Posted in Uncategorized

Topps Update gives Mets cards to Daisuke Matsuzaka, Bobby Abreu & Jacob deGrom

Topps Update baseball cards were officially released this week, marking the traditional end of the collecting season that started when Series 1 came out back during spring training.

I wanted to pick up a couple of packs when I stopped in Target this afternoon, but they hadn’t made their way to the retail shelves yet. So I’m left looking at the pictures of other people’s cards online instead,

(I’m not likely to see one of these in person anyway.)

Continue reading “Topps Update gives Mets cards to Daisuke Matsuzaka, Bobby Abreu & Jacob deGrom”

Posted in Baseball, Uncategorized

Things to be happy about the day after the Mets’ season “ended”

Matt den Dekker's 2014 Topps baseball card
Matt den Dekker’s 2014 Topps baseball card

The New York Mets finally acknowledged reality after Bryce Harper gave the Nationals a series victory in Washington Thursday afternoon – the playoffs are not a possibility this year.

But there was still quite a bit to be happy about on Friday night:

On a team level, victory number 55 comes too late to matter very much – but we can still celebrate the personal milestone achieved by Colon.

Flores and den Dekker may not perform any better than Chris Young and Ruben Tejada, but it’s time to find out as much as we can about them. It’s better if they can succeed at the major league level, but if they fail, at least Sandy Alderson will should know not to count on them during his off-season planning.

Posted in Baseball, Uncategorized

Time to be spoilers

CitiFieldDropping three out of four games to the San Francisco Giants this weekend seems to have put an end to any talk of the New York Mets being part of a pennant race in 2014.

I refused to believe in the phantom playoff run while the Mets’ record was under the .500 mark, but they definitely can still play a role in deciding who wins the National League East.

Tonight is the first of 13 games the Mets have left against the Washington Nationals. While I’m loathe to see them help out the Atlanta Braves, I’d love it if the Mets were able to knock Washington out of the playoff picture.

I’m also encouraged by the Mets’ decision to remove Bobby Abreu from the active roster. While the former Phillies star was briefly one of the Mets’ best hitters, he turned out to be completely unsuited to a pinch-hitting role.

I hope that Terry Collins actually plays Kirk Nieuwenhuis so we can find out if he can be a contributor at the major league level now and in 2015. There is no reason to continue to start Chris Young on a regular basis, and little reason to keep him on the roster except to salve Sandy Alderson‘s ego.

Nieuwenhuis, Eric Campbell and Eric Young Jr. can all play left field. They may or may not hit more than Chris Young did when given regular playing time, but they are all under team control in 2015. Chris Young’s contract mercifully expires at the end of the season and he’ll be left hoping that his agent can find another major league general manager who believes he can return to his 2010 All-Star form.

Posted in Uncategorized

Is this the worst baseball card of the decade?

I chuckled over the story of Jayson Werth‘s reaction to his 2014 Topps baseball card, but I think the card company used a pretty cool photo.

Now if Chris Young had a similar response to his Topps baseball card in 2010, he had a much better case.

Chris Young's 2010 Topps baseball card
Chris Young’s 2010 Topps baseball card

In 2012, Topps told Yahoo Sports that Skip Schumaker‘s short-printed card focusing on the rally squirrel was the first time in the company’s history that a players card had not featured the player’s face.

I think Young could argue that point.

Can you think of any recent baseball cards with poorer photo choices than this one?

You can follow Paul’s Random Baseball Stuff on Facebook or Google+, see my photos on Flickr and Instagram, and follow @Paul_Hadsall  on Twitter, where I talk about about a variety of things in addition to baseball.

Posted in Autographs, Baseball, Uncategorized

Autograph of the week: Chris Young

Chris-Young-2009-Topps-206 Chris-Young-back

New York Mets GM Sandy Alderson‘s most controversial free agent signing this winter was outfielder Chris Young.

Young, 30, was an All-Star for the Arizona Diamondbacks in 2010 when he hit .257 with 27 home runs and 91 RBI in 156 games. Since then, his performance has steadily declined.

In a part-time role with the Oakland Athletics last year, Young hit .200 with 12 home runs and 40 RBI in 107 games, striking out 93 times in 375 plate appearances. That’s not really the kind of year to have right before you enter free agency, but Young did ok for himself.

Mets fans have to hope Young has a year more like 2010 than 2013 in order to justify Alderson’s decision to give him a $7.5 million contract.

I was able to pick up a certified autograph baseball card for my collection for $5 shipped from an eBay dealer back in December.  It’s from the short-lived Topps 206 brand, which was launched in 2002 and discontinued after 2010, releasing just three sets.

Perhaps due to the size of the space for an autograph on the card, Young’s signature is little more than his initials. Still, they are written in cursive and recognizable – something we probably shouldn’t expect from future generations of athletes.

Young appears on over 100 different certified autograph baseball cards released by Topps and Upper Deck during his career. Maybe Topps will include one that shows him in a Mets uniform in a set later this year.

You can follow Paul’s Random Baseball Stuff on Facebook or Google+, see my photos on Flickr and Instagram, and follow @Paul_Hadsall on Twitter, where I talk about about a variety of things in addition to baseball.