Friday, October 31, 2014

Andre Ethier Likely Out In Los Angeles

When the Los Angeles Dodgers announced that they were bringing Andrew Friedman on board in the front office, many people associated with the team were ecstatic. He is known as one of the best minds in baseball right now, and he should be able to have an impact on this franchise as they try to win their 1st World Series since 1988. However, with him coming in, several players knew that their jobs were in jeopardy. One guy in particular who could be moving sooner rather than later is Andre Ethier.

Going into the winter, everyone knew that the Los Angeles Dodgers were going to need to make some changes with their outfielders on the roster. The question was, which player would likely be moved? Ethier appears to be the answer to that question, especially after having a very subpar season in 2014. He will be 33 years old by the start of the 2015 regular season, and his batting average and on-base percentage has gone down consistently for the last 4 years. Trading him away would open up more opportunities for not only the outfielders already at the MLB level, but the prospects coming up.

Ethier still has value, but he is owed a total of $56 million. Los Angeles is going to be trying to find a potential team to trade him with, but they will likely have to give up another decent prospect in order to do that. They have a list of untouchables at this point, but this team is focused on winning in 2015 at the MLB level. If they feel like they can make a key trade in the winter, the new president of baseball operations is going to pull the trigger. It might seem like the Los Angeles Dodgers have an unlimited budget to work with, but they are going to be a bit more cautious with contracts now that he is on board but they will have more value in fantasy. Ready to try daily fantasy basketball leagues? Use a Fanduel Promo Code to get started.

Matt Kemp is a Bat King

There has been a slight lull in my posting. I attribute that to the middle of the semester workload, but I have also been pretty lazy lately. I have had plenty of time to write-up some blog posts about customs, but decided to just steer clear of the blog for a few days. If anything, I avoided thinking about baseball and Giants for the past few days. Congrats to those Giants, but I really, really hate them.

There is some good news though: I am back in the card game. I finally have the funds to support some eBay purchases, and I am absolutely loving it. I picked up this sweet Matt Kemp bat relic for just a few bucks delivered earlier in the week. I'm not big on Donruss, but I do love the look of these "Bat Kings" relic cards. It would look considerably better with a nice LA logo on that batting helmet, but I'm not complaining.

It has been a coon's age since I last picked up a new Matt Kemp card, but this marks card number 177 in the Kemp collection. I'd like to get that total closer to 200 by the end of the year, but that may just be wishful thinking. That said, I don't have any cards from 2014 Bowman, 2014 Finest, or 2014 Update. If I can pick up some of his cards from those sets, along with some affordable relics and autos, than I'll be looking good.

Monday, October 27, 2014

RIP Oscar Taveras

Baseball lost one of the premier young talents in the game yesterday. Oscar Taveras passed away after being involved in a car accident while in his native Dominican Republic.

Taveras had tremendous talent, and I hoped he would be able to put it together at the major league level. Taveras hit a pinch-hit home run against the Giants in Game 2 of the NLCS, but unfortunately Taveras will never have the opportunity to add to his short legacy.

RIP Oscar

Friday, October 24, 2014

State of the Blog: Water and Cards Don't Mix + Other Odds and Ends

I have been pretty darn busy with school and work which has hindered my ability to consistently post here. I still get the occasional custom post out, but those are becoming a little harder to stay on top off. I am chalking that up to the middle of the semester blues, something I seem to go through every semester. I am doing fairly well in my classes, though Calculus is a pain in the butt. I'm glad that I'll be done with math after the end of the semester.

Anyway. I have always had this irrational fear that I would spill water on and/or destroy someone's cards right before I sent them out to that person. After nearly a year of posting here on the blog, that fear never materialized. That is, until I spilled a large cup of water over on my card desk a few nights ago. I managed to wipe out over half of my Chad Billingsley collection, a ton of Topps Chrome cards of the Braves I was planning on sending out to a certain blogger, I ton of Washington Nationals cards from the break that were just sitting around, and a few other various cards I had sitting out on the desk.

It seems that my cards took a brunt of the hit. That Chad Billingsley post I was planning on doing for way too long will never fully unfold. At least it was the base cards that took the hit. My autos/relics were luckily saved by their top loaders. The Chrome cards seem to be warping a bit, and the backs are starting to peel. For the most part, nothing of real value was lost, but it is still frustrating to lose cards in general.

That sucked, but it allowed me to make time to organize my cards and think about what I plan on doing with a ton of them.

As I mentioned a few times over the past couple of months, I am trying to downsize my collection. I enjoy collecting, but it will have to take a backseat to some of the other things going on in my life.

I will attempt to sell most of my cards pretty soon. There will be a detailed post with everything I am selling. I don't plan on trying to turn a profit, but a small amount to cover shipping and supplies is probably what I am thinking. Stay tuned if you are interested in picking up some cards for cheap.

