Wednesday, May 21, 2014

C.A.: 2014 Topps Opening Day Superstar Celebrations Yasiel Puig

(Greetings. Today is National Memo Day. The older I get, the more I celebrate this day. Right now, there are about four or five memos to myself at work, the same number to myself at home, and a couple more in my pocket. I suppose I could put all this stuff in my phone, but without having crinkly paper everywhere to see or touch, I'd probably forget half the reminders I put in the phone. Anyway, you didn't come to see old man ramblings. It's Cardboard Appreciation time! This is the 205th in a series):


I saw this card on Cervin' Up Cards and I had to have it. Good ol' Zippy Zappy was great enough to send it to me.

This card recognizes Yasiel Puig's walk-off home run in the 11th inning against the Reds to end what was a scoreless game last July. Puig, in his usual oversized zeal for everything, slid into home plate at the end of his trot.

This set off outrage among the "play the game the right way" crowd, and I'll always remember it because former pitcher Greg Swindell got in a Twitter tiff with me and a few others over the whole deal. He thought Puig's slide was showing up the opposition. I explained that the opposition had already left the field and the crowd was all Dodger fans because it was in L.A.

I am tempted to acquire a second version of this card and send it to Swindell to see if he'll sign it -- or rip it up in a million pieces. But I don't think I'll do that because sending a card in a sarcastic manner isn't recommended if you're attaching your return address.

I understand that Puig rubs some people the wrong way. People dislike who they like for whatever reasons they have. My thinking is there have always been over-the-top players in sports and in baseball -- Reggie Jackson, Pete Rose, Al Hrabosky and Francisco Rodriguez come immediately to mind -- and Puig is a newer form of that. I just think there is a way to handle this if you don't like it. As barbaric as some newer fans think it is to throw the ball inside at someone in response to something the pitcher/team didn't like, it does have a way of quieting things down. It's a long-held understanding between teams and it has a way -- admittedly probably less often now than it once did -- of smoothing things out.

But now instead of something that is handled "internally" among teams, we have Brian McCann blocking Carlos Gomez on the basepaths, or Madison Bumgarner stalking off the mound to yell at Puig. All this does is bring the confrontation public, in front of a whole crowd of fans. And, good god, if you want a mess, get a beer-fueled mass involved in your man-to-man battle. Hope the stadium has excellent security.

If I was Bumgarner, and Puig's batflip/home run trot annoyed me that much (ideally it wouldn't because reacting to that behavior is just bringing you out of your game), I would have stayed quiet and then plunked Puig in the hip the next at-bat. Barbaric, I know. But if it was good enough for Bob Gibson, it's good enough for me. And I don't like the way these conflicts are going public. Something bad is going to go down some day.

Also, if you want to see an epidemic of batflips, check out Japanese or Korean baseball sometime. Puig isn't the only one.

Saying all that, I'm a pretty reserved guy. Antics aren't for me. And I've been known in the past to frown on players who perform them. But as I've gotten older, I've gone over to the opinion of "if you let it bother you, it will." I just don't see much definitively wrong with Puig other than he's still learning and he's an excitable boy.

Anyway, let's see some more cards from ZZ:


Oooh, look. There he is again. Last week's Player Of The Week. Probably just about to #batflip.


This is one of those Bowman minis from last year that ZZ appropriately called "one of Topps' latest gimmicks." I've really had it with minis (with a few notable exceptions). And the fact that a mini guy is over minis shows you that Topps is really No. 1 when it comes to ruining a good thing.


These are also minis. I probably need them, too. But I'm not going to look it up right now, because I'm mad at Topps and its minis.


Oooh. Look at this. We've reached the "IS HE STILL A BUFFALO SABRE?" portion of our show.

Our candidate this time is Nathan Gerbe, center.

Is he still a Buffalo Sabre?

...
...

NO!

Of course, not! The Sabres never hang onto their players! Gerbe was signed as a free agent by the Calgary Flames last summer.



Let's try another one.

It's Matt Moulson, left wing.

Is he still a Buffalo Sabre?

...

...

NO!

He spent only 44 games with them last year! And then he was shipped to Minnesota.

Honestly, collecting cards of current Sabres is about as productive as catching fish with tweezers. I don't know why anyone would do that to themselves.

But thanks for the cards, Kenny.

Especially the Puig.

He's a hell of a lot of fun.

8 comments:

  1. Glad you got the cards (I was starting to get worried).

    BTW, I'd hate to make you put off by minis even more but, those Bowman Chrome minis have parallels...

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  2. So you would support Bumgarner if he plunked Puig to remind him that being a show off is against the unwritten rule?

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    1. As a Dodger fan, obviously I wouldn't be crazy about it, but it's a heck of a lot better than flipping out in full view of an audience.

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  3. I don't have a single problem with Puig's enthusiasm with the game of baseball. I never have. Sure he is a little annoying to me because he is a Dodger, but all in all it's not a big deal to me. My biggest problem with anything Puig-related is the media hype surrounding him. For example, I watched tonight's game between the Mets and Dodgers on ESPN and at least ten times the director did a split screen with the game action on the left and Puig not doing anything in the outfield on the right. Literally he was doing nothing and taking up half the screen during game action for several minutes. They were basically saying that Puig scratching himself was as important as the game. It's not Puig's fault, but it still bothers me when stuff like that happens and he gets stuck with my residual anger.

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    1. Yes, I agree. ESPN is to blame for pretty much everything people don't like in sports.

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  4. I would support a Bumgarner/Puig plunk and actually I support the McCann/Gomez thing too. That Gomez trot/rant/show off was too over the top to wait a few innings. All the other McCann "protector of baseball" stuff if crap but the Gomez trot was too over the top.

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  5. I've never seen a sport so over the top with unwritten rules. I love Puig and wish he would do a bat flip every at bat just to piss off the old guard even more. Like Hiflew said above, ESPN created the monster. It's not like enjoying a homerun is a new thing. Look at David Ortiz. It takes him 20 minutes to round the bases after taking 10 minutes admiring the damn thing. No one seems to care when he does it.

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  6. I was really surprised (but shouldn't have been, I guess) when I happened to come across a "bat flipping highlights" video on YouTube for Korean baseball.

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