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Wow…it has been a long time since this blog has been touched. I wonder if anyone still has this in their Blog Roll. I wonder if anyone still comes here to check on the site.

I’m starting to get the itch to write again so maybe I’ll bring the site back to life.

Anyone care? ūüôā

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Ok, I actually have quite a few teams already done but I wanted to post one full team up here and see what people thought of what I have done.

I’m going to start with the Cubs. Just to clarify, each team consists of 25 players. In an effort to make each team able to be played on their own, I had to make the roster realistic. So that means each team needs a backup catcher and depth around the diamond. That also meant trying my hardest to get each team a lefty in the bullpen. That’s been hard for some teams. Anyway…here is my Cubs team.

C – Gabby Hartnett
1B – Cap Anson
2B – Ryne Sandberg
SS – Ernie Banks
3B – Ron Santo
LF – Billy Williams
CF – Hack Wilson
RF – Sammy Sosa

BN – Mark Grace (1B)
BN –¬†Billy Herman¬†(2B)
BN – Kiki Cuyler (OF)
BN – Jody Davis (C)
BN – Jimmy Ryan (OF)
BN – Aramis Ramirez (3B)

SP – Mordecai “Three Finger” Brown
SP – Fergie Jenkins
SP – Charley Root
SP – John Clarkson
SP – Rick Sutcliffe

RP – Kerry Wood
RP – Rick Reuschel
RP – Hippo Vaughn
RP – “Big” Bill Lee
RP – Claude Passeau

CL – Lee Smith

So you might be asking yourself….who the hell is John Clarkson? I didn’t even know myself and I consider myself a big baseball fan. Clarkson was a pitcher for the Chicago franchise before the turn of the century and has the second highest win total (53) in one season in ML history. Oh, and that same season, he had 68 complete games.

The last bench spot I gave to Aramis Ramirez. Honestly, I could have given it to a few guys including Derrek Lee, Frank Chance, and King Kelly. I went with Ramirez since he plays 3B and I wanted a good backup there.

So there is one team. How did I do? Anyone on there you disagree with? Let me know.

Yup, I’m back to not updating this regularly. Shocked, aren’t you? ūüôā

What I have been doing in my rare spare time is playing a lot of The Show 09 on the PS3. The other night I downloaded someone’s roster set that had what they called “All Time Teams” for each team. I assumed this would consist of 25 of the best of all time for each team. That’s about half right. Most teams had their best players but also had a smattering of current scrubs taking up roster spots. Plus, the ratings were all WAY too high.

So I’ve decided to take it upon myself to take this roster file and actually make it correct. What I plan on doing is going through for each team and setting a roster that I consider to be their actual All Time Team. Pretty ambitious, huh?

The hardest part for me is coming up with each team’s 25 man roster. You would think there would be somewhere on the internet where some place like TSN, ESPN, or SI has actually surveyed people and posted each team’s best. But I can’t find it. So I’m openly asking if any of you would like to help contribute. After you pick a team to do, here is what I would need…

  • 25 man roster for your chosen team
  • Players eligible for your team should have played more years for that team than any other. For example, Frank Robinson played 10 years for the Reds and 6 years with the Orioles. So in my roster set, Frank ends up in Cincinnati.
  • At least one player from each position
  • Bench players should make sense (don’t make every bench player an OF)
  • Five starting pitchers
  • One closer
  • Bullpen can be made up of left over starters or actual relief pitchers

Seems simple enough, right? If I get some interest from here, I will plan on documenting my progress and giving credit where credit is due.

If you’re interested, email me at djw1207 (at) live.com

No Hobby Love for Dan Haren

This morning I woke up and read a post that Mario over at Wax Heaven had posted yesterday. In it, he spoke of¬†collectors’ fascination with prospects and the future. That got me thinking of players in today’s game that are often overlooked by collector’s because they aren’t a highly touted new prospect.

