Friday, March 28, 2014

Another Brutal Assessment of one of My CBS Fantasy Teams, Dead Last This Time!

It's a long way to October, but Twins have won the first round, winding up with the top ranked draft. Coach Ethan's squad, led by Paul Goldschmidt, are projected to wind up with 55 category points. That's 33 more points than you are projected to come up with. You will have all year to prove us wrong, but for now, you are slated to finish in last place.
Long Ballers 2 are expected to be better than that overall, and much better on the hitters front, where they have the best group in the league. Coach Donald can trot out Troy Tulowitzki, Bryce Harper, and Edwin Encarnacion into the starting lineup. DOOMED, meanwhile, are the worst in the league in that area, with Lorenzo Cain, Dayan Viciedo, and Yunel Escobar g! racing the starting lineup.
Unfortunately, you didn't have any position groups that really stood out. Your best position is your outfielders, who project out to be the 8th best in the league. That group will include the likes of Matt Holliday, Jason Heyward, and Kole Calhoun.
Turning to individual picks, we tapped cegars as having made the best pickup with Yu Darvish in the 130th slot. He was projected to be off the board a full 110 picks earlier. On the other hand, you made the worst move of the draft. You selected Yadier Molina with the 2nd pick, which we pegged as a serious reach.
Additional Notes:
Despite your team having less than stellar projections, you might have room to surprise, as your squad is the youngest in the league.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

STL Player of the Week #6

When I began this weekly posting I over looked the Negro League players so I hope to rectify that. There is a wonderful book called Only the Ball was White  (Amazon) by Robert Peterson. This is a detailed history of the Negro Leagues. With all the hoopla over stats and records from the “steroid era” , how they are inflated, and how it is disgraceful for MLB. Well, this is a crock. First, how would have DiMaggio, Babe Ruth, and the other Hall of Famer hitters performed against the likes of Negro League pitchers Bullet Rogan, Cannonball Dick Redding, and Leon Day. Would CY Young, Walter Johnson. or Christy Mathewson held up under the offensive onslaught of Josh Gibson, Buck O’Neal, and Buck Leonard? So the stats in the Hall of Fame are a gold standard?


But I digress; I was able to locate a Negro League player from STL. Pitcher
Richard Henderson "Dick" Whitworth was born in STL on 8/28/1895 and passed on 3/1/1966 in STL. Dick played with the Chicago Union Giants 1914-1916, Chicago American Giants 1915-1919, Hilldale Club 1920-1921, and again with the Chicago American Giants in 1922. Dick’s career stats are as follows; he had a record of 72 and 35 in 135 games. He walked 346 batters and strike outs 461. His career ERA was 2.56 and his WHIP 1.204. No too shabby. No surprise that I couldn’t find a baseball card for Dick but I did locate this photo.




Monday, March 24, 2014

Yadi Card of the week #8

This week’s Yadi card is 2010 Topps Series 1 #WTWY YM When They Were Young.  Part of an insert set in Topps’ 2010 Series 1 flagship issue the set consisted of 18 Major Leaguers when they, as the title indicates, were young. The set included among others David Ortiz, Justin Verlander, and Jason Berken, Jason who? The odds of pulling this insert were 1:6 hobby packs and 1:8 retail packs.


Let us take a look at the card. Yadi is in a red, white, and blue uniform (Puerto Rico’s colors). I assume this is a Little League type team. I can’t make out the team but it looks like Parderos. A more recent Yadi picture is in the bottom left hand corner. There are three things I find hilarious about this card; first are the two guys standing behind him, family? Second, he is wearing a batter’s glove.  I mean that is adorable. Lastly, is his I don’t want my picture taken why are you doing this to me look. All surrounded by a border reminiscent of 1980 Topps. The reverse has Yadi’s name, team, and position in black along the top, below which is a white stripe that names his high school (Maestro Ladi H.S), then a short blurb about he and his family in green. I can’t say it is a great Yadi card but it is fun to see him so young and in his uni.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

My 2014 Heritage box break.

