Wednesday, September 30, 2015

If I'm The Nats...

So this year the Nationals have collapsed and are an utter mess. It's actually quite amazing how they managed to lose the division that has three teams competing/losing on purpose for the first overall pick in the draft next year, to the Mets of all people.
As such I've constructed a list of things I'd do if I were in charge of the Nationals franchise. I made these with careful consideration and made sure I was as objective as possible (haha, yeah right).

05. Trade Stephen Strasburg to the Yankees for nothing


It is clear that Washington cannot get their potential-ace to turn into a "legit"-ace. Thus they should dump him onto the Yankees and let him be their problem.

04. Launch Jonathan Papelbon Into The Sun

I've spared you all the horrible fate of having to see crotch-grabber's face again. You're welcome.

03. Fire Matt Williams

Thanks again for the TTM return though

Somewhere out there Night Owl is smiling as his least favorite player has been the least efficient manager in the majors. Throughout the year I've heard and read a ton of complaints about how Williams is a piss-poor manager. It's to the point where it looks like 2015 Williams will be the latest cautionary tale of relying on managers who have little to no experience actually managing.

02. Trade Bryce Harper to the Yankees for cash considerations

One of my favorite Harper cards

There is an ongoing narrative that Bryce Harper is a "clubhouse cancer." If that's the case (I doubt it TBH), a change of scenery would do wonders for the 20-something who's handled various situations better than the people twice his age do. If I'm the Nationals I'm going to trade Harper to the Yankees for cash. That way Harper can "learn to play the game the right way" from the best team in the sport, and the Nats can send one final message to Harper that they didn't even think the MVP-caliber Harper was worth an actual player in a trade.

Also, the Nationals should totally send along Victor Robles as a PTBNL to the Yankees to sweeten the deal and make it worth the Yankees' while.

01. Move the team back to Montreal.


It is clear that these fools in Washington are a waste of our time. Send them back to Montreal for the sake of sending them back to Montreal.

And those are my top five suggestions for the Washington Nationals franchise going forward. I think these are sound suggestions that the Nationals front office should consider very heavily this offseason. And if you disagree, well, there's a reason you're not a GM.

As always thanks for stopping by and take care :).

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Woof

I've never been one to objectify women. I don't bark like a dog whenever a fine piece of work passes by me (#obligatorycontradiction).

However, in recent times my go to phrase whenever I see a really cool card has been "woof."

I go to a card show and see some Paul Goldschmidt patch autograph numbered to 10 with some cool patch embedded in it and I let out a "woof."

I see one of my foreign contacts post a really cool dual autograph of Clayton Kershaw and Sandy Koufax, I reply with "woof."

I pull an autograph out of one random pack I purchased for the heck of it. I say "woof."

Now the last instance is rare. In the past 6 months I think I've purchased less than 10 packs. But every now and then I seem to get really lucky. So much so I'm getting disappointed my luck isn't present when/where it counts. But these small victories are satisfying nonetheless, and I'm grateful because things could've gone a lot worse.

Like the other day when I went to Target. I was only at Target because I needed a quick meal and decided to stop by the fast food joint right next to it. I ordered my processed food that took a good 5 years from my life and decided to stop by the card aisle, seeing as how I already made the trip out.


I only bought one single pack of 2015 Bowman retail edition. It was pretty much the last one on the shelf (in this form). I thought why not take a $3 gamble. I could always use some more TTM ammo or trade fodder. Most of the pack included dupes (like the Mitchell above), but it wasn't an ordinary run of the mill disappointment.

A few cards into the pack I pulled something that made me go "woof."


That my friends is the red refractor parallel of Tyler Beede's 2015 Bowman Chrome The Farm's Finest mini.

1/5!

It's numbered 1/5. Who would've thought you could pull something like this from retail?

It's a cool card that did make me go "woof" right when I saw it. Unfortunately it's not worth a whole lot because San Francisco is a poor market and the Giants farm system is quite weak. In fact, Beede is arguably the best prospect in the Giants farm system but not even he made it onto MLB.com's top 100 prospect list (meaning that no Giants prospects are on MLB.com's top 100 prospect list).

Still, this is a small victory that was just big enough for me to let out a "woof." And I got my $3 worth. Or at least I think so. The gold parallel of this card numbered to 50 seem to be barely going for $2.00 so I might've just ended up breaking even.

And no I'm not sorry for objectifying baseball cards.

As always thanks for stopping by and take care :).

