Sunday, January 29, 2012

White Plains Card Show 1/22/12 Recap, Part Four!

Hey guys, Drew back here. Moving along with the recap series, here is Part 4, showcasing all of our newest autograph pickups, minus the ones we obtained in person!

PART 4: Certified Auto Pickups

2005 UD SPx Russell Martin RC Auto /185
We begin with an autograph from a current Yankees playing, their starting catcher Russell Martin! I wasn't extremely impressed with Martin last year, but he did a pretty good job behind the plate. I'm not necessarily used to having a catcher hit for such a poor batting average (.237), but I guess in this day in age he's an All Star caliber catcher. Anyways, I wanted his autograph just to have it basically, and who knows maybe he'll bat a whopping .250 this year!

2011 Topps Chrome Eduardo Nunez RC Auto
I'm torn on Eduardo personally. I think he had a pretty solid rookie season, considering all of the pressure in New York for him to succeed, since he had to replace stars like Jeter and A-Rod when they suffered injuries. He could wind up being a solid player, but he won't be that player for the Yankees, because they probably wouldn't have a spot for him to do well. However, this is a pretty nice rookie auto, and trust me it looks a heck of a lot better in person. 

1997 Donruss Signature Series Bartolo Colon Auto
Bartolo was a great success story for the Yankees last year for sure. Most fans did not expect to see the aging power pitcher dominate the mound again, but he proved everyone wrong by producing solid numbers for the Yankees. I mean, think about it, he basically got hardly any money and was expected to be a minor league pitcher, but he worked his way up to the starting rotation. I give him props for that.

2006 Bowman Originals Nick Swisher Auto Gold Parallel /31
Boy was I glad to see the Yankees lock up Swisher for another year! It would've been a tragedy to let him go this offseason, because clearly there were no other right fielders available that could produce like he does. Yes, I understand his postseason stats aren't impressive, but honestly I feel like he is in for a big year. I already had the base variation autograph from this set, so being able to add a more rare parallel to my Swish PC is pretty sweet!

2007 Bowman Sterling J.P. Arencibia RC Auto
Prior to the show, I listed the 10 autographs I wanted most for each position based on active players, and Arencibia was #8 on the catcher list. I think he has a lot of potential, although he didn't hit for a very good average last year either (.219). But with 23 homers and 78 RBI, he should be one of the top catchers in the league for years to come. 

2004 Topps Blue Chips J.J. Hardy RC Auto
Similar to Arencibia, Hardy snuck onto my list of top shortstop autographs I wanted. He had a great year with the Orioles last year, batting .269 with 30 home runs and 80 RBI! His signature really looks like it just says Hardy, but who knows what these current players try to get at with their autographs. 

2008 UD Signature Sensations James Shields Auto
After his stellar 2011 season, I honestly feel that James Shields is better than David Price. Everyone made a huge deal about how good Price was supposed to be, and while he's done fairly well, he had a very inconsistent season. Shields threw 11 complete games and finished 3rd in AL Cy Young voting behind Verlander and Weaver. I'd consider that a great season! Therefore, it was probably a smart idea to pick this auto up before he becomes more well known in baseball!

2007 USA Darwin Barney RC Auto /595
Barney ranked in the top 10 autographs needed for second baseman on my list, and I'm glad Dad was able to pick one up for me. Barney had a very good rookie season last year, batting .276 with 146 hits, earning him 7th in NL Rookie of the Year voting. I think he'll be a pretty solid player in the future for the Cubs, and he has a pretty nice autograph as well.

2011 Topps Allen & Ginter Starlin Castro Auto
To go along with the Cubs second baseman, I also managed to round out the other half of the middle infield, picking up this beautiful Starlin Castro autograph. Apparently the card is a short print, so I paid a fairly high price for the card, but I think it will be worth it. Starlin is heading into his 3rd full season, after starting his career batting .300 or above both of his first two seasons. Last year, he batted .307, pounding out 207 hits and scoring 91 runs for the Cubbies. I have a feeling he could end his career with better stats than Hanley Ramirez and maybe even Jose Reyes, given Reyes' health issues.

