Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Who’s a Seller Now?

After all, if they’re no longer in the cellar, they shouldn’t be sellers…right?

This was really my point when I wondered why people were so eager to define this team. Why did we need to decide their fate on July first? Why did they need to decide if they were buyers or sellers a month before the deadline? Who knows what will happen by then?

And, we still don’t. We’re less than two weeks from the deadline, but I don’t know if a five game winning streak should change any plans. At least, it shouldn’t if they had the right plans to start with.

I’ve been saying for quite some time that the Sox should be buyers and sellers. Their farm system allows them to do exactly that. Does a NL team really want Jake Peavy? He can be moved, and the Sox have the prospects to fill in for him. Even during a pennant race. So, sell. But, does Giancarlo Stanton finally become available? The Sox can certainly part with some prospects to get that deal done. So, buy.

Frankly, there’s only one problem with the combined approach. The teams who want to buy what you’re selling are very likely the people you’ll be competing with the rest of the season. It would be tricky to make a trade sending Peavy to Baltimore, for instance, even though they might be in the market for a veteran starter. Baltimore is a team you’re hoping to pass on the way to the division. Even an NL team, like the Dodgers, could end up haunting you. Usually when you’re a seller, the other teams don’t concern you as much.

But, they can still make it work. They can find destinations for their spare parts. There might even be upgrades available at positions where they need them. Frankly, they have so many prospects that they need to do something. They can’t fit Victorino, Nava, Gomes, Bradley, Holt, Carp, and Betts in their outfield. They have two young catching prospects, and five infielders. They need to package them to get something back. Even if it’s just an all-star, instead of a legend. They need to pick prospects to keep, and trade the rest to get some quality.

Quality would be helpful during a playoff hunt.

Monday, July 14, 2014

From the Pedro Binder

2000 Impact

There’s a lot to like about this card. Of course, there’s a lot not to like as well.

You probably guessed that I like the way the picture was handled. It was able to extend all the way to the end of the card. There’s no border to confine it. No limiting graphics. Everything is placed so that the picture can surround it.

The “Impact” logo is at the top, but still manages to float in the picture. Pedro’s name, position, and Red Sox logo are similarly allowed to be included in the picture, as opposed to being a hindrance to it. Even the brightly colored border doesn’t trim the picture away. The opaque quality allows your eye to follow the picture as far as it needs to go. Simple white lines give design, without being distracting. There’s no foil anywhere, so you can read the entire card without giving yourself carpal tunnel from all the twits and tilts to catch the light.

The picture is pretty standard. Pedro maki8ng a face as he prepares to embarrass a batter. Nothing too exciting about it, but nothing wrong with it either. I do like how you can clearly see his cut sleeve flapping in the breeze.

But, that border color? Really?

A sort of salmon reddish pinkish thing? Not quite the shade I would have gone with. But, that’s just me.

Or maybe it’s not. 

Saturday, July 12, 2014

In the Media Guide

In my collection, I currently have every Red Sox Media Guide dating back to 1998. I love flipping through them to see what tidbits they contain. I figured that if I liked it, you might enjoy taking a look along with me. So, I had a random number generator select a page from the 2009 edition to talk about today.

It went with pg 100

Page 100 is the second page of the entry for Angel Chavez.

Yup. Angel Chavez. He was a 27 year old infielder for the 2009 Red Sox organization. He never reached Boston, and was released after the season.

What tid-bits might we find on his page?

We see that in 1999 he made his pro debut in the Venezualan Summer League. He led that league in HR, H, 2B, and RBI. Not a bad debut.

We see that his only major league action came with the 2005 Giants.

The Phillies claimed him off waivers from the Giants, but then traded him to the Orioles.

He had 74 minor league homers when the Red Sox signed him as a minor league free agent. That;s not a bad total.

Of course, there's more great stuff on that page.

Just like every other page.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Red Sox 1-36: 35 is for…

35 outfield assists by Tris Speaker 1910 and 1912

Yup. That’s another team record.

Yup. It’s another team record that won’t be broken.

Even crazier? He had 30 assists in 1913,and 29 in 1914. That’s just insane. I’ve mentioned before that I always wondered why people didn’t just stop running on him. I mean. Usually the best outfielders have low assists because runners don’t even try. So, I wondered if Speaker had the kind of arm that people kept trying. But, after 30 of them? I think it’d be time to change the plan. Then I found out the real reason. He got lots of those assists on double plays. As the pivot man.

His speed (and the dead ball era) allowed him to play so close, that he could be the pivot man on a 6-8-3 double play. I don’t care how fast you are, or what era you’re in. That’s pretty close.