I know many blog postings have been written about this year’s Heritage. In spite of this I will offer my experience opening a hobby box. I really enjoyed opening this box, as this is one of favorite vintage Topps design. I can't wait until they do the 1967 design. I was ripping through those packs like some giddy 11-year-old kid. What did the carcass of the box give up besides no dupes? First we received no Yadi anything not even a base card. Bummer. What Cardinals did we get? We picked up several Wainos including NL Pitching Leaders, Base, and a Then & Now insert with Gibby.


Rookies Kolten Wong, Audrey Perez, and Kevin Siegrist.
Young players such as Shelby Miller, Trevor Rosenthal, and Carlos Martinez were busted out of packs.
                                       Will he make the rotation this year out of Spring Training?

We also received vets Allen Craig, Peter Bourjos, and Lance Lynn (I hope he doesn’t have some of the same issues as last year). Finally a cool Baseball Flashback insert about Gibby.
                             I had no idea he shut out the Cubbies 11 times in his career.

Since the world, for the most part, doesn’t revolve around the Cardinals what other goodies did we receive? Derek Jetter Action Variation (1:23 hobby packs),
Clubhouse Collection Jayson Werth (up for trade),
Justin Upton Chrome #387 out of 999 (also up for trade), Jurikson Profar Chrome #21 out of 999 (also up for trade),
and Chrome Refractor Yu Darvish #101 out of 565 (not for trade, another guy like Miggy I seem to pull often). I wish I would have pulled a Yadi and an auto instead of a relic from a non-Cardinal. I visited two area Targets this week and no Heritage but I will be on the look out as I plan to buy a blaster, a rack and single pack. Perhaps later on in the year if the prices on boxes drop I will pick up another.

When is a jumbo box not fun?


When you pull an autograph of the one player you despise. Johnny "Kung Fu" Cueto.

Ahhhhhhhhh……… this one will be making it over to Nachos Grande.

When is a blaster not a blast?


I have never purchased packs of Opening Day in the past but this year I wanted to purchase a blaster for the fun of it. What was the result? Well I was able to get several base and insert Cardinals (Holliday, Carpenter, Adams, etc.) but no Yadi. Sad Face. Did I have a good time opening this blaster? Opening my second pack I experienced déjà vu when I begin to receive many of the same cards from the first pack, and the third was like the second, which was like the first. Out of 11 packs in the blaster we received 9 doubles! Are you freaking kidding me?

Friday, March 21, 2014

Seat Cushion Night 1987


There are nights and days you should never forget like your wedding and graduation. Then there are nights that you will never forget. One of these is the legendary seat cushion night at Busch II in 1987. My wife and I were watching the Cardinals last season and one of the announcers mentioned “seat cushion night 1987”. I told my wife I was there and still may have the cushion in my parent’s basement. Sure enough I spoke to my parents a few days later and my dad went downstairs and found it. Needless to say my wife carefully wrapped up the now 26 years old square plastic cushion and carried it home in her carry on bag this past holiday season.

Seat cushion night is as legendary as the White Sox disco inferno night. You ask what is “seat cushion night”? Well let me say I don’t believe they ever had another one after that, no wait they had another one in 2005? And the same thing happened (imitators)? Who woulda thunk. The Mets were in town for a series against the Cards. At this time in the mid-1980s the Mets were our mortal enemies.
                                                     This may be in a closet at my parent's home

The Cards went to the World Series in 1985 and 1987, and the Mets in 1986. I will never forget watching the ball roll through Buckner's legs, I cried, not really but I wanted to. During these years there was great animosity between the teams. Keeping this in mind I went to a game between the Cards and the Mets on April 18, 1987. There was a potent mixture of hating the Mets, drinking Budweiser, and seat cushions. Only a spark was needed to blow the powder keg. That spark happened when 2nd basemen Tommy Herr, one of my all time favorites, hit a walk off grand slam against the hated Mets. It was on. It began with one, then a couple, then a few more, and then an avalanche of seat cushions raining down from the stands. Of course I didn’t throw mine. There you have it the legendary “seat cushion night”.
                                                            1987 Topps Tommy Herr

I attended another legendary night at Busch II, the famous Kevin Mitchell of the Giants one handed catch off the bat of Ozzie Smith in 1989. Unfortunately I didn’t see it as the seats we had (left hand corner in a blind spot) weren’t the best-but I knew something great happened when the fans erupted with applause for Kevin and his catch.


