Thursday, July 28, 2011

Alaskan Trade Package

I recently pulled off my first trade with the Cynical Buddha from the blog called Miles From Miller.  Buddha is a transplanted Brewers fan living in Alaska.  Not only was this the first time that I have traded with him, this is also my first trade to come the state of Alaska.

This blog has helped me out so much in getting in contact with collectors all over the country.  When I collected as a kid in the 90s, my trade partners all lived within minutes of my house.  Now, with the blog world, trade partners can live miles away and are still able to send me some cardboard.

This was the main prize of our trade.  I sent him a nice Brewers GU and he sent along this Nomo GU.  I love the expressionless floating head picture.  Nomo is also rocking some nice sideburns.  Buddha also sent this card in a nice screw down case.  That is much appreciated,buddy!

He also sent me some cards for my 1981 Topps chase.  I haven't been pushing this as much as I should be.  I am still a fan of this set and am looking to get some more cards.  Getting two hall of famers with cool mustaches is super cool.  Both these cards are in good condition too.  Please check out my 1981 Topps wantlist which is located up top under the title "Set Needs."

I also got a sweet Kurt Suzuki mini.  Suzuki is having a middling career so far for Oakland.  He was a stud while playing at Cal State Fullerton.  Maybe he just needs a change of scenery to pick his game up a little bit.  It has to be tough playing in a crap stadium with very few fans in the stands.  I will still collect his cards though no matter how he plays.  The only way I will stop collecting someone from my PC is if they become Giants.

Thanks for the trade, Cynical Buddha! 

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I Met Clayton Kershaw!!!!!!!!

Over the weekend I had the great privilege of meeting the wonderful Clayton Kershaw.  Kershaw was at a free autograph signing in La Mirada,CA at a Living Spaces.  I knew this was going to be a crazy event.  Kershaw is wildly popular in LA and he should be wildly popular all over the country but, that is a post for another day.  There were hundreds of people at this event.  I have know idea how what the exact number was but it was the crowd was immense.  My party and I arrived around 5am for a scheduled 10am signing.  There were already at least hundred people ahead of us in line.

This wasn't the most organized autograph session that I have been to.  It was the most crowded.  At one point when the Living Spaces employee started handing out wristbands, a mob began rushing towards her.  People were cutting in line and getting rowdy.  Luckily, the Living Spaces staff got there act together and handed out wristbands in a more orderly fashion. 

The rush and disorganization by the Living Spaces staff could have been worse than it was.  I was just thinking that this event could turn into a mini riot considering there were hundreds of people in line who have been there for several hours.  It could have turned into another blemish on the Dodgers season to go along with the Bryan Stow beating, Frank McCourt and the on-field problems.  But, I am thankful that Living Spaces settled the crowd down and the event went smooth after the initial chaos.

Kershaw seemed a little overwhelmed when he came in through the front door of the store.  I think he was shocked that that many people had came to meet him. 

The ball that I got signed was from a complete game that Kershaw pitched against the Florida Marlins earlier this year.  The ball was pitched by Kershaw to Omar Infante and Infante hit a screaming liner right at my dad.  We were sitting in the 5th row by third base.  My dad quickly put up his hands to defend himself and the line drive bounced off his wrist.  Luckily, he only got a bruise and we got the ball.  Now that same ball is signed by Clayton Kershaw!

Since, I went to this event with Josh from Dodgerbobble, I was able to swing a trade.  I traded him an in person Mark Trumbo autograph that we got together a couple weeks back.  I love GUs that are from specific events.  So, I picked up this Rafael Furcal GU workout jersey from last year's all star game.  Great card from soon to be ex-Doyer.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Torii Hunter Bobble head

I love bobble heads!  Most of the ones I own are Dodger bobble heads that I got at Dodger Stadium.  Over the weekend I saw Greg from Plaschke Thy Sweater is Argyle at a Clayton Kershaw autograph signing.  We had been working on a trade for me to obtain a Torii Hunter bobble head that he got at a Rancho Cucamonga Quakes game.  I traded him a Don Drysdale bobble head that I had two of. 