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Recreating The Draft

So this year's draft class was a pretty decent one for the Yankees. It's way too early to say what'll become of the many guys drafted in 2015 but considering how the Yankees are dead set on making their farm system a legitimate source of big league talent, I'm quite excited for this year's crop.

As such I decided to take on a semi-daunting undertaking. Obtaining at least one official card of the 2015 New York Yankees Draft Class (that actually signed with the Yankees). This excludes guys like Deacon Liput or Andrew Miller (a different Andrew Miller) who were drafted by the Yankees but didn't sign. If a player only has an official card from his pre-Yankees days like Isiah Gilliam that WILL count. If a player does not have an official card but I made a custom and got it signed, it does NOT count (I just included some of my customs to serve as placeholders). This is only for official cards.

1st Round



James Kaprielian and Kyle Holder are both present and accounted for.

2nd Round


As of this moment there are no official Jeff Degano cards. However I expect that to change this winter.
Took longer but, here's Jeff Degano's first official card.

3rd Round


Drew Finley (the name on the official card is a typo, lol) has a few cards in a few Leaf products as well.

4th Round


Jeff Hendrix possesses Gold Glove caliber defense.

5th Round

Chance Adams is one of the two 2015 Staten Island Yankees I never got an autograph of. Grrr. He does not have a card yet either.

6th Round


From Pags to Wags.

7th Round


Damn bruh, look at those forearms.

8th Round

Donny Sands does not have an official card. Yet.

9th Round


Ryan Krill will Krill the competition next year. Yeah I'll see myself out.

10th Round


Lefty who says a lot of interesting stories in the bullpen.

11th Round


Josh Rogers, surrounded by darkness, is present and accounted for.

12th Round

Terrance Robertson does not have an official card yet.

13th Round


Trey Amburgey does not have any official cards yet but after the way he hit every ball that was thrown to him to kingdom-come in 2015 I suspect he'll have an official card soon enough.

14th Round


Will Carter really didn't do a whole lot in 2015, I guess the Yankees wanted him to take the first year easy and see what they have in him in 2016.

15th Round

"If he was allowed, he'd get (Ricky) Vaughn's lightning bolts shaved into the side of his head." - Dustin Dopirak on 15th round selection Bret Marks.

16th Round


Kolton Mahoney has a heart of gold. Just look at how he even brightens up the background of his own card.

17th Round


Brody Koerner has a card in the Pulaski Yankees team set.

18th Round


The Zack (Zehner) Attack will continue in Charleston come 2016.

19th Round


Mark Seyler will unfortunately be out for a while as he recovers from Tommy John surgery.

20th Round


Isiah Gilliam has a few unlicensed cards by Leaf out there. Unfortunately I haven't picked any up yet.

21st Round


Josh Roeder had a magnificent beard before joining the Yankees org.

22nd Round


Cody Carroll, the Pulaski Yankees team set came through big time.

23rd Round


Garrett Mundell, the Pulaski Yankees team set came through big time (again).

24th Round

Patrick O'Brien does not have an official card yet.

25th Round


Austin Afenir, the Pulaski Yankees team set came through big time (again x5).

26th Round

Icezack Flemming does not have an official card yet but with a name like that, he'll have one soon enough.

28th Round

David Sosebee has a Pulaski card. And like the others it's kind of grainy.

29th Round


Kane Sweeney. Saved by the Pulaski set yet again. Although the picture is still grainy.

30th Round

Chad Martin was promoted to high-A Tampa near the end of the 2015 season after call ups shook the entire balance of the Yankees org. He does not have an official card yet.

31st Round


Hobie Harris, despite the fact that he made it to high-A in 2015, does not have a card yet.

32nd Round


Alex Robinett received a card in the 2015 SIY set after he was promoted to Charleston. A little after that he was deployed to the army. May he return safe and sound.

33rd Round


Christian Morris was promoted to high-A Tampa as part of a huge roster shakeup near the end of the season after September callups came into effect. But he does not have an official card out yet.

35th Round


Alex Bisacca came to Staten Island near the end of the 2015 season. He does not have an official card yet.

36th Round

Dustin Cook does not have an official card yet.

------------------------------------------------------------------------

And that concludes the 2015 draft class that did sign with the Yankees.

Of the 35 humans who were drafted by the Yankees and signed, only 12 have yet to be immortalized on cardboard. I foresee Degano getting a card as early as this October. With everybody else a maybe late in 2016 in various team sets spanning across Pulaski/Staten Island/Charleston and possibly Tampa.

