Friday, December 25, 2015

How The Grinch Stole Christmas.

Every Who down in Whoville liked Christmas a lot
But the Grinch who lived just North of Whoville did not!

The Grinch hated Christmas! The whole Christmas season!
Now, please don't ask why. No one quite knows the reason.

It could be, perhaps, that his shoes were too tight.
It could be his head wasn't screwed on just right.

But I think that the most likely reason of all
May have been that his heart was two sizes too small.

But, whatever the reason, his heart or his shoes,
He stood there on Christmas Eve hating the Whos,

Staring down from his cave with a sour, Grinchy frown
At the warm lighted windows below in their town,

For he knew every Who down in Whoville beneath
Was busy now hanging a hollywho wreath.

"And they're hanging their stockings," he snarled with a sneer.
"Tomorrow is Christmas! It's practically here!"

Then he growled, with his Grinch fingers nervously drumming,
"I must find some way to keep Christmas from coming!

For, tomorrow, I know all the Who girls and boys
Will wake bright and early. They'll rush for their toys!

 photo rh1_zpsjnuq1r3j.jpg

And then! Oh, the noise! Oh, the noise! Noise! Noise! Noise!
There's one thing I hate! All the NOISE! NOISE! NOISE! NOISE!

And they'll shriek squeaks and squeals, racing 'round on their wheels.
They'll dance with jingtinglers tied onto their heels.
They'll blow their floofloovers. They'll bang their tartookas.
They'll blow their whohoopers. They'll bang their gardookas.
They'll spin their trumtookas. They'll slam their slooslunkas.
They'll beat their blumbloopas. They'll wham their whowonkas.
And they'll play noisy games like zoozittacarzay,
A roller-skate type of lacrosse and croquet!
And then they'll make ear-splitting noises galooks
On their great big electro whocarnio flooks!

Then the Whos, young and old, will sit down to a feast.
And they'll feast! And they'll feast! And they'll FEAST! FEAST! FEAST! FEAST!

They'll feast on Who pudding, and rare Who roast beast,
Raw roast beast is a feast I can't stand in the least!

And then they'll do something I hate most of all!
Every Who down in Whoville, the tall and the small,

They'll stand close together, with Christmas bells ringing.
They'll stand hand-in-hand, and those Whos will start singing!"

    Fahoo forays, dahoo dorays
    Welcome Christmas! Come this way
    Fahoo forays, dahoo dorays
    Welcome Christmas, Christmas Day

    Welcome, welcome, fahoo ramus
    Welcome, welcome, dahoo damus
    Christmas Day is in our grasp
    So long as we have hands to clasp

    Fahoo forays, dahoo dorays...

"And they'll sing! And they'll sing! And they'd SING! SING! SING! SING!"
And the more the Grinch thought of this Who Christmas Sing,
The more the Grinch thought, "I must stop this whole thing!

Why for fifty-three years I've put up with it now!
I must stop Christmas from coming! But how?"

Then he got an idea! An awful idea!
The Grinch got a wonderful, awful idea!

"I know just what to do!" The Grinch laughed in his throat.
"I'll make a quick Santy Claus hat and a coat."

And he chuckled, and clucked, "What a great grinchy trick!
With this coat and this hat, I'll look just like Saint Nick!"

"All I need is a reindeer." The Grinch looked around.
But since reindeer are scarce, there was none to be found.

Did that stop the Grinch? Hah! The Grinch simply said,
"If I can't find a reindeer, I'll make one instead!"

 photo rh2_zps8sme4gtg.jpg

So he took his dog Max, and he took some black thread.
And he tied a big horn on top of his head.

Then he loaded some bags and some old empty sacks
On a ramshackle sleigh and he whistled for Max.

Then the Grinch said "Giddyap!" and the sleigh started down
Toward the homes where the Whos lay a-snooze in their town.

All their windows were dark. No one knew he was there.
All the Whos were all dreaming sweet dreams without care
When he came to the first little house of the square.

"This is stop number one," the old Grinchy Claus hissed,
As he climbed to the roof, empty bags in his fist.

