This Looks Shopped, I Can Tell By The Pixels…

Is there sturm und drang out there about this card in Series 2, since Manny never will play a game in Oakland finery?

If there is, zip it.

Zip! It!



Why should we deny our children the same oddities that we had back in the day?

You know, like showing Pete Broberg as a Mariner?

Even during the spring, it was assumed that Manny would trod out onto the famed field (ok, field) in Oakland Alameda County Coliseum (as I’ll call it because I want to have Howard Cosell’s voice in my head saying that right now…) and play at least a few games for the Athletics.

I mean, what else did they have besides Yoenis and a bunch of maybes, could-bes and idunnos?

Well, it didn’t quite turn out that way. Oakland’s offense is pretty blah, but it’s not because of the OFs and DHs that are playing now. (Mr. Barton? Mr. Suzuki? Step forward, please.) Manny wasn’t going to be Coco Crisp’s replacement, because as funny as it would be to see Manny covering CF, the pitching staff would have an armed revolt and flood Billy Beane with Voros McCracken’s manifesto on what a pitcher can control and what he can’t control.

So Manny wasn’t an Athletic in real life, but he will be forever one in cardboard.

And I think we can all deal with it.


Bastard-O In Love?

Apologies to any Black Flag fan for that title pun.

I’m still in transition. I did buy a bunch of 2012 Series 2 and finally mailed out a bunch of packages. Of course, in my Series 2 haul I received a bunch of cards that I should have sent out with those packages. Ah, well

The love of my life has ensconced herself into my apartment in Florida. A good thing, of course, but now my collection is in the garage because of space issues. And out of sight, out of mind? Work weary? Transition weary? Whatever, I’m not getting the Chris Matthews patented ‘tingle up the leg’ when I opened my packs of Series 2.

I’m still thinking about selling a bunch of cards that don’t suit my fancy anymore. Part of me is thinking I need to sell my entire collection to help get out of debt with the 1% and the revenooers, but this will be the third time I’ve started and stopped my collection world. Do I want to think about that, really? I have a great start on the cards from the 70’s that started my love again and some of the Heritage and other sets I really like

So I think I may just try to unload the Bowman’s, some of the smaller UDs, stuff like my Cracker Jack and maybe my Gypsy Queen and A&G and go mostly base card and Heritage.

Oh, heck I dunno. I’ll ponder some more.

Meanwhile, of course, I’ll take anything off my want list and can send you my excel files if you’re feeling generous.

And despite the cramp in my collecting style, I am loving being in love and having my love live and laugh with me.






This Card Is A Total Tribute…

Not only is it a tribute to the 1963 design, but look at the helmet and the collar on the shirt.

That’s a total tribute to the 1970’s Topps airbrushing. Gotta love the uneven striping and the blue shadow on the red helmet.

Well done, Topps…



Scott Downs – 2012 Topps

February 10, 2012

I Can’t Believe How Much Bandwidth We Wasted On Him In 2000

Ok, let’s get this out of the way.

A. I like this design. I really do.

B. I can see why some people don’t like it. I don’t like Nutella.

C. I’m not writing angsty posts about why I hate it and why Nutella is the ruination of all that is right and true and just.

D. I’m especially not writing angsty posts about how special flavors of Nutella will be the death of us all as a society.

E. I may be exaggerating a tad.

F. There are more important things to worry about than a damn squirrel on a baseball card.

Anyway…Scott Downs.

Downs was already a favorite Cubs trading chit before 2000. The reason the Cubs had Mike Morgan was that Downs was shipped off to Minnesota for him after the season in 1998. Then, in early 1999, Downs came right back along with Rick Aguilera for Kyle Lohse and Jason Ryan.

He was a young lefty starter in 2000 that was having young lefty starter issues, but still he was a young lefty starter. The Cubs weren’t going anywhere (65-97) and they needed help everywhere. Their lineup was old and creaky (Ricky Guitierrez! Damon Buford!) The youngest regular was Willie Greene, who at 28 basically burned down the shed that held his tools.

The bench was full of guys like Jeff Reed, Jeff Huson and Jose Nieves. Of course, they never wanted to give a player like Roosevelt Brown a fair shake, they were the Cubs!

Never mind that their pitching staff was equally wretched. Kerry Wood was just coming back. Kevin Tapani was on his downward trend. Ismail Valdes was just awful. Besides Downs, immortals like Rueben Quevedo, Daniel Garibay, Steve Rain, the non-NBC news Brian Williams, and Andrew “Quiche” Lorraine were there.

So they needed help, everywhere.

Rondell White was a super-phenom who had already gained a reputation of being injury-prone. He was 28 and the Expos were probably sick of him missing big chunks of time. So they were looking for a deal. And they offered him to the Cubs for Downs.

A 28-year old whose body has failed him on many occasions for a 24-year old lefty starter who went 8-1 with a 1.35 ERA for the Cubs AA team in 1999? Sign me up!

Oh, how I hated that deal. I knew White had the potential for greatness in theory – in practicum he was good for 2/3 of a season. Downs was a lefty starter that had a chance to be pretty good.

Downs started one game for the Expos, immediately got hurt and didn’t get into another big league game until 2003. He left Montreal after 2004 and wound up in Toronto, and each year I was surprised to see him in a box score. “Scott Downs? He’s still around!” Yep, it’s a yearly ritual.

White, as you know, continued to be star-crossed. He played just 18 more games in 2000. He was fantastic in 2001, but in just 95 games. The Cubs got rid of him. He was horrible in 2002, rebounded in 2003 and 2004, but got hurt again and faded away.

I guess I was right, since Downs is still pitching. But Downs would have recovered from his arm woes right into the hands of Dusty Baker if he stayed as a Cub.

Lord know if he would even have a stump of a left arm if he had to pitch for Dusty.