2007 UD Sweet Spot Classic Jack Morris Auto Bat Barrel /50
I have watched a ton of shows on the MLB Network so far this year. I go downstairs, sit down and record 5-6 shows at a time on our DVR. Therefore, I watched a lot of the Hall of Fame coverage this year, and after watching all the debate, I really think this guy should be in the Hall. I mean, they voted him the best pitcher of the 1980's for crying out loud! Who cares about his stats, when he was one of the most dominant pitchers of his era? Unfortunately, after this weak class went by, Morris still didn't receive enough votes, and with the insane classes upcoming, I doubt he'll get in anytime soon unless the Veterans Committee elects him one year. Nonetheless I was able to pick up this card for 20 bucks, numbered to only 50. It's a nice one for sure.

2003 UD Yankee Signature Series Paul O'Neill Auto
One of the reasons why this show was so big for me was because I was able to make some significant strides in my collection! Paul O'Neill's autograph was one that had been haunting me for quite some time, and Dad was able to buy me one, which was really awesome of him! I've watched a lot of the games from the 90's dynasty years, and I can tell if I wasn't 4 or 5 years old, but the age I am today as a fan, O'Neill would've been one of my top 3 or 4 favorite players on the team. He was indeed a warrior in every way, and he inspires a lot of people to really give their all on the field and have no regrets when leaving the ballpark. You have to love having a guy like that on your team.

1996 Leaf Signature Series Andy Pettitte Auto
The final, and in my opinion, best autograph pickup from the show was most definitely this card. Anytime you are able to manage to add an autograph from one of the "Core Four", I would consider it a success. Dad also bought me this card, and I can't begin to tell you how lucky I am to have him so interested and helpful in my hobby. He is always willing to take me to signings and shows and always wants to try and make me happy! At this point, he uses my wantlist more than I do, which is crazy. Andy Pettitte is one of my favorite pitchers of all time for sure, and it was awesome getting to watch him pitch for them the past few years. His autograph is a rarity, but I'm glad we finally locked him up in the collection. Three down, now only Rivera to go! Wish me luck!

Thanks again Dad for all of the help! These posts wouldn't be close to as impressive without you! Part 5 coming up next, and be sure to check that one out because it features my experiences with the awesome autograph signing lineup they had at the show!

See Ya!

Friday, January 27, 2012

White Plains Card Show 1/22/12 Recap, Part Three!

Hey guys, Drew back here! So, continuing on the series, here is Part 3, which features all of the relics we purchased between Dad & I at the show! Check it out:

PART 3: Relic Additions

This is where the show began to get out of control for us, as we picked up a ton of nice new cards to add to the collection! We'll start with all the jerseys, including our Tier One set additions, and then work our way to the autos. Lets get started!

We lead off with a 2010 Allen & Ginter relic of the reigning NL MVP, and possible PED-user Ryan Braun. Braun was starting to go up the ranks on my favorite non-Yankee player list, but I think he's starting to creep back downhill a bit. I think for the sake of baseball he should give the trophy back, whether he is truly guilty or innocent. It would show a lot of class for him to admit himself being wrong. Why should he worry about giving it back though? If he really thinks he didn't use PED's and he just had a great season, he might as well go back out and try to win another MVP award next season! Anyways, I got this card for free from a vendor because I bought two fairly expensive autos from him, and I liked the color of the swatch more than anything else on the card.

Speaking of PED's, here's a Jason Giambi patch card numbered to 45 from 2008 UD SPX! I've never really been a big Giambi fan, mainly because when I was getting into baseball, he was on his way out of baseball. Also, I got into the sport not much before the Mitchell Report and the Steroid Saga was underway, so it didn't give me a whole lot of reason to like him. But, like A-Rod, I dealt with him being in the Yankee lineup. I got this card only because the patch is just awesome all around! I see 3 different colors on the patch and a neat design, as well as a pinstripe sneaking onto the card in the corner of the swatch! Pretty neat for sure!

These two Robinson Cano relics kind of went hand in hand for me, as Dad got them for me from the same vendor as a lot. The vendor I bought these from is definitely one of my favorites at the show, and he's there every time working at the same table as Hunter, another one of my favorite vendors at the show who I've mentioned before. Anyways, I needed both of these 2007 Topps Highlights jersey and 2009 Legendary Cuts jersey cards for my Cano PC, and it's even cooler to see that they both have pinstripes!

