Usually, I have a fairly good idea of what I am going to write about before I start a post. You don't last long in my line of work unless you have a plan heading into deadline.
But, golly, this is Series 2. Everyone has seen the design since way back in January (even longer for those who saw the previews back last summer). And a whole crowd has eyeballed the cards in Series 2 already. You're bored. I'm bored. Allen & Ginter isn't until freakin' August. Why go on?
Well, I'm not a defeatist. When there is new product to beat to death, it's my job to turn it into a bloody pulp. So I tried out a few things on Twitter and found out that, "yes, I do have something to say."
What I'm saying is pointless drivel. But you're used to that by now.
So let's see pointlessness in hanger box form.
But first I better show you some tidbits from the loose pack that I bought from Target solely so I could scan the wrapper for the top of the post (yes, I do stuff like that).
#608 - Ricky Nolasco, Marlins
First card is a Marlin. That's about how this whole exercise is going to go. You've been warned. Twice now.
#655 - Salvador Perez, Royals
In my collection, I have a card of Perez in which he is depicted as being with the Dodgers, even though he never played with the Dodgers. It's in my Dodger binder. No, I'm not moving it, and you can't have it.
#573 - Ian Stewart, Cubs
#514 - Jonathan Papelbon, Phillies
#345 - Jenrry Mejia, Mets
#546 - Carlos Quentin, Padres
Preparing to break Josh Thole's clavicle. Jerk-off.
#CH91 - Joey Votto, Reds, Chasing History silver foil
#CTC-24 - Buster Posey, Giants, Cut to the Chase insert
This shows that the card gods are telling me not to buy loose packs, and I'm listening. No more loosey loose Series 2, Buster. IF that's your real name.
#360 - Kristopher Davis, Brewers
#609 - Scott Baker, Cubs
#408 - Logan Morrison, Marlins
#466 - Jerome Williams, Angels
Well, THAT was a napper. Let's move on to the hanger box.
I like hanger boxes. You get a fair amount of base cards and inserts for a decent price. It's a better value than blasters and you already know my feeling about manure patches.
#657 - Jorge De La Rosa, Rockies
OK, there might be a drawback of hangers. This card came out of the wrapping damaged at the top. If you click on it, you can see the fold at the top.
It's more obvious on the back.
Ick. I prefer damaging my own cards. I don't need pre-damaged stuff.
#638 - Andrew Cashner, Padres
#593 - James Loney, Rays
Photoshopping appears to be rampant in Series 2.
#647 - Adam Dunn, White Sox
#634 - Drew Smyly, Tigers
Someone tell me what this uniform is supposed to be. Negro Leagues, I'm guessing? I'm not a fan of current teams wearing uniforms I don't recognize. I know that's shallow of me, but I don't like it, especially on cards.
#531 - Craig Gentry, Rangers
This looks totally set up, Upper Deck 1990s style.
#639 - Josh Hamilton, Angels
I don't have the problem with Hamilton that a lot of fans seem to have. I know he's got issues -- lots of issues -- it doesn't really bother me like other people in baseball bother me. But the thing that's going on with him with the Angels right now?
That's for you Artie.
#503 - Clay Buchholz, Red Sox
#497 - Brett Myers, Indians
#432 - Jose Iglesias, Red Sox (if his walk up music isn't "To All The Girls I've Loved Before" his career has failed forever)
#345 - Jenrry Mejia, Mets (first double of Series 2!)
#546 - Carlos Quentin, Padres (second double of Series 2!)
#591 - Derek Holland, Rangers
Now these throwbacks? These I appreciate. Yes, it's because the Rangers wore them when I was a kid. I told you it was shallow.
#508 - Felix Doubront, Red Sox
#489 - Erick Aybar, Angels
This is already one of my favorite cards of 2013. Don't try to tell me it's photoshopped or whatever killjoy thing you have planned. I have my fingers in my ears and I'm singing Metallica. So go spoil someone else's good time. This card rules.
#406 - Brandon McCarthy, Diamondbacks
If it's going to be a gold card of a Diamondback, I suppose this is the best option.