On another note, Halloween right around the corner. Has anybody out there ever seen a costume based on cards at all? I was discussing different Halloween costumes with my coordinator at work today and we were coming up with some cool ideas, but it made me think about the card community. I could see someone making a Topps card costume pretty easily. Google proved me right.

Not Me

#12: Josh Hamilton

#12: Josh Hamilton - Anaheim Angels

Josh Hamilton is the first Angel in this set. You may notice I went a different route with the Angels, compared to every other team/card I have displayed so far. I still call them the Anaheim Angels. I cannot think of any sane reason as to call them the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, and that is too long to stick on a card anyway.

That said, I believe this is the first 'walk-off' card in the set so far. The picture came out particularly blurry this time around, but I still dig it. Hopefully you do as well.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

#11: Jon Lester

#11: Jon Lester - Oakland Athletics

I don't know too much about Jon Lester. I know he is an excellent pitcher and should command top dollar this winter. Some say he will go back to Boston. Others say he will wind up in Los Angeles. I'm not confident either of those would happen, but it does make for an interesting off-season.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

#10: Paul Molitor

#10: Paul Molitor - Milwuakee Brewers

The following passage comes from the great Tony L. of Off Hiatus Baseball Cards

Molitor spent only 64 games in the minor leagues in 1977 after being drafted in the first round out of the University of Minnesota by the Milwaukee Brewers with the 3rd pick overall in the 1977 June Draft. In 1978, while Robin Yount either was holding out or was honestly deciding whether to become a professional golfer instead of a baseball player, the Brewers needed a player to start at shortstop. As a result, Molitor jumped directly from the Midwest League to the major leagues and never returned except for injury rehab.  As a Brewer, Molitor racked up nearly 2300 hits over 15 years with a .303/.367/.444 slash line. After the 1992 season and in the wake of acrimonious contract dealings when he signed his previous contract, Molitor left and went to Toronto where, at the age of 36, he won his only World Series Title and won the World Series MVP award. After three seasons in Toronto, Molitor finished his career with his hometown team, the Minnesota Twins.  He finished his career with 3,319 hits and a .306/.369/.448 slash line in 21 seasons, and he was deservedly inaugurated into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 2004, the first time he appeared on the ballot, with 85.2% of the vote.

(Photo Credit: Not Found)

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

#9: Ben Zobrist

#9: Ben Zobrist - Tampa Bay Rays

We're moving on from one of my least favorite cards to one of my favorites - so far. The first Rays card from the set features the man that plays all over the field: Ben Zobrist. It didn't take me long to settle on the picture for this card, I mean, it has it all. Throwbacks. A sweet action shot. There is actually a baseball present. I really, really, dig this card. Hopefully you do as well.

(Photo Credit: J. Meric/Getty Images )

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

#8: Joe Mauer

#8: Joe Mauer - Minnesota Twins

I've been cruising right along making these customs, yet I have been unhappy with one. The Joe Mauer custom you see below would be that one. I have been meaning to go back and edit a few things, mainly the picture, but I though I had some more time. It's currently half past midnight and I don't have the energy to go back and make any adjustments. As such, we are left with a card that I am not incredibly happy with. But hey, at least I made sure I noted that he was a first baseman, not a catcher. Still gonna have to get used to that.

(Photo Credit: Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

Monday, October 13, 2014

It's Been Too Long

It feels good starting a post that has some real cards in it. The cards in this post come courtesy of a fellow Dodger fan and friend, Austin.

We started talking cards, baseball, and general nonsense a while back, though I don't remember when. However, I do remember we struck a deal; It has just taken me a ton of time to get around to posting.

This sweet relic of Adrian Beltre was the center of the deal, but I received something even sweeter which I'll get to in a minute. My Beltre PC is stronger than ever, now sitting at a triumphant 105 cards. That number can only go up, and with a much more narrow focus I plan on increasing that number sooner rather than later.

I also received this extremely cool Russell Martin card from 2010 A&G. Greg is right, Martin cannot take a bad picture. This is just a gorgeous piece of cardboard. Come back to LA, Russell!!

Austin also sent over a few other cards for my various Dodger PC's, but this took the cake. Austin was nice enough to send this my way just so he could clear up a little space at home. Although I am not quite old enough to have experienced Sutton pitch, I'm definitely happy to have his bobblehead (and bobblehair) in my collection. Do any other Parks and Rec fans thing he looks a bit like Councilman Jamm? 

Thanks again for all of the great stuff Austin. I look forward to our next swap!

#7: Justin Verlander

#7: Justin Verlander - Detroit Tigers

I imagine this was somewhat close to Verlander's initial reaction when few raunchy photos were released of him sometime last month. Well, the pictures were released because they featured his gorgeous girlfriend Kate Upton, but enough about that.

I have always been a fan of Verlander, though he did deny Kershaw the title of best pitcher on the planet for a year or two. Verlander has since declined and is now a middling pitcher in a dominant Detroit rotation. I guess you can say the card also depicts his reaction after his fall from grace.