Then he slid down the chimney, a rather tight pinch.
But if Santa could do it, then so could the Grinch.

He got stuck only once, for a minute or two.
Then he stuck his head out of the fireplace flue

Where the little Who stockings hung all in a row.
"These stockings," he grinched, "are the first things to go!"

Then he slithered and slunk, with a smile most unpleasant,
Around the whole room, and he took every present!

Pop guns, pampoogas, pantookas, and drums!
Checkerboards, bizilbigs, popcorn, and plums!

And he stuffed them in bags. Then the Grinch, very nimbly,
Stuffed all the bags, one by one, up the chimney.



Then he slunk to the icebox. He took the Whos' feast!
He took the Who pudding! He took the roast beast!

He cleaned out that icebox as quick as a flash.
Why, that Grinch even took the last can of Who hash!

Then he stuffed all the food up the chimney with glee.
"Now," grinned the Grinch, "I will stuff up the tree!"

As the Grinch took the tree, as he started to shove,
He heard a small sound like the coo of a dove.

He turned around fast, and he saw a small Who!
Little Cindy-Lou Who, who was no more than two.

She stared at the Grinch and said, "Santy Claus, why,
Why are you taking our Christmas tree? Why?"

But, you know, that old Grinch was so smart and so slick,
He thought up a lie, and he thought it up quick!

"Why, my sweet little tot," the fake Santy Claus lied,
"There's a light on this tree that won't light on one side.

So I'm taking it home to my workshop, my dear.
I'll fix it up there, then I'll bring it back here."

 photo rh3_zpsrgzpschi.jpg

And his fib fooled the child. Then he patted her head,
And he got her a drink, and he sent her to bed.

And when Cindy-Lou Who was in bed with her cup,
He crupt to the chimney and stuffed the tree up!

Then he went up the chimney himself, the old liar.
And the last thing he took was the log for their fire.
On their walls he left nothing but hooks and some wire.

And the one speck of food that he left in the house
Was a crumb that was even too small for a mouse.

Then he did the same thing to the other Whos' houses,
Leaving crumbs much too small for the other Whos' mouses!

It was quarter of dawn. All the Whos still a-bed,
All the Whos still a-snooze, when he packed up his sled,

Packed it up with their presents, their ribbons, their wrappings,
Their snoof and their fuzzles, their tringlers and trappings!

Ten thousand feet up, up the side of Mount Crumpet,
He rode with his load to the tiptop to dump it!

"Pooh-pooh to the Whos!" he was grinchily humming.
"They're finding out now that no Christmas is coming!

They're just waking up! I know just what they'll do!
Their mouths will hang open a minute or two
Then the Whos down in Whoville will all cry boo-hoo!

That's a noise," grinned the Grinch, "that I simply must hear!"
He paused, and the Grinch put a hand to his ear.

And he did hear a sound rising over the snow.
It started in low, then it started to grow.



But this sound wasn't sad!
Why, this sound sounded glad!

Every Who down in Whoville, the tall and the small,
Was singing without any presents at all!

He hadn't stopped Christmas from coming! It came!
Somehow or other, it came just the same!

And the Grinch, with his grinch feet ice-cold in the snow,
Stood puzzling and puzzling. "How could it be so?

It came without ribbons! It came without tags!
It came without packages, boxes, or bags!"

He puzzled and puzzed till his puzzler was sore.
Then the Grinch thought of something he hadn't before.

Maybe Christmas, he thought, doesn't come from a store.
Maybe Christmas, perhaps, means a little bit more!

And what happened then? Well, in Whoville they say
That the Grinch's small heart grew three sizes that day!

 photo rh4_zpszyfimp7z.jpg

And then the true meaning of Christmas came through,
And the Grinch found the strength of ten Grinches, plus two!

And now that his heart didn't feel quite so tight,
He whizzed with his load through the bright morning light

With a smile to his soul, he descended Mount Crumpet
Cheerily blowing "Who! Who!" on his trumpet.

He road into Whoville. He brought back their toys.
He brought back their floof to the Who girls and boys.

