It’s Time!

I’ve got my box from Billy.

I’ve got my spreadsheet from Spankee. (BTW, A&G mini backs and A&G Binder Cards need to be added, FYI. I did on mine.)

I’ve opened 1/3 of my box and entered into said spreadsheet, but will post the results of each pack slowly but surely.

The Kraken, it has been released.


(BTW, that’s my box topper or whatever the hell you want to call it. It’s for trade, of course, since it breaks my MANIFESTO!)

Oh, and speaking of Manifesto…

Yeah, it’s Bryan Ferry in a red suit. Deal with it. He’s gonna get laid tonight. You???


(Edit, this is 5 points. Yay…)

“I’ve Heard Of Sophomore Slumps, But This Is Redonkulous”

First off, I just saw a Molina get caught stealing on a strike-’em-out, throw-’em-out in extra innings against the Cubs. Yes, it was a risky play by LaRussa, but the rook batting (Matt “Not Chris” Carpenter) should know that you don’t take a borderline pitch with two strikes in extra innings AND A MOLINA IS IN MOTION FROM FIRST TO SECOND! It’s one thing to strike out swinging on that play, but LOOKING? Bush league, son, bush league.

Now onto Tyler Colvin. I knew he was struggling, and I knew he was demoted and then recently recalled when Alfonso Soriano was injured (no, it wasn’t a pulled ego, or a dislocated wallet). These things happen to players in extended slumps when they still have options left. Julio Borbon was recently sent down, as was Michael Saunders. Nate McLouth was exiled to Gwinnett last year.

But until this game I had no idea of the depth of Colvin’s slump. Today, as of this writing he was 0-5, which means he’s 7-73 on the season. That’s an .096 batting average. Entering this game, he had an OPS+ of 13, whilst last year his OPS+ was 111.

Now, there’s no reason to think he’s THAT bad. His minor league record was pretty good. Of course, his season ended with that hideous accident where a he was impaled by a bat. But that was a freak accident – and people are rarely impaled anymore since Vlad retired from the Carpathian League. (Vlad had a stormy record as part of the Wallachia Wyverns, but he was never intimidated…)

But no matter how his career winds up, this season will be an ugly stain on his bubble gum card. Sure, there’s a chance he can go on a tear, but even if he does, what will his batting average look like.

Well, let’s find out.

Even if he gets hot, he’s probably only going to get about 200 more at bats at most after Soriano returns, thanks to Fukudome, Pena, Soriano, Byrd and Reed Johnson hanging around. The reality is a lot less, but for Tyler’s benefit I’ll go with the higher number.

If in those 200 at bats he hits about what he did last year (.254) – that’s 51 for 200 (.255, close enough).

He’d be 58-273 on the season, or .212.

If he hit .300 in those 200 at bats (60 for 200), he’d be hitting .245.

If he hit .350 in those 200 at bats (70 for 200) he’d wind up at .282.

So all is not lost, Tyler. All is not lost. Just get on a hot streak.

POSTSCRIPT – Albert Pujols just belted a slider from Jeff “Hail Hail To Notre Dame, Maybe I Should Be Pitching For South Bend” Samardzija to the bullpen for a Cards win, and just in time for me to switch to the hockey game. Thus the resurrection of Tyler Colvin’s batting average will have to start tomorrow.




Longest Lasting Draft Bust Ever?

Ask any Baltimore fan about Rhodes, it may result in a bit of hostility and language much like Earl Weaver answering a question about a Ron Luciano call.

He was a second-round pick in 1988 and rocketed through the system and was a Top 1o prospect in 1991 and 1992, as is fitting for a lefty with a fastball and good ERAs and K/W ratios. His 1992 Baltimore season was quite nice for a young lefty, 7-5 with a 3.63 ERA. Could he be another noted lefty starter much like McNally, Cuellar and Scott McGregor?

Um, no. 1993-1995 were just awful. Yes, he pitched well in relief in 1996-1998 but had a bad year in 1999.

I would call that a bust – they drafted Rhodes to be a lefty starter and he turned into a middle reliever.

He was signed in 2000 with Seattle, and went 5-8 with a 4.28 ERA, which wasn’t that bad considering the helium balls, small parks and specialization. He was 30 years old and every year from then on was a fight to survive in the majors. 30+ middle relievers always have some drama surrounding them when it comes to cut-down date.

Except for injury rehabs (and missing an entire year with injury) he’s been in the majors each year since then. Yes, he spit the bit as Oakland’s closer in 2004. Yes, he has just 32 saves in his long career, but holds the record for most holds in the big leagues. And he was a trailblazer, earning MVP votes as a middle man in 1997 (for his 10-3 record, no doubt) and making the All-Star game this last season.

