It's time to put this box of A&G out of its mis-er-ee.
With no hope of victory and virtually no hope of another hit, I am officially in Detroit Lions mode -- play out the string and hope for a No. 1 draft choice next year.
Last year I finished with 268 points. That would be damn fine this year, but I think it's a little more difficult to score this time around. I am at 150.6 with three packs to go, and there is no way I am breaking 200 -- which seems to be the indicator of top 5 box in Gint-a-Cuffs II.
So let's see what assortment of bones, stars and champeeens I can pull from Packs 22-24:
1. #172 - Ian Desmond (0 points)
2. #22 - Lucy (0 points) Real name: Australopithecus Afarensis. I can see why she changed it.
3. #170 - Adrian Gonzalez (2 points, favorite player list). Nice card. Team playing over its head. But at least they're still not bastards like the Giants.
4. #147 - Cristian Guzman (0 points)
5. #77 - Ricky Romero (0 points). Same photo used on his 2009 Chrome card.
6. #332 - Ricky Nolasco (2 points, SP)
7. #3 - Ryan Braun (2 points, favorite player list + 2 points A&G ad mini, 4 points total)
8. #262 - Zack Greinke (3 points, black border mini). LOOK AT THIS! My missing mini materialized as an "extra mini" in Pack 22! Oh, I take back all that bad stuff I said about you Topps. Can we be friends again? I guess I have no choice, huh? You're all I've got.
9. #TDH27 - Ken Griffey Jr., This Date in History (1 point + 2 points for favorite player list, 3 points total)
Crack the Code ad
Pack 22 total: 14 points
Total so far: 164.6 points
My last hurrah.
1. #94 - Luke Hochevar (0 points). Royals all over the place now.
2. #185 - X-Rays (1 point). Bones all over the place, too.
3. #274 - Nick Markakis (2 points, favorite player list)
4. #195 - Sergio Santos (0 points)
5. #42 - Mark DeRosa (0 points)
6. #133 - Nelson Cruz (0 points)
7. #313 - Ryan Doumit (6 points, SP A&G ad back)
8. TDH14 - Justin Verlander, This Date in History (1 point)
Pack 23 total: 10 points
Total so far: 174.6 points
Making a Lance Armstrong-like charge: valiant and admirable, yet pathetic and doomed at the same time.
1. #10 - Gary Stewart (0 points). Pogo stick guy.
2. #161 - Luis Durango (0 points)
3. #241 - Derek Lowe (0 points)
4. #250 - Magglio Ordonez (0 points)
5. #164 - Kyle Blanks (0 points)
6. #69 - Clay Buchholz (0 points)
7. #WGWS8 - John Milton (4 points, Wordsmith's mini). Holy smokes, for a moment there, I thought I was going to have my first scoreless pack AND go an entire box without a wordsmith's card.
8. TDH39 - Torii Hunter, This Date in History (1 point).
Pack 24 total: 5 points
GRAND TOTAL: 179.6 POINTS
And that does it.
Like last year, the last pack fizzled and like last year I went just about the whole second half of the box without pulling a Dodger.
I'm sure that this is about as average a box as there is. I got exactly what I was promised but not a fraction more.
So, what's ahead for A&G and me?
Well, I've got to finish off the set, of course. And find a binder and pages for it.
I'm fairly certain that, unlike last year, I won't be buying a second box. I will probably go the blaster/trade route like I did in 2008. It was more successful and more fun. The blasters seem to have a lot more promise this time, too.
I've got to find out exactly what I have and compile a want list. And, of course, I've already got some trade offers that I need to handle.
Anyone care to wager on when I finish off the set?
I am going to say: November 16.
Exactly 20 days after the Dodgers win the World Series.