Saturday, 30 March 2013

Fantasy Baseball 2013

This year is no different from the others so I signed in once again in the site to play some fantasy.

Last year I tried the new way of playing, where the players with more points count and then we don't have to care that much about chnaging the lineup to set the active players and the bench players.

This year I got that lazy too.

And I decided to get lazy too when selecting the players ranks.

I always lost a lot of time making the ranks to try and get the players I want and never get them. Except for the first year I played back in '09.

And so I let the ranks just like they were and for my surprise...I got the players I wanted. Well...some of them.

I don't know if it's mister Murphy pulling the strings or not but here is my fantasy players list. Number means the draft round.

1 Miguel Cabrera (3B, U, DET) 

2 Dustin Pedroia (2B, U, BOS) 

3 Adam Jones (OF, U, BAL) 

4 Ben Zobrist (2B, SS, OF, U, TB) 

5 Austin Jackson (OF, U, DET) 

6 Elvis Andrus (SS, U, TEX) 

7 Mark Teixeira (1B, U, NYY)

8 Torii Hunter (OF, U, DET) 

9 Ryan Doumit (C, OF, U, MIN) 

10 Oakland Athletics (P, OAK)

11 Brian McCann (C, U, ATL)

12 Cliff Pennington (2B, SS, U, ARI) 

13 Brett Gardner (OF, U, NYY) 

14 Starling Marte (OF, U, PIT) 

15 Ryan Howard (1B, U, PHI) 

16 Alberto Callaspo (3B, U, LAA)

From all of this I didn't know Ryan Doumit. I did some surch by his cards and they were pretty 'old'. I don't have any card of him.

Just like Pennington and Marte. I really had the impression I had at least a card of Pennington but maybe I'm making cunfusion about having Pennington in a past fantasy team.

Marte I cannot remember him too. So I'm pretty curious to see what this trio can do.

That's what is so good about playing fantasy. You get to know a lot of players whom may seem underdogs but turn out to be quite the players!

And of course it makes us look for their cards.

But for these players I didn't know or do not have cards I have all of the others.

The main highlight goes to Mark Teixeira.

Taking out Molitor is Teixeira to make the first place in my book.

The card I'm showing is the last I got to my collection. It was sent by one of my favourite eBay sellers as a bonus in my last purchase. It's a nice jersey relic. And I don't care if it is from a cleaning fabric. It still looks good.

The last time I had Texeira in my fantasy team he gave me a lot of points. So I'm counting that he will not get injured.

Then the obvious highlight too for the most recent triple-crown winner. I can see a lot of points comming from my 3B.

For 2B I have Pedroia and Zobrist. Zobrist is a hard-worker but usually doesn't get in the spotlight. Pedroia is what we all know. A image of the hard times Red Sox has been through. The best image I have of Pedroia is fielding. That's what a dirty uniform means.

Besides the uknown, to me, Doumit I got other catcher but one I know very well because it's one of my favourites. Mister McCann is probably the face of Atlanta after Jones has retired. His also pretty good with the bat so I'm hopping for some points.

Even if I got other 2 players that can play as SS I think Andrus is the best suited to play there. At least in my fantasy team. Here his rookie card from when we got great photos from Upper Deck.

Adam Jones did well last season in the playoffs so I'm counting on him. Austin Jackson I do not know that well. But Gardner I know! Hope, like with Teixeira, that he will play more and will keep injuries away. Gardner is great to get points from stolen bases and if bunts-get-to-first would count Gardner would give me even more points! He can hit and run pretty fast!

Torii Hunter is a fun player to watch but I don't think he can play at top level anymore. Let him show me I'm wrong.

The last 2 players, Callaspo and Howard I see as bench players. But let them play well and give me points if they may!

In fantasy we have to support some players that in real life we don't care.

To finalize I got for my pitching rotation the A's. I'm full of doubts. And probably I'll trade some field player to get an other pitching team.

But let come the season and see if I can get to the playoffs again!

Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Being victorious - or not quite

Finally some holidays!

I'm not interested in the festivities themself. That would be other looooooong talk.

But I truly needed some days off work.

