If everything goes on schedule, my first Baseball-Reference.com blog post should appear next week. What can you expect from those periodic posts? Well, basically the same stuff you see here. Consider them "Cardboard Appreciation" posts, but with a wider and much more intimidating audience.
But I do feel up to the task, which is why I agreed to jam the gig into my schedule. I appreciate that Andy asked me to help out, and that he sent some cards my way, possibly as "payment" for my assistance. I do love getting paid in cards.
Andy sent me exactly 136 cards off my want list for 2009 O-Pee-Chee. I now need just 20 cards to complete that wonderfully wacky set. Among the cards he sent me are the typically strange and typically wonderful, which is what '09 OPC is known for:
Strange camera angles.
Commentaries on the attendance habits of South Florida fans.
Now for the wonderful:
The home run by Soriano appears to be against the Dodgers, but I'll let that slide.
Since I was in a postseason frame of mind when I scanned these cards, I determined how many players from the 136 cards were still in the playoffs. There were 33 remaining.
What interested me is that of those 33 players, 13 of them are not playing for the team for which they are shown on the OPC card. I know 2009 wasn't long ago, but that's the way modern baseball works. Besides, many playoff contenders acquire players late in a bid to boost their postseason quest.
Here are the 13:
Bengie Molina. Now with the Rangers. I don't know how he gets around on pitches. It's like watching the out-of-shape John Daly swing a golf club. You're amazed that he even makes contact.
Cliff Lee. Now with the Rangers. I would absolutely love to see a World Series matchup between Lee and Roy Halladay. Of course, that means that the right teams make it to the Series. Please, for the love of everything sane and normal, there is no reason we need to see A.J. Burnett in a World Series game. I'm sure even Yankee fans agree.
Pat Burrell. Now with the Giants. How lucky is this guy? He could have stayed with his previous team (the Rays) or his previous team to that (the Phillies) and still made the playoffs. Unfortunately for him, he is less liked by me because he wears fool Giants colors.
Vladimir Guerrero. Now with the Rangers. Wow, Texas did a lot of dealing. I'd be totally amused seeing Guerrero in the Series. I'd love for him to get a hit on a ball that bounced in front of the plate so it can appear on World Series highlights for all of eternity.
Roy Oswalt. Now with the Phillies. The Phillies rotation really isn't fair. After seeing Philadelphia struggle with their arms for years, I don't even know who this team is anymore. It's not the old Phillies that I knew. It's more like ... like ... the Yankees. Ewwwwww.
Rick Ankiel. Now with the Braves. The Cardinals were two teams ago for Ankiel. I just know he's going to be the death of the Braves. Just a hunch. (EDIT: Or maybe he'll do OK).
Alex Gonzalez. Now with the Braves. This is THREE teams ago for Gonzalez. Since the Reds, he's played with the Red Sox, Blue Jays and now Atlanta. I have no idea how he's done with the Braves. Now that their games aren't on TBS, I've totally lost track of that team.
Derrek Lee. Now with the Braves. I get a feeling that Frank Wren really, really liked trading baseball cards as kid. He sure enjoys dealing.
Kerry Wood. Now with the Yankees. Nothing would annoy me more than seeing Wood get a WS ring. I know some people are saying, "oh, finally after so much misfortune, Kerry Wood has a chance of achieving something special." Gack! I hate it when players who have issues suddenly become good just because they're with the Yankees. It is the main reason why I suspect that the Yankees are controlled by some demon from the netherworld. It's just too suspicious.
Rocco Baldelli. Now with the Rays. The beloved ex-Tampa-Bay-player-now-current-Tampa-Bay player was left off the Game 2 roster by the Rays because of health issues. Hopefully, he's back soon.
Aubrey Huff. Now with the Giants. The Giants can hit more than the Padres, I'll give them that. But I don't know how they can advance too far given their lineup.
Ben Francisco. Now with the Phillies. He played in 88 games for Philadelphia this year? Wow.
J.J. Hardy. Now with the Twins. Minnesota has had so many chances in its playoff series to put away the Yankees that it's sickening. If the Twins get swept, they're taking a plunge on my list of the top 30 teams next year. It's just not acceptable.
Andy also sent some random A&G minis, including the strangest creature I ever knew as a child:
As well as a few others:
He also used this as packing material:
That's about right.
OK, I've run out of words.
Heh. That's the kind of commentary you can expect from me over at B-R.
I hope they don't fire me.