He brought back their snoof and their tringlers and fuzzles,
Brought back their pantookas, their dafflers and wuzzles.

He brought everything back, all the food for the feast!
And he, he himself, the Grinch carved the roast beast!

- Dr. Seuss 1957

Friday, October 9, 2015

A Day Nine Years In The Making.

       Well, 8 years, 11 months, 21 days to be exact, but who's counting, right?  After 3278 days in the desert, the Mets get to play in a playoff game tonight.  Your starters are Jacob deGrom...
 photo jdegrom_zpshdj7cnj3.jpg
...who I had never even heard of two years ago.  Now he is slated to start the first and fifth game of the Division series.  Since this is his first postseason start, I will cherry pick the smallest of samples from the All Star game this year and guess he is going to throw a 90 pitch 27 strikeout perfect game. Yeah, that's the ticket.

The opposing side is putting three time Cy Young award winner Clayton Kershaw on the bump.
 photo loser1_zpsvhzq0syj.jpg
Kershaw started the season 1-5 but finished up 15-2 to end up 16-7 with 301 strikeouts and a 2.13 ERA, which wasn't even the best ERA on his team.  I kinda like that first stat, though; his record in 11 postseason games?  1-5 with a 5.12 ERA.  I hope this trend continues. 

It's nice to have the Mets back in the playoffs but I don't want this team to be satisfied with just making the postseason, I want them to use all this great young pitching they have and make some noise and shock the world.   My prediction for the series?  Mets win 3-1.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Division Champs.

       I hope this is the first a few celebratory posts I get to do in the next 6 weeks or so, but I am happily shouting from the rooftops today that...
 photo mets15t_zpsbv7wingb.jpg

The 2015 New York Mets are National League East Division Champions!

 photo mets15ah_zpsekuxbahr.jpg

Yeah, I know, it's not that big a deal in the grand scheme of things, but for the Mets, it is a huge deal because of what they've gone through the last nine years - especially 8 and 7 years ago.  That team should have been three time champions, instead, well, it was horror show after horror show.

 photo mets15gq_zps8qq2axl1.jpg

But let's not dwell on the past but embrace what will hopefully be a grand future.  These are all the 2015 cards I could put together in any sort of cohesive presentation.  Plus...

 photo mets15m_zpsexvzbqvw.jpg

Let's start by celebrating the man who is, IMHO, responsible for bringing this whole team together...

 photo yc9_zpsxbshdwsf.jpg

...and lastly give a huge batch of respect for the man who has brilliantly finished off all the games, including the clincher Saturday night. 

 photo jf9_zpsvonfffns.jpg

There is no time to rest on this little laurel, though.  There is still the matter of wresting home field advantage in the NLDS away from the Dodgers and keeping everyone sharp for the playoffs.  Wow.  That's fun to say.  The Mets are in the playoffs.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Lawrence Peter Berra (1925-2015).

       Like most of you, I woke up to the terrible news that Yogi Berra had died last night.  I covered Yogi on his 90th birthday a few months ago and made a list of his famous Yogisms.  But we should not just remember him as the greatest philosopher in baseball history, we should also remember that he was a hell of a ballplayer.  Let's breakdown a few numbers:
 photo berra1_zpsgecuojri.jpg
Rumor has it he also played for some other team in New York.





































      6 - Yogi Berra turned the most double plays in a season by an American League catcher six times in his career (1949-1952, 1954 & 1956). He also caught the most games eight times (1950-1957), recorded the most putouts eight times (1950-1952, 1954-1957, 1959), had the most assists three times (1950-1952) and had the highest fielding average two times (1958-195).

    8 - Yogi Berra had his number (#8) retired in 1972 by the New York Yankees, jointly honoring Berra and Bill Dickey, his predecessor as the Yankees' star catcher.

    10 - Number of World Championships won as a player, the most in MLB history.  He played for 14 total pennant winners.