This bobble head looks very odd to me.  It doesn't look like Hunter at all.  It seems kind of racist and outdated by today's standards.  This is definitely unique which is what drew me into trying to acquire it.  Hunter is wearing a gold glove, which is awesome.  I wish a player will actually wear a gold glove and play the field.  Preferably, a player that plays awful defense to at least show the fans that he has a sense of humor about it.

This post kind of seems like a post that you would see on Dodgerbobble and he may be suing me for plagiarism right now.  I hope Josh views this post as a compliment.

Here is a side view.  This view also shows off my kitchen.  After getting this bobble head, I may be looking to expand my bobble head PC.  I may start collecting ones that I find funny, unique or just plain cool.  Maybe even one that consists of all three of those things.  Do you guys trade bobble heads for cards?

The side of the box lets us know that Hunter played for the Quakes for three games on a rehab stint.  He played pretty well going 3 for 9 with a homer.  That type of performance must have earned him a bobble head.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

2008 Upper Deck X Blaster Break

I can't resist getting a discounted blaster at Wal-Mart.  I see it on the shelf and I must purchase it.  Even when I enter the store looking to pick up a rack pack, I then bypass the rack pack for a discounted blaster.  This time around I bought a blaster of 2008 Upper Deck X.  I am a big fan of the X-Ponential insert set.  They are flashy and futuristic looking.  The base cards from 2008 Upper Deck X remind me of a gimmicky 90s set which is a compliment.  The 90s were awesome for many reasons including the card sets that were released.  Any modern set that brings me back to the 90s is always a welcoming sign.

I am not sure if a box of cards have been featured at the Platter before.  This box just looks awesome.  It looks like a movie poster and I am jacked up about seeing an action extravaganza.  Lets go and see some cardboard!

Pack #1
Victor Martinez #32
Josh Hamilton #95
Josh Beckett #15
Willie Randolph Yankee Stadium Legacy YSL4751
Matt Holiday Die Cut #37

Pack #2
Cole Hamels #74
Jermaine Dye #25
Prince Fielder #57
Ryan Zimmerman #99
Dice-K X-Ponential XDK
Conor Jackson Die Cut #2

Pack #3
Felix Hernandez #88
Justin Upton #4
Kerry Wood #20
Greg Maddux #83
Aramis Rameriz X-Ponential X2-AR
Tim Lincecum Die Cut #86

Pack #4
Hideki Matsui #67
Derek Lee #18
Vernon Wells #97
Manny Ramirez #13
Hanley Ramirez X-Ponential X-HA
Clay Buchholz Die Cut RC #16

Pack #5
Matt Kemp #53
Ryan Howard #76
David Wright #62
Ron Guidry Yankee Stadium Legacy YSL4776
Lastings Milledge Die Cut #100
A-Rod X-Ponential X3-AR

Pack #6
Corey Hart #58
Pedro Martinez #65
Johan Santana #64
Howie Kendrick #50
Jeff Fracoeur X-Ponential X-JF
Derek Jeter Die Cut #70

Pack #7
Eric Chavez #72
Hanley Ramirez #43
Nate McClouth #78
Don Baylor Yankee Stadium Legacy YSL4726
Carlos Beltran X-Ponential X2-CB
Trevor Hoffman Die Cut #84

Pack #8
Brian Roberts #9
Torrii Hunter #51
Kosuke Fukudome RC #22
Adam Dunn #29
Miguel Cabrera X-Ponential X-MC
Carlos Beltran Die Cut #63

Pack #9
Dice-K #11
Carl Crawford #93
Garrett Atkins #36
Erik Bedard Die Cut Gold #89
Ryan Howard X-Ponential X-RH
Geovany Soto Die Cut #23

Pack #10
Jeremy Hermida Die Cut #44
Carlos Lee #45
J.J. Hardy GU Jersey UDXM-JH

The one guaranteed hit was a little disappointing.  The Hardy jersey is at least blue so it has some color.  All the cards listed above that aren't colored blue are up for trade.  Please leave a comment or send me an email if you want to set up a trade.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Topps Diamond Giveaway!!!

