Monday, August 31, 2015


#MyCardMonday goes out to the 2014 Topps Series 1 Justin Verlander Rookie All-Stars. I love this card and I love the fact that I pulled it out of a box myself. It is really thick card featuring the Topps All-Star Rookie award. JV has battled back to his all star form this year and I thought this would be a fitting card for today.

This time last year Justin Verlander was struggling on the mound and probably was our fifth best pitcher on the team. Now after having core muscle surgery in the off-season and finally making it back to the team healthy he is showing his dominance once again. In his last start he took a no hitter into the 9th before giving up his first. He would finish the inning out with leaving the runner stranded. I really think JV never lost anything after his past 8 starts it was all a matter of dealing with the core muscle injury and getting healthy. With our bullpen in shambles and our starting rotation struggling, JV is one of the bright spots for the team right now. He takes the mound again tomorrow night against Johnny Cueto and the Royals. Should be a good pitching match up with those two on the mound.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

2015 Topps Allen & Ginter Box Break

The other night when I got home from work I was greeted with a package on my doorstep. I knew exactly what it was and couldn't wait to open it. I had bought a box of Allen & Ginter and Topps Chrome from Big D's Cards in North Carolina. Jimmy the owner has been great to me with buying box from him. Today I thought I would share my hits from A&G. I will be honest I wasn't sure if I want to buy a box or not due to the fact that I haven't had the greatest luck in the past. I will let everyone judge if I did good or not.

The first cool card I pulled was a 10th anniversary issue border card of Chad Tracy. I recognized the name, but wasn't really familiar with how he was a player. After doing some research I found he only played 9 years spending 6 of them with the Diamondbacks. He actually had a good career with them, but the next three years he really didn't do much else. I believe now he is a special instructor with the Nationals.

My first relic that I pulled took me about half way through the box before I pulled it. A Ryan Braun uniform piece relic. It is just a plain white piece of the uniform, but it is in the shape of the number 10 for their anniversary (10 is also my favorite number which I wear for playing sports). Now with the Braun card I wasn't overally excited about either. He has been linked to steroids and he has lied about the use of them I could care less.

Next relic another uniform piece, but featuring a gray away uniform of the Yankees pitcher CC Sabathia. Captain Crunch as has struggle lately, but at one point in his career he was one of the most feared pitcher in the game. Maybe he can bounce back to his old self or maybe he will have luck pitching out of the bullpen which I just read a rumor about today.

I don't if this card is any good or not. Some young pitcher for the New York Mets, Noah Syndergaard. I also read that the autographs come in two colors, blue which is common and red which is out of /10. This is probably one of the best cards that I have actually ever pulled. It didn't come until the second to the last pack in the box. When I looked at it, I knew this card made the box for me.

Monday, August 17, 2015

#MyCardMonday: Justin Verlander

I have been doing a #MyCardMonday for awhile now and I really never have talk much about the card that I have posted, but more about the player that is featured on the card. Well today the card and the reason why I picked the card goes hand in hand. I will do my best to explain why I picked this card over the other ones I could choose from.

For starters I have a few of different relic cards of Justin Verlander that I could have picked from, but this one was sitting on my kitchen table and its from this years Topps Series. The relics and even the autographs even the set features a feat from the player on the card. In Verlander case it features the 24 wins he posted in his Cy Young/ MVP season of 2011.

Now the second part of why I picked Verlander and the reason why I picked this card is to talk about how much better Verlander has pitched as of late and why wins for pitchers are pretty much a pointless stat.

Verlander last season had one of his worst seasons, but was dealing with a core muscle injury. He started this season on the DL and has only made 11 starts so far this season and has an ERA of 4.11. Now if you look at his last 7 starts he is 1-3 with a 2.85 ERA and a WHIP of 1.01 while only walking 7 batters and striking out 42. Now if you watch Verlander pitch or only look at his starts the record and the rest of his stats do not go together. The Tigers have average 2.71 runs per game during those 7 starts of his and even his win the final score was 2-1. It just goes to show the the number of wins and losses for a pitcher does not tell the whole story on how the pitcher is actually pitching.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Collecting the Tigers: Daniel Norris

The key piece to the David Price trade was the top 25 prospect, Daniel Norris. Norris has a lot of potential and in his first 3 starts give the Detroit Tigers a glimpse into what the future might hold for the Tigers and Norris. In his 3 starts he has had one good outing, one bad outing, and one okay outing. Last night Ausmus left him in the game in 6th (I believe could be the 5th) and he was able to get out of the jam. He seems to be attacking the strike zone with averaging just over 52 strikes thrown out of the 87 pitches a game he has averaged. It is hard to really get into his stats this early into his career with the Tigers, but from  what I have seen I like what the future could hold for Norris. Only 22 years old he has plenty room to grow and with him making plays like this below it will be fun to watch him pitch.

