It’s official…

The O’s and Nick Markakis have finalized a six-year, $66M contract extension; Markakis will take his obligatory physical this week. I honestly can’t tell you how excited I am that this is completed. In smaller O’s news, the team acquired RHP David Pauley from the Boston Red Sox in exchange for RHP Randor Bierd. I must admit that I don’t know anything about this Pauley character so if there are any Sox fans out there, please fill me in. We got Bierd as a Rule 5 pick from the Tigers; he’s got a nasty sinker…

About 2 hours after John stopped by today to pick up some cards he left here, the UPS man rolled up. What a great felling that always is when you are home to see the package get delivered. Since I promised John that I would open the Fleer Ultra SE box with him, I took a hack at the mini-box of 2007 Elements (which I knew little to nothing about save some box breaks on You Tube). For those wondering, I got the Griffey box which leads me to my first point; there are too many rules with the Elements product. For example, you can only get certain cards out of the Griffey, Ripken, and Jeter mini-boxes. Why not just make all the product available in your packs? The cards are pretty cool looking from a modern standpoint. I prefer a more traditional look but I can appreciate what Upper Deck was trying to do. For those wondering (and I’ll spill the beans since it’s nothing special) my ‘hit’ was a dual-jersey Essential Elements of Bobby Abreu; talk about a deflating pull. My favorite card of the pack is a Rookie Elements of Joaquin Arias numbered 362 of 550. First, I’ll tell you right now that I’m a sucker for serial-numbered cards; I think it’s something special to say (or think) that you have one of a limited print of cards. The second thing I like about this card is that Arias may have a shot this year to prove something. Now that the drama-queen Michael Young has agreed to play 3rd base; Elvis Andrus will man Shortstop and if he can’t live up to the potential, Arias is next in line. By the way, if anyone wants to trade for either of these cards, let me know. Some other notable cards: a Justin Morneau that I will give to John and a Ryan Zimmerman (Zim played at UVA while I was there so it has been fun to watch his career close to home here in the DC Area).

OK, for those wondering how this is going to work I ordered a all-in-one printer, scanner, and copier today that is supposed to get here on Wednesday. Starting then, I will upload pictures of my favorite cards from box breaks or my existing collection. It will also make it much easier to add cards to our trading area.

It’s back to work tomorrow, so I’ll see everyone tomorrow night unless John chimes in during the day.

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