Unfortunately I couldn't bring cards with me. But with the blogoshpere I never feel away of the hobby.

And the fact that I have a lot of cards to talk about I'll manage for the week.

So today I'm showing some victorious cards. But they only have the name. Because as you might have understood by now I'm talking about 2003 Upper Deck Victory cards.

A pack that came in one of the 3 or 4 repack boxes I bought a months ago.

I've read a mix of feelings about these repack boxes. But again, since I,m starting I really don't mind getting cards like these.

I want to *know*.

By the pack I got it already that the cards had a 'gaming part'. But thanks for the rules card.

I confess that I started to read the first couple of rules and quickly left it aside.

I once collected gaming cards for the game. But a few time later I collected it by the card itself.

Can we call it maturing? Perhaps...

But lets see if I could collect this UD set in a 'mature' way.

Ryan Klesko has a gret photo! Arriving for the training session or warm up before the game bringing the Mc bag and other stuff is a 'living the baseball life' card.

Players do other things besides batting, catching, pitching, sliding...They also drive or ride the bike and bring lunch to work.

They simply are lucky to have baseball as their work.

John Smoltz has too much achievemnts to enumerate here. I was lucky to see the final time he spent in the MLB.

Alfonso Soriano. Make them wear the Yankees uniform and they always look good! But Soriano is great just by his own.

Roberto Alomar playing for the Mets is something that tears my eyes upside down. It simply does not match in anyway.

Laying it on the Line is kind of a insert set appended to end of the base set. Here featuring mister Randy Johnson.

I think I saw some player in this year Topps Series 1 that reminded me of Randy. I'll look for it.

And finally Larry Walker. I didn't know him but he seemed to be quite a player with a career BA above .300.

Walker in a parallel green card. I must go and see if there are other colours or just greens.

The photos on the front were good and would be so much better if there were no vertigo effect obscuring almost all the photo.

I thought that if they were playing cards the playing actions/stats would be on the front. But no. Those are on the back.

The true is that we have normal stats as well as game features. But what made me like the card backs better than the front are the photos. We can see all the photo without any intruding effect.

The photos being different from the front photo isa good bonus.

I highlight the Randy card back. Maybe not quite visible on the image but the photo has some refractor/holograhic thing to it!

I think all of those sub-set are that way.

The green parallel look the same as the other base cards but with the green border. But I think the parallel cards have different game actions from the normal cards.

So, all in all I liked the cards moderatly. Points against are the obscuring front photo and mainly the cardboard. It's horrible. It's so thin it is ready to bend! But I give the mighty pros to the cards back.

Would UD made the set look like the hockey version of it and it would be better. Specialy because I like a lot the said hockey sets.

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

2013 Topps - insert post

Since forever I'm used to the 'Insert Coin' in the video games universe.

Nowadays I'm quite used to the 'Insert Sets' Topps gives us.

But in the arcades many times we got no more coins to insert and play but sure Topps always get some different idea of putting inserts in the packs and play with us with 'catch me if you can' with so many sets to collect.

I'm organizing my 2013 Topps Series 1 cards.

And yep, I'm truly far away of getting them all.

I used to get all the Pokemons on the GameBoy video games but forget getting all the cards.

So I gathered all the inserts I got from the Series 1 packs I bought and here is the result.

The only Cut to the Chase card I got.

It's beautiful.

It's that simple.

Ken Griffey Jr. is always a good player to get in cards. Of course I'd prefer getting a Yankee or specially the Paul Molitor die-cut.

If I got the Paul Molitor card I'd be hyperventilating like there were no tomorrow!

How can you not be with this beauty!

(That was the girly girl comment of the post...I think!)

Now the minis. I know there are a minis tribe out there in the blogosphere. I like them. But I'm not that crazy about them. The minis. Not the tribe.

I got two active players mini cards and two retired players mini cards.

Posey it's quite ok in my perspective but getting Sale's mini was great!

Getting one player I collect seems quite difficult to me. It seems the Cards Gods are listening to my mind and when I decide to collect some player they start to send me packs without that player.

I'll stop thinking.

And just collect.

