February 11, 2009 · 11:22 PM
It’s finally ready! After some tweaking with the new format and the behind the scenes magic, Sac Bunt Baseball is now the OFFICIAL home of the Sac Bunt Baseball Card Blog. For those regular readers, please update your bookmarks and habits to re-direct to the new site STARTING NOW! For fellow bloggers and others who have a link up to our current site, please update your link to reflect our new domain name. In fact, click over there now to read our entry for the Fourth Blog Bat Around hosted by Dinged Corners. Thanks for the memories from this site everyone and we look forward to really ramping this production up. Also, if you have any comments, problems, issues, suggestions, etc. regarding the new site, please let us know via firstname.lastname@example.org.
-Chris & John
February 11, 2009 · 9:28 AM
The Twinkies added Luis Ayala to help bolster their bullpen. Ayala was flat out terrible last season. I would think his poor numbers are a reflection of his lingering groin injury. Maybe that is just wishful thinking. Ayala will certainly add a veteran presence to the bullpen and now we have a healthy competition for the 8th inning role. Ayala is the Twins only free agent signing of 2009. I come from the school of thought that you do not always HAVE to bring in new players. We certainly have the money to bring in a stud, but our GM Bill Smith does not spend money just to spend it. Twins go after value for their money and it has payed off since 2001.
Yesterday I received a redemption card from 07 Fleer Ultra. It was a John Danks auto. I really enjoyed that product but my redemption card was terrible. Fleer and Mr. Danks are LAZY! Fleer put the cut auto on the far left of the card, it is not even close to being centered. Danks scribbled his signature on the sticker. Apparently, Mr. Danks is too cool to sign his name properly. Maybe I am wrong, maybe he just has the handwriting of a 4 year old. The card did not make or break the product for me, but it was depressing to see such a lazy card. I’m sure there are hundreds of collectors who see this on a day-to-day basis.
If I was in Danks shoes I would like to think that I would have enough respect for my fans to give them a quality auto. I don’t care how boring it is to sign your name 1000 times in a row. You are a millionaire playing a children’s game. Without the fans paying to see you play, you would just be another great softball player in my Spring league. In times like these I need to remember the Superman analogy. When ball players put on the uniform they are Superman, but when they take it off…..they are just another donkey. Let’s not idolize these athletes; take them for what they are. I guess I can’t really be mad at John Danks after all. Keep the crappy autos coming.
February 8, 2009 · 1:29 PM
And the winner is 2009 Topps Flagship brand. I have not even opened another brand this year, but Topps takes the cake. I went to Target last night and purchased a blaster of ’08 Goudey and 4 packs of ’09 Topps. The Goudey was fun as expected. The Topps was dreadful and very disappointing. The Topps foil stamp in the top right of each card was flaking away and the ’09 design is boring, bland, and unoriginal.
It may be the worst product I have EVER opened. I highly recommended no one buy this product. I just can not get over how boring this product was. The Toppstown.com cards look terrible, perhaps they are geared towards children (and that’s fine), but I am not a fan.
The only card I enjoyed was the Turkey Red card I received. But even the Turkey Red looks the same every year and just does not excite me. ’09 Heritage can not get here soon enough. 2009 is off to a horrible start! Who will step up and capture my attention and wallet?
February 6, 2009 · 8:11 AM
I’m on the fence about Joe Crede. The Twins have been in attendance at his workouts but believe he is only 75% healthy. His agent, Scott Boras (Ugh!), says he is 100% ready to go. Three things are certain in life: you pay your taxes, you die, and you DO NOT believe a word Scott Boras says! With that in mind, I can understand why the Twins are hesitant to pull the trigger. Crede also wants $5 million for 1 year (roughly what he made last year). The Twins don’t have a habit of spending money just to spend it. Crede has a lot of things going against him. Let’s list them:
- His agent is Scott Boras.
- He has been riddled with back injuries the last 2 years.
- He wants $5 million for 1 year
- Twins believe his back will get worse playing on Field Turf
- He is a dreaded White Sox (Yuck!).
However, his ability to hit the long-ball and play defense at 3B is intriguing. Injuries and money aside, Crede would be an upgrade at third base and add a power righty to our lineup. I can’t imagine pitchers would be too excited to see Mauer, Morneau, Crede, and Kubel. As much as I want to add his bat and glove to this team, I don’t think the reward out ways the risk. If he plays half the season we just flushed $5 million down the toilet, and the Twins don’t waste money. I won’t be upset if we do sign him because there is so much upside if he stays healthy.
