Thursday, August 29, 2013

1964/2013 Counterparts: Gloveman and Batman & Batboy

"He's the toughest, nicest little man I know. He's a shortstop who can break up more rallies with his glove than most hitters can start with their bat."~ former manager and Braves VP Birdie Tebbets.

1964 Topps #238 Roy McMillan
 
Had Roy McMillan been born about 58 years later, there would be many people-fans, media members, perhaps even those in the game itself- who would question whether or not McMillan was a major-league player. That's because the talented fielding shortstop had a career slash line of .243/.314/.321 over a sixteen year career, which, in today's game wouldn't cut it for a middle infielder-even one with an outstanding glove. And while he may not have put up overly  impressive offensive numbers, he did put the ball in play more often than not-striking out only 711 times in 7653 plate appearances.

Few were better defensively at the shortstop position, where he won the first three N.L. Gold Glove awards (1957-1959).

Looking to strengthen their infield, Milwaukee acquired McMillan from Cincinnati for pitchers Joey Jay and Juan Pizzaro in December of 1960. Many people outside the organization were critical of the trade (as well as the one in which outfielder Bill Bruton was sent to Detroit for second baseman Frank Bolling), believing that the Braves had given up too much in the trade. One rival Farm Director even claimed that in plugging a leak in the infield, Milwaukee sprang two more- one in the outfield, and one on the mound.

After appearing in 391 games during his first three seasons in Milwaukee, Roy saw very little time on the field in 1964 before being traded to the Mets on May 8. McMillan appeared in 8 of the Braves' first 20 games, collecting 4 hits in 18 at-bats.




For its 2013 Heritage set, Topps featured Joe Nathan on card 238- hardly a proper match-up for McMillan. Yes, they did include Andrelton Simmons within the set-but that was on card #22, so I'm going to do a custom for another light-hitting, top defender from Texas (who also began their career with the Reds)- Mr. Paul Janish.


I'm not a huge fan of the Bleacher/Report- but I will give them this, they had a heck of a line in describing Janish's 'bat control' during the Braves/Phillies game a couple of weeks ago.

"Atlanta Braves shortstop Paul Janish is hitting only .083 so far this season, but he showed great bat control against the Philadelphia Phillies on Wednesday night [August 14]. This, however, is not the normal kind of bat you typically see during a baseball game..." 

If you haven't seen the video, it's must see. Does the bat boy have the winged creature?



Wednesday, August 28, 2013

2013 Chops #43 Reed Johnson

2013 Chops #43 Reed Johnson

Yet another player who's been out, Johnson's injury is an achilles' tendinitis which has had him sidelined since June 29th. While Joey Terdoslavich has filled in nicely, Atlanta has missed Johnson's bat off the bench. Terdo hasn't been as effective in pinch-hitting situations as has Reed (.355 in 31 at-bats). 

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Monday Mailbox: Minis Galore! Glorious Minis!

I wish I had a nickel for every time I heard the same old comment about Mondays. You know the story- you walk into work and someone comments about how crappy life is because it's Monday. Or, maybe you run into someone at the store & they will tell you that the weekend has gone way too fast. Tomorrow's Monday, after all. From my own experience, it does seem that everyone hates Monday.Well, unless Monday is your Sunday (or Saturday), of course.


Miniature .345 Slg% (May-July, 2013)

 But even news outlets can't get a consistent testimony about the beginning of the traditional work week. Google "Mondays", and two of the top five hits will provide these contradicting statements:

"Mondays Aren't as Blue as We Think"~ NY Times
"Mondays Are More Depressing Than We Thought, Study Says"~ Huffington Post

So there you have it- we're still no closer to what I thought was the universal point of view.


Miniature Slumps (July 26, 27th- Last time he went hitless in two straight games)

 Perhaps, for the collector, one's point of view is shaped by what's awaiting them in their mailbox on Monday.


Miniature Slash Line (.182/.263/.291)



Yesterday made it two weeks in a row in which my Monday was brightened by the arrival of some much needed cardboard. This time, it was minis galore. Or, shall I say...




GLORIOUS MINI'S!!!!


Miniature List of Those Who Have Homered More Often

(I love these throwbacks. Too bad Topps didn't include Murphy in the baby blues....)

Miniature Velocity



Miniature Speedbump (I hope!)


Miniature Loss Big Blow



Miniature Adjusted ERA+ (130- 9th best in NL)


Who says Monday sucks?


