Monday, May 3, 2010
Well, this is timely ...
I received a package from The Collective Troll a week or two ago. And while my posting of its contents isn't terribly timely, the cards I received are -- especially this one.
I burst with pride when a player on my favorite team leads the league in offense. I don't care if it is only the third day in May. It's been that way ever since Ron Cey set a then major league record of 29 RBIs in April of 1977. I remember back then mentioning Cey's feat in music class to a couple of my Yankee-brainwashed classmates and them looking at me in complete incomprehension. Dumb-asses. Knowledge is power muchachos.
Anyway, I burst with pride because unlike the Yankees and Red Sox and a few other teams, the Dodgers don't get the chance to lead everybody in offensive categories very often. I mentioned that once long ago. The Dodgers have and always will be about pitching (the 2010 mess aside).
Ethier, right now, is leading the National League in just about every power category:
Home runs: 9 (tied for first)
RBIs: 26 (first)
Total bases: 62 (first)
Slugging percentage: .729 (first)
Batting average: .365 (first)
OPS: 1.161 (first)
He's also fourth in on-base percentage, sixth in extra-base hits and ninth in hits.
He could go down as one of the best trade acquistions the Dodgers ever made -- which considering L.A.'s stupidity on the trade front the last decade -- is quite something. The player the Dodgers traded for Ethier, Milton Bradley, may be an excellent hitter, but I'd rather see Ethier in the lineup anyday.
Ethier hasn't been doing the walk-off thing that made him famous last year, mostly because a lot of his homers have come early in games and given the Dodgers a decent lead. But this way is much better for my health.
'Dre has a blog in which he writes about restaurants in the L.A. area, but it hasn't been updated for more than a year. He's a good-looking guy, and insanely popular, so I'm sure the ladies keep him busy.
The rest of the team has improved a little since I agonzied over them a few posts ago. Troll sent a couple other cards of two players who have been talked about a few times this season:
Chad Billingsley has provided two straight decent starts after some pitiful performances. I'm still not convinced that he won't lapse into cluelessness again, but that's only because he's made me gun-shy.
I am no expert on rookie cards, but this is now the earliest Billingsley I own. It's from 2003 Bowman Heritage. My newly acquired Standard Catalog of Baseball Cards says it's a rookie card, but you know how that goes.
Manny goes on the DL and all the drama shifts to Matt Kemp. He seems the most impacted by Ramirez's absence from the lineup. Fortunately, he had a couple of hits Sunday, even if one was aided by the Pirates right fielder being blinded by the sun. As for Kemp's fielding, I have about as much to say about that as I do about his relationship with Rihanna: I don't know what's going on.
I can add this Upper Deck X relic card to my growing collection of Kemp hits. He's got a lot of them. You'll note that it's a home white swatch and Kemp is wearing a road jersey. But UD rarely cared about details.
Nothing current about this card. This is one of the checklist cards from 1974 Topps, and I do believe I need this for my Dodger binder! Note how you can actually read all the sigunatures. Even Andy Messersmith makes an attempt to write all the letters in his last name.
Many thanks to Marck. I'm in a serious Rays drought right now, but I did manage to drop something in the mail today.