Grand Cards: The Grand Scheme Loses Faith in the Invisible Hand

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Grand Scheme Loses Faith in the Invisible Hand

Hold On To Your Loonies First, let me proclaim this: ATTENTION ALL TEAM COLLECTORS, the veritable Tunguska is hosting a 2010 Allen & Ginter CASE BREAK on his blog and as of right now, most teams are still available. I jumped on board as soon as I found out last night, and if you've got the cash to spare, I highly recommend that you do so as well. It's a case, for goodness sake. Think of the minis!

Also, Tunguska is a Canadian, and is charging just $45 Canadian per slot, which means that you can take advantage of our northern brother's favorable exchang...wait, WHAT?!?!

The Canadian dollar is currently worth more than it's American counterpart. $.97 to the Looney. It was as low as $.92 in May. In fact, monthly averages haven't shown a favorable exchange rate since February 2008 (when $1.00146 would buy us a Canadian buck). I knew things were bad in the US, but geez. This really puts things in perspective.

Even so, I recommend that you sign up for the group break if you're still looking for a way to get your A&G fix.

I think in Philly, you're considered a bad parent if you don't let your kids drink beer

Sweet mother of God, Philadelphia. You embarrass us all.

Big Potato Day Yesterday was the anniversary of Dan Quayle infamously telling a spelling bee contender that his Potato was "missing a little something on the end" (it was the E). To celebrate this, I was going to show a fancy new baseball card of the Tigers' own Big Potato, Jose Valverde. So, I went to my Series 2 pile to pull him out only to Potato. Here's a pitcher who currently has an ERA under 0.70 for the Tigers and is as dominant a closer as exists in the AL and I don't have a Series 2 card of him? Considering that he was in Series 1 (as an Astro), I guess I can't complain too much, but if you're going to give me Phil Coke, why not go the extra mile with the Tigers' big free agent signing?

Still not an All-Star The latest All Star ballot results came out Monday and Miguel Cabrera is still in 3rd place among AL first basemen. This is the player that is leading the league in Home Runs. And RBIs. and has a .330 batting average. And a 1.062 OPS!

The silver light is that Justin Morneau (who, I begrudgingly admit, is also extremely deserving of All Star status) has overtaken Mark Teixeira. The worry was that the undeserving Teixeira would win the fans' vote, with Morneau selected by the players and Cabrera out in the cold...again. This is essentially what happened last year, but would be far more criminal in this season, aka "the best individual season by a Tigers player in history."

But don't take my word for it:
"You have to be careful when you talk about personal things, but like I said, if Miguel Cabrera's not on the All-Star team, then you might as well not have an All-Star team."

That's Jim Leyland, who is actually notoriously stingy with praise for his own players. But he also doesn't pull punches and he's saying what we're all thinking. If Miguel Cabrera isn't an All Star, they might as well not even play the game.

Johnny Damon goes a step further:
"He's in a class by himself. I haven't got to see (Albert) Pujols play too often, but what he's doing, especially in this ballpark ... this ballpark could be the only thing that keeps him from winning the Triple Crown. He's that good. The thing is, he still has a chance to be that Triple Crown candidate."
This is his direct response to a question about how Cabrera compares to ARod and David Ortiz. Yeah, I'd say that's pretty good praise.

Also, Cabrera is 26. You may now pick your jaws up off the floor.

It's worth noting that this isn't the first time that Damon has praised Cabrera. A Bless You Boys post from back in February includes this snippet (from Jason Beck initially):
[Cabrera] is going to win an MVP before he's done. Magglio is on his contract year."
Cabrera's eyes widened as he looked over attentively. Damon smiled back.
"That's right, MVP, baby," Damon said. "And then you take me to dinner."
And he's right. Cabrera is having an MVP-caliber season, and Magglio Ordonez has performed like Magglio Ordonez always has save for the first half of last year. There's something to say for track records, I suppose. Although he's not actually in a contract year as much as he's in an "I better play well enough for the Tigers not to bench me so that I am automatically re-upped to another elephant-caravan load of money" year. Still, no complaints from this end.

