Monthly Archives: October 2010

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum (Baltimore, MD)

This past summer, my family and I took a vacation to Washington DC and Baltimore, MD. There is a lot of cool stuff to do in DC, but not much baseball-related. My (at the time) 10-year old son and I took in a Nationals game, while all four of us went to an Orioles game. Before the Orioles game, we visited the Babe Ruth Birthplace and Museum.

I should have posted these photos months ago…and actually thought I had. Here they are…better late than never, right?

Chrome Contest

The Georgia Mindset blog is giving away a free box of 2010 Topps Chrome!

It’s beautiful AND it’s dangerous

Say what you will, Fergie has got an awesome voice for rock music. I love the Black Eyed Peas, and I like her solo album, but her work with Slash on “Beautiful Dangerous” (above) and their cover of the Guns N’ Roses classic “Paradise City” (below) is the best singing she has ever done.

How awesome would a Fergie-fronted Velvet Revolver sound? Can you imagine her pipes on “Fall To Pieces” and “Slither”?

Can you hear me now?

A mysterious time traveling cross-dresser appeared in Charlie Chaplin’s 1928 movie, The Circus. How do we know she was a time traveler? Because no one else had a cell phone in 1928! Yes, a time traveler caught on film!

I want to know who her provider is…that’s the company I want to go with!

Pop Tarts Graveyard!

Last month, I became obsessed with Choc-O-Lantern Pop Tarts, thanks to a blog entry at X-Entertainment. I searched high and low, put out A.P.B.’s on Twitter and Facebook, and finally found them. Today, my son and I made a graveyard, similar to the one featured on the back of the box…

I love Halloween!

Add this to my list of things better than the Giants/Rangers World Series

Not scheduled to hit theaters until next July, unfortunately in 3D. Hopefully there will be a 2D version too.

What gets me more excited than the Giants/Rangers World Series?

1. The fact that it’s not another Yankees/Phillies World Series. I’m sorry, I can’t really get excited about the Giants or the Rangers, even though those were the teams I was rooting for in the LCS. I’m glad Josh Hamilton is going, and I expect Mickey Mantle-ish things from him. Mantle hit 18 home runs in 65 World Series games.

2. The Dark Knight Rises. That’s the title of the new Batman film. No Riddler, though. The director did provide this bit of insight: “We’ll use many of the same characters as we have all along, and we’ll be introducing some new ones.” Wow. How intriguing.

3. Star Wars in 3D. To be honest, I think this is a terrible idea, but Lucas is a genius so I’m sure he will change my mind about it.

4. This Reggie Jackson baseball card. I was always a Reggie fan. He was on his way out when I started following baseball. Plus I love art cards. The 30-Year Old Cardboard blog just posted scans of the whole subset of Reggie Baseball Heroes cards today. Check ‘em out.

5. Halloween. ‘Tis the season, y’know.

6. Speaking of October 31, that’s the launch date for FearNET HD. We just dropped our cable, but one of my favorite On-Demand channels was FearNET, and if it’s being made available as a regular channel, that’s just awesome. If you have HD, then contact your provider and find out when they are planning to add FearNET to their channel lineup.

7. Halloween at the Reds Hall O’ Fame.

8. Moving. If all goes well, I’ll be in a new house in a few weeks. We should be closing Friday (still waiting for final word from the bank) and then move a couple of weeks after that. Which means I’ll be able to finally get my baseball cards organized and start some new projects that I have jumping around in my brain.

9. Neil Gaiman’s awesome idea to give scary books to other people on Halloween. Seriously, are you ever going to read “Cujo” again? Let someone else read it.

10. New Star Wars movies. Sorry, let me try that again…

NEW STAR WARS MOVIES!!!!!

Yeah, baby. I don’t even think the Reds in the World Series could top that one.

What’s your favorite baseball season?

I can’t say I’ve ever been asked this question. Favorite team, favorite player, favorite baseball card…sure. But favorite baseball season? I had never even thought to answer this unasked question.