Anyway this is my first attempt a recreating a draft through cards and my first attempt at a quasi-frankenset so wish me luck. As it stands I'm 22/23. Here's to hoping the remaining 12 have cards released soon.

As always thanks for stopping by and take care :).

Friday, September 18, 2015

Instead Of A Box...

So 2015 Bowman Chrome came out a little while back and naturally I bought a box and had Rex and his men go on their first clone break in months right?


No.

私はBowman Chromeを箱ごと買っていませんし値段が5ドル以下じゃない限り箱を買うつもりはありません。

Here's the thing, Bowman Chrome is often the weakest Bowman flagship offering in terms of hits. It's right behind Bowman Draft and Bowman. A large part of that is because almost all of the notable domestic prospect autographs were already included in Bowman and Bowman Draft and several of the high profile international prospects are included in Bowman. This year Bowman tried to do a sort of "best for last" type of thing by saving guys like Michael Conforto for 2015 Bowman but that still isn't really enough if you glance through the autograph checklist.

Plus I looked at the checklist for the product. As is to be expected there were a ton of repeaters (guys who already had cards made of them) in the base card checklist and Bowman Chrome includes the most worst type of baseball players around, the major leaguers. Bleck.



It certainly doesn't help that I already have autographs of close to 20% of the autograph checklist. At this point any of the non-Jake Cave autographs would be redundant if I pulled them. It always feels weird pulling a certified autograph of a guy who you already got via TTM or IP (unless it's a Yankee in which case it's a gigantic bonus for me :)).

そう言ったものの Bowman Chromeにはなかなか悪くない選手がいます。例えば Gleyber Torres, Michael Conforto, Brent Honeywell, Hector Olivera, Gilbert Lara, Casey Gillaspieなでのような選手がいます。あとチームからするとトッププロスペクトと見られているJarlin Garcia, Zach Bird, Michael De Leonもいます。私はこの選手たち一人も必要ありませんがね。

Which brings me to the fact that there were only four cards that I "wanted" in Bowman Chrome this year. Three of them were autographs and one was a regular base card. I would go for those four directly but I'm waiting until the dead of winter/the offseason to strike since everybody is still paying double digits for the newest shiniest toys on the market. I'm pretty sure I can get the lone base card I need for a coin (or two) in the future, and the autographs I can probably obtain for less than 2 digits if I wait long enough.

Although if you feel inclined to help me, the cards I need are basically the three Yankees prospect autographs of Wilkerman Garcia (The Wilkman!), Dermis Garcia (EpiDERMIS!) and Jake Cave. As well as Jake Cave's base card. I especially need the Wilkerman.

So yeah, I was originally planning on having this be a "using the $60-100 I could've spent on a box, I decided to spend it on the four cards I wanted!" but those four cards I wanted have died down price wise yet. Instead I decided to do this.


I bought two loose packs of Bowman Chrome. It was in order to do a pack war with a pack of cards that P-Town Tom sent me. If anybody knows my taste in cardboard it's Tom, and unless the two packs actually yield a card I need, their chances for victory look slim. Let's dive in.

Round 1.


Here the PTT pack takes an early lead by offering a Severino Bowman Chrome. And this Severino was actually Sevy's base card in 2014 Bowman Chrome meaning that this is legitimately his first Bowman Chrome card.
Also, the Bowman Chrome pack committed the cardinal sin of dishing out a member of a Florida team. One of the most useless and immoveable types of cards you'll ever see in the hobby. Especially if they're boring established veterans like Prado who can't realistically be any better and in turn have very few collectors waiting to scoop up their cards.

Round 2.


It's the battle of the sunglasses. The BoChro pack tried to be cute by throwing out a tallboys-ish insert but Katoh gets the point. Simply because Katoh replied to a TTM request (twice) for me and Jackson hasn't.

Round 3.


The battle of the top org prospects. I give the point to Judge because he's shiny. And tall.

Round 4.


There's almost nothing I dislike more than veterans in Bowman products. It was my understanding that the Bowman brand is purely for prospects and the main Topps brand is reserved for big leaguers. Products like Stadium Club are perfect for major leaguers. Products like Bowman Chrome aren't. Obviously the point goes to the gold parallel TANAK.

Round 5


You could throw any group of prospects up against Torrens and he'd defeat them all. And Reed and Davis aren't run of the mill prospects either, they're quite good. I'd like them more if they were in the Yankees org. However the green Torrens wins. Green is good.