In other news, that only Twins’ fans care about….Matt Guerrier signed for one year at $1.475 million. We no longer have any players on arbitration.
Now it is time to sign Joe Mauer to a lifelong deal. WE MUST SIGN HIM NOW! He can’t leave Spring Training without a contract. From what I have heard, the Twins are not going to mess around with Joe, they will try to lock him up ASAP! We can not let Joe Mauer become a Yankee or Red Sox. Joe is a hometown kid and I believe he is willing to give us a hometown discount, if we lock him up now. He is the face of our franchise and will go down as the greatest catcher to every play the game. That is not my opinion and I’m not drinking the cool aid, that is fact! He will be the greatest catcher of ALL TIME!
P.S. I may have a small man crush on Joe, nothing serious, just a small one.
February 5, 2009 · 8:02 AM
The Twinkies have hired Washington Nationals groundskeeper Larry DiVito! We have not had a groundskeeper since 1981, when we left the beloved Metropolitan Stadium for uglier pastures (i.e. Homer Dome). I heard La Velle E. Neal III on the radio yesterday fielding questions about how absurd it is to have an open air stadium. Apparently, Bud Selig was texting Carl Poland weather patterns for April and September. He was trying to convince him to put a roof on Target Field. La Velle said last year on opening day it snowed 6 inches!
I go back and forth on this issue. I love the look of Safeco Field in Seattle. I always thought our new stadium would be a reflection of Safeco. Maybe a retractable roof was going to increase the overall cost of the stadium so much that the Minnesota citizens would have to fork over too much in taxes and the local government would have never given the Twins the green light. In any event, I read the grass we will be using is a Kentucky bluegrass hybrid (I can just smell it), and beneath the grass will be a state-of-the-art drainage system and heating system. I bet that heating system will pummel the snow! Things are really starting to come together at Target Field. I can’t wait to start the season already and say goodbye to the Homer Dome. Farewell white dome and thank you for making outfielders look bush league. Farewell blue baggy, we’ll miss Mauer hitting doubles off you. Farewell field turf and thanks for the infield choppers. And finally, farewell Humbert H. Humphrey Dome and the best home field advantage in sports history.*
*Harold Reynolds said it, so it’s FACT!
February 4, 2009 · 9:29 AM
Time to talk about pitching (according to ME)! I am very excited about our rotation this year. The experience our young guys gained last year in the hunt for the division will prove to be invaluable. I am so glad we are not starting the season with the likes of Ramon Ortiz or Livan Hernandez. I understand the desire to pepper your rotation with veterans, but we have Rick Anderson, it doesn’t get more veteran than that!
ROTATION (in order):
Liriano – “The Franchise” went 6-4 with a 3.91 ERA with 67 strikeouts and 32 walks in 76 innings pitched. He has always had the tools to be tops in our rotation. He came back too soon from surgery and got rocked in the Majors. He settled in at Rochester and got his mind right and never looked back. He was back to his old self the rest of the way and I’ll be chanting Cy Young in 2009!
Baker – Once referred to as Scott “The home run maker” Baker, this 27 year old veteran went 11-4 with a 3.45 ERA with 141 strikeouts and 42 walks in 172.1 innings pitched. Who could forgot his almost no hitter in 2007 against the Royals. Baker does not have overpowering stuff, but he can paint the corners and mix up his pitches nicely. I like our 1-2 punch for 2009.
Slowey – “Slow Throw” takes the third spot by going 12-11 with a 3.99 ERA with 123 strikeouts and 24 walks in 160.1 innings pitched. He is very reminiscent of Brad Radke because of his superb control. 24 walks in 160.1 innings is amazing!
Blackburn – “Sideburns Jr.” as I like to call him went 11-11 with a 4.05 ERA with 96 strikeouts and 39 walks in 193.1 innings pitched. I think you are seeing a pattern among Twins pitchers….they don’t give up walks!
Perkins – I don’t have a nickname for him yet (work in progress) went 12-4 with a 4.41 ERA with 74 strikeouts and 39 walks in 151 innings pitched. A Minnesota native that is beginning to show a lot of promise and I feel he has what it takes to secure another spot in the rotation this year.
The rotation looks really good this year. Liriano is the only household name to MLB fans but those four other guys have more than enough talent and potential to take us to the next level. I feel like the division is ours for the taking.