Sunday, August 25, 2013

1964/2013 Counterparts: Fischer and Beachy

1964 Topps #218 Hank Fischer



The Braves signed Hank Fischer out of Seton Hall University, where the 6'0 righty stared on the freshman basketball team. After signing with the team before the 1959 season, Fischer spent two seasons in the minors before making his major league debut for the Braves during the 1962 season.

While his first two season in the majors were spent primarily in relief, Hank finally broke into the Braves starting rotation in 1964- thanks to the offseason trade which sent starters Bob Shaw and Bob Hendley to the Giants. During that third season, Fischer went 11-10 with a 4.04 ERA and a 1.283 WHIP.


After pitching extremely well during the first four months of the season, Fischer struggled mightily during the final two months of 1964. During that stretch, Hank pitched in 15 games (10 of which were starts),
 logging 44 innings and  giving up 35 earned runs. Opposing hitters batted .326 and slugged .487 as Fisher went 2-5 during those last eight weeks of the season.



2013 Topps Heritage #218 Brandon Beachy



Beachy, who is thus far 2-1 in 5 starts following his Tommy John surgery, is set to visit Dr. James Andrews tomorrow after feeling tightness in his surgically repaired elbow and experiencing a huge drop in velocity during his past start. Hopefully it's nothing more than inflammation.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

A Blues-Kind of Night



It's a blues-kind of night.

I was too busy at work today to pay much attention to the first few innings of the Braves/Mets game. As I sat down to enjoy lunch, I turned the game on- only minutes before seeing Jason Heyward get hit in the face. Jaw fractured in two places, they say. Out 4-6 weeks.

Not only will the team miss his bat going down the stretch (he's been their best hitter since the beginning of June), but ESPN Stats & Info tweeted this afternoon that the J-Hey kid also has 64 Defensive Runs Saved in RF since 2010, with no other fielder even saving 40 in that time period.


Yeah, I'd say it's a blues-kind of night; and here's some of the best blues for your ears. Warren Haynes and Gov't Mule covering Etta James' "I'd Rather Go Blind"

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Mailbox Monday

There's nothing like coming home to multiple pwe's in the mail, especially after having been sick the past two-plus days. They certainly made my evening a little more colorful, after two days that have been otherwise pretty drab.


2013 Bowman Top 100 Prospects #BTP-54 Julio Teheran

Had this set come out prior to the 2012 season, Teheran would have ranked much higher on this list/set. A poor season last year dropped him down on the Baseball America (as well as other) rankings, but Julio has come back with a vengeance this season. Right now, he would be my choice for the first game of a playoff series.













2013 Topps #TM-70 Justin Upton


Mini's, to me, are pretty much forgettable- and so it was with this set. I thought I had all of the Braves from the second series. I thought wrong.














2013 Allen & Ginter Across the Years #ATY-BJU BJ Upton

Speaking of forgettable, Bossman's season certainly is one to forget. The back does inform us that Joe Strummer of The Clash shares the same birthday with Upton. So that's cool, I guess.




2013 Topps #110 (SP) Justin Upton

One of the problems with Topps recycling photos time and time again is that, yes- you lose track of which cards you have. And in case you haven't noticed, Topps has gotten a lot of use out of the same photo of Justin (as well as older brother B.J/see mini card above.); in fact, it wasn't until I reorganized my binders that I discovered that JUp doesn't have a card as a Brave in the first two series- with the exception of this SP. What? Surely I've seen one- yes, as an Opening Day release and in the Atlanta retail team set, but not in the regular issued cards. Does that mean that he will be included in the Update set? Hopefully- but in the meantime, I did pick this thing up for $4.99 delivered. Don't like the gimmick, but decided to get it at the cheapest price possible in case he's not in the update set.







Friday, August 16, 2013

Alumni Food-Issue Friday: 1963 Pepsi-Cola Colt .45s Al Spangler


Distributed the year after their maiden voyage through the major leagues, the 1963 Pepsi-Cola Colt .45s set was a regional set issued in Texas in bottled six-packs of the soft drink. The cards were issued as panels with both top and bottom tabs. The card backs featured player stats for the 1962 season, along with their career stat lines and career highlights. The bottom tab backs feature the team's 1963 season schedule.

Spangler, whom the Colt .45s drafted with the 8th pick in the 1961 expansion draft, was arguably the best player on an otherwise horrible expansion team. Before joining the future Astros, Al was a highly-regarded prospect in the Braves organization. 

