Friday, November 30, 2012

Featured autograph - Tommy Hanson

I was curious as to who the Angels would pick up after their starting rotation was depleted - it looks like the Halos got a solid starting pitcher from the Atlanta Braves in Tommy Hanson and all the team had to give up was reliever Jordan Walden.

I think there were rumblings and concerns about Hanson's delivery and health over the last two years, so the move isn't without its risks - however what's not to like about a big, strong kid who seems like a solid No. 3 behind Jered Weaver and C.J. Wilson, but has the potential to be quite a bit better at only 26.

Walden was an All-Star selection back in 2011 but has been a disappointment since - even with closer stuff, he pitched himself out of the Angels' short term plans and lacked a defined role in 2012.

With a different team like the Braves - maybe Walden gets a new opportunity to become a star reliever.

After trading for Hanson, the Angels should be looking to pick up another starting pitcher - do the Angels have any more prospects or young players like Taylor Lindsey and/or Peter Bourjos, Kole Calhoun or Luis Jimenez floating around?

I'd like the Angels to go after another Southern California guy in Florida Marlins pitcher Ricky Nolasco - who suddenly doesn't seem like a fit for the fire sale Marlins, looking to reload with cheap, young players.

A.J. Burnett of the Pittsburgh Pirates could be an option if the Pirates get back enough MLB players - to continue their make-believe game of trying to contend.

As far as free agents, Edwin Jackson seems like he is basically Ervin Santana and his contract demands might not be reasonable - my off the wall idea maybe taking a chance at lefthander Jonathan Sanchez.

Sanchez maybe too inconsistent and beyond repair - but has had his moments as a Major League starting pitcher to warrant a spring training invite.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Featured autograph - Zack Greinke

I probably got this card signed through the mail years ago and I wish the other guy was in professional baseball somewhere because I'd still like to complete it - the card is going into my all-time Angels autograph box to represent Greinke's time with the Angels in 2012.

Obviously Greinke is the most prized free agent this off-season and I'd love for the Angels to have the means to plug him back into a depleted starting rotation for 2013 - who really knows [I'm not betting on it, btw] if the Angels are going to re-sign Greinke to a long term deal for $120 million or more.

If it happens and Greinke is back with the Halos for the next five-seven years - then the team is going to have to tear up the long term deal ace Jered Weaver signed and make sure the face of the Halos' starting rotation is paid comparably.

Ryan Madson and other Angels bullpen options

I'm not too impressed with the Angels' signing of former Philadephia Phillies closer Ryan Madson - but it is a gamble probably pays off for the Angels if Madson is able to come back [whenever that may be next season] and be a guy who saves 30-40 games.

The Angels look to be one of the favorites to get Kyuji Fujikawa and hopefully the Angels can get a deal done - whether it's to defer to Madson in the ninth inning or actually close games out himself, Fujikawa adds another live arm into the Angels' bullpen for 2013.

If not Fujikawa, the Angels need to patch up the pen and find another reliever like Jose Veras - a hard thrower who may not be young and may not always be in control, but can still be useful.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Chone Figgins

It's a bullet the Angels dodged when Chone Figgins signed a four-year, $36 million dollar contract with the Seattle Mariners four years ago - he was supposed to be part of a contender in Seattle but those dreams never materialized and Figgins turned into a bad nightmare for Mariners fans.

He was finally cut from the Mariners and while he pockets another $8 million to play for someone else [or stay at home] during the MLB 2013 season - maybe Figgins can salvage the latter part of his playing career, by being a bit player for a perennial contender [St. Louis Cardinals?], filling in at second or third base.