Monday, August 10, 2015

#MyCardMonday: Placido Polanco

As a Detroit Tigers fan everyone knows that 2006 was a magical season for the Tigers. To me it was the season that turn the Tigers into one of the worse teams of the decade into a team that showed they could compete. We all know that season was capped with a World Series run. Out of all of the players on that team, Placido Polanco was probably my favorite player out of them all.

Saturday night I was watching the Tigers pregame show and they were talking with Polanco before he was honored during the game. They were celebrating the 10th anniversary of Fiesta Tigres which honors Latin-American ball players. Polanco spent five seasons in Detroit as our second basemen and our number 2 hitter in the lineup. As a hitter I cannot think of anyone who was better then Polanco batting second. He wasn't a power guy, but he could move the runner over and hit for average (.311 as a Tiger) along with getting a walk (.355 OBP). Defensively he was one of the best defenders in the game at second. He posted a career dWAR of 6.8 and won two gold gloves in Detroit. His defensive career is highlight by him setting the record of 144 straight games at second without an error.

In 2009 Polanco would reach free agency and would sign with the Philadelphia Phillies. The Tigers hoped that upcoming prospect Scott Sizemore could hold down second base for them. I thought they should have kept Polanco and have him work with Sizemore at second before letting he have full control. That didn't work out for the Tigers as plan. The Tigers didn't have a second basemen until they traded for Omar Infante in 2012.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Mail Day!: Ty Cobb

I have been really impressed with some of the commemorative cards that Topps put in their series 1 and 2 this year. They have honored players with a commemorative medallion celebrating their first home run and they have also issued a nice thick card with a commemorative bat knob.

Ty Cobb is one of the greatest hitters to ever play the game of baseball. There are not many people that are around that can say that they have seen him play in real life. I have enjoyed reading and learning about Cobb and he has became one of my favorite ball players. Here are a couple cards I picked up honoring Cobb.

On September 23rd, 1905 Ty Cobb would hit his first home run. He would hit a total of 117 in his career. Nowadays that doesn't sound like many home runs, but he did play during the dead ball era. His career high in a season was 12 which he did twice 1921 and 1925. 

This is one of my favorite cards in the series. It was part of series 2 and I did pull a Robinson Cano bat knob in my box. I have been looking for a bit to add a Ty Cobb commemorative bat knob card to my collection and I finally found one that I thought was a good deal and snagged it.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Welcome to the Show: Richie Shaffer

On Monday night Richie Shaffer made his major league debut for the Tampa Bay Rays after doing nothing but hit home runs in the minors. He spent time in both Double A and Triple A before the call up. In Triple A for the Durham Bulls Shaffer hit .265/.359/.595 with 16 home runs and 32 RBIs in 55 games. In his debut for the Rays he started out playing first base going 0-2 with a walk, but last night he got his first major league hit. Not only was it a hit, but also his first career home run in the 7th inning against the Chicago White Sox.

Shaffer has played third mostly for his minor league career, but with Evan Longoria penciled in as the Rays everyday third basemen, Shaffer might see more reps at first base. Good luck with your career Richie Shaffer!

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

The Real Life Crash Davis

Most baseball fans are familiar with the baseball classic movie, Bull Durham. It stars Kevin Costner as Crash Davis, an aging minor league catcher who sets the minor league home run record. Yesterday (Monday August 3rd) the Toledo Mud Hens Mike Hessman put his name in the history books.

In the 7th inning against Lehigh Valley IronPigs, Hessman stepped up to the plate with the bases loaded and the Mud hens trailing 4-6. With one swing of the bat Hessman put the Mud Hens in the lead and also set the minor league home run record at 433 career long balls. He passed Buzz Arlett who starred for the Phillies farm team in the 1920s and 30s. I purchased this bobblehead last year. It was for setting the home run record for just the International league that he did on June 30th, 2014.

It is a pretty cool bobblehead featuring Hessman wearing a crown on top of his helmet. Congrats on this amazing feat in your career and good luck to you in the future Mr. Hessman!

Monday, August 3, 2015

#MyCardMonday Thank you Yoenis Cespedes

I guess you could say this is a second part of my last blog post about David Price being traded away from Detroit. I will save my ramblings about why this was for the good of the team, because you can just go back to the last post to read that.

Yoenis Cespedes spent a half season with the Detroit Tigers before he was traded to the New York Mets for two prospects, Mike Fulmer and Luis Cessa. In the half season he spent in Detroit, Cespedes put of some of his best numbers yet as a major leaguer. He posted .293/.323/.506 with 18 home runs and 61 RBIs while having an OPS+ of 126. He was on pace to have his best season yet. I hope he finishes the season out strong for the Mets and maybe from the rumors (he has been telling friends and family that he would like to come back to Detroit) he will re-sign with the Tigers in the off-season. Either way thank you Cespedes for the exciting half season we were able to watch you play.