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Steroids and the Hall of Fame

The use of performance enhancing drugs has thus far kept Mark McGwire out of the Hall of Fame. The general consensus is that Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens will also lose major support and probably miss the train to Cooperstown.

Now we have Alex Rodriguez, perhaps the biggest star of them all, the golden boy of all baseball writers. And baseball writers are the one who vote on the Hall of Fame. Will the steroids scandal hurt A-Rod?

Personally, I always thought he used. He was a teammate of Jose Canseco – and that alone puts one under the eye of suspicion. However, without the proof, he had my support (but not vote, since I don’t vote) for the Hall of Fame. The numbers are too big to ignore.

Now? He’s off my faux ballot. As well as Keith Hernandez’s imaginary ballot.

How about you?

Fun Cards of the All-Stars

Way back before the season began, Mike from Awesomely Bad Wax Packs approached me with the idea of producing a set of fun cards for the baseball card blogging community. Due to my apathy and inability to complete anything I start, it didn’t go very far. However, I did finish some cards. Read the rest of this entry

Max, Jose, and A-Rod

Free Image Hosting at www.ImageShack.usDon’t call Jose Canseco a liar yet. Don’t assume Alex Rodriguez is the golden boy everyone is claiming him to be. At the same time, don’t count on “Max” being a real person.

For all the craziness that has been baseball over the past few years, Canseco has yet to be proven wrong. He has been teammates with some of the biggest names and alleged steroid users in the game…McGwire, Palmeiro, Clemens. All of whom are now wondering whether Cooperstown will actually call. Jose was also a teammate of A-Rod, who, according to Jose, asked where one could get steroids.

Did Canseco indeed introduce one of the (supposedly) greatest natural talents of our time to a dealer? I believe he did. Did Alex follow-through with a purchase and a push of the needle? That remains to be seen.

For those who are coming to Rodriguez’s defense, be cautious. Don’t let your heart be too broken when and if Canseco’s claims are shown to be accurate. By the same token, Canseco’s backers should be aware that the book needed a big name like A-Rod in order to move it off the shelves. If it was filled with names of benchwarmers, no one would care.

Records are made to be broken

Yeah, I know it’s supposed to be “rules” and not “records,” but I’m not Bill Clinton. I believe in rules. Records, on the other hand, I love to see broken–as long as it is done legitimately. Roger Maris is still the single-season home run king, and Hank Aaron still tops the all-time list in my mind. Will these and other timeless records ever be broken for real?

The Career Home Run Record. Assume Alex Rodriguez keeps up his current pace of 44 home runs per season. Heck, let’s round it down to 40 just for fun. How long would it take him to surpass Aaron’s 755? About six seasons, that’s how long. He’s been around for fourteen years, but he started out pretty young (18!), so six more years isn’t out of the question. That would put him at 37 years young; Hank was 40 when he toppled Ruth’s 714. If you are among those who thinks Bonds’ mark should stick, then A-Rod would need to stick around just another year to pass him (assuming Bonds is done). What about the all-time professional mark of 868? You know, the one held by Sadaharu Oh of Japan. If A-Rod wants that record, he’ll have to stay healthy and consistent with 40+ homers for another 8.75 years.

The Career Hits Record. Pete Rose stands head and shoulders above everyone else in the field at 4256. No one else even comes close. But 33-year old Derek Jeter can try. Currently at 2356, Jeter would need an average of 200 hits over the next 9.5 years to pass Rose. Ichiro, who is just a tad older than Jeter, could pass Rose in just over 11.5 years if he continues his average of 230+ hits per season.

The Career RBI Record. Hank tops this list right now with 2297 knocked in, but A-Rod is again within striking distance considering his age. If he averages 125 RBI (just under his average) over the next 6.4 seasons, he’ll pass Aaron. Manny Ramirez could get there a little quicker though, if he keeps up his 130+ RBI average. It would take the Man Ram just over 5.3 years to pass the Hammer.

The Career Stolen Base Record. Rickey Henderson doesn’t have anything to worry about. Juan Pierre is the closest thing to a challenger, and he’s over 1000 behind Rickey. At an average of 50 steals per season, Juan would have to play until he turns 50 to catch Rickey.

In addition to the stolen bases record, there are a number of pitching records which will not be challenged for a long time, including strikeouts (Nolan Ryan has over 5700) and wins (Cy Young has over 500). Maybe someday there will be a real Sidd Finch to shatter all those records, but I doubt it happens in my lifetime.

My trip to the card shop…

My son and I visited one of the local card shops this afternoon, and I walked away pretty happy (as did he). He picked up some singles…Ken Griffey Jr., Chone Figgins (have no idea why he picked him out), Warren Spahn, another baseball guy (can’t remember who though), and Michael Jordan (normally, I’m against basketball cards, but I make an exception for MJ). I picked up several packs, including a few from the dollar bins. Here’s what I got…

1988 Topps

I grabbed two cello packs of these bad boys, even though I already have a ton. I just couldn’t resist the shiny All-Star cards on the top (pictured above). Add to that a Bo Jackson showing through the back of one of the packs, and it was a no-brainer. $1 per pack and 42 cards in each. Even if they are all doubles (which is quite possible), I still got Eric the Red and the HOF 3B Mike Schmidt.

1989 Fleer League Leaders

This is actually a set, 44 cards, and was only a buck. Again, Eric Davis is in the set, as well as Mark Grace, Don Mattingly, Jose Canseco…lots of late 1980s/early 1990s superstars. I would have picked up two if I had seen another box of them, but this was all I saw.

2006, 2007, and 2008 Topps

The 2006 and 2007 packs were $1 each, I think they were series 2, and there wasn’t much to brag about in them. I think I did score a Mantle (I don’t care how much they’re worth, I just like pulling the Mantle cards). I also got a Mantle out of the 6 packs of 2008 I got, as well as the Joey Votto A&G card, a couple of the All-Star Rookie 50th Anniversary cards, an Ichiro base cards and the A-Rod pictured above.

I was pretty happy with my purchases today. And I almost bought…

1988 Donruss Baseball’s Best

I’ve already got this set, but I was thinking the other day about how nice these cards would look autographed. The set was only $5, which I thought was a steal, but for some reason I just couldn’t bring myself to buy it.

When I got home, I hopped on Beckett.com and looked it up (using the “My Collections” tool). The 336 cards in the set all add up to $70.90. $70.90!?!? The guy was selling it for $5…what’s wrong with him? I then headed over to eBay, and found this. Go down to the very bottom, and there’s a “Buy It Now” for $74.99…and that’s for a whole CASE of sets. Not sure how many came in a case, but I’m betting at least 12 or 15.

In any case, I will be making a purchase the next time I’m at the store, just because I really think they would look nice autographed and don’t want to break the set in case someone doesn’t return the cards.

They also have some old wax boxes cheap…1988 and 1989 Score for $5, 1988 and 1990 Donruss, and some football and basketball stuff too. I can’t wait for my tax refund to hit the bank.

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