Topps takes a lot of heat among collectors.  Some of it is warranted because they have a stranglehold on the baseball trading card market.  It is a good move for Topps.  Topps doesn't have to compete with Upper Deck, Fleer, Donruss or any other company that used to make baseball cards.  Now, all my collecting dollars goes right into the hands of Topps.  But, I do understand the criticisms of collectors. 

I am not going to go balls to the wall on my critique of the baseball card industry.  I am also not going to give the pros and cons of the Topps monopoly.  I am here to post about the Topps Diamond Giveaway.  I am a fan of this promotion.  I am able to get some nice cards and trade with others online.  Both those actions are awesome.

The Topps Diamond Giveaway offers collectors a chance to get Red Diamond Die Cut cards.  This set offers a wide array of players to choose from.  The set includes current stars and scrubs as well as past legends.  The Red Diamond Die Cut cards are shiny and obviously die cut.  The downside to getting one of these cards online is the many trade offers that come with it.  I have gotten numerous bunk offers for this Ethier.  It drove me nuts to the point where I was rushed to send in my payment to receive this card.  I was sick of getting offers of a junk 1991 Topps card or a 1987 Topps card for this beauty.  I was going to try and wait until the end of this promotion and get one big bubble mailer full of cards that I had stored on the Topps Diamond Giveaway site.

The second Red Diamond Die Cut card that I got in the bubble mailer from Topps is of Kurt Suzuki.  I haven't gotten a Kurt Suzuki card in awhile.  It at least seems that way.  I didn't get too many offers for this card.  The Ethier drew a lot of attention among collectors. 

It got me to think about, who is the most collected current Dodger?  I know collectors love the Dodger legends such a Sandy Koufax and Jackie Robinson.  But, since so many people seemed to be sending me offers for the Ethier die cut, it made me think that he must be the most popular among current Dodgers.  I think Ethier is the third best player on the team.  Clayton Kershaw and Matt Kemp are near the top at there current positions.  I don't think Ethier is one of the best outfielders in baseball. 

Who do you guys think is the most collectible among current Dodger players?

One of the gripes that people have with the Topps Diamond Giveaway is the condition of the vintage cards that they send out.  Topps gives a disclaimer that the condition of the cards that they picture may be different than the condition of the cards they send out.  The two cards pictured above are from the 1966 Topps set.  These are the oldest Dodger cards that I own.  The Lou Johnson is in very good condition.  The corners are slightly dinged but, other than that the card looks solid.  The Claude Osteen on the other hand is bent and folded in several places.  The Osteen was much loved over the years.  I still enjoy the Osteen just as much as I enjoy the Johnson.  I knew going in that the condition of the cards will vary.

I got some more old school goodness.  The 1977 Topps set is one of my favorites.  The card shows Manny Mota with his wrist heavily taped with what appears to be shipping tape.  Mota's wrist was probably killing him but, he was probably man enough to play through the pain.  The second card is a 1973 Topps Claude Osteen.  The photo appears to be taken at Dodgertown in Vero Beach,Florida.  I miss Dodgertown.  Arizona is the better spot for Spring Training overall.  No one can successfully argue otherwise.  But, Dodgertown had a great vibe and it felt like baseball heaven.  Baseball heaven isn't in a cornfield in Iowa it is located in Vero Beach.

I love Dodger team cards.  Team photos such as this have a high school class feel to them.  The back of this card has a checklist and the previous owner of this card seems to have collected the entire Dodger team set.  Good for that guy! 

