Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Braves' Topps 100

Life has been crazy these past three weeks: our oldest son graduated, I've been battling allergies, done a lot of reading, and haven't posted due to a lack of interest in the hobby recently. Lame, I know, but I'm hoping to kick start my enthusiasm by getting back onto eBay and bidding on some stuff.

Today, I received a couple of shipments of some 2011 Bowman baseball singles. While I've become bored to death with their base product, I do have an interest in the inserts from this years' release (as well as with the Chrome prospects). The first three come from the Topps 100 inserts, which feature-you guessed it- the top 100 prospects in baseball. Seeded 1:3 packs, it's not a hard to get set, but I like the clean design and the fact that it features prospects you won't find in the Topps flagship brand.

Topps 100 #TP25 Arodys Vizcaino
The Braves had yet another cause for concern with Vizcaino, as the young right-hander suffered a back injury in late April that caused him to have very limited innings in his two subsequent starts .Obtained by the Braves in the Javier Vazquez deal, Vizcaino has incredible stuff, but his durability has long been a big question mark. Electric stuff, but one wonders if his future will be on the back end of the 'pen. His 2011 stats at High-A Lynchburg: 2-2, 9 GS, 40.1 IP, 2.45 ERA, almost 4/1 K-BB. By the way, Arod was summoned to AA Mississippi today, where he will team with...

Topps 100 #TP37 Randall Delgado
Coming into today, Delgado had been lights out, while sporting an ERA of 2.37. Following his start today, it sits at 3.86. In what had to be his toughest outing as a pro, Delgado lasted 4.1 innings, allowing 10 hits, 10 runs (all earned), and 3 home runs. He had previously given up only 2 home runs, and only 42 hits in 49 innings-so this was definitely an anomaly. It will be interesting to see how he responds in his next outing.

Topps 100 #TP35 Julio Teheran
Another quality start today at AAA for Teheran. The top pitching prospect improved to 4-0 with a 1.65 ERA. While his first two starts in Atlanta weren't bad (lack of run support really hurt), he did get worked deep into the count by both Philadelphia and Arizona-who were patient with the young righty. Two poorly located pitches were deposited into the bleachers; aside from that, and his ERA in the majors might be closer to the low 3s. Even though Mike Minor got the call-up to start on 5/25 against Pittsburgh, it shouldn't be viewed as a lack of of confidence in Teheran: it was Minor's turn in the rotation on Wednesday.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Free Giveaway: Braves 2011 Team Set

In honor of the Braves handing the Phillies an arse kicking this evening in the opening game of their three-game series, I would like to give away a 2011 Topps Braves Team Set. All you've got to do to qualify for this beauty is reply and give me your guesstimate on what top prospect Julio Teheran's line will look like in his MLB debut Saturday night. But, your guess must be posted before 7pm (EST) Saturday night. Easy, right? Whoever is closest to his final line will be the winner.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Greatest Game Ever Pitched: Juan Marichal, Warren Spahn, and The Pitching Dual of the Century

It's difficult to fathom one pitcher going nine innings today, let alone two starters going the distance in a sixteen inning marathon. But that is exactly what happened in July of 1963 as future Hall of Famers Juan Marichal and Warren Spahn battled in a 1-0 Giant victory over the Atlanta Braves. Actually, very little of this book is about the game itself; rather, Kaplan gives a concise biography of each pitcher, weaving their stories into different parts of the game. Some readers may not like how it is written-but I thought he tied things together nicely. I also thought it was appropriate that he briefly touched on other classic pitching performances, as well as a brief discussion of the theory of the 'pitch count' held by modern managers and pitching coaches. Finally, I think the author leaves the reader with a better appreciation for these two men and their stellar careers. With the advent of relief specialists, as well as the amount of money ball players make today, we will never see another game like it!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Some thoughts on the News of Bin Laden's Death

Fact: On this day in 1945, Germany announced that Adolf Hitler was dead.

Decide for yourself:
~ Long known as a "topper", Osama Bin Laden tried to "one up" the Royal Family this weekend

~Donald Trump is demanding Bin Laden's death certificate!

~It's reported that the US was able to locate the dead terrorist due to his iPhone betraying him.

~According to NBC, and his own testimony before the nation, President Obama was able to do was his two predecessor's couldn't do: capture (and kill) Osama Bin Laden. C'mon, Obama-give credit where credit is due.

Disclaimer: the above card of President Barack Obama in no way is an endorsement of him. And I sure as hell don't want to start a fight such as this one.

2011 Topps Braves Team Set Kris Medlen

2011 #ATL7
I recently picked up a 2011 Topps team set for Atlanta, and was thrilled to see that included in it was a card of Kris Medlen. I haven't seen the checklist for series two yet, but Meds wasn't in the first series, and since he will miss most of the 2011 season while recovering from Tommy John surgery, he may not be in series 2. For those who miss him, you can follow him on Twitter @KrisMedlen. Seems like a pretty crazy dude, and when he and @PeterMoylan interact, it's no-holds barred!