Thursday, January 29, 2015

One More Week!

Did you lose track?

Did all the snow make the time pass by too quickly?

Did you just forget?

Well, whatever the reason, you now find yourself with only one week left to enter the 2014 Section 36 Scavenger Hunt!

The bad news? That means there's not a lot of time to find some of the items. If you haven't already been to Lansdowne St, you're short on time to schedule a trip.

The good news? There's still plenty of time to find most of the items! I've said it before, but you probably have lots of items right in your house. A quick trip to the mall can knock out so many more. You can find one of the items here. If you're having trouble finding #6, you have some issues.If you can't find #35 and #36, I seriously question why (and how) you're reading this blog.

Get my drift?

So, it's time to get cracking because the end is near. But, don't be discouraged because you certainly have the time left to make a great entry.

I can't wait to see all the entries!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

I Scored!

May 19, 2000

Sometimes you never know how a game it going to turn out. For instance, I don’t remember my anticipation being all that high on my way to this epic Moehler-Fassero match-up. But, as it turned out, it was quite the pitcher’s duel. The Red Sox won it, despite only reaching base ten times. They had fewer hits than the visiting Tigers. They, apparently, just made them count.

Looking at the card itself, I can’t help but wonder why I didn’t fill out the positions for anyone except Carl Everett. I’m tempted to fill them in now, since I can pretty much tell you what they were. Offerman must have been at second. I suppose the Daubach/Stanley placement is up for some debate. Although a little research would certainly clear that all up. I could also look up Donnie Sadler’s jersey number to finish that off. But, I think I’m going to leave it all as-is.

The game itself? Look at that line from Fassero. It was Pedro-esque. Seven innings of shutout ball, giving up only six base runners, while striking out 8? Fantastic. Garces and Lowe did a great job of closing the door. As I mentioned, the offense didn’t have a great day, but a couple home runs provided all the scoring they would need.

The hero of the game? Would have to be Carl Everett. (Maybe that why I thought it was important enough to include his position in the line-up) His two-run homer gave the Sox all the runs they would need on the day.

The goat? Well, as you’d expect, four players went hitless on the day. Only half of them were 0-4, though. And of those, only Donnie Sadler didn’t even score a run. So, for that ineptitude, he gets to wear the horns.

But, it didn’t matter. The Sox were able to squeak one out by simply scoring more runs than the other team. In the end, that’s all that counts. The Sox cruised to a nice win.

And the scorecard shows how it happened.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

From the Pedro Binder

2004 SP Authentic

I remember reading a book once about Disney World. It was a behind the scenes question and answer sort of thing. One of the questions was about a ride that had some numbers written on the wall at the end. The question was what those numbers stood for. The answer, was that they stood for nothing. They were just random numbers.

I was amazed.

Why would you put random numbers up on the wall? You're just going to select numbers with no thought to them/ No birthdays or graduation dates or street addresses? Not the number of Dwarfs or good fairies? Not the year Fantasia was released, or the number of fingers on Mickey Mouse's hand? Seriously? Where's the point in that?

Looking at this card brings back that memory for me. The card has a nice design. It's exactly what you'd expect from SP Authentic. It's clean, and modern. And, it had Pedro superimposed over a wonderful background of a baseball stadium.'s not Fenway Park!

Am I the only one who finds this odd? Why would you use a random stadium? Did they not have a picture of Fenway? Could then not get one pretty easily? Why would they not go through the trouble? Why would they not think of it?

Doesn't it just bug them?

Or, is it just me?

Because, the rest of the card, as I alluded to, really does work. I like the clean white. The graphics are crisp, without being distracting. The authentic logo is tucked away so that they real information is proudly presented front and center. But, then there's that stadium. I can't get past it.

It ruins the card for me.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

seven. Seven. SEVEN. SEVEN!


Can you believe it?

Today marks the seventh anniversary of the start of this here blog. What a ride it has been. I’m sure you’ve all heard the story. How I started this blog directly because of a blank space in my custom scorecard. I figured it would be a fun way to spend some time.

If I only knew.

Along the way, there are several cool things that have happened.

People have been reading my posts. Who would have thunk it? But, every time I check the hits, there are more than there were before. How fantastic.

More than that, people are following the blog other places. I keep gaining Twitter followers. (Another one today, in fact.) I keep getting facebook likes. (Actually, another one of those today too.) People are following the Instagram account. (Yup. Added another one of those today too.) They can’t seem to get enough.