It’s quite incredible. He’s playing in a position that of all positions is totally fungible (as the hipsters like to say). One false step and he could be Jeff Kaiser, pitching in the minors for years.

But he hasn’t. And he’s made $34 million dollars – mainly because his OPS+ against lefties is 76. And what’s more incredible…

Here is a listing of who debuted in 1991 along with Rhodes:

Jeff Bagwell

Rod Beck

Ricky Bones

Scott Brosius

Vinny Castilla

Royce Clayton

Rheal Cormier

Jeff Fassero

Tom Goodwin

Pat Hentgen

Roberto Hernandez

Eric Karros

Pat Kelly

Chuck Knoblauch

Mark Lewis

Kenny Lofton

Mike Magnante

Mike Mussina

Denny Neagle

Warren Newsom

Yorkis Perez

Mike Remlinger

Ivan Rodriguez

Rey Sanchez

Reggie Sanders

Bob Scanlan

Pete Schourek

Heathcliff Slocumb

Jim Thome

Mike Timlin

Jon Vander Wal

Mo Vaughn

Don Wakamatsu

Eric Wedge

Rick Wilkins

Bernie Williams

Mark Wohlers

Anthony Young

Bob Zupcic


Rhodes kinda beat the odds, didn’t he?

Move Over Hank Aaron…

For many years, Aaron was the first in the alphabetical list of players.

But when Aardsma came up in 2004, Hank was relegated to second place.

(Yes, I know it’s old news, but still…many may not realize this.)

The first name listed in the alphabetical listing of players (by my brief research):

David Aardsma – 2004 – present

Hank Aaron – 1954 – 2003

John Abadie * – 1875 – 1953

Frank Abercrombie* – 1871 – 1875

* If you use the National Association as a big league, if not…

Ed Abbaticchio – 1897 – 1953

Bert Abbey – 1892 – 1896

Dan Abbott – 1890 – 1891

George Adams – 1879 – 1889

Bob Addy – 1876 – 1878

Just for kicks, here’s the last name in players:

Dutch Zwilling – 1910 – present

* Ed Zmich – 1910 (technically, he played about a month before Dutch…)

Frank Zinn – 1888 – 1909

Chief Zimmer – 1884 – 1887

George Zettlein – 1871 (or 1876) – 1883

Now you know…the rest of the story…

Aardsma has been the closer for two years in Seattle after a less than stellar career for the Giants, Cubs, White Sox and Red Sox.  He was a -0.4 WAR for his career and then he was the closer. Hmmm…

And now, he’s injured, with the new trendy injury for pitchers, hip labrum surgery. You know, that probably hurts like a mo-fo. But still, all of a sudden everyone (and by everyone I mean at least two I can remember) is getting a hip labrum repair. It’s the new botox, right?

One last thing about Aardsma…

Oh, wait, that’s aardvark…sorry.




How Much Is This Worth?

Does anyone have a Schrute Buck currency conversion chart?

I myself am now taking my pay in Stanley nickels.



Henry Frankenstein: Look! It’s moving. It’s alive. It’s alive… It’s alive, it’s moving, it’s alive, it’s alive, it’s alive, it’s alive, IT’S ALIVE!
Victor Moritz: Henry – In the name of God!
Henry Frankenstein: Oh, in the name of God! Now I know what it feels like to be God!

(I thought the Lee version worked better…)

Maybe We Need To Bring Back The Airbrush Artists?

I don’t know if Opening Day has been released everywhere, but I was driving from LaCrosse, WI to the Twin Cities yesterday afternoon (I had a speaking engagement in LAX) and stopped in the Super Target in Rochester.

The card department in that store was large and well-stocked, and they had blasters and packs of the 2011 Topps Opening Day Product. I thought Heritage was next up, but what do I know.

Anyway, I bought 2 blasters and six loose packs and out of 186 possible cards I received only 35 doubles. I like the concept of this set for the kids and the low-price collectors and a couple of the insert sets are better than the base Topps.

But in looking at this Carl Crawford card, I don’t think the photoshopping is worth it. The helmet’s OK (the Rays and Sox have close to the same base color of helmet) but the jersey is all kind of weird and the lettering is just…off.

We all dealt with it when card companies didn’t change teams, or had someone play for the Red Sox and show a different uniform. That’s OK. Also, that’s why you do a Series 1 and a Series 2. Though Crawford may be a big hit for the kids so I can see why it may be good to put him in Opening Day, but I think little Timmy can deal with a Red Sox card having a picture of Crawford in a Rays uni.

I wonder what they will do in Heritage.

PS – I’ve been added as a contributor to Bad Wax, so look for me over there soon!