Yesterday I had the good fortune of receiving a PWE in the mail from Pat at Hot Corner Cards. He's been ripping through a bunch of Topps Opening Day in search of those sweet blue parallels for his beloved Tigers, and he happened to send a few of those blue Padres my way. I already had the Huston Street card, but this Will Venable is a welcome addition to the collection.
I'm starting to love this card more and more as the season goes on, as Venable is having a "breakout" year. I guess I have to use the word "breakout" in parenthesis, since he's still having a far from stellar year. He's currently batting .236, a career low for him (down from .265 last year), and since he's in a platoon of sorts, his stolen bases are in the single digits (9) after swiping 20+ in the previous three years.
The breakout areas, however, have been his power and his defense. He currently has 12 homers, which (unfortunately) is good for second place on the Padres (behind Carlos Quentin's 13), and is only one away from his career high from 2010. Pretty much all of his homers look the same; swinging at balls low in the zone and pulling them down the right field line.
His defense is what's been saving games, though. If you missed his Willie Mays Superman dive that preserved a tie in extra innings against the Giants a while back, here it is. He happened to do a similar feat on Thursday in Milwaukee, as he was able to track down a sinking line drive in center to preserve a 10-8 lead in the 8th inning. Amazing stuff.
Able to keep his sunglasses on his head and everything.
Anyways, I was looking for a way to bring up that fantastic catch, and the next day that card arrived in the mail. Very serendipitous.
Pat also sent me this little gem as well. I'm a sucker for these mascot cards, and I've got a few of 'em in my binders, all on the same page. Watching the Brewers game earlier in the week, one of the Brewers announcers mentioned that Padres color commentator Mark Grant resembled the Swinging Friar mascot. I think Mud's got less hair, though.
Anyways, the Pads missed their chance to get out of the NL West cellar last night, getting pummeled by the D-Backs 10-0. At the beginning of the year, I didn't think that the Giants would be the ones who we'd be trying to pass for 4th place.
BTW, if you've read down this far, go ahead and check out the poll on Yellow Cardboard, it's about the Expos.
Speaking of hitting the bottom, here's a 90s pop gem that that reminded me of my Padres plight...