Thursday, October 7, 2010

Tek-nically speaking...

...this will be the end of the road for Jason Varitek, longtime captain and veteran backstop of YOUR Boston Red Sox. Tek-nically he is still on the team, but the odds are looking mighty stacked against the mighty captain returning to the team next season with guys like Martinez and Saltelamachia (sp?) in the wings.

I can't help but get a little misty-eyed at the end of an era. This became even more evident when I watched ESPN's "four days in October" the other night which did an excellent job on chronicling the Red Sox historic comeback on the hated Yankees.

It's hard NOT to love that 2004 team, no matter who you root for, that was an amazing story full of stories within the story. Drama at it's best and an unforgettable experience. Tek was right in the middle of it that season...and up in A-Rods face as well.

Should this be the end of the road for Varitek, I thank him, wish him well, and hope when he does choose to retire that he will return to the Red Sox in some sort of coaching position.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Accidental Treasure

We have all done this.

You know when you go to your hobby shop and go up to the front counter to pay, and the dollar amount just looks a little too odd. Your total is something like $23.00 and you want to round it up to an even $30?

So you quickly scan the counter and look at all the point-of-purchase displays that you typically would never ever give a second thought.

Last spring I did just this. I had gone to the shop and snagged a box of SP authentic, the latest Beckett magazine, a few binder sleeves, and I felt that my total just was not even enough, absentmindedly grabbed three packs of Panini basketball, because they were closest to the register.

Typically I tend to avoid open boxes laying on the counter. You worry about pack searchers and maybe the owner doing some shading pack-swapping, but that day I figured what the heck.

Accidental treasure is when you open up some foreign product and you pull out a nice auto or relic totally unexpected. I nailed two hits in three packs (the third pack had some weird OJ Mayo cardboard jersey that looked like an air freshener).

Admittedly, I really had no idea who Brandon Jennings was until I looked him up. The Bucks have fallen into obscurity and he simply was not on my ROY radar (nor did he win, but he came close)! The second hit speaks for itself.

What were your accidental treasures?

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Rock Solid Blaster

A lot of people think you are crazy when you say that you would rather buy a blaster than a hobby box.


Yeah it is, but here is the deal. I get a crazy grin on my face every time I throw down for some Ginter Blaster and receive something like this... Ain't that a purdy diamond? Have you even SEEN this card, much less is a hobby box? I gotta hand it to Topps, they find a way to keep you buying long after you already have about 10 of every base card. I have said it a million times, the base is horrifically boring this year, so why do I keep buying the stuff? The minis of course. And I am under a strong belief that some minis are either blaster and retail exclusive, or just way higher-seeded in retail than hobby.

Now I had no idea that World's Biggest even existed until I started seeing some blaster break posts. I have since purchased three blasters of Ginter and have pulled...

A Prince Fielder Celestial Hobby box case hit, the Tooth Fairy, and various dinos and Lords of Olympus have been added to my collection from blaster and retail packs, and then along with the diamond card...

Three short print mini cards!

Sure, I am passing up my chance at a Shin Shoo Choo pair of pants by not getting a hobby box, BUT you would be surprised at the frequency of hits in blasters. I got two hits out of three blasters.

Same story goes for T206. Finding lots of minis and short print base cards, as well as two hits, a caramel auto of some Oakland rookie, and a decent Curt Schilling Diamondback jersey relic.

Anybody else out there have decent luck with retail and blasters? I was raised believing that odds are pretty heavily stacked against you, but I am starting to think otherwise.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Fantastic Sunday Finales.

My heart goes out to you fans who had to endure a walking-on-pins-and-needles final MLB weekend to see if your team made it to the dance. While most fans either jettisoned baseball for football, or watched a casual game knowing that most players were already packed and had thoughts of vacation in their heads, some teams were fighting all weekend for their post-season lives. Here are the survivors... Way to go Giants! After a completely grueling series with the San Diego Padres, the Giants found a way to take the final game in the set. The strategic move to move Timmy up one game in anticipation of a playoff game today nearly came to fruition, but the Giants finally found a way to shut the door.

I am excited for this team. I am excited to see Lincecum get his first post-season run, and I am excited to see this team finally move out from behind the cloud that was Barry Bonds. This is definitely a rag-tag bunch, but the atmosphere in SF should be electric.
Meanwhile on the other side of the nation, have you ever heard of this guy?

Jason Heyward and the Atlanta Braves are headed to the playoffs thanks to a massive effort on Sunday. They needed every run they could muster too, as they barely held on and nearly face a one-game playoff with the Padres today. Phew!

Atlanta is having a Cinderella season. While they no-doubt have been in this position before, something just feels more solid about this bunch, who have a great mix of veteran and youth leadership on the team. It's hard not to pull for Bobby Cox, talk about a great way to end your career.
Overall, I am really excited about the playoffs this year. Typically it is hard to get motivated when your team does not make it, but everything is just so DIFFERENT this year. Cincinnati, Texas, Atlanta, San Francisco, talk about a bunch of teams that you can really root for.
Nielson ratings...count me in!