1975 Topps is another one of my favorite sets.  The color schemes used have a great 70s vibe.  At least the vibe that I think was going on in the 70s since I wasn't actually born yet.  Mike Marshall had 21 saves and 15 relief wins in 1974 according to the back of this card.  That is getting the job done.  Also, Marshall has a great mustache and sideburns.  The mustache/sideburns combo probably helped him have such a good season.  Great facial hair gives you special powers.  That is a fact.

The last card I got from Topps is a 1979 Bobby Castillo.  He is a local LA guy and makes a lot of appearances representing the Dodgers.  I got this card in the hopes of getting it autographed by him someday.  Also, Castillo still has a great mustache. 

This was a very sweet package from Topps.  I still have a couple more cards on the Diamond Giveaway site.  I am just waiting to hear back from some trade offers.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Japanese Players That I Collect

In order to expand and seek out trades, I have decided to post some minor collections that I have going on.  Part of my family heritage is Japanese.  My Great Grandfather came from Japan to the Bay Area in the late 19th century.  I am very proud about my background on my mother's side.  So, that is why I follow the careers of some ball players that make there way from Japan to MLB.

The players that I am going to list are in the non-Doyer, non-Ichiro category.  As you guys may know that I have my Ichiro collection on the sidebar and I collect a lot of Dodgers anyways.  This blog is named after Hideo Nomo.  These players that I am going to list are players that I have been collecting since I got back into the hobby.  These are also players that I don't seek out as much because they aren't Dodgers but, I would love to expand my collections of these players.

Yu Darvish is a guy that I saw pitch in the last World Baseball Classic.  He has yet to make his way to America and hopefully he will come to the states someday.  He seemed to have mad skills.  Darvish may not have many cards out here yet.  He probably has a ton in Japan.  This is the only card that I have of Darvish so, I am looking to build on that.

Aki Iwamura is one of my favorite players from Japan.  Iwamura was super nice to my family and I when we bumped into him at a restaurant in Scottsdale.  He is also a cigarette smoker like myself so, we have that bond.  The card pictured above is a sweet rookie auto that I got cheaply off ebay.  He even put is number next to his signature.  That is a veteran move.  I have some cards of him when he played for the Devil Rays and Pirates but, only a handful. 

I also collect cards of So Taguchi.  I should say that this is my only card of his and it happens to be a serial numbered GU.  Taguchi was a fourth outfielder type during his short stint in the bigs.  He was a really skinny dude which earned my respect.  For the record, I am a skinny dude also.  I am not sure how I came across this Taguchi card.  Possibly through a trade on the Sports Card Forum or at a card show.  Even if I don't remember where this card came from, it is still a sweet card.

Kosuke Fukudome is a player that I also collect.  He seems to have a lot of cards out there especially when he first showed up on the Chicago Cubs.  I don't think he is too loved by Cubs fans.  Fukudome came to Chicago with a lot of hype and signed a big contract.  Cubs fans are always looking for a savior to end there pain and suffering.  That puts a lot of pressure on there players.  The Cubs will probably eventually win a World Series, right?  Right?  They can't go another hundred plus years without one, right?

Anyways, I have a handful of Fukudome game used cards.  I am looking for more of his.  I also have a decent amount of base, parallels and inserts.  Please send more over to the Platter.

Dice-K has been another huge disappointment in a high pressure city.  He has had some injury and control issues since he arrived in Boston.  Dice-K may have not understood how tough it is to play in Boston after signing such a huge contract.  It would be hard to describe it to a kid who may have no idea about New England culture.  I would like to think that Dice-K will have much more success playing in a more laid back enviorment.  Maybe if he signs a cheap deal in Florida, where no one watches games. 

Kaz Matsui is a player that I enjoyed watching.  He wasn't a great player that some people thought he would be.  He still had a decent career in the bigs.  Matsui also made some solid cash too.  I don't have many cards of his.  The mid-2000s is a weak spot in my collection overall.  This is a recent pick up that I got through a trade.  Game used bat cards are awesome!