Signed out of Duke University in June of 1954, Al's contract actually had a clause which stipulated that he be assigned to the big league club for two years. He quickly realized, however, that there would be no opportunity for him to gain professional experience on a team which was in the middle of a very successful run. Thus, Spangler requested, and was granted, a re-assignment to the minor leagues. 

After two successful minor league campaigns, Al was in good shape to begin the 1956 season with the Braves. Instead of breaking camp with them, he was summoned to military service. 

Al finally made it to the majors in September of 1959, going 5-for-12 in limited at-bats for the Braves. The next two seasons would be spent in Milwaukee, as well, where Spangler would receive 122 and 125 plate appearances in each respective season. In his two-plus seasons with the Braves, Al recorded an on-base percentage of .398, along with a .336 slugging percentage.


Thursday, August 15, 2013

1964/2013 Counterparts: Six Teams and 31 Flavors

"Here's Ty Cline, who's modeled a few uniforms. His name reminds you of Ty Cobb. And he's batting .185" ~ Harry Caray

1964 Topps #171 Ty Cline


Having played for six teams over twelve years in the majors, Ty Cline spent more time with the Braves (5 years) than any of the other five organizations whose uniform he wore.

Drafted by the Indians out of Clemson in 1960, Cline never spent a full season in the minors. Only months after being drafted, Ty found himself in the majors as a September call-up after hitting .311 and slugging .478 in only 95 games for AA Mobile. The outfielder/first baseman would split time between the minors and majors in only three other seasons (1961, 1963, and 1966).

Ty was traded to Milwaukee in March of 1963 as the PTBNL in the Joe Adcock trade. And while he did spend five seasons with the Braves, Ty's playing time was minimal, collecting only 648 plate appearances for the team. Despite having the tools (good speed, decent arm, good range) to be the center-fielder/lead off hitter the Braves had been searching for since Bill Bruton departed in 1960, he never was able to gain a starting spot in the lineup. Cline's greatest strength was soon realized to be that of a pinch-hitter- a role in which he fared well  for the Braves, with a collective .290 with 1 HR and 14 RBI in 100 at-bats.

Cline's best season for the Braves came in the 1964 campaign- when he hit .302 in 116 at-bats. Ty was a dangerous pinch-hitter that year, hitting .350 in 40 at-bats with a homer, 9 RBI, and 2 walks. There was talk that spring of him perhaps being one of the three staring outfielders for the '64 season, as Cline showed improvement at the plate after switching to a heavier bat. Manager Bobby Bragen spoke of Ty needing to be a "Richie Ashburn-type" hitter, using his speed and ability to bunt. Lee Maye eventually won the spot, but it was Cline to whom the team looked to off of the bench.

Picked up by the Cubs in the 1965 Rule 5 Draft, Mr. Cline would spend the first half of the 1966 season in Chicago before rejoining the Braves in their new Atlanta home on July 26th after his contract was purchased from the Cubs. His second stay with the Braves would be a relatively short one- Atlanta sold him to the Giants on May 31st, 1967.

After retiring from the game following the 1971 season, Cline entered into the business world- first, as an owner of some Baskin Robbins ice-cream stores, and then as an owner of a minor-league baseball team in the Western Carolinas league.

Did You Know?
 Former member of USA team that played in the Pan-Am games in 1959
 Played three seasons for Clemson University
 Scored the game winning/pennant clinching run for the Reds in the 1970  NLCS


Cline's counterpart from the 2013 Topps Heritage set is Rangers pitcher Derek Holland. However, I'm going to post a custom card instead. This one is of Atlanta's own pitch-hitting extraordinaire, Reed Johnson.



2013 Chops Legacy #171


Monday, August 12, 2013

That Bill is Not Nearly Flat Enough- or Is It?


I stopped by Walmart yesterday. I know, "I'm sorry," you're saying- and I appreciate your sympathies.

I had originally intended to stop by the local True Value to pick up a new caulking gun, but my wife reminded me that we needed a couple of other things, so we stopped by the retail behemoth on the way home from church. And you know how the story goes: it provides us an excuse to peruse the card aisle, where we just so happen to stumble upon...GINTER!

Anyway, after getting home, I opened the two jumbo packs and about four cards into the first pack, I pulled this:



My first inclination was to burn it- but I then I thought of Night Owl, and  knew that I couldn't perform such a malicious act. So, it's headed his way.



