At any rate, Matt sent me a couple of cards as maybe a blog birthday gift or just because or since I decided to post more than once a month after college football season finally ended for UGA. And while the envelope Matt sent was small, the cards he sent packed a punch.
Let's start with the card that wasn't serial numbered first:
The man Haderade. Josh Hader is an interesting pitcher for the Brewers this year. He came up through the Orioles, Astros, and Brewers systems mostly as a starter. Sure, both the Orioles and Astros had times where they controlled his innings-pitched by having him work out of the bullpen, such as his first season as a pro back in 2012 and his two seasons in the Astros organization (2014 and 2015). But with Milwaukee, he has been groomed as a starter -- all 44 of his Brewers MiLB appearances have been as a starter.
Then, he makes it to the majors throwing gas out of the bullpen in an Andrew Miller-type role last year. It would be nice to see him get a shot at the rotation this year, but that does not appear to be something that the team is considering right now. Is he more valuable in the pen, or in the rotation? It's a fine line.
Or a Thin Line, even. Huey Lewis and the News were totally among my favorite bands in the mid-1980s. Sports is a great album, and every boy I knew wanted that basement that is pictured on the cover. You can tell this because all the yahoos with "Man Caves" have almost exactly that set up as their "man cave."
Next up is Ben Sheets Fleer Box Score parallel from 2002 serial numbered to 100. Where do you find these cards, Matt? Just trolling on eBay for cheap serial numbered stuff? Picking up an extra card to save on shipping? I guess I don't spend enough time on eBay (despite my recent spree of random items bought there).
Anyway, this one is a great addition to the Ben Sheets collection. I'm still thinking about where my collecting goes from where it is now and going into the future in large part because Topps these days really isn't about anything but maximizing profits for themselves and for their favored breakers. I mean, they threw their own industry convention last week. Is that normal?
I guess it is and has been for years. I know that baseball cards is not what Kanye is rapping about here, but it really is true that "most of all we at war with ourselves." The divisions are weird and growing. I used to talk by email and on Twitter with Matt all the time, and my falling away from the hobby has made it feel like a division built up there.
There isn't one, mind you, but sometimes it feels like there is. That's what's weird about it.
To prove there isn't a division, how about a clear parallel from 2015 of Adam Lind serial numbered to 10. Lind only spent the 2015 season with Milwaukee, and he put up a pretty good season for the crew.
Even better is the fact that the Brewers then flipped him to Seattle and got pitcher Freddy Peralta for him. Peralta is a small Dominican -- 5'11", 175 pounds -- who has some issues with control but who strikes out seemingly everyone he faces. Last year in a season split between high-A Carolina and AA Biloxi, he walked 4.7 guys per nine innings but struck out 12.7 guys per nine while giving up just 5.8 hits per nine. That's electric stuff. Peralta struck out 33.4% of the batters he faces last year, trailing only A.J. Puk. And Peralta is a year younger than Puk. Peralta is high risk, high reward -- either a number 2 starter, or bullpen fodder.
I do hope that Lou Reed does not become Peralta's theme song and that Peralta can get his wild side under control. Also, I hope that we're not talking about Peralta coming from Florida and shaving his legs to become a she.
Matt, thanks for the great cards and the excuse to dive into some Walk songs.