Kenshin Kawakami had a short stint in the big leagues after a long career in Japan.  Kawakami is a player that I saw pitch in the Nagoya Dome when he played for the Dragons in Japan.  He pitched a good game and beat Japan's version of the Giants.  I also have an autographed baseball from him.  I was hoping that he would have more success for the Braves except against the Dodgers of course.  But, he struggled over here.  I only have a few cards of his.  I am seeking more especially if he as any autos or GUs out there.

This is a solid list of players that I am adding for my PC.  This should also make it easier to trade with me.  There are a lot of Dodger collectors out there so, people may not always have enough to spread around the blog world.  The blog world also has a decent amount of Ichiro and Ryan Braun collectors so, that limits trades also.

Friday, July 15, 2011

New Clippers Blog!

My buddy, Alejandro, has just started up a Clippers blog called Lawler's Law First to 100 Wins, Its the Law.  He is also trying to get up to 50 followers so, he can run his first contest.  Alejandro may be running the only Clippers blog in the blog world.  He has cornered the market.  He is also a collector of Dodger cards so, maybe he can be a new trade partner for you.  Please check out and follow his blog.  It is a lot better written than Nomo's Sushi Platter.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Spiegel Is A Fan Of Contests!!!

This may come as no surprise, but I do enjoy contests.  Actually, let me rephrase that, I enjoy winning contests.  Wes from the blog Jaybarkerfan's Junk has been giving away cards all summer.  Wes recently held a contest and I think everyone who entered came away with some prize.  I may be wrong but, I do know I was a winner.

I sign up for a lot of contests in the blog world.  Sometimes I win and sometimes I don't.  I am always happy with whatever I get in return.  It usually takes a minimal amount of effort and you get free cards if you win.  It is a great deal for the blog reader.  I thank Wes for hosting this particular contest and I also want to thank all the other bloggers for hosting contests.  You guys are cooler than I.

This was the main prize that Wes sent me.  Most other collectors wouldn't appreciate a card like this.  But, I remember as a kid in the 90s and hearing about Karim Garcia.  He was the next big thing for the Los Angeles Dodgers.  He was once a prized prospect that never really became a big time player.  He still had a long career and bounced around the big leagues but, was never a super star.

This card is an autograph from 1995 Classic.  It is also on-card which makes it even more valuable to me.  I do enjoy collecting autographs of all Dodgers.  I also like collecting Dodger autos of once hyped but failed prospects.  This Karim Garcia auto fits in with other autos that I have like Andy LaRoche and Chin Lung Hu.  Next on my list is finding an auto of Angel Pena.  Maybe someone in the blog world can help me out with that one.

Wes also sent me some other goodies.  This card is awesome!  This is a 3-D mini of ex-Dodger employee Steve Garvey.  Garvey recently was fired by the Dodgers because he has been trying to get an investment group together to buy the team.  Except, as of right now, the team isn't for sale and Garvey was on the Dodger payroll.  You certainly don't want to publicly try to oust your boss while your boss is signing your checks.  I am also not sure if I feel comfortable with Garvey leading a group to buy a team.  Garvey has done some scummy things in his past like money troubles, cheating on his wife, illegitimate children, and trouble paying his taxes.  The Dodgers already have a sleazy owner and that is not working out well.  I do hope that once the team gets a new owner that Garvey gets his job back in the community relations department.  Garvey is a good guy to have around and make appearances on behalf of the Dodgers. 

This is a 2011 Topps Reprint Roy Campanella Original Back.  I have a ton of reprints of Campy but this is an Original Back.  The Original Backs from this set are so tough to pull.  They must be one per a box.  It may be easier getting a relic than an Original Back.  Thanks for sending this one to me,Wes.  One of these days I may own the original, real deal version of this card. 