Among all the other stuff that I won't collect, I also pulled this bad boy




This kid's a stud, and I'm not looking forward to him pitching in the same division as Atlanta for the next how ever many years before the Marlins dump him for financial reasons. And, having faced the Marlins this weekend, Atlanta also lucked out by not having to face him.


The first Brave that I pulled was this beauty:



Now, I was obviously overjoyed at the sight of this one, so I had to make that joy manifest by posting a photo on twitter (you can follow me at @boisebrave - shameless plug!). One follower, and fellow Brave fan (and obviously a keen observer), noticed that the bill on the cap isn't quite flat enough. At first I was in agreement with her, but upon further review- I might have to disagree. Earlier in his career, Meds certainly wore a much flatter bill- but in more recent photos, he seems to have fixed that problem. What do you think?


The other Brave I pulled was this Tim Hudson:



Get well soon, Huddy!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

New Products Checklist: 2013 Allen and Ginter Braves


I'm not a fan of the standard-sized Allen & Ginter base cards, so once again I will try to get the team set in miniature form. As far as the inserts, I do like the look of the Across the Years- and seeded at 1 every 2 packs, they should be able to be found for cheap. And, yes, the relics- beautiful, as always- should be plentiful as well. Unfortunately, the rip cards are still going to fetch a premium- meaning this collector won't be able to add any to his collection.


















Base Set
#20 John Smoltz
49 Kris Medlen
54 BJ Upton
67 Hank Aaron
73 Tim Hudson
86 Warren Spahn
96 Jason Heyward
106 Mike Minor
113 Brandon Beachy
148 Justin Upton
160 Brian McCann
204 Phil Niekro
239 Craig Kimbrel
295 Dan Uggla
304 Freddie Freeman (SP)
399 Craig Kimbrel (Mini Rip Card)



Across the Years 
ATY-BJU   BJ Upton
ATY-CK    Craig Kimbrel
ATY-JHY   Jason Heyward
ATY-JU     Justin Upton
ATY-KM   Kris Medlen














Autographed Cards
AGA-CKM  Craig Kimbrel
AGA-DM     Dale Murphy

Double Jumbo Patch Booklet
DJPBC-BH   Brandon Beachy/Jason Heyward



Relics
AGR-BMC    Brian McCann
AGR-CKM   Craig Kimbrel
AGR-JHY     Jason Heyward
AGR-TH       Tim Hudson

Relics (Full-Size)
AGFR-BB   Brandon Beachy
AGFR-CK  Craig Kimbrel
AGFR-HA  Hank Aaron
AGFR-JH   Jason Heyward
AGFR-JU   Justin Upton








Rip Cards
RIP-6  Jason Heyward
RIP-57 Justin Upton
RIP-59 Warren Spahn
RIP-70 BJ Upton
RIP-91 John Smoltz

Double Rip Cards
RIP-102   BJ Upton/ Justin Upton
RIP-103   Craig Kimbrel/ John Smoltz
RIP-104   Phil Niekro/ Warren Spahn
RIP-179   RA Dickey/ Phil Niekro
RIP-187   Eddie Mathews/ Jason Heyward


Saturday, August 10, 2013

2013 Chops: The ATL Relief Corps


2013 Chops #37 Cory Gearrin

 Gearrin was a key component of the Braves bullpen for much of the first half. After an appearance against the Nationals on May 31st, his ERA stood at 1.80 with a 1.16 WHIP, while allowing 27% of the 26 runners he inherited to score. One concerning stat: Cory pitched in 30 of the team's first 54 games (25 innings), which, to me, certainly qualifies as being overused.

After the game against the Nats, Cory's next appearance came on July 6th in Los Angeles. In the course of 16 pitches (0.1 innings), Cory gave up 4 earned runs on 3 hits and 1 walk. While he lasted two innings in his next start a few days later against the Padres, the righty did allow two more earned runs on two hits and a walk. Command was still an issue for Cory in his next four games. His final appearance came against the Marlins on July 3rd, in which he  Struggled again- allowing two more earned runs on two hits, a walk, and a HBP. Two days later, Atlanta demoted the struggling reliever to AAA Gwinnett- and he has not pitched since.

Today, it was announced that Cory has been placed on the DL with right shoulder tendinitis.