    15 - Yogi Berra, who won the league's MVP award three times (1951, 1954 and 1955), received Most Valuable Player Award votes in fifteen consecutive seasons, tied with Barry Bonds and second only to Hank Aaron's nineteen straight seasons.  He also was the first catcher in Major League history to win back-to-back MVP Awards.

    40 - Yogi Berra was ranked fortieth on The Sporting News list of the 100 Greatest Baseball Players in Major League history.

    75 - Yogi Berra played in seventy-five World Series games over the course of his career.

    117 - Yogi Berra caught both games of a doubleheader one-hundred seventeen times in his career and at least one-hundred games across ten seasons.

    305 - Home runs as a catcher, the most in history when he retired.  He is still one  of only four catchers to hit over 300 homers at the position.

    1972 - Yogi Berra was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in 1972, receiving 85.61% of the votes on his second ballot.

 photo berra2_zpsrbfhsfpf.jpg
Oh yeah, those guys.


























































And let us not forget the most important thing of all, as indicated by the first card in the second scan: he was a 19-year old Second Class Seaman during World War II, one of a six-man crew on a U.S. Navy rocket boat, and took part in the Normandy Invasion on D-Day.  This was before he was the best catcher in American League and probably Major League history.  There will never be another quite like him.  Rest in peace.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Throwback Thursday: Moses Malone (1955 - 2015).

       As one of the few folks of my generation named Max, I love my name and have pretty much made it an adjective for my unique personality among those who know me.  Like Madonna, Bono, or Cher - I am Max.  But most of you don't know that I have Moses Malone to thank for my name.
 photo mm1_zpsu4qgicrq.jpg

See, my mother was all set to name me Moses because of her love of the film The Ten Commandments - and not Charlton Heston, mind you, but Anne Baxter's reaction to him.  That's right, I was gonna be a Moe not a Max (and subject to Three Stooges jokes instead of tampon jokes, but I digress).  And then Moses Malone decided to enter the NBA draft right out of high school and everyone lost their minds.  She heard the name over and over and over again and she got incredibly sick of it.  So she shifted gears and named me after her favorite uncle instead.

 photo mm2_zps5ntbcxw9.jpg
So thank you Moses Malone fo' fo' fo' giving me my distinguishing moniker.  Rest in peace.

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Football '15 Week 1: Here We Go Again.

       I was all ready to root for the Steelers to clean the Patriots clocks Thursday evening, because even as an unabashed Brady apologist, I would like to see a little karmic retribution for them.  Then I watch the pregame show and got reminded why I hate the Patriots haters in the first place.  They gave the softball lob to Tony Dungy to talk about all the "new" spygate evidence and he sits there and starts pontificating.  Now, Dungy likes to portray himself as this holy man of god above all reproach, even though his list of sins and failures is long and luxurious.  He's such a "man of god" he allowed his sons to become junkies through his absentee fatherism and one of them killed themselves.  His early-aught Colts teams were constantly out-hustled and out-muscled by the Patriots in ways that had nothing to do with stealing signs or game plans and all the Colts could ever do is whine about it and demand rules changes.  Oh, and one of those rules was for golden boy Peyton Manning to be able to handle and control his footballs before the game, you know, the rule that led to the entire Ballghazi debacle.  Not to mention those Colt teams pumped crowd noise into their moribund stadium all the time and only won their one Super Bowl because of that.  But oh no, Tony Dungy is such a good man and Bill Belichick is such a scumbag. 
 photo brady_zps9201fea9.jpg

Two other teams were charged with major rules violations in the off season but because it was the Browns and the Falcons - two teams that have never won anything ever - no one even cares.  But because the Patriots win, everyone jumps on them and calls them out for every perceived infraction when every team and coach would look just as awful and devious if they were put under the microscope the way the Pats are.  Hell, after the game, the Steelers couldn't stop making fools of themselves, blaming New England for hacking their headphone communications and Big Ben  - another paragon of virtue if there ever was one - decided that a simple defensive shift was cheating.  Seriously, if it weren't for paranoia there would be no emotion for the Pats at all.

