A place where Colorado Rockies baseball card collectors (all 3 of us) can waste some time reading about our favorite sport. The Rockies and their cards will be the primary focus, but I like to go off on tangents as well so anything and everything baseball related may be covered here.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Group Break Swag from Nachos Grande

Chris over at Nachos Grande held another group break last month and I jumped in because most of the sets being busted were very sparse in my collection.  It was a one chosen team, one random team style break.  I of course chose the Rockies and was randomized the Blue Jays.  I ended up trading the Jays for the Rangers because I was low on trade bait for that team.  I don't think I have ever made such a good trade as you ill soon see.

Let's start out with looking at some Rockies from early in this century.

Here is a pair from 2002 Fleer Genuine.  I hadn't ever seen this set, but I gotta say I kind of like it.  I like most sets with colored borders though.  I did complete this team set.

Here is another Fleer offering from 2002.  This one being 2002 Fleer Showcase.  I am not as big a fan of this particular set.  It just seems kind of blah even with the colored border.  I don't like duplicate pictures on cards especially the ghost-like close up behind the main photo.  I ended up missing two for the team set here.

Next up is 2003 Donruss Team Heroes.  Numerically, this was my most successful box in that I got 5 cards I needed.  This set is okay, but I am not really a fan of the odd-shaped polygon that is used for the photo.  I still need 6 cards to complete this team set.

Next up is 2003 Flair.  I usually enjoy most Flair sets, but I think this may be the worst looking Flair set I have ever seen.  Once again the photo is duplicated (and smooshed) at the top.  It is sort of reminiscent of 1994 Upper Deck or 1996 Topps.  With this team set I am missing one short print, the Clint Barmes rookie.

2003 Upper Deck Patch Collection is next on the agenda.  I like this set even if it is sort of a common style.  I enjoy all of the information that is shown on the front, especially uniform numbers.  The pinstripes at the bottom and top definitely scream baseball set.  The one downside with this set is short prints are randomly strewn throughout the set.  From my team set, all I am missing is one SP, Jason Jennings.

There was one other box opened, 2004 Topps Cracker Jack.  I didn't get any base card I needed from this set and I remain 1 short.  I did get one parallel from that box that I needed though as shown below.

The Preston Wilson is a mini sticker from the 2004 Cracker Jack.  It is about the same size as the 75 or 87 minis.  From the Fleer Genuine box I also got a Genuine Leaders Todd Helton insert.  I really don't like when a set repeats its name in the title of an insert set.  When I type up my want lists, I feel really weird typing Fleer Genuine Genuine Leaders.  Couldn't they just call it Leaders?

My good luck with the Rockies was not yet over as I also got two serial numbered cards.  The Rene Reyes from Genuine is one of those numbered rookies (#'d to 2002) that lots of sets put in at the end of the base set in the early 2000s.  It's good if the player turns out to be successful.  It sucks to have to pay a premium for a guy like Rene Reyes 10 years later just because the card is short printed.  The Larry Walker is from Showcase and is a Legacy parallel #'d 143/175.  It is always nice to pull a card #'d that low, because 10 years later they are really hard to track down.

I also got a hit for the Rockies, well sort of anyway.  This Ryan Cameron is from UD Patch Collection and is one of 10 manupatches of rookies numbered 151-160 at the end of the 150 card base set.  One of those 10 is inserted in each box, so I feel a bit lucky there.  Where I don't feel lucky is, I already had this card.  This is a first for me, I had never gotten a duplicate hit from a break before.  I guess that means my team collection is starting to get impressive.  Eric you have first shot at this one since it fits two of your criteria for a great card.  Too bad Cameron looks to be about 12 in the photo (which scanned poorly) and can't quite grow a mustache yet.

Here is some of the selection of Rangers that I picked up which are currently en route to Brian from Play at the Plate.  I never knew Ryan Ludwick started out with Texas.  I am sure Brian will love the Will Clark that was pulled as well.  I definitely know he will love it more than me because I still get nauseous whenever I pull a Nuschler card.

Here is another trifecta of Rangers.  I still don't know why Texas hitters don't get nearly as much crap as Rockies hitters.  The Ballpark at Arlington is just as good (if not better) for offense as Coors.