Clemente was quite the player but I'm not yet into his playing.

Ripken Jr. is running in his mini so it's a bonus getting a card of him without him batting.

The next 3 are Calling Cards.

I would not give a thing about this insert set.


And I only got pitchers.

Accordingly with BaseballCardPedia the Chasing History cards have the particularity of:

"NOTE: There are four different versions of each Chasing History insert, each specific to a particular pack-type.
  - Silver non-foil (Hobby packs)
 - Silver foil (retail packs)
 - Gold foil (Hanger boxes)
 - Holographic Foil (retail rack packs)"

All my packs were hobby. And I think I got the most common type of the cards.

I checked COMC and found 3 types of possible cards:

- Chasing History
- Chasing History Holofoil Gold
- Chasing History Holofoil

I got the first one. And if those seem to be the most common (and less valuable) and I got them in hobby packs I think you can see I'm right about what I said before:

Hobby packs is a bloody waist of money!

But after venting this I liked the cards. Specially the two Yankees.

Now the fantastic four in Chasing the Dream version.

Actually is not 4, because I got 2 Lawries.

I still keep my idea of the '80s style about this set. But I liked better the last year breakthrough players insert set.

Something good from the hobby packs: these two cards.

The Greats insert set is limited to hobby packs. And have parallels (oh really!?).

I got these two that I already showed when I showed the last packs I got.

They are a pretty think cardboard. The kind you see in relics' cards.

These group of cards and the following two are not quite inserts in the common sense of it. Some are parallels and others are base set cards.

But for me they count as inserts and are organized thinking that way.

First, the above picture has the gold parallels I got.

I like to highlight the Zack Cozart which is a great card. Do you think he did make it to the home plate? He seems to be on the verge of falling.

And of course the Alex Rodriguez Record Chase card. With 'help' or not. That is a record.

I've learned from reading these passing days that the OD set has sapphire parallels instead of these emerald ones.

I like sapphires better than emerald in jewelry and the same goes with the cards.

Altuve were one of the only two players I got from Houston. And those uniforms surrounded by emerald look...

To finalize the AL and NL league leaders.

In future posts I'll show my favourite cards from the base cards I got.

Tuesday, 19 March 2013

The mighty hoover from doom

I bought a bunch of '89 Topps packs the other day.

I like to get vintage when I get the chance.

Even when vintage means going back to the '80s maximum.

The problem with the packs from back then is the gum.

What was wrong with those guys at the time, thinking that putting a gum inside a wax pack with cards would be just great!?

At least for the guys in Topps. We have the Fleer example with stickers. That does not mess up with the cards. Even getting the packs after so many years.

Of course I opened the packs looking for the Paul Molitor cards. Astonishing I didn't get it...

But I got good cards with no duplicates. But it does not make up for once again not getting a Molitor card.

So, the other day I was organizing the cards and taking note of them in my mighty notebook when they all scattered on the floor.

I didn't get much worried because I already had put them all into sleeves and I didn't mind putting them back in order.

The thing is that I didn't see that one of the cards went under the couch until...

...the mighty hoover from doom was put into action a few days later!

Oh my!

But astonishing again the card didn't suffer a scratch or not even a single line of bending.

The Cards Gods were with me in that very moment!

I already had the Cards Gods against me when I, inadvertently, folded a Sam LeCure RC corner.

This time around I couldn't take one more strike like that!

So what was the the card?

I knew at the time that the Cards Gods were trying to compensate me.


Because it was an other Reds' player and an other Rookie Card!

Mister Armstrong actually won the WS title in the next year with Cincinnati.

So be all you lot very carefully with spilling your cards on the floor. There is always an hiding hoover somewhere ready to swallow your cards.

Friday, 15 March 2013

2008 Upper Deck X

I have mixed feelings about Upper Deck X sets.

The first times I saw cards I wanted to have! After getting a few packs I started to doubt.

I think it's not quite the thing about the X sets but about cards where the real background is replaced by a designed background.

One moment I love them.

The next moment I hide all those cards away in a box.

The first pack I got of Upper Deck X was the '08 release. I thought they only released this set this year but then I found out they repeated the treat on '09.