       It comes down to the fact that in a business where multiple billions of dollars are at stake, there are no rules except the ones you can get away with breaking.  So once again, fuck everyone and their short-sighted homerism and misguided misunderstanding of how pro football works (and has always worked).  I hope the Pats rip through the league again 16-0.   I hope Brady throws for 6000 yards and 60 touchdowns and every week Giselle brings her supermodel friends in for multiple post-game orgies.  Of course, I'd then like the Saints to beat them in the Super Bowl, but that goes without saying.  What it comes down to is, maybe everyone should look at their own team and wonder what they are or aren't doing to win and leave the damn Pats alone.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

A Cespedes For The Rest Of Us.

       Right before yesterday's waiver trade deadline, I saw on the MLB Network crawl that the Mets had traded for Yoenis Cespedes.  In and of itself, this made me very happy.  As usual with the Mets, nothing is easy, especially happiness.
 photo cespedes_zpskybnssdo.jpg
For a two month rental of the well-traveled slugging Cuban, the Mets gave up two prospects, one of them Michael Fulmer who is highly regarded, but not in the Matt Harvey/Noah Syndergaard way - though one could have easily said the same thing about Jacob deGrom last year.  This trade adds desperately needed power to a lineup that has trouble scoring runs in the same way Lindsey Lohan has trouble staying clean.  I would love to invoke the name Donn Clendenon, but the Mets have enough jinxes to worry about.

So why was this trade a relief rather than a celebration?  Because the Mets can't do anything right the first time, though somehow, they may have gotten things right in spite of themselves.  See, just the night before word that a trade for Carlos Gomez had blown through the social media. 
 photo gomez_zpshvk5lmbb.jpg
^^^ Empty Space? ^^^





































The Mets being the Mets, the trade went around on Twitter before any actual confirmed reports had gone out.  And the Mets...being the Mets, they were going to give up Zack Wheeler, a fine young pitcher who they ought to hold on to.
 photo wheeler_zpslu7gqjcy.jpg

And in the last stroke of the Mets folly/genius, the word of the trade spread through the stadium during the actual game and got to the other player involved, Wilmer Flores.  If you missed what happened then you must be living under a rock (and not a big fan of Tom Hanks movies). 
 photo flores_zpsbnr4rwpl.jpg
And then somehow the Mets found a way to back out of the trade at the last minute, claiming Gomez had medical issues with his hip (which were so bad, the Brewers immediately traded him to the Astros).  I have a sneaking feeling the trouble with the hip to the Mets wasn't medical but the size of the wallet therein and how much they'd have to fatten it next year.  So how do you come back from all that?  Well last night, Flores found a way to forever endear himself to Mets fans by hitting an extra inning, game-winning home run against the first place Nationals.  Funny how these things work out.  The Mets keep one of their best pitchers and the other player immediately wins the most important game of the season (so far) and they turn around and make a trade for a slugger, which is what they needed more in the first place.  If it weren't for dumb blind luck, the Mets wouldn't have any luck at all.

***

As for the title of this post, some might say I stole it from Jerry Seinfeld, and yeah, I did sort of.
But I remember making this joke back during the 2013 Home Run Derby and I doubt I was the first to make it then either.  Let's cross our fingers and hope we can all run this joke into the ground through October. 

Friday, July 31, 2015

RIP Rowdy Roddy Piper.

       I should be talking about baseball trades and pennant races but I am blindsided by the death of one of the titans of wrestling, one Roderick George Toombs, better known as "Rowdy" Roddy Piper.  Sadly, like most wrestlers it seems, he was taken too soon at the age of 61.
 photo rrp1_zpsocwrno4b.jpg

No, I don't follow wrestling much anymore but in my youth I lived and died by the soap opera exploits of the WWF.  And sure, I liked Hulk Hogan and Randy "Macho Man" Savage just fine, but my favorite was the gregarious and outrageous (and outrageously evil) Hot Rod.
 photo rrp2_zpsdyhlyljx.jpg

Oh, and I would be remiss if I didn't mention his movie career.  And while he did a bunch of flicks, only one really matters - They Live.  If you have never seen the movie They Live, well, I don't really know what to say other than go freaking watch it.  You'll thank me later.
 photo rrp3_zpss5koomjf.jpg
"Just when they think they got the answers, I change the questions."