'Bay pick up of the week

What I have begun to figure out is that while the piranhas are feeding on the carcass of 2014 Heritage there are good cards slipping through the frenzied buying. Case in point, I was able to pick up Yadi’s 2006 Upper Deck #I-YM INKredible on sticker auto for $20. Not the best looking card but it is another one for our Yadi auto collection.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

STL MLB Player #5 Heine Meine (STL) MO

This week’s players, yes players, are three Heinies. I am cracking up a little as I write Heinie. The three are Henry William “Heinie” Meine, Emmett Jerome “Heinie” Mueller, and finally Henry Clement “Heinie” Peitz.Why so many Heinies (insert chuckle)? Why not.

First Heinie is Heinie Meine. This Heinie was a right handed pitcher who played with the St. Louis Browns in 1922. In 1922 he appeared in only one game then spent the next three years in the minors with the Syracuse Stars and the Kansas City Blues. He quit baseball following the 1926 season. He owned a speakeasy in South STL’s Luxemburg area (I have no idea where this is or was). This speakeasy gave Heine his nickname “The Count of Luxemburg”. He would return to the majors in 1929 with the Pittsburgh Pirates and went 7-6. Due to a health issue he was placed on the retirement list and returned to the Pirates in 1931 and went 19-13. In his first two games against my Cardinals in 1931 he pitched 2 shutouts against the team that would win 101 games and the 1931 World Series. In 1931 Heine led the NL in wins (19), innings (284), and in ERA of 2.98. (Thank you Wiki). He held out at the beginning of the 1932 season and would pitch for the Bucs in1933 and 1934. He retired with a record of 66–50, 165 appearances, a 3.95 ERA, and 199 SO. How I know Heine Meine is because he operated a baseball school in south STL that included a field, and a locker room for 50-60 boys. Heine Meine Field is where I played part of my college “career” in 3A collegiate baseball. Now, look I wasn’t good or bad, I didn’t play high school baseball. Webster University where I went to school was known for its arts programs and not for its baseball. This has changed over the years and they even have their own ball field. Here are my “career” stats at Webster University. Since I started all the games in right in 1988 and 1989 I don’t know why there are no stats for 1988. Also 18 at bats in 1989 isn’t correct either, unfortunately the three errors probably are! 1989 shows 18 AB, 1 run, 6 hits, 0 RBI, .333 slugging, 5 BB, 4 SO, .478 OBP, fielding .000.OK I most def’ fielded some fly outs there, as well as had some RBIs.
                                                                1933 Goudey #205

                                                                  Heine Meine Field

I will quickly cover the other two Heinies; first Emmett Jerome "Heinie" Mueller. Heinie Mueller was born July 20, 1912 in Creve Couer, MO and passed on October 3, 1986 in Orlando, FL.  He played with the Philadelphia Phillies from 1938 to 1941. He was an infielder and originally signed by the Cardinals and played in the minors in Springfield, MO and Houston, TX. Heinie was sold to the Phillies in December of 1937.  On April 17, 1938 he became the first major leaguer to homer in his first major league at bat. His last appearance in the Majors was on September 28, 1941. He had a carrier batting average of .253, 17 home runs, and 117 RBI. Having missed the next three years because of the war he wasn’t able to make it back to the majors.


                                                 1939 Playball Heine Mueller Phillies #63

Finally we come to Henry Clement “Heinie” Pietz born November 28, 1878 in STL and passed away on October 23, 1943 in Cinci. Heinie was a catcher and played for the St. Louis Browns (1892–1895), Cincinnati Reds (1896–1904), Pittsburgh Pirates (1905–1906), Louisville Colonels (1907–1910), and St. Louis Cardinals (1913). He was part of the famed "Pretzel Battery" with pitcher Ted Breitenstein while playing for the Browns and Reds in the 1890s. (thanks be for Wiki). Heinie appeared in 1,234 games, scored 532 runs, had a career OB% of .342, 1,117 hits, 560 RBI, 91 stolen bases, and 409 walks. After he retied as a player he was a scout, coach, and umpire. Bill James in the his 2003 book “The New Bill James Historical Abstract” ranked Heinie as the 82nd best catcher of all time. He also played along side his brother Joe while with the Browns in 1894.
                                                                1909 #254 Colgan

                                                            1992 Conlon TSN # 643

I know this posting was long but I think these old school payers are interesting and I learned a great deal about pre-war baseball.