I don't own many basketball cards.  I have some cards of UCLA players and of Omri Caspi.  This is the first old school NBA card in my collection.  This is a 1979 Topps Foots Walker card.  Great name,Foots!  I also miss these old school Cavs jersey that Foots is wearing.  It kind of looks like a more modern Atlanta Hawks jersey.  Very nice throw in, Wes.  This card was a pleasant surprise to my winnings and a welcome addition to my PC.

Thanks again,Wes!  Keep up your summer of giving.  I am sure people are a fan of yours all over the blog world.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Mike Scioscia and Mark Trumbo Signing

I made a weekend trip to enemy territory in Irvine,CA to meet Mike Scioscia and Mark Trumbo.  They were appearing at a Howard's Electronic Store.  Luckily, Josh from Dodgerbobble was willing to make the long drive to Orange County.  I hate driving to Orange County.  It is just super far from my place and there is enough freeway that there is bound to be traffic.  Thanks for the ride, Josh!

I wasn't sure how many people were going to show up to this event.  I haven't been to an Angels gathering before.  There were tons of people there.  We showed up about four hours before the scheduled signing and we were still hundred people behind the front of the line.  I think that since Scioscia was signing and he is an ex-Doyer and current Angel that he probably draws a big crowd in SoCal.

The line was moving slow.  Which, wasn't such a bad thing in hindsight because Scioscia and Trumbo were talkative and taking photos with the fans.  The wait and all day commitment gave me time to crack some jokes at the expense of Angel fans and Orange County.  I don't really have anything against the Angels other than there stupid name.  They change the name of there geographic location and color scheme every few years or so.  Pick a name and stick with it!  I was also saying some meaner things but, I won't put them in print.

Mark Trumbo has been on a tear this season, so I have been told.  He also seemed like a nice guy.  I am a fan of retro cards and they work great for autographs.  Even collectors that aren't fans of the retro set have to agree with that. 

After we got our autos we checked out the line and it was deep.  There were hundreds of people in line even after the first hundred had gotten signatures.  It was a fun day in Orange County which may be the first time I ever said that.  There should be some Dodger events closer to my home that I will be attending.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Trade Recap,Group Break Winnings, And A Trade Made In A Bar!

Long live the trade post!  There was some conversation about the death of the trade post in the blog world.  The trade post still serves a purpose.  I enjoy reading them and writing them.  It lets me see what other people collect and what others may want.  It also shows me the generosity in the blog world.  There are tons of generous traders out and about.  I haven't trade with everyone in the blog world yet but, I'll get around to it at some point.

This post is covering several bases for me today.  I had a small build up of packages to go through and post about.  I also have a stack of cards that I need to catalog and put into binders.  Once, I do that then I will be able to get some more trades going.

We'll start this multi-purpose post with some cards that were sent to me by Godfather Night Owl.  I think that probably everyone that is reading this post has checked out his blog and has loved it.  Night Owl sent me a nice stack of Doyers.  These two are of 2011 All-Stars Andre Ethier and Clayton Kershaw. 

I have been searching for a 2009 Topps 206 Clayton Kershaw for awhile.  I even busted a box of this product and still didn't get this Kershaw card.  Luckily, Godfather Night Owl came through and sent this out to me.  The 2009 Topps 206 Kershaw can be scratched off my list now.

Since the Dodgers are about to sweep the Padres, I thought I would show a couple cards of ex-Dodger and current Padre, Orlando Hudson.  I really liked Orlando's short stint as a Dodger.  I don't root against him even though he is on a division rival.  The blue border on the Topps Opening Day set looks awesome.  Blue borders make Dodger cards even better.  Also, serial numbered gold will never go away nor should it.  Gold is a classic standard among parallels.  Good luck this afternoon, Orlando!