From the Donruss Team Heroes box, I got this Mark Teixeira autograph #'d 48/50.  What an excellent pull and a really nice looking signature.  I love it when players include their number in a signature.  Brian had gotten the Rockies as a random team in a group break of his own and I traded him the Rangers for them BEFORE the Teixeira was pulled.  He is still getting it because my word is good and I am glad that it is going to the biggest Texas fan I know.  This one was a bit harder to let go than say a Palmeiro jersey or something though, but like I said I'm glad it's heading to Brian nonetheless.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Rock Stars - Manager

We have now finished the main portion of the Rock Star team.  All that is left (other than the bench players next week) is to choose a leader for this team.  I have been choosing five candidates for a single slot on the team, with the Rockies manager this works out perfectly because five different men have been manager of the Rockies.  Here are the five candidates for the manager of the Rock Star team.  Keep in mind, you are only voting for their performance as the Rockies manager.  Otherwise this would be a runaway victory for one man.

Don Baylor (1993-98)
Don Baylor was the original manager of the Colorado Rockies and led the club for the first six seasons of their existence.  In his 6 seasons, Baylor had a record of 440-469 (.484) with one trip to the postseason in 1995.  His teams finished at .500 or better in 3 of his 6 seasons.  He won the 1995 NL Manager of the Year Award and finished 5th in both 1993 and 1994. 

Jim Leyland (1999)
Jim Leyland was hired away from the Marlins a year after their first fire sale in 1999.  In his only season in Colorado, Leyland had a record of 72-90 (.444) with no postseason appearances.  Obviously, he never had a team at .500 or better and never received NL Manager of the Year Award votes with the Rockies.  The fit just was neither right for the team nor Leyland as they parted ways after the 1999 season.

Buddy Bell (2000-02)
Former Tigers manager and major league veteran Buddy Bell was hired to replace Leyland before the 2000 season.  In his 3 seasons in Colorado, Bell had a record of 161-185 (.465) with no postseason appearances.  He had one of two teams finish at .500 or better.  His best finish in the NL Manager of the Year was 6th.  He was fired 22 games into the the 2002 season.

Clint Hurdle (2002-09)
Former big league journeyman and Rockies hitting coach, Clint Hurdle was promoted to manager in 2002 following Bell's dismissal.  In his 8 seasons in Colorado, Hurdle had a record of 534-625 (.461) with one postseason appearance which was the 2007 NL Pennant.  However, the 2007 World Series team was the only Rockies team in Hurdle's 8 seasons that finished at .500 or better.  His best finish in the NL Manager of the Year was 3rd in 2007.  He was fired 46 games into the 2009 season.

Jim Tracy (2009-Present)
Former Dodgers and Pirates manager Jim Tracy was chosen to take over for Hurdle in 2009.  In his 3 seasons with the Rockies (as of 2011), Tracy has a record of 230-210 (.523) with one postseason appearance.  He won the 2009 NL Manager of the Year Award.  He has recently received an "indefinite extension" on his contract which runs out at the end of 2012.  Your guess is as good as mine as to what that means.

I do not have the only card of Leyland as a Rockie (1999 Colorado Rockies Police set) and Tracy has yet to receive a card as a Rockie (somehow the Rockies were forgotten when they were putting manager's cards into 2011 Topps Heritage...Thanks Topps).  

Voting for the Rock Star manager may begin immediately.  This will be the final vote for the Rock Star team and I hope everyone takes the time to vote here.  Thanx for reading.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Rock Stars - Starting Rotation Results

Here are the results for the largest Rock Star vote yet, the starting rotation.  It is interesting to say the least.  The difference in the voting here is I will be adding both batting WAR and pitching WAR when determining the WAR totals.  I figured since National League starters actually play the entire game rather than being a pitching machine like their AL counterparts, I should count both. 

Ubaldo Jimenez - 15 votes = 4 points
Aaron Cook, Jeff Francis - 11 votes = 4 points
Mike Hampton - 10 votes = 4 points
Jason Jennings, Darryl Kile - 8 votes = 3.5 points
Pedro Astacio, Denny Neagle - 7 votes = 3 points
Jason Marquis - 4 votes = 3 points
Shawn Chacon, Jorge de la Rosa, Joe Kennedy - 3 votes = 2 points
Jhoulys Chacin, Armando Reynoso, Kevin Ritz, Bill Swift - 2 votes = 1.5 points
Marvin Freeman, Bobby Jones, Byung-Hyun Kim, David Nied, Jamey Wright - 1 vote = 1 point
Roger Bailey, Brian Bohanon, Jason Hammel, John Thomson - 0 votes = 0 points