Good night, sweet prince.  I will be chewing some bubblegum and kicking some ass in your honor this weekend.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Stopped Short.

       This morning I woke up to find out that the shortstop the Mets should have traded for at the beginning of the year was traded...
 photo tulo9_zpshcdyk9c6.jpg

...for the shortstop the team never should have let get away in the first place.
 photo reyes9_zpsc32n9wrf.jpg
*sigh* Can someone remind me again what it is like to not have incompetent management who is under the thumb of cheapskate owners? 

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Hall of Fame Gif.

       Sadly, my life is still a little topsy-turvy for regular posting and with this weekend being Hall of Fame induction weekend and all, you know I wish I had the time and inclination to spout off on my favorite rant subject.  Alas, I doubt I will get any, so in the meantime, enjoy this gif of all the members of Cooperstown in chronological order.

 photo HOF_zpsc3zrcazm.gif

And who knows, maybe you'll get a surprise tomorrow.  Or maybe I'll sleep like a dead person and not make it to my computer.  My life is quite an array of possibilities.

Sunday, July 5, 2015

A Life Lesson From Larry Doby.

       On July 5, 1947 Larry Doby became the second African-American player in major league baseball's modern era.  As you know, 11 Weeks earlier on April 15th, Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier and became a symbol for baseball, civil rights, and all that could be good in America.  He had to overcome hardship, bigotry, death threats, epithets, and narrow-mindedness at every turn.  Of course, Larry Doby had to endure all the same kinds of mean-spirited trials and tribulations along the way.  So why does Jackie Robinson get the annual day, the universal number retirement, and national canonization while Larry Doby remains a curious footnote, known by only the staunchest of baseball fans and civil rights activists?  I wish there was some deep philosophical and profound reason that required deep analysis.  Alas, it is as simple as Jackie was first and Larry was second.  Alexander Graham Bell and Elisha Gray invented the phone at the same time but Bell got to the patent office first, which is why they had to break up Ma Bell and not Papa Graham.  I am not saying this is fair, it's just the way it is.  And lord knows I am certainly not the first person to point any of this out, but as a second born child, I know it all too well.

By all accounts, Larry Doby was a hell of a ballplayer.  He is rightfully in the hall of fame - though it certainly took a while - for both his play and his status in the history of the game.  I like to think that one of these years, instead of overemphasizing and fetishizing Jackie Robinson and his #42 and all that stuff, that maybe they could have a Larry Doby Day in July when all the players in MLB wear #14 and we can hear the story of how this man integrated an entire league and followed in the footsteps of greatness - but was also most certainly great himself.   Hell, I know it's a long way off, but 2023 will be his 100th birthday and that would be as good a time as any to give him some long overdue recognition.
 photo doby_zpszlvdtebb.jpg
Not shown: Pete Conrad, Gherman Titov, Walther Müller, Karl Dönitz, Tenzing Norgay, Alexander Mackenzie, John Adams, James Garfield, Yale, Beta, Helium, Pennsylvania, Pinocchio, The right to bear arms, The 1969 Chiefs, Michael Wilding, Anne Boleyn, Christiane Martel, Kelly Wiglesworth, Bobby Leach, Tony Roventini, John Landy, Milorad Cavic, Peter Norman, Steffi Graf, and Ty Cobb.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Friday, July 3, 2015

Mail Call: Shiny!

       I am a sucker for free shipping.  Yes, I am the kind of buffoon who will buy extra stuff just to qualify for it.  Like when COMC.com has one of their free shipping promotions there is usually a minimum number involved, but this really isn't a problem for me since I am pretty active buying and selling on their site.  Well, this spring has thrown all sorts of curve balls and I just haven't been as card-centric as I normally am.  So when I noticed they were having a free shipping for 30+ cards promotion a couple weeks ago, I was forlorn to see that I only had 6 cards waiting in my shipping queue.  Do you think this deterred me?  Did you read the first two sentences of the post? 