Brutal assessment of one of my CBS fantasy teams

t's a long way to October, but Wolfpack have won the first round, winding up with the top ranked draft. Coach David's squad, led by Ryan Braun, are projected to wind up with 53 category points. That's 31 more points than Angels are projected to come up with. Coach Vaughn will have all year to prove us wrong, but for now, Angels are slated to finish in last place.
While your squad might not quite be Wolfpack, you're not far off, finishing in 2nd place. Your success came despite your outfielders, who are projected to be the 3rd worst in the league. But at least you are better at that position than...
Lumber Company, who have the worst outfielders in the league. Coach Gene will have to trot out Michael Bourn, Carl Crawford, and Marlon Byrd into the starting lineup. STUDOGS, meanwhile, are the class of the league in that area, with outfielders Jacoby Ellsbury, Adam Jones, and Bryce Harper.
Your strength is mainly in your infielders, who project out to be the 2nd best in the league. That outstanding group is part of the reason why you are expected to wind up in 1st place in the BA category.
Turning to individual picks, we tapped STUDOGS as having made the best pickup with Joe Mauer in the 107th slot. He was projected to be off the board a full 75 picks earlier. On the other hand, Angels made the worst move of the draft. Coach Vaughn selected Yoenis Cespedes with the 8th pick, which we pegged as a serious reach.

Your best pick up of the draft was Stephen Strasburg, who was expected to have been selected in the 28th slot, but who you got with pick #87. However, you mixed in some duds as well, the worst of whom was Billy Hamilton, taken 32 spots ahead of what his average draft position suggests.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Yadi Card of the Week #7

My in-laws are in town and we have a had an action packed weekend but I was able to pick the Yadi card of the week. This week’s card is 2004 Studio XRC #241. Even though I think the card speaks for its self I will go ahead and scribble a few lines. What is not to love about this card? First you have the top half of Yadi’s torso with the home uni, second his catcher’s mitt is begging for the ball, third his arm is cocked, ball in hand, as if he is going to gun it down to second. All of this is with the backdrop of the STL skyline with the Arch prominent. It is a simple clean design with the Donruss Studio 2004 in the upper left corner and black and yellow band on the bottom with Yadi’s name and the birds on the bat. The back is well done too.  Along the top is Yadi’s name above a line of yellow dashes. There is a ¾ Yadi holding a bat on the left and the right has a little blurb about Yadi about his huge hit against the Mets in 2004 Playoffs. The bottom of the card has another line of dashes and below that are his 2004 stats. The autographed version of this card occasionally pops up on EBay but it is out of my budget limit (currently one is listed for $300) by several times. The difference between the two cards is the auto on sticker placed over Yadi’s catcher’s mitt and the Private Signings S was moved to the right corner. This is hands down one of my favorite cards of Yadi. There is a youthfulness to Yadi on this card. Though he is now a grizzled veteran, when you watch him as much as we do you can still the youthfulness that is displayed on this card.





Yadi spent part of 2004 with the Memphis Redbirds of the PCL. In Memphis he appeared in 37 games,  had 150 plate appearances, 129 ABs, scored 19 runs, had 39 hits, 14 RBI, .302 BA, and .759 OPS. His fielding % was 1.000 in 37games with NO steal attempts. In 2004 he appeared in 51 games with the big club, had 135 AB, 135 plate appearances, 36 hits, 12 runs, 15 RBI, 13 BB, 20 SO, .267 average, .329 OBP, .356 SLG, and an OPS of .684. Defensively he started in 39 games, caught 344 innings, had a .993 fielding average, gave up 9 stolen bases but caught 8 others for caught stealing % of 47.