Saturday, November 22, 2008

Featured pack break: 2008 Topps Update 'fat pack' or the Mark Teixeira Angels card of horrors

2008 Topps Update 'fat pack' [$4.99 each] - Target had a 'super fat pack' with 80 cards [$9.99], though I'll go with the 36 cards.

'Blister one'
UH 271 Brad Thompson - redundantly meh
UH 55 Cesar Izturis - redundantly meh
UH 13 Geoff Blum - redundantly meh
UH 116 Odalis Perez - redundantly meh
UH 158 Chad Durbin - redundantly meh

UH 200 Luke Scott - fun fact; hit the Baltimore Orioles' 75,000 home run in franchise history.

UH 177 Emmanuel Burriss - this card features Burriss in a 'half-bunt, don't know what I'm doing up here,' stance.

UH 129 Nick Adenhart - this guy has been beat up in 2008 but with as young as he is, you hope he can figure it out like guys destined to be good Major League pitchers do.
UH 240 Clayton Kershaw - the name 'Clayton' reminds me of Royce Clayton and Clayton Bigsby.
UH 286 Aaron Cook - I picked up the same card last weekend but I can use it somewhere.
UH 137 Evan Longoria - details his first Major League home run, a walk-off shot on June 9, 2008 against my Angels.
UH 316 Ben Sheets - redundantly meh, but I can use it somewhere.
UH 281 Chris Aguila - played in 8 games and had two hits in 12 at-bats; sounds like my Little League season a long time ago.
UH 113 Justin Morneau - redundantly meh
UH 129 Ryan Ludwick - I can use it somewhere.
UH 96 Vladimir Nunez - keeping tabs of the cards of players like Aguila and Nunez for my 'I can't believe this guy has made it back for a cup of coffee in the Major Leagues in 2008' collection.

UH 204 Franquelis Osoria - has his Terminator shades on while pitching.

UH 12 Trot Nixon - despite being a 1st round pick, Nixon was never really a great Major League player, but a guy who played hard and was a grinder. He was a definite 'fan-favorite' in Boston. The most likely Photoshopped image shows Nixon in the process of following through a ball he just hit. I realize it is a just a card of Trot Nixon, but it is awkward and isn't appealing. How does Topps choose these images?
Checklist - 2 of the 3
Topps Town promo card
David Wright promo card

'Blister two'

UH 223 Jeff Ridgway - to put things in perspective, he is a little younger than I am, but as a professional baseball player Ridgway has already gone through the fire. According to the Baseball Cube, he was a 14th round draft selection [only the 415th player selected overall] in 1999. He made his Major League debut in 2007 and had a 190.91 ERA, pitching a total of 0.1 batters, spanning three games while giving up seven earned runs. He was the player the Tampa Bay Rays traded to get super-sub Wily Aybar and minor league Chase Fontaine.

UH 289 Chris Gomez - he is a 'Real Man of Genius,' for his ability to play 16 years in the Major Leagues as a utility infielder. In his career, we see he went through a half-season phase where he slugged .513 in 2001, but he has been mostly the master of the 'empty batting average.' I personally think his ability to hit for average [.279, .341, .297 and .273] is impressive for a guy who was likely to get the bat knocked out of his hands.

Statheads will tell you his lifetime .325 on-base percentage and his .360 slugging percentage is where Gomez' lack of true value stands out - other than a guy who maybe a late-inning defensive replacement or a guy to fill in for a strictly limited amount of time.

Still, Gomez has bounced around for many teams - and is still able to earn a Major League paycheck and haunt the occasional Topps pack.
UH 157 Mark Hendrickson
UH 109 Alberto Callaspo - he bounced back from some personal issues, but might find himself in the class of Gomez as far as a guy who may hit for average, but not do much else middle infielder.

UH 21 Darrell Rasner - sold to Japan; looks like Shelly Duncan #17 is in the background is having his picture taken in spring training.

UH 117 Jed Lowrie - a beaming Lowrie looks to be a cornerstone in the Boston Red Sox' infield for the next five years as a guy who should be able to bang the ball around the place.
MRH-DJ Davey Johnson - Mets Ring of Honor insert
UH 78 Dallas Braden - gold parallel serial #'d 0243/2008
FC 19 James and Lucretia Garfield - First Couples insert
UH 136 Hanley Ramirez/Albert Pujols Classic Combos subset - picked up two of these cards last weekend

UH 137 Connor Robertson - AKA Ronnie Gardocki
UH 112 Josh Hamilton/J.D. Drew Classic Combos subset - picked up this card last weekend
UH 71 Mariano Rivera - remember getting a picture with him back in the day, about 10 years ago, but never being able to get his autograph since.
UH 305 Ben Francisco
UH 287 Chase Headley

UH 318 Kyle Farnsworth - I happen to think he is one of the worst relievers in baseball along with Scott Schoeneweis. They don't seem to have the consistency to get it done. There relievers who you consider 'automatic,' but go through bad stretches, but then there are guys like Farnsworth and/or Schoeneweis who are just not dependable. They walk too many guys, they allow too many hits and seem to make games longer rather than serve as the bridge from the starter to the closer.
UH 276 Corey Hart - though he is an American baseball player, it is a good bet, you'll always get the 'Sunglasses at Night' reference as recorded by the Canadian musician whenever a highlight comes on featuring the baseball player [thanks Neil Everett / John Anderson of ESPN].

UH 294 Mark Teixeira - I should be happy I pulled a Teixeira card picturing him as an Angel, but 'Tex' looks like he is dazed and confused. He really does look like he is constipated and needs to excuse himself to go No. 2. Thanks for the Teixeira card of horrors, Topps.


dayf said...

The Tex card is better than last year's Braves card where he's wearing some sort of sweatshirt/muu muu hybrid.

Goose Joak said...

Great commentary about Gomez. You piqued my interest.

According to baseball reference, Gomez has earned $16.4 MM in Major League salary over his career. Over $16 million! Now, some of this may need to be prorated for time spent in AAA -- I'm not sure. But still, that's a lotta mulah. .700 OPS be damned, the guy certainly has some sort of value to get paid roughly $1 million per year.