Wednesday, February 24, 2016

#SuperTrader Highly Subjective and Completely Awesome

I'm a little behind on sending out cards to the #SuperTraders group. I will be trying to address that later this week; as I mentioned on Bob Walk the Plank, I went with a bit of quantity that hopefully a few people will like/need.

But, I don't want to take away from the great PWE from #SuperTrader Brian at Highly Subjective and Completely Arbitrary. It's such a refined group of cards, though, so it deserves a refined approach here.

American composer and musical genius/legend Aaron Copland is an American orchestral legend. This movement of the "Statements for Orchestra" called "Subjective" is a very moody and emotive piece that feels unresolved with the use of minor keys and expressive strings.

So, let's talk moody and unresolved. The Brewers traded Lorenzo Cain as part of their "all-in" deal in after the 2010 season, giving up Alcides Escobar, Cain, Jake Odorizzi, and Jeremy Jeffress (who has since returned) in exchange for Greinke and Yuniesky Betancourt. Betancourt is a b√™te noire among Brewers fans -- mainly because we had to deal with watching him play first base for more than 1/3 of the season in 2013 thanks to injuries to Mat Gamel and Corey Hart. 

Some people wish we could have that Greinke trade in 2010 back, but it was the right deal at the time, and trading Zach in 2012 (for Johnny Hellweg, Ariel Pena, and Jean Segura). Now that Hellweg has signed a minor league deal with the Padres and Segura is a Diamondback right next to Greinke, maybe folks will get over it. Plus, Pena may yet be a useful pitcher.

Bianchi was a utility infielder in 2013, thus earning him a card in that set. He spent last year in the Boston organization, and is a free agent currently. His last name means "white hair" in Italian. For what that's worth.

Let's stick with refined and American but not subjective...

I'd argue that either Copland or Gershwin could be considered America's first major contribution to the world's orchestral music. Gershwin's music to me seemed to have more of a popular bent in its time, combining the hot music of the time -- jazz -- into his compositions seamlessly. In this song, his music is along the lines of a tone poem in evoking a feeling of being in Paris -- with car horns honking, quiet interludes along the Seine, and the rush-rush of the big city.

Not that these evoke feelings of Paris, but the horizontal cards here tend to evoke more of a feeling of being at the park than the way-too-closely-cropped photos that dominate recent cards. As the Braun card says, it's all about perspective.

Richard Rodgers -- of the famous duos of Rodgers & Hart and Rodgers & Hammerstein -- wrote some of the most enduring songs in Broadway's storied history. "Blue Moon" (co-opted by Manchester City), "You'll Never Walk Alone" (co-opted by Liverpool), and "The Lady is a Tramp" (as far as I know, no English football team has adopted this as their song) are some of his best known songs. 

Of course, leading off the musical Oklahoma! is this classic. It is the perfect optimism needed to lead off a show like Oklahoma! 

Speaking of optimism...yes, it's prospect time. The Brewers farm system has gone in two years from being a desolate desert of dying dreams to being jam-packed with top-level prospects and guys with a ton of potential upside. Harrison is an athlete who turned down a football scholarship to Nebraska to play minor league baseball. He is still very raw and has a ways to go to be a contributor -- but people love his upside. 

Taylor was a 21-year-old in Double-A last year in Biloxi. He didn't hit poorly, but he did not show a lot of pop and got passed up in the prospect lists by the massive influx of new talent coming in from trades. He, too, needs to show more this year -- especially in terms of OBP.

Also, yes, I like musicals.

Finally, any discussion of great American composers has to include one of the greatest ever from the only truly American music form -- jazz. Duke Ellington elevated jazz -- adding in orchestral flair to his arrangements that many jazz performers of the 1920s lacked. In many respects, Ellington took jazz from being a pop music based around jam sessions and fast playing improvisation to having a bit more structure. Of course Ellington's band could jam and improv with anyone in the day, but they also were tight and played like no other band of the time.

His work in jazz earned him a special posthumous Pulitzer Prize for music in 1999.

The most special card in the package from Brian is this awesome yellow printing plate from 2016 Topps. I have to admit -- I'm a sucker for a printing plate. I just love them. I am not willing to pay exorbitant prices for them but I am always super excited when I get one in a trade or find one I like for, say, around or under $15 to $20.  

Brian, thank you very much for the awesome envelope. My #SuperTrader announcement on what I have special to send out will come tomorrow, hopefully (assuming that my purchase arrives!).


  1. Duke Ellington? Awesome choice! Your posts are always so entertaining (on multiple levels).

  2. Oh man, nice plate! Brian is the man.

  3. Brian is wearing his Super-T cape well.