I’m also excited to be a part of the BYBHub. It’s a great listing of baseball bloggers all in one place. How’s that for having “made” it?

I also like the people I've "met" thought the blog. Whether it's people that I talk to on twitter, or through the comments. Or, especially the card collectors who have become trading partners. The community of fans and collectors is great to be a part of.

But, the coolest thing? It’s always the pictures. The fact that people are taking the time to send me pictures is always humbling. Would you believe that nearly 90 different people have sent in pictures so far? Whether they’re pictures of themselves enjoying Section 36, or posing with Section 36, or wishing they were in Section 36. Or pictures they took from Section 36, or of Section 36. People have been sending them in so that we all can enjoy them. I know that I have loved seeing them, and they sure do spruce up the facebook page. Don’t you agree?

Hopefully all of you have been enjoying all of this as well. Hopefully all the likes and the follows mean that not only do you enjoy seeing the pictures and the tweets, but that you enjoy reading the posts as well. Hopefully the reason you’re liking and following is that you want to know as soon as you can when another great post is published.

After all, that’s kind of the whole point. Hope you’ve enjoyed the last seven years as much as I have.

Hope you enjoy the next seven even more.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

2014 Wantlist

About time I posted this, eh? As always, these are just the base cards for sets I'm "actively" working on. If you have other sets not listed, I probably want them too, so don't be afraid to ask. I also want inserts/parallels/etc but there are so many of them, it's easier to just not list them and assume the odds of getting a duplicate are pretty low.

2014 Bowman
37 Will Middlebrooks
66 Dustin Pedroia
69 John Lackey
84 Xander Bogaerts -RC
95 Daniel Nava
98 Jon Lester
118 Koji Uehara
124 Mike Napoli
143 Jonny Gomes
205 Shane Victorino

208 David Ortiz

2014 Bowman Platinum
43 Jon Lester
46 Dustin Pedroia
71 David Ortiz
75 Xander Bogaerts

2014 Bowman Platinum Prospects
BPP25 Henry Owens
BPP28 Matt Barnes
BPP44 Garin Cecchini

2014 Finest
29 Dustin Pedroia
55 David Ortiz
89 Xander Bogaerts RC

2014 Topps Series 1

2014 Topps Series 2
362 Daniel Nava
426 Koji Uehara
595 A.J. Pierzynski
632 John Lackey

 2014 Topps Allen and Ginter
9 Koji Uehara
45 Nomar Garciaparra
49 Felix Doubront
66 Roger Clemens
91 Clay Buchholz
103 Jon Lester
107 Will Middlebrooks
115 Dustin Pedroia
132 Ted Williams
133 Xander Bogaerts Rookie
158 Carlton Fisk
166 Mike Napoli
192 Daniel Nava
225 Pedro Martinez
293 Manny Ramirez

 2014 Topps Archives
7 Dustin Pedroia
20 Will Middlebrooks
49 Jonny Gomes
74 Jon Lester
93 Xander Bogaerts RC
94 Mike Napoli
101 Ted Williams
218 Nomar Garciaparra
204 Manny Ramirez
238 David Ortiz
249 Pedro Martinez

2014 Topps Chrome
31 Clay Buchholz
47 Will Middlebrooks
121 Koji Uehara
142 Grady Sizemore
201 David Ortiz
204 Dustin Pedroia

2014 Topps Gypsy Queen
13 Xander Bogaerts RC
14 Shane Victorino
66 Jonny Gomes
85 David Ross
115 Daniel Nava
126 Pedro Martinez
143 Dustin Pedroia
166 A.J. Pierzynski
229 Jon Lester
286 John Lackey
304 Ted Williams
327 Wade Boggs
329 David Ortiz
345 Will Middlebrooks

2014 Topps Heritage Series 1

46 Stephen Drew
49 Jonathan Schoop - Orioles / Xander Bogaerts - Red Sox - RC
52 Daniel Nava
132 World Series Game 1
133 World Series Game 2
134 World Series Game 3
135 World Series Game 4
137 World Series Game 6
182 Jake Peavy
206 John Lackey
289 Will Middlebrooks 
431 Jon Lester
447 Dustin Pedroia
2014 Topps Opening Day
8 Mike Napoli
75 Will Middlebrooks
110 Jonny Gomes
113 Jon Lester
178 Xander Bogaerts RC
194 Shane Victorino

 2014 Topps Update
US-87 Allen Craig 
US-162 Yoenis Cespedes
US-183 Kelly Johnson
US-187 Jonathan Herrera
US-202 Rubby De La Rosa
US-301 Mookie Betts

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Who Had the Best 1-2 Punch?