Next was a pretty sweet dual relic from again, 2009 UD SP Legendary Cuts! This card features jersey swatches from both Bo Jackson and Albert Pujols. I don't really see the connection between the two, but I like both of them a lot so it's pretty cool for sure. I'm not a fan of the Pujols signing in LA but I still have respect for him because if he hasn't done steroids or PED's, he's one of the best players of all time. 

Along with the Pujols/Jackson card was another sweet dual relic of two of my favorites, Reggie Jackson and Josh Hamilton! Both of them reside in my Secondary Collections group, and it's only fitting that I would eventually add this one to the collection!

The final three relics I was able to add to my collection last Sunday were needed for my Topps Tier One relic set I'm working on! Going into the show I had 5 cards total from the 50 card set, along with 3 that were incoming from trades and eBay. As well as the incoming pickups, Dad was able to help me add 3 more at the show! 

The first relic was of one of my PC players, Don Mattingly! This card is absolutely awesome, with a nice crisp photo and a solid overall design. The Yankees are pretty well represented in this set, with Babe Ruth; Lou Gehrig; Joe DiMaggio; Mickey Mantle; Reggie Jackson; Thurman Munson; Mattingly; and Paul O'Neill. One of the main reasons why I decided to collect this set was because there were a lot of Yankees relics I needed to add that were included! I've already got plenty of Mattingly but I can never get enough of one of the top players in all of baseball in the 1980's!

Card #2 just so happened to be a bat relic of one of baseball's most legendary hitters, in Tris Speaker. Tris is very often overlooked by some of the heroes in the game from his time period (1907-1928), such as Cobb; Wagner; Ruth; and a young Jimmie Foxx, but he was by far one of the best hitters to ever pick up a bat. He retired in 1928 with a lifetime batting average of .345 and 3,514 hits. When he retired, only Cobb had more hits than him, and to this day he still ranks 5th all time. To now own a piece of his bat is something special, even if its just a small part of what he used to get himself to an elite level of baseball skill.

As dominant as Speaker was for all of those years, the best relic we were able to pick up was of Dodgers legendary lefty, Sandy Koufax. This is the dual relic version, numbered 41/99. Sandy is a rarity in today's hobby, but thanks to his contract signing with Topps over the past year, collectors all around the world have been able to add his autograph and memorabilia to their collections! Koufax doesn't have the raw career stats that would put most pitchers in the Hall of Fame, but his level of dominance in about a 5 year span was great enough to put him in Cooperstown with ease. Being able to own a part of his jersey is unreal, and I'm really grateful for my dad to be able to help add cards like these to my collection!

Thanks again Dad for all of the awesome cards you got for me! The autos will be on the next post, and following that will be able 2-3 more posts until I complete the in-depth recap of one of the best shows I've ever been to!

See Ya!

White Plains Card Show 1/22/12 Recap, Part Two!

Hey guys, Drew back here! Now that we're underway with the card show review, I'm just going to let it continue. Check it out!

PART 2: 1961 Topps Pickups

The 1961 Set has been moving quite slow of late for us, but every show Dad and I tend to at least chip away a few cards from the set. We've knocked off a majority of the star player base cards, except for Bob Gibson, Carl Yastrzemski, Sandy Koufax, and Roberto Clemente, however there is still a long way to go until the set is be anywhere close to complete! I officially announced that I was collecting the set last spring, so within the year, to be able to track down 1/3 of the set is not bad at all! Anyways, let's get to the new additions to the set:

Some may consider this set extremely boring, but honestly I think there's something about them that I really like. It's a very classy set, and while it doesn't contain the flare and fantastic design that many modern sets have, I still value the photo more than anything else. There are some classic shots in this set for sure. My favorite of the 8 above cards is definitely Ted Kluszewski, who was known for being the muscular home run hitting guy who cut his sleeves off on his jersey. Unfortunately, while the card is nice, it doesn't show his hot abs!

Next up are all of the remaining League Leaders cards I needed for the whole set! Honestly, I think these cards are the ugliest part of the set, but that's just my opinion. Of course, there is nothing ugly about the top card, featuring Mantle and Maris! Anyways, there are some solid players displayed on these cards without a doubt, but I'm not a big fan of the overall design. Still, they are part of the set, which means I'm obligated to obtain them. I'm glad to have them all out of the way!