I delved into my watch list but only saw high priced stuff for the most part.  I did, however, notice two very reasonably priced inserts from last year's Bowman set.  These inserts were not only Mets cards, they were shiny.  Very shiny.  I got swept up in the moment and decided it would be easiest to make a page of each of these inserts to qualify for my free shipping.  Hey, a bargain is a bargain and shiny is shiny.

The first page is of the 1989 Bowman is Back inserts.
 photo comc1m_zps88ixrbdx.jpg
The scan does these no justice.  They are glittery and atomic refractor-esque.  They are like the Diamond Anniversary parallels from a 2011.  I picked out 9 of the most interesting photos I could from the first page of the "lowest price" tab and voila!

The other page is from the Bowman Chrome Fire Die-Cut set. 
 photo comc2m_zpsk2ojhy6q.jpg
I cannot express how much I like the concept behind this set.  I like die cuts.  I like shiny.  I am a bit of a pyromaniac, at least I was in my youth when I almost burned my house down once by making a camp fire in the basement (gimme a break, I was like 8).  I had not seen these in real life and it took me holding one to realize that they weren't just shiny and die cut, but the design itself was the base design, only melted.  I am usually not one for prospect cards, but damn, I love this set.  They are amazing.  Once again, I picked 9 off the first page and now I am sorry I didn't build the whole set.

Keeping with the theme, I nabbed some Mets from those two sets, which were the cards I had watched in the first place.  They were the Noah Syndergaard and Michael Conforto to be specific.  I also got the David Wright and Gary Carter BiB and Travis d'Arnaud of both sets. 
 photo comc3m_zpsktmob4ci.jpg
The bottom cards here are three of the six I had in my original queue. They are from an early 80's oddball Cramer set of vintage players in sepia tones.  I chose players I don't have a lot of since the six I had were of the Hank Aaron/Willie Mays very-well represented type.  Brief aside: I have an obsession with pie along the lines of Agent Cooper in Twin Peaks so it stuns me that I don't have a whole Pie Traynor page or player collection.  That is a situation I might have to rectify

Here are the other orphans from the original six. 
 photo comc4m_zpsac98cgkv.jpg
Nothing very surprising here.  A New Orleans Saint.  A Mike Piazza.  Another Michael Conforto card - and with the Mets quite literally scoring only 1 run a game for the last 2-3 weeks, I am bewildered as to why they haven't called him up, he's only hitting like .330.  So I got my free shipping and it only cost me like ten bucks.  My little buying binge left me with .42 cents credit left and while that is a very good number, I just couldn't leave that in there even though I had hit my magic number of 30.  So one last check of my watch list showed me that the most inexpensive card I had was that Topps 60 Keith Hernandez.  Price: 41 cents.  I love it when a plan comes together.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

A Nightmare Deferred.

       If there is something we can all agree upon, it's that Bobby Bonilla was an unmitigated disaster as a New York Met. Oh sure, his numbers weren't too bad, heck, they almost look decent in and of themselves.  Problem was, that was, quite literally, the worst team money could buy.  The real issue was Bobby Bo's attitude was, um, not good.  Yes, he was in over his head in New York.  And yes, they never should have put the burden of being the alpha dog on him when he was obviously a second fiddle.  And yes, that was certainly not the first, or last, time the Mets would make that mistake.  But when they finally traded him away in 1995 (for "5-tool" prospect Alex Ochoa - although none of those tools were baseball skills) it was a divorce of absolute relief.  A most wise mutual parting of a grand error in judgement on both parties.  The biggest problem of all is, this is not where our story ends.  In a move about as baffling as any in baseball history, the Mets inexplicably brought Bonilla back in 1999.  The Mets wanted Bonilla as a bat off the bench while Bonilla wanted to play every day.  This went as well as you could imagine and he sulked his way to a .160 average and an infamous card game.  The Mets were then ultra-desperate to unload Bonilla for a second time.  And because it's the Mets, they continued doing stupid things.  If you have been anywhere the last few July 1sts, you know exactly what I am talking about.  And yes, the whole thing is very embarrassing.  But here's the thing...
 photo bbo9_zpsehubzye1.jpg
This isn't the first deferred payment contract in baseball history, and heck, it isn't even the worst deferred contract in baseball history but somehow, it is the only ever mentioned deferred contract in baseball history.  Why?  Well, the fact that the Mets are an eternal punchline doesn't help; the media have just made Bobby Bo the personification of that.  When you are paying a hated 52-year old ex-player more than your two best players, it just makes for sexier headlines.  The thing that bothers me most is that this nonsense has leaked out of the grimier blogosphere and into the mainstream media.  I have had to hear about this shit all damn day.  So let's turn this around and mock some other contracts for a change.