Dollar Tree repacks

I was looking for a cardboard fix, so when I realized I worked near a Dollar Tree discount store - I stopped by to pick up a couple of 'Ultimate Super Jumbo Pack - Vintage Series' repacks for a dollar each; I'd read random blog posts about these from random card blogs and thought I'd scrape down at the bottom of the barrel myself.
Pack one had 32 cards
1992 Topps Bazooka Quadracard #22 of 22 - featuring John Antonelli, Bob Friend, Dixie Walker and Ted Williams; I'd never seen these cards before [a 22-card boxed set, featuring four 1953 Topps Archives card images on each card] and they were remotely interesting.
1994 UD Collector's Choice Cliff Floyd #337
1994 UD Collector's Choice Ryne Sandberg #335
1984 Topps Johnny Ray #537
1990 Topps Rolando Roomes #364
1990 Topps Lee Guetterman #286
1989 Topps Willie Wilson #168
1990 Topps Bryan Clutterbuck #264
1991 Upper Deck Mark Knudson #393
1989 Fleer Jose Alvarez #585
1991 Score Nolan Ryan #701 - No-Hit Club subset
1993 Pinnacle Bob Walk #380
1990 Topps Kelly Downs #17
1989 Topps Keith Hernandez #480
1991 Upper Deck Pete O'Brien #459
1991 Upper Deck Kirk McCaskill #539
1984 Topps Jeff Lahti #593
1990 Score Paul Coleman #662
1998 Upper Deck Dmitri Young #665
1990 Topps Cal Ripken Jr. #388 - All-Star subset
1990 Topps Dave Cochrane #491
1989 Topps checklist #118
1988 Donruss Keith Moreland #201
1991 Leaf Jeff Treadway #246
1989 Topps Bobby Thigpen #762
1986 Topps Doyle Alexander #196
1989 Donruss Alvin Davis #345
1988 Topps Randy Myers #412
1992 Leaf Juan Guerrero #426
1989 Topps Blue Jays leaders #201
1991 Upper Deck Von Hayes #368
1981 Fleer Frank Tanana #276
Pack two had 34 cards
1986 Topps Mike Scioscia #468
1987 Donruss Jim Traber #477
1984 Topps Johnny Ray #387 - All-Star subset
1990 Donruss Mike Blowers #656
1993 Score Randy Milligan #112
1990 Donruss John Cerutti #645
1992 Leaf Glenallen Hill #70
1992 Pinnacle Mark Lewis #91
1993 Donruss Brian McRae #411
1993 Leaf George Bell #217
1992 Donruss Dave Gallagher #377
1989 Topps Bill Swift #712
1987 Donruss Tim Stoddard #497
1988 Fleer Kenny Williams #412
1991 Upper Deck Reggie Sanders #71
1990 Donruss Ron Oester #317
1991 Upper Deck Roger Clemens #655
1994 Topps Frank Thomas #601 - Measures of Greatness subset
1987 Topps Dwight Gooden #130
1986 Topps Dennis Rasmussen #301
1992 Topps Andy Mota #214
1990 Topps Marty Clary #304
1990 Topps Steve Bedrosian #310
1994 Pinnacle Phil Plantier #80
1987 Topps Wally Joyner #80
1996 Score Sean Bergman #120
1997 Fleer Ultra Pedro Astacio #442
1987 Topps Ron Karkovice #491
1994 Donruss Ron Karkovice #416
1987 Donruss Milt Thompson #330
1991 Topps Jeff Schaefer #681
1988 Donruss Storm Davis #595
1988 Donruss Tom Newell #604
1992 Topps Bazooka Quadracard #22 of 22 - featuring John Antonelli, Bob Friend, Dixie Walker and Ted Williams; a whole set is usually available for $2-$5 on eBay.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Autograph request through the mail received: Paul Goldschmidt

Paul Goldschmidt - the Arizona Diamondbacks slugger signed two cards in black Sharpie; I don't do as much mailings TTM, so I have to find the exact details, but I probably sent this during the latter part of the 2012 MLB season and was received last week.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Torii Hunter - Detroit Tiger

It was a nice 5-year run as a Halo for Torii Hunter - while everyone sort of moves on, especially when the Angels have Major League Baseball's best player in Mike Trout, I'll be rooting for Hunter to outplay the Bobby Abreu [circa 2010-2012] comps often thrown at his direction by 'smart' Angels fans who didn't want the team to reach out and re-sign the 37-year old outfielder.