Month: September 2010

Glavine Collection: 1995 Topps 3-D #28

Oh God. The nausea … at least its better than a Sportsflics card.
I don’t care for the design, but I like the idea of putting stats on cards that aren’t typically used. I’d like to see Topps go all Sabremetric on their new cards. I’d really like to see them put WAR on the cards. These splits are a little boring though.

Notes About My Visit to the Ted

I arrived at the ballpark about an hour and a half before the game started. I went to the Clubhouse store and got myself a new hat and a Bobby Cox commemorative pennant. On the stage in front of the store, that obnoxious dude who does the announcing for Braves Vision mentioned that John Smoltz was signing autographs in the Hank Aaron room down Scouts Alley. So I bought a baseball and headed over. A nice surprise!

Of course, not everything was perfect. The line was long, but not obnoxiously so, especially considering they drew almost 35,000 last night. I noticed that a lot of people were leaving the room holding special John Smoltz cards printed up by the sponsor, the Air Force Reserves. When I was about 5 or 6 people from the door, a Braves employee came out and apologized but said Smoltz wouldn’t be signing any more because they ran out of cards, but we could still have our picture taken with him. Then, a few seconds later, someone came out and said Smoltz would sign our Game Day programs. So, I was ushered into the room where they had a photographer and Smoltzie. He shook my hand, signed my program and then we smiled for the camera. I received a card with a web address and a code where I can get the picture. As of now, it still hasn’t been posted.

Early in the game, I checked the news on my phone, and was really bummed to hear the news about Prado. From the moment he went into the starting lineup, he’s been our best player. I like his grit and determination. In a lot of ways, this Braves team is his team and I hope he maintains his intensity from the bench and I hope it rubs off on his teammates. It looks like Conrad will be his fill in, but you have to wonder if Troy Glaus might get a start at third as well.

I’ve had the experience of sitting around some awful fans this year, but the fans at this game were great. They were into it from the start and they didn’t act like they hated the Braves every time they came up short. It made them all the better to be around when the big inning came. Huge hits by Conrad and Hinske, obviously, but credit to Cabrera for getting on base to get it all started. (A huge shame about Maybin as well. After that last series down Miami way, I thought he was going to make the catch. He hit the wall awfully hard.) 

This was also the first time I was in the stadium for Wagner’s big entrance. Now that was fun. Better yet, he was filthy. 

All in all, it was a great time and it was nice to have it confirmed that I’m not bad luck.

Am I Bad Luck?

I’m getting ready to head down to the Ted for tonight’s game. Let’s hope I’m not bad luck to the Bravos. I make no guarantees.

I may or may not tweet from the game. You can follow me at @MadGlavSmoltz.

Later one and all.

Go Braves.

Maddux Collection: 1987 Leaf #36

If you’re thinking this card looks almost EXACTLY like his 1987 Donruss card, you’d be right. If you’re thinking that moustache looks STUPID, you’d also be right.
Poor little Canada. Because the Leaf cards are bilingual, you don’t get the minor league stats. I weep for you.

Smoltz Collection: 1994 Upper Deck #87 (including Electric Diamond Parallel)

I’m not a huge fan of parallel cards, unless the parallel adds something substantial to the design. A chrome parallel for instance looks nice and you feel like you are getting something substantially different than the base card. The same for mini cards like in A&G. This is just dull silver foil instead of gold? Do the words ‘Electric Diamond’ really add anything?
Can you spot the difference on the backs?

Autograph Collection: Julio Teheran

Does anyone know how to pronounce the kids last name? I know I’ve heard it but I can’t remember it. Of course, starting next year, you’ll be hearing his name constantly up to, and for well after, he debuts for the Braves. You’ll own AA next year kid. AAA too.

Maddux Collection: 1991 Stadium Club #126

It’s Cubbie Greg. We took him away from the Cubs and Yankees. We might have started the streak without Maddux, but there’s no way we would have continued it without him. No, the streak would have ended at 2. I remember 1993 well. The last real pennant race.
Of all the stats you could stick on the back of a ball card, the lefty/righty splits are the ones I have the absolute least interest in reading. I do like the inclusion of a picture of a players first Topps card though.

The Mindset of the Braves Fan

I’m not going to pretend that my heart hasn’t been broken by the play of the Braves the past five weeks or so. It has.

I’m not going to pretend that I haven’t gotten frustrated watching the Braves play lately. I have.

Still, the most I read the comments on Braves blogs like Talking Chop and AJC Braves, the more I realize that I seem to have precious little in common with many of my fellow Braves fans. Reading the comments you would think that Bobby Cox and his Braves purposely tanked their season just to ruin their lives. Is your happiness really that dependent upon the performance of a baseball team?

I don’t understand the anger, at least not the lasting anger. Have the Braves attacked you personally? At the very least, these people need to find something in their life that will make them happy. The Braves clearly aren’t capable.

Here’s a two point reality check for these fans:

1. The Braves are simply not as good as the Phillies. Man for man, our lineup just doesn’t match up with theirs. There’s no shame in that; the Phillies are a darn good baseball team. They’ve been to the big dance the last two years. September is their month. Hats of to them. Don’t sit there and blame Bobby and his decisions for our descent from first; just recognize that the better team, at the end, rose to the top.

2. The season is NOT over yet. Every time this Braves team had a chance to quit, they didn’t. I was afraid the season was going to come off the rails after they blew that 10-1 lead in Colorado, but it didn’t. I thought the fight had gone out of the team after that last homestand, but then they swept the Mets. Of course, we can’t forget the month of April after which the Braves responded with their best summer in many a moon. No doubt, the last three games were bad. A disaster for our NL East hopes even. Still, here’s the thing. We are tied for the Wild Card birth. Is it the same thing as winning the division? No, but come on, it gives us that shot. Once you’re in the post season, anything can happen. Why, the Braves could even beat the Phillies. I’m not saying they will, but to say it’s all over is not only ridiculous, it’s factually inaccurate.

I’m not saying fans need to be loyal when they aren’t happy with their team’s play; I’m just saying grow up a little and stop acting like a child who had a toy stolen from them. As I learned from one of my many books on Anger Management, if you’re still upset about the performance of a baseball team more than an hour or so after a game, and I mean angry, then please, get yourself a shrink.

The comments on the major blogs are worse that sports talk radio.