Saturday, February 6, 2016

Long Weeks and Bubble Gum

We all have those weeks where, no matter what you do, work and life kicks your butt. This week has been one of those weeks. I certainly didn't mean not to post since Monday's astronaut post, but here we are.

Today, though, I have a little work to do but otherwise it's a card day. My wife has a board retreat for one of the nonprofits she works with, so I get a quiet day to flip channels for various soccer games (currently flipping between Tottenham v. Watford and Eintracht Frankfurt v. Stuttgart and throwing in Atletico Madrid v. Eibar on BeIn Sports Espanol). I am thankful for the respite, definitely.

I am also thankful for a great envelope that showed up on Wednesday at my house. Jeff from Wish They Still Came With Bubblegum sent a bunch of cool stuff -- some oddballs, some Chrome, some inserts, and a program.  Let's dig in and see what he's sent...and to do so, how about I take random stuff off Jeff's Twitter timeline!

Well, don't mind if I do for just a moment. So, Jeff used to be a Georgia Bulldogs fan. Then, he relocates to the State of Florida. Rather than remaining true to his roots and being an upstanding, moral, decent person, instead Jeff became a Florida Gators fan.

It's okay, in the end, I suppose, because that means that Jeff occasionally sends me cards like these two:

Now, other than both going to Georgia and both being Pro Bowl honorees in their respective rookie years, A.J. Green and Todd Gurley also share the distinction of both having been suspended in their final season at Georgia for profiting off their likenesses -- Green by selling his bowl jersey to a nefarious agent-wannabe for $1000 and Gurley selling his autograph to some bastard Florida fan.

By the way, Jeff, where were you during the fall of 2014? You better not have been near Athens...

What could possibly go with one of the, well, dumbest ideas in the presidential campaigns -- Donald Trump's claim that he would "force" Mexico to build a border wall ([/rant]: please note: I don't like Trump, but that's also true for about everyone in the campaign currently on both sides of the aisle. What I mean is, I don't like the primaries and I'm not a big fan of politics generally...there's too much b.s. and not enough well-thought-out statements of policy based on actual evidence as to what works and what doesn't...[/endrant])

Well, how about these:

I never really understood these buttons, whether when I was a kid or now. I mean, I like them as oddballs, of course, but there is just no good way to display or store these things. Of course, since they show major league baseball players clothed as Milwaukee Brewers, I feel compelled to collect them. 

So, I guess that I am the dumb one in the end.

Sure, the Braves ended up trading anything that moved away by midseason and then falling into an abyss deeper than the Marianas Trench.  The worst part of the season for the Braves was a stretch starting August 17 and ending September 6. In that timeframe, the Braves sported a 1-19 record. The lone win was a 5-3 win over Colorado on August 24, which broke a 7-game losing streak and preceded a 12-game losing streak that included a 15-4 loss and a 20-6 loss to the Yankees and a 15-1 loss to the Nationals.

At least the Brewers started out last season badly so there never was much hope to begin with. Both teams are looking toward the future with their transactions now, and Jeff sent some great cards of some of the younger guys.

Former Alabama Crimson Tide pitcher Jimmy Nelson is in the majors already. Coming in to 2015, Tyrone Taylor was the Brewers second-best prospect according to John Sickels at Minor League Ball. Monte Harrison was third, and Gilbert Lara was number 14.  

Thanks to the Carlos Gomez trade, the Gerardo Parra trade, the 2015 draft, and development (either by these guys or by guys in the 2014 draft), those numbers have changed. Lara is now number 6 thanks to his decent showings in two short-season leagues at the age of 18. 

Harrison is now number 9 after a poor Midwest League showing and an injury (though Sickels says Harrison is a high-risk, high-reward guy with an Andrew McCutchen-like physical ceiling...I'd take that). 

Taylor dropped all the way down to 18. Sickels says he is the low guy on Taylor, not seeing him as much more than a fourth outfielder at this point. Taylor slashed at .260/.312/.337 in Double-A as a 21-year-old in 454 at-bats with 10 steals, 31 walks, and 55 strikeouts. He's still young, certainly, but the outfield situation in Milwaukee has gotten much deeper.  

And Sickels's ratings were done on December 2 -- before Adam Lind was traded (for 3 minor leaguers), before Garin Cecchini joined the organization, before Jason Rogers was traded (to add Keon Broxton and Trey Supak), before Rymer Liriano was acquired, and before Tyler Wagner joined Jean Segura in the Arizona trade which brought Isan Diaz to the Brewers.

So, yeah, the organization has changed a lot in that two-month period.

 A fun Gif of Justin Upton seeing the dead leaves and the dirty ground in Wrigley Field eating up a baseball.  It has literally nothing to do with the highlight of Jeff's envelope to me, but I liked the gif. 

That highlight?

Just a Brewers Program from 1990 featuring Robin Yount alongside fellow Hall of Famers Hank Greenberg and Stan Musial. At the time, I believe that these three were the only three players in baseball history to have won the MVP at two different positions. For Musial and Greenberg, it was first base and outfield. For Yount, it was shortstop and outfield.

It's hard to believe that 1990 was 26 years ago now. But, it is.

Jeff, thank you very much for the great cards and the program -- even the ones I didn't highlight here. And, be careful what you Tweet...I might just use it against you!


  1. I like the business of the Panini Contenders Passports insert. Nice cards and a nice way to tie it all together with Jeff's twitter postings. Fun stuff!

  2. I am from Georgia, I was Tech fan. Moved here and already disliked the Dawgs so it was easy to be a Gators fan I DEMAND A RECOUNT

    Glad you liked all the cards and needed the program.

    1. I suppose you'll get a recount. After all, y'all in Florida are experts at recounts after the 2000 election, I suppose. ;-)

  3. I keep seeing Contenders on everyone's blogs and I have yet to see a card that I didn't like. I've really got to get a hold of some.

  4. Great stuff. I say you add some flair to the courthouse... and rock those pins on your suit during your next trial.