Minis!!!!!!!!  I am a big fan of minis.  Godfather Night Owl always sends me a solid variety of Dodger cards.  Cards of all shapes and sizes.  These minis are fantastic!  I especially like the 2010 Topps 206 Hiroki Kuroda.  It looks like a Kuroda mugshot.  Kuroda may be traded soon due to the Dodgers crap season.  He has played well for the team and I hope he has success to whatever contending team picks him up.  GM Ned Colletti will probably screw the trade up and get a bag of junk for Kuroda.  Best of luck to your next team, Kuroda!

Thank you for the cards, Godfather Night Owl.  We will trade again real soon.

Johnny from the blog called Cards From The Quarry.  Johnny hosts a monthly group break that I joined last month.  He was able to pull a bunch of Dodgers for me which was probably frustrating for him to see so much Dodger Blue.  It was a joyous time for me though.  Check out his blog now as he is trying to fill his July group break.  I am broke and won't be taking the Dodgers this month so, the several other Dodger collectors can claim away.

He pulled a sweet 1996 Studio Hideo Nomo for me.  Nomo smiley face!  Also, as part of a trade that we made, he sent me a serial numbered Andre Ethier RC. 

Johnny busted some packs of 2004 Topps Chrome as part of his group break.  I love chrome cards when they are flat and not curled up.  These are two shiny Dodger cards.  The Dave Roberts is a gold bordered refractor.  Very sweet!  Roberts is also the first base coach of the soon to be swept San Diego Padres.  Thank you for pulling me so many Dodgers, Johnny!  I should have more finances to be able to join your August group break.

I enjoy cards from a good painted set.  Diamond King cards should somehow make a comeback.  The art work is cool and so many collectors grew up collecting Diamond Kings.  These cards were received from blogger Napkin Doon.  He has a well kept blog and posts on a regular basis.  He also has a really cool LCS that hosts an auction night.  Napkin seems to be able to get good deals on some cardboard.

Napkin purchased a bunch of Mike Piazza and Rauuuul Mondesi cards from the 90s had one of the auction nights.  I, of course, had to make a trade with him for any dupes that he didn't want.  Napkin is becoming one of my favorite trade partners.  We have made maybe two or three trades together and each one has been superb.

Here is a sampling of some of the Rauuul Mondesi cards that Napkin sent me.  1994 Fleer Ultra may be one of my favorite sets of all time.  I opened so many of these packs as a kid.  The base cards have the golden touch and the inserts were just awesome.  The inserts in Fleer sets were vast and inventive.  Please comeback Fleer!  The baseball card industry needs some creativity.  Thanks for the trade package, Napkin!

I saved the bar trade for last.  I haven't made a trade in a bar before.  A buddy of mine had mentioned that he had a Steve Yeager and Steve Sax bat relic for trade/sale.  I was interested because my collection lacks a relic from either of these two guys.  He said his price was a couple beers.  Luckily, we were throwing a few back before going to Dodger Stadium anyways.  Also, it was happy hour.  I couldn't pass up on that deal and bought him a couple pre-game pints for these two cards.  Sweet deal and I am open to making more trades in a bar setting.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Where Did It Go Wrong?

The Dodgers put up another clunker of a performance tonight.  They lost 6-0 to the New York Mets in a vacant Dodger Stadium.  It was another pathetic output by a flawed roster that is so typical of the 2011 Dodgers.  How did it get to this? 

The easy answer is Frank McCourt.  He is the cause of most of the problems the Dodgers have.  McCourt doesn't seem to care about wins or losses on the field.  These days he is more concerned about court appearances.  Even before his divorce, he seemed to care more about money and smiling in front of cameras.  He always came across as a politician.  McCourt always wanted to say what he thought was the right thing to say rather than do the correct thing with his actions.  He still doesn't get understand that he is supposed to be more of a caretaker of the Dodgers as opposed to being an owner. 