2013 Chops #35 Alex Wood
Less than one year after having been drafted in the second round out of the University of Georgia, Alex made his MLB debut against the Blue Jays on May 30th, coming out of the 'pen to pitch a scoreless 9th inning. A starter for his entire professional career to that point, Wood appeared in sixteen games out of the Braves bullpen before his first major league start, July 25th against the Mets. Since then, the left hander with the funky delivery has pitched well against the Rockies and Phillies- picking up a win in each game (his first two wins in the bigs). With Paul Maholm set to return soon, it will be interesting to see what Wood's fate is; I like him in the long-term as a starter, but think he better serves as a reliever this year for Atlanta.


2013 Chops #38 David Carpenter
Another one of those 'reclamation projects' that Atlanta has always seemed to do well with, Carpenter was picked up off waivers from Boston last November after posting an 8.07 ERA with 8.6 K/9 and 4.5 BB/9 with Toronto and Houston in 2012. Other than a couple of shaky appearances, the West Virginia native has been a pretty solid addition to the team- having pitched in 31 games thus far while posting a 1.06 WHIP, 1.85 ERA, and a 3-0 record. Of the sixteen runners he has inherited, 31% have scored. 


2013 Chops #39 Craig Kimbrel

After a Cy Young-worthy 2012 season, Kimbrel has once again pitched very well this season. Unfortunately, some might view his 2013 season as a disappointment- which is ridiculous because he had a season for the ages last year, and it would be nearly impossible to duplicate. 



2013 Chops #42 Cory Rasmus


Thank God for the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. First, it was Walden for Hanson; then it was Downs for this guy- Cory Rasmus, the Christmas tree. Plug him in, and he will get lit up. At least he's someone else's problem now.

Colby's little brother was a 2006 first-round draft pick, but suffered numerous injuries through the years. When he finally got his shot at major league hitters this summer, he tanked: 3 games, 6.2 innings, 8 hits, 6 runs (all earned), 3 BB, 4 home runs allowed. Like I said....Christmas Tree.



2013 Chops #44 Jordan Walden

I have to admit, I was skeptical about the acquisition of Walden this past off-season. The fact that he struggled with his secondary pitches was definitely a concern- but Walden has pitched better than expected, with career bests in H/9, BB/9, HR/9, WHIP, and SO/BB. He has inherited 13 runners, with only 15% of them scoring.
In 13 starts for the Angels, Tommy has gone 4-3 with a 5.59 ERA and a career-high 1.581 WHIP. He certainly doesn't have swing and miss stuff anymore, as he has seen an increase in hits per 9, as well as a decrease in strikeouts per nine. Opponents are batting .293 against him this season, along with a .478 slugging percentage.

Advantage: Braves





Friday, August 9, 2013

Alumni Food-Issue Friday: 2001 Topps Post Cereal Jermaine Dye

2001 Topps Post Cereal #11 Jermaine Dye







You know I can't feature a food-issue Jermaine Dye post without this, from his former manager and friend, Ozzie Guillen:







I asked myself the same thing, Oz.





Thursday, August 8, 2013

Player's Ink: Darrell Evans

Baseball historian, statistician, and writer Bill James once described Evans as "probably the most underrated player in baseball history"- pointing to the former All-Star's ability to hit for power (414 HR), draw walks (1605, with only 1410 strikeouts), and for his fine defense. As a member of the Braves, Darrell was on first base when Hank Aaron hit home run #715, and as a member of the Tigers he won a World Series title in his first year in Motown. And while the slugger had plenty of memories from his twenty-one year major league career, one in particular stands out.

2013 Topps Archives #FFA-DE

Down two games to one against the Twins in the 1987 ALCS, Detroit trailed Minnesota 4-3 in the top of the 7th when Evans was shifted from first base to third base by manager Sparky Anderson. Darrell proceeded to commit two throwing errors (one in the top of the eighth and one in the top of the ninth). He was also picked off of third earlier in the game by catcher Tim Laudner. For a man who called it one of the most disappointing moments of his career, he probably didn't expect what would happen the next day. 

As he was introduced to the home crowd the next afternoon, Evans received not boos-as perhaps one might expect- but cheers. In fact, he received a standing ovation. Darrell would call the love shown him one of the most cherished moments of his life. 

Signature Similarity: Evans got the chance to play for his childhood hero, Eddie Mathews- who managed the Braves for three seasons. "Growing up, I was a Milwaukee Braves fan because my idol was Eddie Mathews...and I ended up playing for him."  On their website, Baseballreference.com lists Mathews as number 10 on its Similarity scores for batters who are most similar to Evans. 

