Thursday, February 27, 2014

Do You Ever Brag About Seeing a Great Manager?

As you may have noticed, I keep a list of the 36 best players I’ve had the pleasure of seeing play in person. My definition of “best” relies heavily on awards and recognitions. So, perhaps, “best” should be changed to “most accomplished” but that’s for another day. I realized that I didn’t update it with the new Hall of Fame class. I assumed that if someone was elected to the Hall of Fame, they’d already have enough awards to merit inclusion on the list. I was right. Frank Thomas, Tom Glavine, and Greg Maddux were already here. So, other than increasing the number of Hall of Famers I’ve seen to ten, it didn’t affect anything.

Then I realized that those weren’t the only three people elected to the Hall this year. Bobby Cox, Joe Torre, and Tony LaRussa were also elected. They weren’t on my list. Never even considered adding them to my list.

Should I?

The obvious answer is “no.” I don’t go to a game to see a manager. When teams try to sell tickets by promoting the visiting team, they never promote the visiting manager.

But, the reason I base my list on awards instead of talent is that my grandkids would be more likely to ask if I saw a former award winner, as opposed to some other great talent. Using that logic, shouldn’t I include the managers? Would a kid 20 years from now wonder if I ever say Joe Torre manage? Possibly.

Of course, I can’t picture the rest of the conversation. Let’s say that someone asks me in 20 years if I ever saw two-time MVP and triple-crown winner Miguel Cabrera play. I could respond that yes I had. I saw him in a playoff game strike out against Junichi Tazawa in a key spot. There’s a story there. If they asked me about a manager? I guess I could say, “Yup. I saw Joe Torre manage lots of games. Man that guy used more friggin’ pitchers than anyone I ever saw. I stopped going to September Yankees game because they were torture to watch.”

Not quite the same ring to it.

But, he’s still a Hall of Famer. He’s still somebody that my future grandkids could see on a website and wonder about. Am I ignoring a segment of baseball history? Is that wrong?

Would you add managers to the list?

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Collecting the Sox: The Trophy

One subset of collecting “championships” is the trophy. There might not be anything that screams “the team just won the World Series” quite like the trophy. As such, it can be found on any number of collectables.
 If you like bobbleheads, you can focus your collection to just those with players holding a trophy. Or, make sure you get the Coke cans with a trophy on them. Many baseball cards show people holding the trophy. There are pictures, and t-shirts, and replica trophies, and…you get the idea. The list is endless.

Submitted by Mark
There’s one even more specific collecting area that you can go for. The actual trophy.

The Red Sox have done a great job of sharing the trophy with the fans. I don’t know if this is unique to the Red Sox, or if the other teams do this as well. I’m sure all the trophies re on permanent display somewhere. But, do they bring them around from place to place? The Sox bring it (them) all over so people can get an up-close look at it, and take their picture with it. That allows you to amass quite a collection of yourself with the trophies without as much effort as you might think. Usually the trophies are presented as a part of some other outing. They’re not usually just stuck in a gas station for an hour. They’re at an event with players. Or, at a charity event. Or, at least, a sporting goods store. So, you’re not just chasing down the trophy. You’re at least doing something worthwhile with your time. Then you can take your picture wherever you see it. What a great display that would make.
Submitted by Mark

You can use those pictures to track time, as the trophy collection has grown. You can put a picture of you with just the 2004 trophy next to one of you with two, followed by a shot with all three. What a progression. I have pictures with two trophies, and three trophies. I never got my picture when they only had the one.

Or, maybe as a travel log. How many places can you get a picture of the trophy in? Personally, I have taken the picture of the trophy in two places. I bet many of you have more.

How many places do you have?

Sunday, February 23, 2014

From the Pedro Binder

2000 UD Ovation Superstar Theater

There’s a lot of shiny going on here.

One thing that keeps bugging me about these insert sets is that they have these clever names, but don’t relate the card to the names at all. Take this one, for instance. It’s called “Superstar Theater.” What an the card has anything to do with a theater? Maybe the name of the set going up the side is supposed to resemble a theater marquee? That’s a stretch, and the best that they get. How about instead of the ghost image in the background of a random ballpark, they use a ghost image of a theater? How about something? Make it look like a ticket, or a playbill. There’s plenty out there to work with. Why ignore it? I wonder if other companies were annoyed that Upper Deck wasted the copyright for the name on poor execution. Like when you’re trying to name a blog, and you see someone has taken the perfect name you wanted but only posts garbage once every six months. Was someone in the Topps design team kicking themselves over what they could have done with that name?