In my opinion, the top pickups (besides the Mantle/Maris leaders card) were of these 4 players: Warren Spahn, Brooks Robinson, Bill Virdon, and Harmon Killebrew. While clearly Virdon may not fit with the other 3 Hall of Famers, I like him a lot and it's a nice card. I got him through the mail a while back and he also was a Yankee manager so I'm a fan for sure. Besides Virdon, I've been really meaning to add Brooks' card for a while now. Not only do I think it's one of the nicest cards in the set, but I knocked off a majority of the first 50 cards, and he was the biggest card I needed to get. Also, Dad originally bought a Richie Ashburn but then realized we had it, went back and exchanged it for the Warren Spahn you see above. I didn't have much in Spahn, so I'm glad he was able to get that one! Lastly, the late Harmon Killebrew's card is pretty nice as well, showing him while his hair was still a full strawberry blonde/brownish color. 

So, that will do it for the 1961 portion of my card show gatherings! Thanks a lot Dad for all of the help as always! You're the best! If anyone has any 1961 Topps cards you wouldn't mind trading, please take a look at my list of what I have under the first headline of the sidebar! Thanks guys!

See Ya!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

White Plains Card Show 1/22/12 Recap, Part One!

Hey guys, Drew back here! Phew, midterms are finally over! I wish I could have brought you the awesome news about the card show earlier, but no, I was stuck in rooms testing for hours and studying all week. Anyways, on Sunday, Dad, Mike, and I went down to White Plains yet again to meet a few players and buy some cards at the "Winter Extravaganza" card show! It was a pretty nasty day outside and there was a big Giants game that night, so it wasn't very packed, which led to quick lines to meet players and more time to browse cards!

To start, I'll show off the packs that Dad and I opened after we got back from the show. We didn't hit anything overly special, until the very last pack, but continue reading to see what it was. Dad got 2 packs of 2011 Goodwin Champions, 2 packs of 2011 Topps Lineage, 2 packs of 2011 Topps Pro Debut Series 2, and 3 packs of 2011 Topps Allen & Ginter. Let's see what we got!

PART 1: Pack Breaks

2011 Goodwin Champions: (2 Packs)

- Steve Young
- Lou Brock
- John McGraw
- Laffit Pincay Jr. (Jockey)
- Carlton Fisk
- Edgar Allan Poe
- John Muir
- Hope Solo (Soccer)
- John L. Sullivan (Boxing)
- Julia Mancuso (Skiing)

Honestly, I'm going to be straight up and say I am not impressed with this product by any means. I didn't mind the 2009 edition with mainly baseball players, but Upper Deck's version of Allen & Ginter doesn't do much for me at all. It does provide a lot of variety if you're a fan of that, but for me, I don't know how much more I'll be getting out of this set.

2011 Topps Pro Debut: (2 Packs)

- Chris Murrill (Renegades PC!)
- Jacob Turner
- Louis Coleman
- Tyler Vail
- Gustavo Pierre Blue Parallel /369
- Michael Kirkman
- Jesus Montero
- Brodie Greene

- Devin Mesoraco
- Justin O'Conner
- Niko Goodrum
- Brian Diemer
- Mike Montgomery Tools of the Trade
- T.J. House
- Todd Frazier
- Tanner Bushue

First of all, I get that these cards aren't legitimate rookie cards. In my opinion, a player's true rookie card should be their first Bowman card, but nonetheless, who says they can't have a solid minor league set? I'm all for this set, although I'm not much of a prospector personally. I like the photography and insert/parallel designs, and I think it's a very good set for the market of collectors that enjoy this kind of thing. On a side note, pulling a Jesus Montero card makes me cry on the inside, but hopefully in a few years pulling Michael Pineda cards will make me scream with joy!