These are the base cards. They have an X just to make sure we don't forget the set's name.

Russel Martin is looking up to make sure he doesn't bump his head on the card top. Even m ore because he has no longer the helmet on.

The set's description on BaseballCardPedia says: "2008 Upper Deck X is a 100-card set released in September 16, 2008. Each pack contains one die-cut parallel and one XPonential insert."

So I got one extra card.

I got Jake Peavy Die-Cut. He is almost making the X like the Vitruvian Man.

Then I got an Xponential Maglio Ordoñez. These are pretty shining cards. And the border around the player looks like he is a 3D model popping out of the card.

So instead of getting an other base card I got one Yankee Stadium card.

I, as a Yankee fan, get quite happy with getting these cards as bonus on every other pack released by Upper Deck during '08.

But for all the other anti-Yankee this is really a pain there.

Next time around I got 2 packs.

They are quite space-shuttle like.

It's like watching "2001: A Space Odyssey" back in the '60s.

They look futurist. But those Comic Sans letters down there do quite the opposite.

My Die-Cut for first pack is Lance Berkman as an Astro when he used to play.

He did a pretty good job as a Yankee but it didn't make anything for his career in return.

This time around I did not get any bonus card and so here there are my 4 base cards.

Atkins already retired.

Mauer is one hell of a Catcher!

Beckett I don't like you in red or blue.

I usually don't like the standard Aces...Verlander is one of those.

And in this pack I learn that are more Xponential cards than I thought.

Here a Prince Fielder X3.

Got love it!

The back seems like having scratches but no. Is the popping out of the card that makes it. On the front we see the player almost getting into live. That's the effect on the back.

The second pack brought me 4 more base cards.

Conor Jackson which I started collecting after knowing he is the son of Mister JAG!

I've loved so much the series that when I read Jackson was the son of the actor who portrayed A.J. Chegwidden the first (and true) JAG I knew I had to collect his cards.

I think it won't be a very difficult jog because he is now playing in the minors.

Furcal is ok.

Lincecum was on of those Aces just like Verlander to me.

Last year he played out of the bullpen.

This year I don't know. But he sure returned to that hair style from '08.

Ankiel got me thinking I was seeing double.

Wasn't he a pitcher? Well he longer is.

I have to see if I have any card of him before as a pitcher before getting injured and changed to OF.

My Die-Cut for the pack was Carlos Lee. I got 2 Astros Die-Cuts. Cool.

I liked Astros just like I liked D-Backs. Not only because of the players but because of the uniforms.

So I'm a bit confused right now about what to feel about Astros returning to those old uniforms (and logo too).

The other insert card was Hideki Matsui Xponential 2 card!

Great way to end the pack with the last Yankee WS title MVP.

And I noticed that the X2 cards back are different from the X and X3.

Why the X2 cards back do not have the players photo too? The others were like a reprint of the front.

They like to confuse us.

I got all my X packs from those Repack Boxes with different packs from different years.

The first 3 packs were alright but look at this one! It is all scratchy and I feared the inside was not that good ether...

I got 2 Die-Cuts.

Braun and Milledge.

Braun is one of the All-Stars for sure but Milledge I've never heard of before.

Milledge played last year in Japan and got pretty good stats for 125 played games: hitting exactly .300 with 21 HR and 65 RBI.

Will he return to the MLB?

My base cards are two Padres and Morneau.

Adding Morneau to Mauer from an earlier pack and I got the Twins team.

But this beauty made the pack to me!

Mark Teixeira Xponential card!

Sure he is with the Braves but I like him in every team.

Even if I had to take some painkillers if he starts playing for the Red Sox.

Since it's a X card I get the reprint front on the back.

But if the cards seemed good on the previous photos my fears were right about this last pack being into war somewhere else before I got it.

You can see that the cards were damaged on one corner.

And it's not the top of the corner. It is quite a large part of the corner.

I'll have to deal with it.

Since getting these packs I had the opportunity to by one box of '08 Upper Deck X but in the last moment I backed up and bought other repack box. In which I didn't get any other X pack.