That brings me to Dan Haren.¬†If you aren’t familiar with Haren85136467CP008_LOS_ANGELES_D¬†then I’m guessing you live under a rock. The guy is nails on the mound and sports a ridiculous ML-leading .893 WHIP this year for Arizona. In the history of Major League Baseball, there have only been 32 pitchers who have had WHIPs lower than what Haren is putting up this season. In a nutshell, the guy is good….real good.¬†Yet the hobby world¬†just hasn’t caught on. It could be due to the fact that Haren’s best seasons have come during his stints in Oakland and for an Arizona team that hasn’t made the playoffs.

Haren’s 8-19-2009 9-46-47 AMmost popular rookie card has always been this 2003 Bowman’s Best card featuring an on card autograph. I’ve seen this card in the past top out around $30 or so but you can now pick one up for under $10. The last one sold on ebay for a whopping $9.49. There are other rookie card variations that are also selling for under $10. For a pitcher that is as dominant as he is and still only 27 years old, that is pretty ridiculous.

If you’re into patches, Haren has patch cards in 2007 Ultimate Collection, 2007 Exquisite Rookies, and 2008 Premier. All of those patches are courtesy of his days with Oakland so you can find some great green and gold patches if you’re like me and you like that sort of thing.

So what’s the deal? Why aren’t collectors all over this guy? He’s in the prime of his career and he’s putting up great numbers. Does where a guy plays have that much of an effect on his perceived value to collectors? Let’s hear what you think.

Hopefully you’re as sick of this soap opera as I am. Ever since the spring of 2008, all I’ve heard or read about was the second coming of Cy Young, or you may know him as Stephen Strasburg. I’ve touched on him in a post back in March and every media outlet in the world has had something on him since the draft. He is the arm that is supposed to set the world on fire.mlb_a_strasburg_300

There’s just one problem….he’s not signed yet.

Here we are now with less than 11 hours before the deadline for draft picks to be signed. Stephen has chosen Scott Boras to be his agent, which means that we all knew it would come down to the last day and probably the last couple of minutes before we know if he signs or not. Boras is a love/hate kind of guy. His players love him because he gets them top dollars. Fans hate him because he seems to be the epitome of greed and what is wrong with American sports.

Boras has floated numbers upwards of $30 million all the way up to $50 million. The Nationals have reportedly offered as much as $17 million, which would blow away the previous high water mark of Mark Prior ($10.5 million).

So there is the background and here¬†are my thoughts…

Strasburg needs to take his $17M, sign the contract, and get himself on a team and pitching. Don’t be greedy….just play ball. Listen, I know that a player should get what he feels he is worth, but let’s remember that this is a kid who pitched against college kids last year. This isn’t an established Major League player gunning for a free agency windfall.

If they don’t come to an agreement, this absolutely cannot end well at all for Strasburg. Look at past pitchers who have turned down big contracts because they felt like they were worth more. Luke Hochevar isn’t tearing up anything.¬†And what about Matt Harrington?? Don’t you think he wished he had done it differently? Turning down $17+ million (if that is indeed the offer) won’t doom Strasburg to baseball failure, but would make¬†him the poster boy of greed in baseball.

Ultimately, it comes down to Strasburg and not Scott Boras. If the kid wants to play, he’ll tell Boras that the offer is good enough and he just wants to play baseball. But if he is more concerned with setting salary records, this could end up with no contract by midnight tonight. I am hoping for the former and not the latter.

For the second time this year, I’m forced to publicly say “I’m embarrassed to be a Cub fan”. Earlier this year I said that after watching Cub fans cheer when Jose Oquendo was tagged with a line drive during a Cubs/Cards game.

Last night I watched an idiot fan in the bleachers throw his beer on Shane Victorino during a game that was already 12-1 and out of hand at that point. That was bad enough, but the fact that the dude got away with it is even worse.