Here come the red-bordered cards:
#628 - Martin Maldonado, Brewers (red border)
#498 - Martin Prado, Diamondbacks (red border)
#428 - Kyle McPherson, Pirates (red border)
#481 - Justin Wilson, Pirates (red border)
#507 - Lance Lynn, Cardinals (red border)
#CH-58 - Rickey Henderson, A's, Chasing History insert, gold foil
#CH-63 - Jordan Zimmerman, Nationals, Chasing History insert, gold foil
#CH-100 - Phil Niekro, Braves, Chasing History insert, gold foil
#CH-64 - Mike Trout, Angels, Chasing History insert, gold foil
#WBC-9 - Carlos Beltran, Puerto Rico, World Baseball Classic insert
One of the new inserts for Series 2. The WBC is not my gig. Fortunately, I can find someone who might want this card.
#575 - Justin Morneau, Twins
#471 - Trevor Cahill, Diamondbacks
#400 - David Wright, Mets
Yes. Topps has returned to hero numbers in Series 2. We can all have our childhoods back. (P.S.: Sarcasm).
#558 - David Murphy, Rangers
Love, love, love this card.
#351 - Asdrubal Cabrera, Indians
#446 - Chris Parmelee, Twins
#512 - Justin Smoak, Mariners
#334 - Derek Norris, A's
This card struck me as very strange. The first thing is you can barely see Norris' cranium. I thought we were going to see the first case of a player being featured on his card in which you can't see his head. But Norris' head is barely apparent.
The strangest thing, though, I circled below:
This little guy is going to freak me out.
I'm not sure what's happening here. Maybe it's a bat boy, maybe the angle is odd and the guy is bending over a little. But my first instinct is Topps was having a lot of fun with photoshop.
Regardless, it's nightmare-inducing.
#656 - Scott Diamond, Twins
#428 - Kyle McPherson, Pirates
#481 - Justin Wilson, Pirates
#411 - Jesus Guzman, Padres
#455 - Buster Posey, NL MVP (excellent, the filler portion of the show)
#373 - Derek Jeter, Yankees, checklist
#352 - Tommy Hanson, Angels
#476 - John Buck, Mets
#599 - Carlos Carrasco, Indians
#401 - Ryan Dempster, Red Sox
#636 - Cole DeVries, Twins
#640 - Jason Castro, Astros
#595 - David Ortiz, Red Sox
#350 - Albert Pujols, Angels
#526 - Tyler Flowers, White Sox (Twitter is in love with this guy. It's puzzling).
#461 - Drew Pomeranz, Rockies
#654 - Brandon Barnes, Astros
Fallen and can't get up.
#359 - CC Sabathia, Yankees, checklist
#551 - Welington Castillo, Cubs
Ortiz shows up again. Nice card.
#592 - Nick Markakis, Orioles
#343 - Alex Avila, Tigers
#CH-69 - Sandy Koufax, Dodgers, Chasing History insert, silver foil
This is the only Dodger that I pulled. There really aren't a lot of Dodgers in Series 2. Six base cards and few inserts (I won't waste my breath no more on the SPs). It's not giving me much incentive.
#MM-17 - Anthony Rizzo, Cubs, Making Their Mark insert
#361 - Erik Kratz, Phillies, emerald/rain forest parallel
Million Dollar Chase card (a contest long forgotten, I'm sure)
#TM-98 - Ernie Banks, Cubs, '72-style mini insert
I suppose the Cubs uniform expert would have to tell me if this was a time-appropriate photo to be used with 1972. Banks did play in a few games in 1971, so this would have been a nice final tribute. If, you know, I cared about the Cubs.
#364 - Carlos Pena, Astros
#524 - Wade LeBlanc, Marlins
#659 - Mike Napoli, Red Sox
#560 - Yunel Escobar, Rays
#501 - Tommy Milone, A's
#631 - Chris Carpenter, Cardinals
#434 - Wei-Yin Chen, Orioles
#413 - Brett Gardner, Yankees
#422 - Alfredo Marte, Diamondbacks
#392 - Tom Koehler, Marlins
#628 - Martin Maldonado, Brewers
#498 - Martin Prado, Diamondbacks
How many Diamondbacks did I pull there? 45?
So that's the whole deal. And except for the strange tiny A's guy card, it's everything you, I and the collecting glitterati expected.
I don't plan to buy much Series 2 -- certainly less of it than Series 1. As for these cards, virtually all of the inserts are already spoken for, because I trade with too many people. But, if you like Brewers or Diamondbacks, you're in luck and go ahead and speak up.
I'll be shipping out a few of the base cards, too. As always, I want your Dodgers, so SAVE THEM FOR ME.
I'm working on a few packages this weekend, and then next week I'll be catching up with a few other people. Expect the usual delays.
You can blame some of that on trying to find things to say about Series 2 and all those other sets.
Oh, and your pulp. It's bloodied.