2011 Topps Lineage: (2 Packs)

- Carlos Beltran
- Michael Young
- Joe Morgan
- Roberto Alomar
- Jayson Werth Diamond Parallel
- Ty Cobb
- Chipper Jones
- Paul O'Neill

- Larry Walker
- Grady Sizemore
- Justin Upton
- Ryan Howard
- Ike Davis Diamond Parallel
- Wandy Rodriguez
- Daniel Hudson
- Andruw Jones All Star Rookie

I don't really care about this set personally. If it never existed, I wouldn't be crying, but I'm content with it for the most part. The design is nice and clean and would be great for some autos, and I still can't deny to say I love the diamond parallels. The player selection is solid although its the same old, same old from Topps, but it's still cool to pull a card of Ty Cobb and Michael Young in the same pack. 

2011 Topps Allen & Ginter: (3 Packs) 

- Billy Butler
- Drew Stubbs
- Matt Guy (Cornhole Champ)
- John McEnroe
- David Ortiz
- Andre Ethier
- Jose Reyes
- Robinson Cano
- Jeremy Jeffress RC
- Rick Porcello
- John Lackey
- Carlos Ruiz
- Neil Walker
- Maxim Shmyrev (Ping Pong Champ)
- Colby Lewis

- Prince Fielder Hometown Heroes
- Mike Napoli Hometown Heroes
- Starlin Castro Highlight Sketch
- Gregor Mendel Minds That Made The Future
- Ben Revere RC Mini
- Troy Tulowitzki Mini
- Gharial Animals in Peril Mini

It's always nice to crack open a few packs of Allen & Ginter! Ginter, as well as Masterpieces, was one of my favorite products of the past decade, and no matter how boring some of the inserts can be (Mendel, really?), it's still fun because you never know what you're going to get. We had no clue, but we actually ended up pulling a relic in this pack! Of who? Keep scrolling..

Just the biggest name in sports this week, Prince Fielder! Fielder, the newest Detroit Tiger, is always a good pull. Personally, I like the guy, maybe even more than I like Pujols. I just like how his swing is so strong and powerful and he has a really cool personality. At first glance, I was happy to pull a Prince relic, because he's one of my favorite players outside of the Yankees. Then at second glance, I became even more happy because, the swatch is not a bat but instead, a very dirty jersey piece! It's not often you come across a really dirty relic, especially from Allen & Ginter, so I was really happy with the pull!

Well that will just about wrap up the pack break portion of the recap, so be sure to stay tuned for Part 2, coming soon to a computer right in front of you! 

See Ya!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Nice Yankees PC Add!

Hey guys, Drew back here. As I get into midterm week for school, things are going to get busy. But that doesn't mean I can't still have a little fun! On Sunday, Dad, my friend Mike, and I are going down to the White Plains show, to meet a few awesome players! The following Sunday I'm going to an autograph signing, but you guys are going to have to wait and see who it is of! I'm going to try to get around posting it all as soon as I can but if I don't, I'll get to it when I have the time. Sophomore year has been really difficult this year so I'm definitely going to have some studying to do. Anyways, here's a new card I was able to add to my Yankees collection (and 2 player collections!):

Out of the new 2011 Bowman Sterling product, here is the dual relic box topper featuring a jersey swatch from Curtis Granderson and a bat relic of Robinson Cano! Not only is this an absolutely awesome looking Yankees card, but it features 2 of the 4 current Yankees I'm collecting! It's a win-win-win for me for sure. I love the design of this card and it really has a nice shine in person. Hopefully I'll be able to add more cards like this in the future because this is pretty darn sweet!

I paid about $9 for the card, which wasn't bad at all. I have a few more eBay posts to come but I'll do them when the cards come in. 

See Ya!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

TTM #79- One of My Favorite Players!

Hey guys, Drew back here! Yeah, I've still got a lot of stuff to show you all, so I might as well get going on that! A few weeks ago, I received one of my favorite TTM returns I've ever gotten, one that came out of absolutely nowhere. I've sent one TTM request since June, which is pathetic but unfortunately true, so when one of the older requests come back I'm always in complete shock! He didn't sign my custom I sent him, but he did sign the other card I included, and it looks pretty darn nice. Check it out:

The return was from Rangers All Star outfielder Josh Hamilton! Ever since that one summer night in 2008 in Yankee Stadium, Hamilton has been my favorite non-Yankee player. His performance in the Home Run Derby that year may be one of the most unreal moments I've ever watched, clearly something I'll never forget. From that point on, I researched him and learned about his story, and immediately gained a lot of respect for him because he came back so strong after going down a dark path. He suffered emotional issues for many years due to his drug addiction, but he was able to recover from the addiction  in order to play baseball again. The Rangers traded Edinson Volquez for Hamilton following the 2007 season, and boy has he worked out for them. While he's suffered some injury issues, he did win the 2010 AL MVP award after posting up big numbers: .359 AVG / 32 HR / 100 RBI! I really enjoy watching him play and I'm so happy he signed my card for me! 