I know that many things about Fenway have changed since Tris Speaker roamed the outfield. But, the dimensions are the same. Sometimes when I’m sitting in the stands and looking out at the field, I wonder just how close he would need to play in order to make the pivot. I assume he wasn’t on the infield dirt. Five steps back? Ten? Did he get assists on a lot of 8-3 groundouts?

Which always leads to another question. If people didn’t hit the ball far enough to make Speaker play more than 5-10 steps behind the infield, why is the centerfield fence 420 feet away? Why would they waste all that space? If the left field wall was 310 feet away and people, wrongly, assumed nobody would ever reach it, why was center so deep?

Was it because people did hit it out there? Was Speaker just that good? Were hits out that far just that rare? Speaker was part of the golden outfield at that point. Could the other two outfielder cover for him on the rare instance that one went to deep center? Could the Red Sox do that today? I wonder how shallow someone like Mookie Betts play in center if Bradley was covering for him in right? How many balls really go out there? Would it be worth the trade-off of cutting down every ball up the middle?

Of course, Brock Holt isn’t a baseball legend.

35 is for the 35 assists by Tris Speaker in 1910 and 1912.

Friday, July 4, 2014

From the Pedro Binder

2000 Skybox Dominion Strikeouts League Leader

This seemed like a good one for today.

I've discussed league leader cards in this segment plenty. There's a great way for card companies to get as many star players as they can in a card set. Why take up two cards when you can get both Pedro and Randy on a single card.

I will admit, though, that I'd prefer they spend at least a little time thinking about the design.

Look at this thing. How long did it take to think up? Let's put the player in front of the league logos, on a white background. We'll throw their names in the middle somewhere. Done!

They even put the names in foil, to make them hard to read. But, no team names. No team logos. No strikeout totals to see how well they did. Just slapped a picture on the card, and called it a day.

Pretty darn lazy.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

She Scored!

June 26, 2014

I received a tweet from Melissa recently (@UKfan1129 if you’re twitterpated) showing off her completed Section 36 scorecard! Let’s see how it looks, shall we?

Right away, I see something I like. On Posey’s at bat in the first inning, he hit a double. There’s an arrow in the box, which I assume indicates the direction the hit went. I’ve seen other people do this, and always wondered why I don’t do it as well. It’s an easy way to add some useful information to the card. I also noticed that much like Jim, she’s an experienced NL scorecard keeper. She knew enough to leave everyone batting in the pitcher’s spot on the one row. I would have been tempted to start putting Gutierrez’s scores in the next row, but would have quickly run out of room. Good job by Melissa there. I also like the diagonal lines between innings. I tend to use the “X” taking up the whole next box. Frankly this is because I need the big reminder not to score in that box. But, the card looks a little more cluttered because if it. But, there are no mistakes. It’s a trade-off Melissa, apparently, didn’t need to make. I’m a little jealous.

It’s also lucky that this card captured Duvall’s first ML appearance, as well as his first home run. The point of any card is to record history, and this one certainly does that. What a break.

How about the game itself? Melissa was probably happy, because the Reds went away with the victory. The pitching held the Giants to a single run, allowing the minimal offense to do its job.

The hero of the game? I’d be tempted to give it to Jay Bruce and his three hits. But, of Brandon Phillips’s two hits, one was a home run. So, I’m going to give him the nod.

The goat? Joey Votto needs to do more from the three-hole. A big 0-4 does not help the team score runs.

As we know, it didn’t matter. “Chappy” came in and closed it out, and the Reds added one to the win column.

And Melissa’s third ever scorecard shows how it happened.

Thanks for sharing, Melissa!

Sunday, June 29, 2014

From the Pedro Binder

2000 Pacific Paramount

OK. Then.

Just like last time, I like the Pacific logo. It makes it easy for me to tell what set the card is from, which is quite a problem in those years. It’s also all tucked into the corner, out of the way.

That’s where the good things about this card  end.

I always dislike when the player is cut out of the rest of the picture in order to be put on an artificial background. I understand that some variety is needed, but it doesn’t mean I have to like it. That’s especially true with this card. Why eliminate the rest of the picture just to put Pedro on a blah background? It’s one thing if there was a fancy design that related to the set somehow. But, this is just blah.

I’m not sure what’s going on with all the information on the card either. Sure, it has the name, team logo, and position. But, it’s all annoyingly in foil to make sure it’s hard to read. There are some stripes, and a home plate looking thingie. But, it simply doesn’t do it for me.

Once again, I have to assume that people complaining about the Topps monopoly aren’t thinking about this card.