On Signatures: "I enjoy signing autographs. I loved autographs growing up. It isn't just signing autographs, it's getting to know the people I get to meet. I'd do it every day if I could." (quotes from mlive.com article on Evans)

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Thx alot. #ahole

2002 Bowman Chrome Draft #34 - Dan Meyer RC (Rookie Card) - Courtesy of COMC.com photo courtesy of COMC.com



Prior to yesterday afternoon, mention the name Dan Meyer, and two things would pop into my head.

First, the former major league first baseman who spent twelve seasons with the Detroit Tigers, Seattle Mariners, and Oakland Athletics. I was a Mariner fan in their infancy (I would become a Braves fan in 1980), and remember listening to their games on many a summer night, rooting for the left-handed slugger to take the opponent deep.

More recently, it brings to mind former Braves farm-hand Dan Meyer. A highly regarded pitching prospect at one time, Meyer might best be known for being the key piece in the trade with Oakland that brought Tim Hudson to the Braves. As a lefty who threw 90-93 mph, Meyer showed good command at every level of the minors and had a pretty good arsenal, which included his fastball, a tight slider, curve, splitter, and change-up. Dan even made it to Atlanta for two games in 2004, where he made two relief appearances in New York against the Mets.  After the trade, for whatever reason, Meyer struggled as a member of the A's. While he did have  pretty good seasons at AAA Sacramento in 2007 and AAA New Orleans in 2010, he never regained the command that he exhibited while a member of the Braves organization. His best season in the majors came in 2009, while a member of the Florida Marlins. That season, Dan appeared in 71 games, collecting 2 saves, 56 strikeouts in 58.1 innings, and a 1.166 WHIP.

It was a tweet yesterday, however, that will forever be cemented in my mind. Bring up the name Dan Meyer now, and this is what I will remember...





Needless to say, Bastardo won the job.


Monday, August 5, 2013

Forty-Four for My Forty-Fourth

It's become somewhat of an annual tradition, vintage cards from my wife for my birthday.


 It's a pretty simple process, really. I compare my want list to the cards available on Dean's Cards' website and then give her a truncated list with prices and condition. This year the list was short. Very short.



While I still have quite a few cards on my want list, it's becoming increasingly more difficult to add them to my collection. I wish I can attribute that problem to the scarcity of the cards. No, my problem is due to the fact that we are trying to live within our means. In other words, we're living on a budget.










So as I gave my wife my list a couple of weeks ago, her reaction was, 'that's it- one card?' Well, no- there's actually another Hank Aaron card I would like, but it's a hundred bucks. 'I'm not spending a hundred dollars on a piece of cardboard!' 

I suppose I could have given her some other names and numbers- but with this being my 44th birthday, I just HAD to have a card of the Hammer. Vintage card, that is. None of that saccharine crap.

And so while she may not appreciate a nice vintage card- she did pick up the much desired 1960 Topps card of the Real Home Run champion, Mr. Hank Aaron. And no, she won't read this, but I will thank her nonetheless...







Friday, August 2, 2013

Thursday, August 1, 2013

2013 Chops: Battery Mates

2013 Chops #28 Evan Gattis

I like Gattis, but I really hope Atlanta can work out some sort of a deal with McCann to keep him home for two or three more years. Highly doubtful, but one can always hope...





2013 Chops #31 Julio Teheran

All this talk of Atlanta needing an ace...he might be young, but Julio has come up big against some of the best teams in the NL-and in playoff-like atmospheres. I'd give him the ball in a game one. 'Course, it's not my butt on the line.





2013 Chops #32 Gerald Laird

Nothing really to say about Laird, other than he's been a great addition. I think he should get some credit for helping Julio develop as quickly as he has.





2013 Chops #33 Paul Maholm

Will the real Paul Maholmy please stand up, please stand up, please stand up...

At Home: 5-2 , 1.93 ERA, 1.136 WHIP, 4.43 SO/BB
On Road: 4-7,  6.03 ERA, 1.563 WHIP, 1.76 SO/BB





2013 Chops #34 Anthony Varvaro UCE
 It's pretty sad when I can't even get the guy's name right on the card. Oh, well. Stuff happens. He's probably just thankful to get a card (like he's even aware of this).