February 3, 2009 · 1:28 PM
First of all, I must apologize to John for jumping the gun here and posting three individual posts in a row, I don’t mean to be hogging the Blog but situations warrant such actions. It’s hard not to be excited when your favorite team is almost literally making a deal per day. Today, the Orioles announced that they signed Ty Wigginton to a 2-year, $6M deal. Wigginton’s name was thrown around as an O’s interest for months but everyone thought that had falling by the wayside after the Pie deal and the realization that Huff would play first. Adding Wigginton to our current roster is a curious move and it only stands to reason that more trades are on the horizon. I mean, right now we have an OF of Pie, Jones, Markakis, Freel, and Scott; first base is manned by Wigginton and Huff; third base would be Mora and Wigginton and up the middle would be Izturis, Brob, and Gomez. That’s fine but there isn’t enough room. My thoughts are that Scott will be moved in the next day or so. On a smaller note, the O’s signed IFer Jolbert Cabrera to a minor league deal today; Jolbert played in the Majors last year for the Mariners after two years in Japan. What is MacPhail going to do next?
On a side note, I will be taking off for vacation tomorrow to Wyoming until next Monday. In my absence, John will be taking over all posting duties so you’ll have some great stuff to look forward to reading. When I get back, I’ll pick up with updating you on the O’s news, will break down some card trades I have in the works with several fellow bloggers, and will start posting more sac bunt cards. Stay tuned!
Filed under Cards, Orioles
February 2, 2009 · 8:05 PM
This baseball card is extremely disgusting and overwhelmingly awesome at the same time:
There are so many things wrong with Fernando’s technique that I really don’t even know where to start. First, let’s start with the fact that the back of the card lists Fernando at 5’11” and 202 pounds; don’t ever forget about how big this dude was. Second, please notice his top hand practically wrapped around the bat barrel just waiting for his pitching hand to get shattered. This is something you learn when you are 6 years old ; don’t wrap your fingers around the bat. Third, look at his weight distribution; I’d say about 80% of it is over his front leg causing him to; fourth, apparently lunge at the ball as it approaches his plate. Fifth, and this is a result of his weight distribution and lunging, but he has absolutely no bat angle to ensure that he lays the ball on the ground in fair territory. Now on to the things that he is demonstrating correctly: 1) he’s rocking the stirrups over the socks (a classic look) and 2) he’s got his ‘bunt’ grimace on. Every decent ballplayer knows you can’t sacrifice the runner from 1st to 2nd in the 3rd inning of a scoreless game without grimacing. Thanks to Collingwood again for this beautiful card and another stack of cards that have captured the art of bunting in action just waiting to be analyzed. Stay tuned and go O’s!!!
February 2, 2009 · 1:03 PM
The rumors are true; the Orioles today acquired P Rich Hill from the Cubs for the infamous Player To Be Named Later. The player will depend on how well Hill pitches this year. Hill was out of options so the Cubs had to move him on the cheap to make room on their 40-man roster. This is yet another low-risk, high-return move by MacPhail who continues to make all the right moves (except for the Bradford for Cash deal last year to the Rays). Anyways, a 1-2-3 of Guthrie, Uehara, and Hill really doesn’t sound that bad to me…here’s a link to the story.
February 1, 2009 · 2:16 AM
Is there anything worse than an Andruw Jones baseball card? He went from hero to zero over night and has never looked back. I hate when I pull his cards, he is so irrelevant now. Anyway….broke another box of 07 Fleer Ultra SE. I think this will be my last box of this brand; I think I’ve tapped the well. The hits have lost their luster and the base set is pretty much complete. I enjoyed Ultra a lot and would recommend this set to anyone, but it does get old. I can’t argue with a Mornaeu jersey with a stripe though! “momorneau,” this card is coming your way for a jersey Mauer you may have lying around!
I’m not sure what I’d like to buy next for our box break. I know I want to get my hands on ’09 Topps Heritage! I’m sure we all do. In the meantime I’ll probably look around for a good deal and run with it. I’ve never been one to purchase boxes that are over $100. I’m not even sure I would if I found a $100 bill on the ground. I’m all about collecting base cards of Joe Mauer and collecting his high value cards via trades or ebay. I’d rather buy a blaster of ’08 Stadium Club than a hobby box. Chances of me pulling a Mauer auto from the hobby are slim, but I’ll probably get his base card from a blaster. I have finally put together Mauer’s checklist 2002-2008 so I’ll start chipping away at it.
Enjoy the big game this weekend!