When the Reds traded for Ken Griffey Jr. in 2000, they deferred a portion of his salary that is now being paid to him through 2024.
 photo griffey9_zps1sbzgwht.jpg
At least the Mets have been to the World Series since 1990. 

Okay, if that's the measure, what about Manny Ramirez?  The Red Sox are currently paying him close to $2 million until 2026. 
 photo manram9_zpswz0n8xfj.jpg
The Sox will be shelling out for those 2004 and 2007 seasons until Manny is 54. 

The Rockies played the those 2007 Red Sox in the World Series.  The first baseman for that team?  Todd Helton, who the Rox deferred a boatload of salary for in 2011 and will be paying him a cool million bucks a year until 2024.
 photo helton9_zpstpyn8ufr.jpg
I'd just like the interest payment from that kind of money, I'm not greedy.

There are active players still getting deferred money.  Ichiro is grinding things out in Miami in his quest to get 3000 hits.  He is still a serviceable 4th outfielder, really. 
 photo ichiro9_zpsktiemjkt.jpg
Meanwhile, the Mariners are paying him, and will keep on paying him, deferred salary until 2032.  Mr. Suzuki will be 59 years old by then and much closer to collecting social security than giving his Hall of Fame speech.

How about dudes named Ryan?  Zimmerman will be rewarded deferred money big time a good 5 years after he retires.
 photo zim9_zpsticdigwt.jpg
Ryan Zimmerman, much like David Wright, is a beloved hot corner star who has seen more of the injury rehab clinic than the batters box of late. 

If that is too cuddly, how about the opposite end of the Ryan spectrum, Ryan Braun. 
 photo braun9_zpsomf7z148.jpg
Hell, Braun isn't even getting interest on his deferment, but he will get paid 7 figures until 2031.  I wonder how many specimen jars you can buy with that kind of scratch.

Quick...guess which one of the 8 teams who Gary Sheffield played for deferred a bunch of cash in his contract and will pay him $1.9 million until 2019, which is ten years after he retired?
 photo sheffield9_zpszqech2bz.jpg
If you guessed the Detroit Tigers, come get your prize - a purposefully overthrown ball from third base.

Think desperate teams are the only ones that defer money as a quick fix?  Think again. 
 photo holliday_zpsfk6we1wg.jpg
The Cardinals will be giving Matt Holliday a nice fat check from 2020 until 2029.

But what is the grandfather and Granddaddy of all foolish deferred payments?  That begins and ends with Hall of Famer Bruce Sutter.
 photo sutter9_zpsavw4r95w.jpg
I am not sure how Sutter even got into Cooperstown, but perhaps he spread around some of Ted Turner's money to help him in his cause.  The Braves have paid Sutter $1.3 million a year since 1990 and will keep on paying him until 2020.  Sure, Sutter made the Hall of Fame, but he earned that status with the Cubs and the Cardinals.  The Braves have and will cough up $44 million over 36 years for 112 games pitched, 40 saves, and a 4.76 ERA.  Nice work if you can get it.  But somehow, the Mets are the ones that are held up as fools for the whole Bonilla thing. 

Not Shown: Steve Young, Kevin Garnett, Rick DiPietro, Bronson Arroyo, Mario Lemieux, and most of the 2001 Arizona Diamondbacks.