The poor decisions made by Dodger ownership is not just a McCourt disease.  Fox, which owned the team before they sold hit to McCourt, made an awful move by dumping Mike Scioscia.  Now Scioscia has been the manager of the Anaheim Angels for about a decade.  He has won a ring and always seems to have a pretty good team. 

I would love to blame Frank McCourt for Scioscia managing the Angels but, that would be unreasonable.  When Fox was dumping him and Scioscia was teaching the Angels how to win games, McCourt hadn't even known baseball was played west of Chicago.  This move by Fox totally changed the modern Dodger history books.  Things would be different if Mike Scioscia stayed in the Dodger organization.

Jim Tracy managed the Dodgers in the first half of the 2000s.  Except for the 2004 Dodgers, most of Tracy's teams would come close to a playoff spot and then fall just short.  The teams he managed always seemed to fall apart in the second half.  He seemed like a nice man though.  But, nice guys finish second, I guess. 

Tracy is probably happy to be out of LA.  I don't blame him.  I wouldn't want to work for an owner that views winning as not the main goal.  Winning for Frank McCourt is down on his list of priorities between buying a third country club membership and hiring a tenth public relations person.

When Joe Torre was hired as a manager prior to the 2008 season, he brought over his coaching staff from the Yankees.  Don Matingly tagged along and for some reason McCourt promised that he would be next in line to manage the Dodgers.  Once again, Matingly seems like a nice guy and a smart baseball man.  He has done an okay job given the flawed roster that GM Ned Colletti put together.  It just seems like pure laziness that you would give a man a manger's position despite having no experience at that job on any level.

I believe Frank McCourt did this to save money.  That always seems to be what drives his decisions.  He was probably too cheap to bring in an experienced manager because they cost more money.  It also probably costs money, time and resources to even interview different candidates. 

He didn't even interview Dodger hero, Kirk Gibson, for the job.  Gibson is now at the helm managing the surprising Arizona D-Backs.  It is kind of similar to the Scioscia situation a decade ago.  Someone with Dodger blue in there blood isn't given a chance to manage the team.  I am sure McCourt probably doesn't even know recent Dodger history and know how much it irks Dodger fans to see Scioscia in Angel red.  Gibson would have been a fine choice over the Yankeeness of Don Matingly.  McCourt blew it again! 

I am just kind of ranting at this point.  This season is already wearing on me.  The McCourt regime is just pissing me off so much.  He is whats wrong with so many things surrounding the Dodgers.

Ok....deep breath...deep breeth....

The card above is from the 1988 Mother's Cookies set.  It shows Kirk Gibson as a player wearing the uniform that he should be wearing now.  Those were happier times in Dodger Land.  It was a time before McCourt was getting weekly $150 haircuts.

Ok...deep breath....deep breath....

This is a blog about baseball cards not about raging against Frank McCourt.  There are many other great sites doing that a lot better than me.  The first half of this post may have lost some people expecting just to see some cardboard and a couple remarks about each card.  I'll get on track towards the end here.

Tommy Lasorda has been quiet while the McCourt mess has been going on.  Which is surprising because he is always loud and opinionated.  I also wonder what he has been thinking about the current state of the Dodgers.  I view Tommy as the president of Dodger Land.  He seems so happy on this card.  Once again, this card is from a happier time not the 2000s.

Fernando isn't a current or former major league manager like the guys shown previously.  He is now a Dodger broadcaster on Spanish radio.  When I first started writing this post, I was hoping that it would be about the wrong choices the Dodgers have made with managers.  It was a half assed attempt with a lot of anger and negativity.  So, I wanted to end it with a card of a smiling Fernando.  It is a smile that would light up Dodger Stadium whenever he would take the mound.

I also wonder if Fernando would be smiling if he unloaded his famous screwball right at Frank McCourt's face.  That would be awesome!  Frank McCourtColletti!  He passed over Kirk Gibson!  He put the team in poor financial standing!  Oh no, the anger is coming back.  Sorry!

Ok....deep breath....deep breath.....