I sent the card out on January 7th of last year, and got it back in late December of 2011. I didn't think I'd ever see the day it would come back, but I guess he decided to catch up on his mail, and I was one of the lucky fans to receive an autograph! Thanks so much Josh! 

See Ya!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

My Take on the Big Yankees Moves

Hey everyone, Drew back here. As the free agency period is starting to slow down and come to a close, Yankee fans seemed to wonder where GM Brian Cashman had been. Normally, Cashman and the Steinbrenner family are all over the free agents every winter, but it seemed different this year. Obviously, the team's weakness from last year was our starting pitching, with struggles from Phil Hughes, Bartolo Colon, and more famously, AJ Burnett. Burnett has been consistently awful through his 3 seasons in the Bronx, and for about $16 million a year, Cashman did the wrong thing taking him on. But you can't necessarily blame him for the signing. Burnett had been a very solid #2 pitcher for several years, and his performance demanded a salary of maybe just a bit less than what he got.

But when I heard about the big trade that went down yesterday between the Yankees and Mariners, I was a bit stunned. In case you haven't heard, the Yankees sent their top prospect Jesus Montero and a potential starter in Hector Noesi to Seattle for their young future star pitcher Michael Pineda and pitching prospect Jose Campos. I was in shock when I received the Yankees News Alert text message, because of the way they brought up Montero. His hitting skill was un-matched by most catching prospects, and his overall future talent was predicted to be of All Star caliber. I invested in a few of his autographs and was extremely excited for his call up to the big leagues. Last September, he made a splash when they finally called him up for his cup of coffee at the end of the season. He hit .328 in 18 games, slugging 4 home runs, and knocking in 28 runs, which in my book is an unreal first month in the big leagues! 2012 will be his official rookie season, now with Seattle, and he may do even better in a less covered team in the Mariners.

Michael Pineda is going to be a beast in the major leagues, from what all of us fans got to witness last year. With very minimal run support, the 6'7 right hander still managed to win 9 games and sported an ERA of 3.74. He collapsed as the year went on, but he showed many signs of promise. I actually had gotten 2 of his autographs through the mail last season, and I owned him at some points of last year's fantasy baseball season. I'm not sure how he'll stack up in New York, with all of the media and pressure that has scared away many other solid players that just couldn't perform in the environment. My take on his collapse last year was that he lost confidence in his ability to help his team win games, because the Mariners offense didn't give him much/if any run support all season. Also, he was only 22 years old, and it's very hard for a young pitcher, no matter how talented, to pitch that well against so many All Star hitters for an entire year.

While I am a fan of Pineda, I still don't understand why Cashman decided to deal the future face of our franchise, once Jeter retires. The deal does even out in the end, but after how Yankee fans fell in love with the future hitting star late last year, I couldn't believe he would allow his stint to end. They have wanted many top of the line players over the years, and in order to get those guys, they would have to surrender Montero. In fact, a few years ago they could have gotten Cliff Lee from Seattle, if they gave him up. But Cashman wouldn't do it. Finally, he did it. Hopefully he did it, and got the right guy out of it.

Based off their 2011 performance, Pineda's numbers top most of the other big name pitching free agents' stats. CJ Wilson was pretty much the only pitcher that topped him last year, but Wilson is inconsistent and did very poorly in the playoffs. I'm really going to miss Jesus, and I wish him the best of luck in Seattle.. well as long as Pineda can perform to the ability the Yankees management thinks he can!