Cooling down Austin Jackson was benched last night with some back troubles, which comes in the midst of a dramatic cool-down, in which he is batting a weak .220/.235/.280 in June and is 4-41 since his 4-hit came on June 3. This is probably just a regular slump, albeit one that drags him down to the general levels he should have been in all along (.300 hitter, good XBH power), and isn't too much to be worried about. He's no Bashó after all...
I will say this about Jackson, which I may have said at other points so far this season. I am really impressed with what he has done, especially defensively. I think that he is going to be an excellent player for the Tigers for years to come and may become the career Tiger fan-favorite fans lost when Granderson was traded.

Speaking of Bashó The Free Press today makes the case for Brennan Boesch over Austin Jackson has rookie of the year:
The Tigers first baseman is having a season to end all seasons. He finally will make the All-Star Game as a Tiger. He will be invited to take part in the Home Run Derby. And he’ll take his rightful place in the conversation that starts with, “Who is the best player in the game not named Albert Pujols?”

What's that you say? That quote was all about Miguel Cabrera? Hmm...maybe because that's the basis of Samuelson's argument for The Banana Tree to win the ROY. Protection. He even calls himself out on it:
Sometimes, a little too much credit is given to “protection” in the lineup. Ultimately, it’s still Cabrera doing the damage. He’s the stud. Boesch is the supporting player. But the bottom of the Tigers' lineup is so offensively challenged that the rookie has been the key to keep it going.
Indeed, sometimes too much credit is given to protection, sometimes not enough. The fact is, Boesch has excelled in his role and has both provided protection for Cabrera and inflicted a bunch of damage on his own. At the same time, just as Jackson has hit a cool streak, it is only a matter of time before Boesch--a .250 hitter in the minors--comes down somewhat as well. Bashó has surprised and impressed all of us, and if, come the end of the season, he has outperformed Jackson, and the rest of the AL rookie class, then he deserves the award for sure. I'm just not sure that a month and a half of production is enough to make the distinction yet, although it's certainly enough to put him at the forefront of the conversation.

Rookie Redemptions Which brings me back to something that I brought up yesterday: Are we going to get a Jackson or Boesch rookie redemption card of some sort? I certainly hope so and here's why:

This is the Tigers' lone rookie redemption card from the last few years--a Rick Porcello refractor (#/199) from 2009 Finest. It is a fabulous card which is an excellent addition to the team set. I would absolutely love to see Jackson or Boesch have a similar offering in 2010 Finest. It is worth noting, by the way, that though Porcello was the top of the class in 2009, he was the 9th (of 10) redemption, announced towards the end of the year. I guess there's no arguing with the hype machine, especially in this day and age.

As I write this, the Indians' Carlos Santana was announced as Topps Red Hot Rookie #1, meaning that everyone with redemptions 2 and above just saw the value of their cards increase incrementally.

Misc. I don't have much to say about other things at the moment, so I'll relegate them to here. Ooh! Except this: The custom-designed Infinite Baseball Card set, which I regrettably missed out on before it was pulled for legal reasons, has an update set available with new players! This should avoid the legal messiness that he faced before. These cards are really nice looking and I think I'm going to pick them up, although the OCD in me now wants to seek out the other 10 cards that he discontinued. Topps Attax has a follow-up set called "Battle of the Ages" in which Verlander and Cobb both have cards. They will be added to the Topps Attax gallery. Speaking of Galleries: I'm waiting on a few more cards to trickle in, but a Topps S2 gallery is in the offing. Following up on my Michigan draft posts, the Michigan Daily has a good rundown of the five 2010 draftees. Also, an excellent story on the best home-field advantage in sports. More Michigan stuff? How about the fact that realignment is what made Michigan a Big-10 power in the first place. Fingers crossed that the new realignment does the same thing. Tigers go for the sweep tonight with Verlander on the mound in a series in which they didn't have to face Stephen Strasburg, which is probably a bad thing given the ticket sales it could have brought.

1 comment:

  1. That was a near epic post. I want in on the Ginter case, but I'm overextended right now. Favorable exchange rate or not.