But the answer is an easy one for me. 1988. Hands-down, without a doubt. This was the first year I really paid attention to baseball. I had been collecting baseball cards for a few years before this, but besides watching a few Reds games on television and in person, I never really took notice of the game as a whole. In 1988 that all changed, with the emergence of some exciting rookies: Ron Gant, Mark Grace, and the eventual Rookie of the Year and still one of my favorite players, Chris Sabo. The excitement of the 1988 season continued in the postseason for me as I watched Kirk Gibson pull off the unthinkable pinch-hit home run off Dennis Eckersley in the World Series as the Dodgers went on to beat the Bash Brothers. I don’t care if you love or hate the Dodgers, that World Series was fun to watch.

The other two seasons that come to mind, but neither comes close to 1988 in my mind, are 1990 and 2010. 1990 saw the Reds go wire-to-wire, sweeping the Oakland A’s in the World Series behind the bat of Billy Hatcher and the pitching of Jose Rijo. It was a great time to be a Reds fan.

2010 was an exciting year as well, watching Joey Votto rise up as the next superstar produced by the Big Red Machine, seeing Jay Bruce and Drew Stubbs endure adversity and mature at the plate, and following the progress of the young pitchers, Mike Leake, Sam LeCure, Matt Maloney, and of course, the Cuban Missile Aroldis Chapman. Yes, the season ended on a sour note due to the manager’s foolish decision to start an injured shortstop in a playoff game, but it was a fun ride.

So what are your favorite baseball seasons, and why?

One week until Halloween…

I can’t believe it’s almost here…my favorite time of year! When the ghosts and goblins come out to play, and not even garlic keeps vampires away. Halloween! Halloween! It’s almost time to scream!

The most influential man in horror?

When it comes to modern zombies at least, it has to be George Romero. From his classic Night of the Living Dead to Dawn of the Dead to Day of the Dead to Land of the Dead to Diary of the Dead, and of course, 2009’s Survival of the Dead, Romero has mastered the art of the zombie flick.

The first installment came out in 1968. Romero didn’t just work on “…of the Dead” titles, though. He was also involved in 1982’s Creepshow, which led me to create the Super Veteran card below (based on the subset from the 1983 Topps set)…

What’s your favorite Stephen King movie?

I’m not a big reader anymore. I used to be. I loved “Lord of the Flies,” “Ordinary People,” and various other books in high school. One of the first horror novels I read was Stephen King’s “Pet Sematary.” But reading is not something I enjoy doing much anymore.

Watching movies…now that I can get into. Movies based on books…I’m hooked. I love Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, and another series of movies that I won’t admit to because I don’t want to be mocked. Moving along…movies based on Stephen King novels are hit-and-miss. There are some really good ones (Pet Sematary, Carrie, It), and some awful ones (which I won’t name just in case they are among your favorites). But my favorite has to be Christine.

One of the cards I created for Thorzul’s Nightmares on Cardboard III contest is a tribute to Christine, in the style of 1983 Topps (the year the movie was released)…

Is there an awesomer show than @nbcChuck (go ahead and #ff)?

Totally ungrammatical, but I don’t care. Chuck has got to be one of the most entertaining television programs since, I don’t know, Dukes of Hazzard. That’s not to say I haven’t enjoyed other shows…24, Smallville, the first two years of Heroes…but none are as charming as Chuck.

Artist Josh Howard recently shared the above awesomeness via Twitpic, and it’s almost as awesome as Chuck is.

Another Nightmare…

The deadline for Thorzul’s Nightmares on Cardboard III contest is just around the corner…and here is card #2 that I am sending to him…

Ooooh…a card within a card…ooooh.

Nightmares on Cardboard III

Anyone planning to take part in Thorzul’s annual Nightmares on Cardboard contest? He says he only has one entry so far, and the deadline is Sunday. I have some things in the works, including this…

Not my best work, I know. But I just started getting in the Halloween spirit a couple of days ago, so I’m kind of under the gun.

I have a couple more cards completed, including one that uses the above card…and I have a few more in my head. If the zombies don’t eat my brain, I might get them finished tonight and will post them over the weekend.

This is not the shortstop you are looking for…

If ever there was a time that I wanted the Jedi mind trick to work on a general manager, this is it.