Immediately following the trade, the Yankees also announced they had signed former Dodgers pitcher Huroki Kuroda to a one year, $10 million dollar deal. I honestly don't know a whole lot about Kuroda, besides the fact that he's an aging pitcher who had one of his better seasons last year, although he also did not receive much run support from his Dodgers teammates. I think judging off of what I've read he could make a solid number 4 starter, and if he doesn't turn out well, he could be a long man in the bullpen, because they certainly have many other arms to test out in the rotation! The rotation now looks to consist of: Sabathia; Pineda; Nova; Kuroda; and either Hughes; Burnett; or Garcia in the 5th spot. I could see them putting Hughes in the bullpen, because as we've seen, he can be dominant in that role. Burnett may either be traded prior to the season or could fill a bullpen role, as much as he won't like the idea. But honestly, I don't think it matters how happy he is, because he earned the role he now has, by failing to perform at the level his contract wanted him to.

Nobody wins in the offseason, because simply, there aren't any games to play! With the Angels signing Pujols and CJ Wilson, the Marlins signing Jose Reyes; Heath Bell; and Mark Buehrle, and all of the other big moves,  it's been an interesting offseason for sure. I hope a few years from now the Yankees won't regret yesterdays moves, but we're going to have to wait and see!

What are your views on the big moves in the Bronx? Who do you think got the bigger edge in the deal?

See Ya!

Saturday, January 7, 2012

The Core 4 Slims Down To 2...

Hey guys, Drew back here. Today, the Yankees' beat writer Sweeny Murti revealed some big news, in that former Yankees staple behind the plate and current free agent Jorge Posada is set to announce his retirement within the next 2 weeks. While the future is definitely set catching wise for the Yankees, with Russell Martin and many top of the line prospects like Montero and Romine, it's definitely a sad day for Yankees fans worldwide. I've grown up watching the "Core 4", consisting Jeter; Rivera; Posada; and Pettitte; as well as the other stars that surrounded them through their World Series run in the late 90's. Of course, having been born in the mid-90's, I was too young to see the dominant Yankees dynasty, but I at least got to see the 2009 championship as a diehard fan.

Posada never quite stood out as a clear favorite of mine, but it wasn't until last year that I realized how important he truly was to the Yankees franchise. Not only was he a standout offensive player for many years, but he also caught a majority of the games and was one of the best offensive catchers in baseball history. Through the history of the game there have been many top tier catchers: Berra; Bench; Campanella; Fisk; Carter; Rodriguez; Piazza, and the reason to their success was because they were aggressive players who battled through innings behind the  plate; called a great game; but also could hit! Posada may not belong in the first group of catchers, but he's very close. Whether he makes the Hall of Fame one day is a question that not many people could answer right now, but he will definitely draw consideration. He will retire with a lifetime batting average of .273, 275 Home Runs, and 1,664 Hits. His best season in my opinion was 2003, when he finished 3rd in AL MVP voting after posting a .281 average with 30 home runs and 101 RBI's. That is a great season for a catcher! He also made 5 All Star Teams, won 5 Silver Sluggers, and of course won 4 World Series championships!

Unfortunately, he went out on a bit of a rough note. Last season, he clearly showed signs of wearing down, batting only .235 with 14 home runs in 115 games. However, he came through in the clutch, especially on September 21st, when my dad, best friend, grandpa, and I went to the second game of a doubleheader, that was a make up game from August we finally got to see. The Yankees already clinched playoff berth in the first game of the doubleheader against Tampa Bay, and with a win in the next game, they would have the division pretty much wrapped up. The Rays took a lead late in the game, but the Yanks battled back and got some runners on base for Posada, who pinch hit for Jesus Montero in the 8th inning. Jorge delivered big with a pinch hit 2 RBI double that scored the go ahead runs! The Yankees went on to win 4-2, and clinched the division with the win! I'll never forget how pumped we all were and how memorable the game was. I guess it was a nice way for his career to end on.

Who knows what the future has in store for Posada. A lot of people have said he would make a great manager one day, and I would personally agree. Many former catchers have had a high amount of success managing teams, I think because they get such a good taste of it when they are trying to manage their pitching staff and call a solid game. He is a very smart and wise man and I think he's going to do something else in baseball, besides for being a fan-favorite at Yankees Old Timer's Games in the future!

I know I'm speaking for a majority of Yankees fans, and even a good percentage of baseball fans when I say that we're going to miss you, Jorge! Thank you for all the unbelievable memories you've left behind, and for the legacy that I can carry on to my family one day, for the most clutch hit I may ever witness in person.

We'll miss you Jorge. Thanks again.