t make sense!  Let’s look at what happened last night.

John Danks throws 6 innings, 108 pitches allowing 1 ER with 6 K’s.  Sox lose in 11.

Tim Wakefield throws 7 innings, 96 pitches allowing 2 ER with 6 K’s.  Sox lose after two fresh pitchers blow it in the 8th.

Tim Hudson throws 7 innings, 77 pitches allowing 2 ER on just 3 hits.  Braves lose after Wagner gives up a 2 runs in the 9th for the tie and Medlen finally gives it up in the 13th.

Carlos Silva throws 6 innings, 71 pitches allowing 1 ER on just 3 hits.  Cubs lose after Drew Stubbs hits a grand slam off of the fresh armed Caridad.

Chris Volstad throws 6.1 innings, 87 pitches allowing 2 ER on 5 hits.  He gets into a bit of a jam but instead of letting him clean it up himself, the bullpen comes in and after an error or two they lose 7 to 3.

These are just the guys who lost a chance at a win.  Left off this list is J.A. Happ who was pulled after throwing 5 shutout innings.  Also Jorge De La Rosa was pulled after approaching the century mark in pitches.  He was only throwing a 1 hit shutout at the time.  Both of these guys went on to get the win but c’mon are you kidding me?  I would have liked to see a manager from today go to the mound and try to pull Gibby, Spahn, or Ryan from a 1 hit shutout simply because he threw the ball too many times.

I don’t see the reasoning in all of this.  We now have a 5 man rotation.  That gives them 4 days to recoup.  I bet Walter Johnson would have gone nuts if he had to wait for every fifth game to pitch.  We now have far superior conditioning and trainers in the clubhouse but we have the same amount of, if not more, injuries.  And these guys aren’t throwing anywhere near the amount of pitches these guy from the past had to.  I don’t get it.   We didn’t have a single 20 game winner last year.  Denny McClain won 31 games in ’68 pitching 336 innings.  Last year Verlander led the league in both wins, 19, and innings pitched, 240.  These guys are paid a hell of a lot of money to throw a ball.  I guess I would just like to see them be able to throw for the win and not have a preset amount of times they  are allowed to throw the ball.  It shouldn’t take 4 pitchers to throw a shutout.

I’ll stop ranting for now, but you’re all officially on notice!  Id love to see Guillen or Pinella just try to take the ball from this guy in the 7th after giving up just 1 hit!  My money’s on Gibby.

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2010 Predictions, And Not The Same Old Boring Ones

Some one will throw a 21 strike out game.

Heyward will win the N.L. ROY

Joe Mauer will add another batting title and another MVP to his trophy case.

The most home runs hit by one player will be 42.

Managers and broadcasters will pay way too much attention to pitch counts.

Strasburg will make it to the bigs just to be sent right back down to the minors until next year.

The Yankees will not make the playoffs.  I’m not sure how, but they won’t.

The Pirates will be in contention for the N.L. Wild Card.

A current Hall of Famer will be investigated for steroid use.

Less than 4 pitchers will reach 20 wins.

Ichiro will have more than 50 infield hits.

Jim Edmonds will have a monster season.

Lou Pinella will get fired and he will be replaced by Ryne Sandberg.

Mark McGwire will resign after Pujols bats a solid .238 for the first two months.

We will hear more from Jose Canseco than we’d care to.

I will win the Card Collector’s Fantasy League.  No doubt about that one.

Derrick Lee will win the N.L. MVP.

Alfonso Soriano will lead the Cubs in errors, strikeouts, and salary.

Boston will love Mike Cameron.

Carl Crawford will have a 30/30 season.

Chicago will see a championship!  Go Blackhawks!  You didn’t think I was talking about the Cubs did you?

The Orioles will win 76 games this year.

The White Sox and the Cardinals will suck and the Brewers will be worse.   Duh!!

2010 World Series:  Twins vs. Cubs

Check back in November to see how I did.  If anybody can guess how many will come true I will gladly cough up an auto of a bonified Hall of Famer of my choice.

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