A blog about baseball cards... and the Padres

Friday, October 21, 2016

My New Obssesion


Is everybody enjoying some playoff baseball?  Pretty good, competitive series so far, right?

To be completely honest, I haven't really gotten into it much.  I'm a cord-cutter, so with the AtBat app and my grandma's cable info, I've been able to watch a handful of American League games, but none of the National League side.  Most of the interesting storylines (at least for me) have been on the NL side, so not being able to follow it outside of Twitter has been pretty underwhelming for me.

But I haven't really minded.  In fact, I've been watching more baseball than usual.

A few weeks ago, I caught preseason game between some Liga Mexicana del Pacifico teams; Las Águilas de Mexicali and Los Naranjeros de Hermosillo.  They played at the Dell Diamond in Round Rock, and despite knowing almost none of the players (save Xavier Paul, who was playing for Mexicali), I had a blast.

Normally, even in minor league games, I'm aware of who the top prospects are, and part of me is excited to watch them so that maybe, just maybe, I can say that when they make it to the majors, "I remember them when..."

This is not the case in the Mexican winter league.  There's a good variety of former major leaguers, career Mexican leaguers, and up and coming players that just might make it big.  It's pretty fun not knowing much about any of the teams and players and learning as I go.  

I was pretty bummed to find out that there are no Liga Mexicana del Pacifico baseball cards.  SO, I made a few on the Just Rookies app.  I've designed a few but never purchased and printed them.  Don't know if I'll pull the trigger on any of these, but they were fun to make.  Luis Juárez is my favorite player.  Even though Mexicali lost the game I saw, he was fun to watch, and he was named the first Player of the Week for the season.  I also found a picture of their bat guy, which ties in nicely to the current playoff scenario.

Yuniesky Betancourt is one of the former MLBers on the Águilas, though he has been pretty bad in the games that I've watched.  Ramón Ríos has been one of the better hitters for the team as well.

Ramón Urías is the older brother of one of the Padres top prospects, Luis Urías.  It's been cool to listen to them talk about how well Luis did this year.  The announcers definitely keep the viewers up to date on the Mexican players in the major leagues.  They are big fans of Adrián González.  Chris Roberson is the Águilas leadoff man and centerfielder.  He probably has the most pure talent of anyone on the squad, though his stint in the majors was a short 72 plate appearances. 

Between the chance to practice my Spanish - at one time I was completely fluent, but I've gotten rusty - and learning a new league, it's been really fun to watch.  I've only missed a game or two, but I get updates sent directly to my phone, and have live-tweeted the games a few times - though none of my Twitter followers seem particularly interested.

Anyways, there's a few players on the Águilas that had cards made on other (MLB) teams that I'll be trying to track down:

Yuniesky Betancourt - Mariners, Royals, Brewers
Xavier Paul - Pirates, Reds, Dodgers
Chris Roberson - Phillies
Welington Dotel - Mariners
Xorge Carrillo - Mets
Onelki Garcia - Dodgers
Fautino de los Santos - A's
Jake Sanchez - A's
Edgar Osuna - Braves

Most of them only had a cup of coffee in the majors, or just showed up in Bowman releases as prospects.  I'll probably do a Just Commons run to see what they have there, but I'll hold off until later in the season.

Anybody else a fan of the winter leagues?  For what it's worth, I am extremely satisfied with the LMP's streaming service (though it's not nearly as professional as MLB's), and it only cost $499 for the season.

Wait, that's in pesos.  It costs $21 for the entire season's worth of games (October til January).

I love it.  I'll try to catch a few World Series games because it's hard to top the World Series, but I'm not sure that my fandom of the LMP is a fad.  It's good stuff.

Monday, October 17, 2016

Ramblings


How's everyone enjoying the postseason?  I really haven't followed too much of it, other than just to have something to write about for ROBaseball.  This is mostly due to the fact that I wasn't super interested in any of the American League teams (I was okay with any team going to the World Series besides the Red Sox), and the National Leage side of the playoffs have been mostly blacked out on MLB.tv.  I was surprised that the Rangers made an early exit, since I picked them to win the pennant.  Don't have many cards of current Rangers players, but I have this one, from this year's Archives set.  I really like these cards, and would consider putting the set together if they weren't so expensive.

I pulled two from a blaster of Archives, and this was the other one.  Andrew Miller has been a beast during the playoffs, and is one of the reasons I'd love to see Cleveland win it all.  Sure, this was from his time with New York, but still a good one to have.  In fact, I was able to watch him pitch in person this year when he was still a Yankee.  The only reason I remember is because it ended this way:

Yep, Melvin Upton Jr. walkoff.  I was hoping that he'd be able to do something similar in the playoffs, but he has struggled mightily since becoming a Blue Jay.  Still, while there's some really likeable guys on the Indians, if Toronto is somehow able to come back from a two-game deficit, I'd be able to root for them pretty easily.

I had meant to scan the front of this card as well, but this is a recent pickup - the mini version of Melvin's 2016 High Number Heritage card, numbered 3/100.  I still need to get the team set for the Padres, but I'm not in a huge rush to pick up the four Friars they have - Melvin, Alexei Ramirez, Jabari Blash, and Jon Jay.  I know the Padres were bad this year, but Alexei was literally one of the worst players in baseball last year (-2.4 WAR in just one season is horrifically bad), and Blash and Jay basically contributed nothing (though Jay's lack of production was due to injury).  I'd probably be more interested if they had... I dunno, players like Ryan Buchter or Ryan Schimpf.  Yeah, if you have heard of either of those, you win a prize.

Anyways, just a quick little blurb from me today.  Like I said, I've been writing at ROBaseball a bit, and that with work and the family has kept me busy.  I've also been writing a bunch of Mexican winter league baseball.  If you're a baseball junkie like me, check out la Liga Mexicana del Pacifico.  Probably a little tough if you're an east coast guy, since most, if not all teams play in the Pacific & Mountain times, but it's only $21 for a whole season subscription (each team plays 68 games).

Take care.  Be excellent to each other.