For some reason, Walt Jocketty wants to re-sign Orlando Cabrera for 2011. The good news is, it won’t be at the ridiculous $4 level that the option calls for. He wants the shortstop to return at a lower price. But based on his performance in 2010, particularly in the postseason, I don’t want him back.

Orlando Cabrera is not a good baseball player. Look, I understand that when you’re playing on the same team as Joey Votto, Scott Rolen, Brandon Phillips, and Jay Bruce, it’s tough to look like a good ballplayer by comparison. But even when you remove your teammates and look just at the stats, it’s bad.

Baseball-reference.com today looked at candidates for the 2010 Least Valuable Player. And when posting the list of those with the worst OPS+, Cabrera comes in at #8. Sure, his .263 average doesn’t look terrible, but he only has a 78 OPS+! And that’s not the eighth worst on the Reds…that’s the eighth worst IN THE MAJOR LEAGUES.

Looking at WAR, Cabrera has a pathetic 0.4. 0.4. Shortstops, in this day and age, should never have a 0.4 WAR. Out of fairness to Cabrera, he’s not the worst shortstop on the list. That dishonor goes to Cesar Izturis, who posted a -0.4. So at least OCab came out in the positive. But still. 0.4.

Surely there is a free agent shortstop that could better fill the role for the Reds. No I don’t expect Jocketty to go after Jeter (wouldn’t that be awesome), but there has to be someone that won’t boot the ball in the first inning of the most critical game of the year when you’re down by 2 games in a best-of-five playoff series.

In any case, Orlando Cabrera is not the shortstop you are looking for.

Fun Cards: 1988 Topps All-Star Joey Votto

I saved the best for last, as did the ASG selectors. One of the biggest controversies at the break, Votto was ignored by the manager of the NL squad (whose name I will not mention here). But the fans stepped up to the plate and righted the wrong by voting Votto. The guy was a monster at the plate the entire season and energized not only the team but Reds fans as well. I don’t remember seeing Cincinnatians this excited about a ballplayer since Chris Sabo’s rookie year. He was the runner-up to Geovanny Soto for Rookie of the Year in 2008, received a handful of MVP votes last year, and should walk away with the award easily this year. Who cares if that loudmouth idiot on ESPN has never heard of him?

Stats 2010 (Career)
H 177 (511)
HR 37 (90)
RBI 113 (298)
BA .324 (.314)
OBP .424* (.401)
SLG .600* (.557)
OPS 1.024* (.958)
OPS+ 174* (.151)
WAR 6.2 (13.5)

* = led league

New blog header

Tracii Guns has been playing guitar on my header for about two years, and I decided it was time for a change. This new header reflects a few of my interests…from the Cincinnati Reds and horror movies to hard rock and the Dukes of Hazzard. There were several other things I wanted to include, such as Waylon Jennings, Star Wars, The Flash…but there’s only so much you can do in such a small space. I didn’t want to overcrowd the header, but I may have done that anyway. Oh well. I’m going to leave it for a bit, and see if it starts to get on my nerves. If it does, I’ll change it again.

2011 Heritage. For realz.

I can’t believe the lack of chatter about 2011 Heritage so far. Very few blogs have covered it despite the posting of several images on Topps’ Facebook page, including this beauty…

After I stopped drooling over that card, I looked at some of the others the big dawgs posted. I’ll be honest, I like the base set, but the inserts and subsets don’t do it for me. Way too much yellow…it’s like 1987 Topps and 1991 Fleer had a baby. *shudders*

The best Rick Roll ever?

Man, those computer science kids are smart. Check out how this college student Rick Roll’ed his prof…with acrostics!

Is this the best Rick Roll ever? I’m not sure. It’s tough to beat over 5,000,000 write-in votes that the Mets received in 2008 for the 8th inning sing-along.

There are also a ton of mash-ups using Rick Astley’s most infamous song floating around.

That NIN/Astley mash-up is really well-done. The mastermind behind it has done several other fun mash-ups with 80s pop classics, including a great Culture Club/Dramarama mix.

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