8-13-2009 1-16-16 PM

Above you’ll see a picture of the aftermath of the beer tossing event. I wish I had a link to a video of it but I don’t….but if you watch the video or you watched the game live last night, you could clearly see the douchebag on the left was the guy who flipped his cup onto the field. Sadly for the guy on the right in the jersey, he successfully made a complete ass out of himself and drew too much attention and the security whisked him away to “Cubbie Jail”.

As of now, the actual perpetrator hasn’t been found but the matter has been turned over to the Chicago police. The Cubs also made a formal apology to Victorino on the event and it sounds like Victorino is being a good guy about it and not placing blame on the Cubs organization as a whole.

Personally for me, I’m embarrassed by this. I’m embarrassed to get myself lumped into a group with ass-hats like this kid and people assume I’m a drunken idiot who’s only there to drink because I’m a Cubs fan. If you’re someone like this…someone who is more interested in getting tanked and sitting in the sun than watching a Major League game, do us all a favor and sit on your porch and do that while listening to the game on the radio or watching on TV. I know, when a fan pays his money for a ticket, he is entitled to make his experience anything he wants, but not when it interferes with the game or someone else’s viewing of the game.

Ultimately, nothing is going to change because of this. Stupid kids are going to continue to go to games, get drunk on Old Style, and give the rest of us a bad name. But what I want to happen is for this kid to get busted! I know it’s a snowball’s chance, but if you know this kid or know his name, report it to the Cubs and let’s at least have one less bozo in the bleachers!

TPP: Training Camp Edition

If you remember back to the spring, I started something I called The Patchworks Project. I love patch cards and I started to grab some whenever I found a good deal. Since we’re now getting near the start of NFL Pre-Season games*, I figured I should get into a football state of mind.

I’ve made it well known that I graduated from Indiana University so when IU produced a high round football draft pick in 2008 (James Hardy), I knew I wanted to go out and grab a few of his cards. Since he didn’t really make a splash last year, finding some of his good cards at a good price wasn’t real difficult.

08SPA_Hardy_RC

The first card I picked up was Hardy’s Rookie Auto Patch from the 2008 SP Authentic product. I picked this up not long after SPA was released last year so I’m sure I overpaid for it. I would imagine I could get the same card now for 30% less than I what I spent for it back then. The patch is so-so but the card features on on card signature which is something that I’m getting pretty big on so that was a definite plus.

08Exq_Hardy_Patch

The second Hardy card in my collection is this Dual Patch card from the 2008 Exquisite product. The patch pieces in this card are really good and feature a lot of colors so I’m real happy with the way the card looks. I got this card for a song due to a seller deciding to end his listing at 1:00 in the afternoon. (Here’s a helpful tip…don’t be a moron when listing things on ebay. The majority of ebay traffic and bidding occurs at night, not in the middle of the afternoon) This particular card is numbered #6/15. There was another card like this numbered to 15 that featured bits of the Reebok logo from the jersey. I bid pretty aggresively on it when it was on ebay but I missed out.

The last card in my mini James Hardy collection is the Rookie Signature Patch from Exquisite numbered #64/75. Again, I bid on this card right after the product was released and I’m pretty damn sure I overpaid on this one. But, I don’t regret the purchase at all since the card looks great. Again, the on card signature¬†is clean and flawless and really looks good on the card. The patch looks like it could be part of the “A” from his name across the back. ¬†

08Exq_Hardy_RC_AUTO_Patch

I give people a lot of grief when they decide to open up boxes or cases of Upper Deck because I feel like you never really get your money’s worth. But I do admit that they do some products exactly right and I think Exquisite Football and SPA Football are two of their better products. If you have a player you like, chase down these cards. You won’t be sorry.

* Mini-Rant – How damn ridiculous is it that the NFL charges people full price on tickets to pre-season games?!? Now that I’m a season ticket holder, I have to admit that I’m pretty pissed about having to shell out $200+ for a pre-season game next Friday night against the Vikings where I won’t even see the guys I pay the money to see. Bah!!