Round 6


The battle of the autographs, both on card too. My luck with Bowman Chrome continues as I beat the odds and pulled that Dominic Smith autograph out of my second and final pack. This is actually a pretty good matchup since both Jags and Smith were first round picks back in 2013. Since then they've been overshadowed by better prospects but both serve specific roles in their organizations (depth/trade bait). I think this is like my 4th Bowman Sterling Eric Jagielo autograph but Smith hasn't responded to my TTM request. So the point goes to the power hitter from Notre Dame.

Total:
PTT: 6
Bowman Chrome: 0

To the surprise of absolutely no one, P-Town Tom wins it. Thanks for the awesome pack Tom. I'll be sending something out to you shortly.

Anyway, I still need the four 2015 Bowman Chrome cards I listed above. Guess I'll add them to my unofficial gray whales want list.

As always thanks for stopping by and take care :).

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

And That's All She Wrote...

First off, no, I am not done blogging (you can cancel your celebratory parades). This is just (unfortunately), my last "I went to this Staten Island Yankees game yesterday"-post for this year.


It was game two of the New York-Penn League League Championship Series. The SI Yankees came home after a loss to the Blackbears (Pirates affiliate) in West Virginia and they were looking to have home field advantage aid them in their quest for their seventh title.

Before the game I just met up with a few Yankee guys to say thanks for all of the wonderful memories (you know, just in case). And I got a few autographs from the Blackbears.


This Ke'Bryan Hayes was yet another card sent to me by P-Town Tom (thanks a bunch Tom, your USA sets helped me a ton this year!). Ke'Bryan Hayes was drafted by the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first round of this year's draft and was promoted to West Virginia later in the year. He is a third baseman/outfielder who projects to be a solid overall hitter and average defender at third.
He is the son of former major leaguer Charlie Hayes and Ke'Bryan was born in 1997. Feel old yet?


This other autograph of David Andriese wasn't even one I got. Near the Blackbears dugout there were a few autograph collectors and one of them was a guy I semi-always meet in Staten Island. They were attempting to do the whole Blackbears set (I'm not sure if they were successful), and they gave me their spare Andriese card which was already signed (probably when they got theirs signed). A very kind gesture :). Add in the fact that this fellow collector has given me vouchers to go see games at SI and I owe him big time come 2016.

Now the SI Yankees had a chance to even the series yesterday with a win. Judging from the way I started this post you all can probably guess what happened.


The Yankees' first rounder James Kaprielian took the hill for the Baby Bombers. He was downright dominant as he threw 6.1 innings of scoreless ball where he only allowed three hits, struck out six batters while only walking two.

BOOOOOO!!!!

However the Blackbears took advantage of a rusty SI Yankees team that had been taking a three day break waiting for the Blackbears/Crosscutters series to end. Jhalan Jackson hit a solo HR that was the SI Yankees' only run. The Blackbears ended up winning 3-1 and the Staten Island Yankees season came to a close. It sucks but congrats to the Blackbears on their first NYPL title.

This sparks a gigantic rivalry between me and Bob Walk The Plank, just like he predicted.

All in all it was a very fun year. If you had told me on day one that the SI Yanks would've gotten to the NYPL Championship Series I would've taken that in a heartbeat. Obviously losing it all at the very end is disappointing, but it sure was one fun and wild ride. Apparently this marks the first time the SI Yankees were ever defeated in the Championship Series. I'll do a followup post where I do a season in review type of thing for the SI Yankees (this year I went to enough games that I think I can say that I know what I'm talking about).


Fittingly enough the final autograph I obtained at the stadium was this gigantic Kyle Holder autograph. For size comparisons I put a normal Holder card near the bottom right. It was already pre-signed and available in the gift shop. I decided why not? He's still a first round Yankee. BTW, I decided to give the oversized Thairo Estrada card I picked up in the past to him, because why not?


Oh and I'd be remiss if I didn't mention the very last giveaway. These yellow foam fingers, sponsored by Richmond County Savings Bank (which is the very bank the SI Yankees ballpark is named after). I like foam fingers but distributing yellow foam fingers when the opposing team is a Pirates affiliate who have yellow colors in their jerseys is a bit... misguided.
Although these were most likely just leftover foam fingers from a previous promotion where the team gave these out because I distinctly remember the SI Yankees giving these out earlier in the season.

And thus ends the 2015 Staten Island Yankees season. So many autographs, so many awkward handshakes/fistbumps/conversations and so many memories. It'll be hard for future seasons to top this (especially after I get a job again, ack!).

As always thanks for stopping by and take care :).

2015 IP Auto Count: 135