(Photo Credit: Tom Hagerty)

Sunday, October 12, 2014

#6: Tanner Roark

#6: Tanner Roark - Washington Nationals

It may have taken me six cards to realize this, but talking about every player in this set is going to be difficult. Here is what I know about Tanner Roark.

  • He throws right-handed
  • He plays for the Nationals
  • He solidified my Fantasy Baseball team after I lost Jose Fernandez for the year
That's pretty much it. Glad you made an appearance Mr. Roark. 

(Photo Credit: USA Today Sports Images)

#5: Paul Goldschmidt

#5: Paul Goldschmidt - Arizona Diamondbacks

I promise there will be posts with real cards soon. Until then, enjoy another custom. 

I despise the Diamondbacks. I love Kirk Gibson (at least the 1988 version of Kirk Gibson), but I hate the Diamondbacks. Maybe it's because they always seem to give the Dodgers trouble (not so much in 2014). Maybe it's because they use opposing teams players for human target practice. Maybe it's because they have a pool in their outfield. It's probably a combination of those things, but it certainly isn't their first baseman. 

As much as I dislike the D-Backs, I enjoy watching Paul Goldschmidt play. Here's to many more years of watching you kill Dodger pitching. 

(Photo Credit:

Saturday, October 11, 2014

#4: Anthony Rizzo

#4: Anthony Rizzo - Chicago Cubs

Let me be straight with you. I'm pretty scared of the Cubs. 

Well, I will be in about two years. They have an excellent GM in Theo Epstein, an excellent young core of players in Anthony Rizzo and Starlin Castro and an excellent farm system full of guys with superstar potential. I don't want to think about the Cubs right now. Let me just Rizzo out of the way early. 

Friday, October 10, 2014

#3: Giancarlo Stanton

#3: Giancarlo Stanton - Miami Marlins

There are few players out there that I would trade Yasiel Puig for if I were the Dodgers GM. Giancarlo Stanton is one of them. The dude can flat out rake. As such, he is deserving of a nice home run trot around the bases. 
Get well soon, Giancarlo!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

#2: Derek Jeter

#2: Derek Jeter - New York Yankees

I'll be honest. I got quite annoyed with the amount of coverage that was devoted to Derek Jeter in 2014. Jeter is one of the greatest Yankees of all-time, and perhaps one of the greatest players of this generation, but it just went a little overboard for me. That said, I still have tremendous #Re2pect for the guy, no matter how cheesy the hashtag. The Yankees won't be the same without Jeter, and baseball will lose an icon. 

Thanks for all of the great memories you've supplied us Derek. Enjoy your retirement; you know you've earned it. 

(Photo Credit: The Associated Press)

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

#1: Bryce Harper

#1: Bryce Harper - Washington Nationals

Card number one in the set goes to one of my favorite players in the game: Bryce Harper. The cards lose a little bit of their quality during the upload to the blog, but I still feel they look solid. I am a big fan of the "back" shots, so you may want to get used to them. 

(Photo Credit: Alex Brandon, AP)

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Chavez Ravining Customs: 2014 Base Set

I hinted at it yesterday, but I will spill the beans today. I am creating my own set of custom cards, and I will release them here on the blog. 

Each team will have a unique coloring and logo scheme, dependent on the era they played in and etc. I have created both horizontal and vertical designs, though the cards are still a work in process. I currently have about 25 customs completed.

You may see a bit of a resemblance to 1963 Topps, and rightfully so. My custom set is largely based off of one of my favorite sets of all-time. Rather than incorporate a B&W photo of the player in a circle, I opted to go with the team logo. I also decided to do away with the borders that are the norm for Topps Flagship. Basically, you are looking at a crappy version of 1963 Topps Stadium Club. 

Anyway, I currently have a 240-card checklist including cards from every team, and. unlike Topps, I will have more than one or two cards from teams like the Padres and Brewers. (Marcus and Tony rejoice!)  

I also have a few insert/subsets in the works, though I will probably end up releasing those a bit later.

There is also the question of what to do with all of these custom designs. Chances are the cards will be posted here and never seen again, though I am considering printing them out. Of course, I would take a trip down to Kinko's to get them done right. If I go that route I will be looking at 240 "true 1/1's" to disperse throughout the blogosphere. We'll see. 

The first card in the set will be released tomorrow, with cards being released at least once a day after that. I will still continue to do my regular posting of real cards (time permitting), so don't think that the blog just turned into one of those custom blogs. Please leave me some feedback on the cards. They won't all turn out as beautiful as I'd like, but I'd like to do as best as I can. If you have any suggestions for players that should be added to the set just let me know. Thanks again for reading!

Monday, October 6, 2014

The Bubble Machine

I've been quiet over the past week or so. School is a big factor in my posting ability, but I've been spending most of my time working on a new project for the blog. 

In honor of the fantastic Dodger win the other night, take a sneak peak of that project. 

There will be more info on this project later in the week, but I'm interested in hearing what you guys think so far. Can you guess what the project is?