I'm having more and more trouble finding words to say about current players -- not current cards, mind you -- but, definitely current players.
That's a problem when buying modern cards and then attempting to write about them. The designs and photo presentation and info on the back can take you only so far. Sooner or later you're going to have to talk about the player and ... (*sigh*) can't I talk about someone from the '80s instead?
So, if you haven't noticed, this tradition of buying packs of the latest cards is slowly disappearing on this blog. Soon, you will see new cards from me only when flagship, Heritage and Allen & Ginter show up.
But, habit is habit and I was in the red big box store yesterday running errands and I scooped up one of the 2019 Opening Day packs. The contents were awful. First cards out of the pack: Giant, Diamondback, Angel I've never heard of. There was nothing -- I mean nothing -- that I could even say about the pack.
It doesn't help that Opening Day has grown more and more irrelevant by the year. Once, I could rationalize buying some OD because the "foil letters are blue!" Then, "the border colors are different!" Then, "they have no foil!" then, "the inserts are kind of cool!"
I've got nothing to say.
However, that didn't stop me. I had to stop at the blue big box store today because I forgot to buy something I meant to buy yesterday. I walked past the card aisle and grabbed 2 Opening Day fat packs. I would make this a best-of-3 pack break! If I featured the best card for each position in the pack, surely I could find something to say!
That was the plan anyway.
Card 1 (from pack 2)
It's a Dodger so that's why it's here. But it's the same image as in flagship, so that's where I run out of words.
Rejected cards: Brandon Belt, Amed Rosario
Card 2 (from pack 2)
Jacob deGrom agreed to a contract extension today. This is what is known as a "timely pull."
Rejected cards: Ketel Marte, Brad Boxberger (two Diamondbacks, yick)
Card 3 (from pack 1)
Opening Day is known for its photoshopping tricks. I'm wondering what happened here. Carlos Santana played for the Phillies last season, after playing eight years for the Indians. Then, in December, he was traded to the Mariners and then back to the Indians. Perhaps merely a 2017 photo of Santana?
Rejected cards: Brian Anderson, Starling Marte
Card 4 (from pack 3)
I admit, Cedric Mullins did not register on my radar last year. But it's nifty seeing a player positioning to bunt on his baseball card again.
Rejected cards: Jaime Barria, Anthony Rizzo
Card 5 (from pack 1)
Rejected cards: Mitch Haniger, Hunter Renfroe
Card 6 (from pack 1)
Rejected cards: Rafael Devers, Avisail Garcia
Card 7 (from pack 1)
Rejected cards: Brandon Crawford, Matt Carpenter
The seventh spot in Opening Day's 24-card packs appear to be reserved for players on teams that should finish last every year.
Card 8 (from pack 3)
More fun with photoshop. Edwin Encarnacion came to the Mariners in the aforementioned deal involving Carlos Santana.
Rejected cards: Kyle Schwarber, Trey Mancini
Card 9 (from pack 1)
Rejected cards: Eric Hosmer, Joey Gallo
No real opinion for this slot. I picked the Martinez card because it's a better action shot.
Card 10 (from pack 2)
Rejected cards: Corey Kluber, Jeimer Candelario
Card 11 (from pack 2)
That's the only blue parallel from the three packs. It's fancy, like most of the Opening Day blues have been.
Rejected cards: Shin-Soo Choo, Jack Flaherty
Card 12 (from pack 3)
I knew nothing about the Tigers merry-go-round until pulling this card. I come from a city that is known for its carousels (and why the local Double A team is called the "Rumble Ponies").
Rejected cards: Ty Cobb, 150 years of fun; Mike Trout, 150 years of fun. (Yup I picked a merry-go-round over two all-time greats).
Card 13 (from pack 3)
I feel like Frank Thomas' bat should be replaced with a giant submarine sandwich.
Rejected cards: Rangers mascot; Tom Seaver, 150 years of fun.
Card 14 (from pack 2)
This will eventually work its way to Cards on Cards. I don't get that excited about the mascot cards, especially since half of them can't even mention the name of the mascot.
Rejected cards: Diamondbacks Opening Day; Hank Aaron, 150 years of fun
Card 15 (from pack 1)
Rejected cards: Dansby Swanson, Eugenio Suarez
Card 16 (from pack 1)
I am biased against this card since the catch happened against the Dodgers in the World Series, but the card's competition was feeble.
Rejected cards: Shane Bieber, Odubel Herrera
Card 17 (from pack 2)
Rejected cards: Alex Bregman, Scooter Gennett
Card 18 (from pack 3)
Pulling Dodgers is like pulling teeth this year.
Rejected cards: Kyle Freeland, Cionel Perez
Card 19 (from pack 3)
I've wanted to pull this card since the first pack breaks of flagship, but haven't done so yet. So good for you, Opening Day and your repeating of images!!
Rejected cards: Bryce Harper, Jeff McNeil
Card 20 (from pack 3)
Another photoshopping masterpiece. Bug-eyed Paxton is most likely in a Mariners outfit, pitching against the Oakland A's for the 34th time. I am officially rooting against him this season.
Rejected cards: Jon Lester, Yusei Kikuchi
Card 21 (from pack 3)
Rejected cards: Charlie Blackmon, Jorge Polanco
Card 22 (from pack 2)
Rejected cards: David Dahl, German Marquez (yes, I went on a run of Rockies at one point -- this does absolutely no one any good).
Card 23 (from pack 3)
Rejected cards: Justin Smoak, Gerrit Cole
Card 24 (from pack 3)
Kudos to the Blue Jays photos this year.
Rejected cards: Michael Conforto, Jameson Taillon
OK, just a couple quick observations on some "rejected" cards:
This sure is a depressing card to pull after the recent news about Seaver's health. I guess I can look at this card and remember the good old days.
The back of this card says the Rangers' mascot is a horse. That clears up a lot because I've never known what the heck it was. I'd go back and forth between thinking it was a moose or a camel and decided at one point it was a "moosmel." But horse it is. Weird-lookin' thing.
Perhaps some of Cobb's biographies were a little rough on him, but "fun"? That is nothing I'd ever use to describe him.
OK, that's all I have to say about Opening Day and the last cards I'll buy of this stuff this year.