With all this talk about Randy Johnson and Pedro Martinez’s election to the Hall of Fame, I was reminded of something.

When Curt Schilling was traded to the Diamondbacks to join Johnson in the rotation, somebody (probably ESPN) ran a poll asking what the best #1/#2 starting pitcher combination in the majors was. The first choice was, of course, the newly minted duo of Johnson and Schilling. I don’t exactly remember all the other choices, but they were the likely candidates…Clemens/Pettitte, Maddux/Glavine, probably Hudson/Mulder. The last choice was “Pedro Martinez and any other Red Sox starter.” I remember getting a chuckle out of that one. Especially since it was getting some votes. Of course, it was just a silly choice. The idea that Pedro and Jeff Fassero, for example, would be the best #1/#2 combo in the majors was good for a laugh. Although, it did speak to just how good Pedro was at the time that they even suggested it. It wasn’t “Maddux and any other Braves starter.” It wasn’t even “Johnson and anybody else.” It was telling, but obviously just a throwaway entry.

Or, was it?

Just for fun, I thought I’d see just how close those entries would have been. After all, any time spent browsing around Pedro’s baseball-reference page is time well spent. I decided to use WAR for the comparisons because, well, why not?

The top five that year for “combined WAR” between two pitching staff members, not including any Red Sox entries, were:

13.2 Randy Johnson-Curt Schilling
12.2 Kevin Brown-Chan Ho Park
12.2 Randy Johnson-Bryan Anderson
11.5 Greg Maddux-Tom Glavine
9.8 Randy Johnson-Greg Swindell

So, there you go. Obviously, Johnson’s massive 8.1 number allowed him to team with a few people to get a bigger number.

How about Pedro and his rotation-mate?

Baseball-reference lists six pitchers for the Sox that year as “starting pitchers.” Going with Pedro and ANY other starter, the worst combination is actually him and his brother. That year they combined for a WAR of 11.4. If you look at the list, that would place them fifth. Amazingly, that’s because Ramon actually had a negative WAR that year, and dragged down Pedro’s unbelievable 11.7. (Side note…Ramon finished the season with the second most starts on the Sox, behind Pedro, even with his -0.3 WAR. Imagine if the Sox had another even average starter?) On his own, Pedro would have finished fourth. So, while the combination of Pedro and “any other starter” shouldn’t have won the poll, it was clearly deserving of the mention after all.

How crazy is that?

Just for even more fun, what if we didn’t just use the worst starter on the Sox? How would “Pedro and starter X” do in the comparison? I’m glad you asked. Here’s the new major league top five, if you include Red Sox pitchers.

14.0 Pedro Martinez-Tomo Ohka
13.4 Pedro Martinez-Jeff Fassero
13.2 Randy Johnson-Curt Schilling
12.6 Pedro Martinez-Pete Schourek
12.6 Pedro Martinez-Rolando Arrojo

Are you friggin’ kidding me? So thanks to Pedro, Tomo Ohka was part of the best #1/#2 punch in the majors? Let that sink in for a minute. Jeff Fassero was part of a better #1/#2 combination than Johnson/Schilling? Pete Schourek teamed up with Pedro to beat out two first-ballot Hall of Famers?


Pedro was good.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Three Weeks!

Three weeks isn’t a lot of time.

You can’t earn a college degree in three weeks. You can’t play a baseball season in three weeks. You probably can’t even write the great American novel in three weeks.

But, in three weeks you still have time to enter the 2014Section 36 Scavenger Hunt!

You just need to get a move on, that’s all.

I keep telling you that it’s easy to do, and I still mean it. There are any number of items that just about everyone should be able to find in almost no time at all. Only a few of them may take the kind of effort and scheduling luck to take the rest of the three weeks.

If you can’t find five items in less than a half an hour, I question your fanhood. You can probably knock off five or ten more with a standard trip to your local shopping mall. They won’t even be hard.

What else are you going to do with your cold winter weekends?

So, look around your house!  Look around your office! Look around during your next shopping trip! Get those items found!

There’s only three weeks left!