WAR (batting + pitching)
Ubaldo Jimenez - 16.6 WAR = 4 points
Aaron Cook - 13.6 WAR = 4 points
Jason Jennings - 11 WAR = 4 points
Pedro Astacio - 9.3 WAR = 4 points
Armando Reynoso, John Thomson - 7.5 WAR = 3.5 points
Kevin Ritz - 6.8 WAR = 3 points
Jeff Francis - 6.5 WAR = 3 points
Jhoulys Chacin - 6.1 WAR = 3 points
Brian Bohanon - 5.6 WAR = 3 points
Jorge de la Rosa - 5.1 WAR = 2 points
Jason Hammel - 5.0 WAR = 2 points
Roger Bailey, Marvin Freeman, Darryl Kile - 4.4 WAR = 2 points
Jamey Wright - 3.7 WAR = 1 point
Jason Marquis - 3.1 WAR = 1 point
Joe Kennedy - 2.7 WAR = 1 point
Shawn Chacon - 1.9 WAR - 1 point
David Nied - 1.8 WAR = 1 point
Bobby Jones - 1.6 WAR = 0 points
Bill Swift - 1.5 WAR = 0 points
Denny Neagle - 1.4 WAR = 0 points
Mike Hampton - 1.0 WAR = 0 points
Byung-Hyun Kim - (-0.1 WAR) = 0 points

Ubaldo Jimenez, Aaron Cook, Jeff Francis, Jason Jennings, Pedro Astacio = 4 points
Jorge de la Rosa, Marvin Freeman, Armando Reynoso, Kevin Ritz, Jhoulys Chacin = 3 points
John Thomson, Jamey Wright, Joe Kennedy, Jason Hammel, Jason Marquis = 2 points
Roger Bailey, Shawn Chacon, Brian Bohanon, Darryl Kile, Mike Hampton = 1 point
David Nied, Bill Swift, Byung-Hyun Kim, Bobby Jones, Denny Neagle = 0 points

Ubaldo Jimenez, Aaron Cook - 12 points (unanimous selections)
Jason Jennings - 11.5 points
Pedro Astacio, Jeff Francis - 11 points
Armando Reynoso - 8 points
Jhoulys Chacin, Kevin Ritz - 7.5 points
Jorge de la Rosa - 7 points
Darryl Kile - 6.5 points
Marvin Freeman, Jason Marquis - 6 points
John Thomson - 5.5 points
Mike Hampton, Joe Kennedy - 5 points
Brian Bohanon, Shawn Chacon, Jason Hammel, Jamey Wright - 4 points
Roger Bailey, Denny Neagle - 3 points
David Nied - 2 points
Bill Swift - 1.5 points
Bobby Jones, Byung-Hyun Kim - 1 point

The Rock Star starting rotation is
Ubaldo Jimenez, Aaron Cook, Jason Jennings, Pedro Astacio, Jeff Francis

This competition was not nearly as close as I thought it would be.  These five pitchers were clearly the cream of the somewhat withered crop.  Starting pitching has never been and should never be the biggest strength of the Rockies.  Based on their home stadium, they were built to be an offensive juggernaut even if management never seems to completely understand that. 

I do have to say some of your voting surprises me to say the least, but the high vote totals of Hampton, Kile, and Neagle just tells me that people were counting their non-Rockies totals as well.  I was also surprised at how well Jhoulys Chacin stood up to the competition after only two full seasons in the majors.  I'm pretty sure that is an indictment of the entire Rockies history with starting pitching, but I could easily see Chacin and de la Rosa if healthy becoming a member of this group in a couple of years.

One quick question for everyone.  Two of these pitchers have a higher batting WAR for the Rockies than Dante Bichette, can you guess which two?  Just one more reason that I can't stand that stat.

Tomorrow will be the selection for the Rock Star manager and will be the last vote for this very fun series for me.  I hope you guys have had fun too and I think I can tell by the vote total that you are still paying attention.  Thanx for reading.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

*TRADE BAIT* - Autos (mostly) Edition

I am back once again with some fantastic, knock-you-on-your-ass trade bait. Tonight, I am going to feature autographs (and three relics I forgot to include in the last trade bait).  Before I show you the autos, I just wanted to remind those of you that have yet to vote for the Rock Star starting rotation, please do so if you are so inclined after reading about the candidates here.

Here we go with the mostly somewhat less than stellar autographs I have for trade, along with the three jerseys including two of the "which team does this belong to?" sort.


If you are interested in anything here, don't hesitate to comment and let me know.  I'm sure we can work out a trade.