The rest of the card is beyond blah. In the scan, you can see what UD feels is the most important part of the card. Their logo, their brand name, and their set name. I’m a little surprised they let the picture of Pedro take up so much precious space. Pedro’s name? Stuck in that black bar. His team? Practically hidden in the ghost image. Who cares about that stuff? This is an Upper Deck card!

Apparently that’s all that matters.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Red Sox 1-36: 31 is for…

31 times Duffy Lewis was caught stealing in 1914

Yikes. That’s a lot!

As of late, the stolen base has been marginalized thanks to newfangled statistics. The new movement really values outs. The thought being, it’s not worth the out just for the chance to move up one base. So, these days, having 31 caught stealing would be a bad sign. The usual guideline is that you need to be successful on about 75% of your attempts to make it a positive effect. So, with 31 times caught stealing, Duffy would need to have been successful around 87 times to make it worth his while.

So, how many times was Duffy Lewis successful when trying to steal in 1914?


Yup. 22. So, he was successful about 43% of the time. What on earth was he doing?

I have to believe that there was something weird going on here. Maybe statistics back then weren’t as good as they need to be in order to look at that number. After all, baseball-reference doesn’t list a caught stealing total for more than half of the seasons in his career. It’s possible that back then, they weren’t seen as all that important. So, they weren’t even recorded. Maybe he didn’t know how often he was being caught. Maybe he didn’t care?

After all, he was never a burner on the base paths. It’s not like he was ever Tris Speaker. I could understand if he was getting old and talking a while to remember that he can’t run as much as he used to. But, the 22 steals in 1914 were a career high.

Out of curiosity, I looked at Tris Speaker, and in 1914 he stole 42 bases, but was caught 29 times. Clearly being caught stealing wasn’t something that the Red Sox worried all that much about. Although, at least Tris was closer to a 60% success rate.

That leaves the question of what Lewis was thinking. Was it just the game back then? If you could get the extra base, you gave it a shot? Nobody really cared if you got thrown out. Was the extra base more important in the dead ball era? Maybe it was no use being on first base?

Even if that was the case, I’m not sure I see the point in doing something if it only worked 43% of the time. Even in 1914, they had to see that he wasn’t actually getting that extra base very often. They had to see that it wasn’t worth the effort.

It doesn’t take new math to figure that out.

Do you have an explanation?

31 is for the 31 times Duffy Lewis was caught stealing in 1914.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Do Agents Have Ethics?

I know. I know. Of course not. They’re agents.

But, really. Do they  have some sort of “Code of Ethics” that they need to follow? Like a Hippocratic Oath? “Thou shalt do thy best to serve thy client to thy client’s supreme benefit?”

And how does that apply to multiple clients?

I ask because Scott Boras represents Stephen Drew. He also represents Xander Bogaerts. They both play shortstop and, if some people get their way, they both could be doing it for the Boston Red Sox. How is Boras supposed to handle that?

I can see how having Drew sign with the Red Sox could be a pretty good deal for him. Especially compared to having to twiddle his thumbs in the independent league hoping someone else calls. A steady job with a contending team is a pretty good way to go. Maybe the Sox won’t offer arbitration next year.

But, that would be a problem for Xander Bogaerts. Even if you think that Bogaerts is such a star that he would overtake Drew easily. The presence of a quality veteran would have to limit Xander’s playing time, right? If you’re looking for a big payday, you want as many at-bats as you can before hitting free agency. All the better to pad your stats.

And, what about Boras himself? Let’s be honest. Only one of the two players has a possibility of signing a $100 million contract at some point in his career…and it’s not Drew. So, it would certainly be in Boras’s best interests to keep Drew out of Boston. Not, I’m sure, that he’s supposed to consider that.

I bet it comes up a lot. Almost all agents represent more than one player. Conflicts like this have to occur. What’s best for one client might be worst for another. Maybe even if they’re not the same position. Or the same team. Say you represented both Jacoby Ellsbury and Robinson Cano this past offseason. Ellsbury could play in either Boston or NY, while Cano would really only work in NY since Boston already had a second baseman. Would you steer Ellsbury back to Boston even if they weren’t offering the most money since it left the Yankees enough money to sign Cano? Or do you send Ellsbury to the team that offers the most money, and let Cano try and find money elsewhere? Is there a rule in the agent’s manual to cover this? Is there a plaque in Boras’s office that says what he’d do? Or are they left to their own thoughts on the matter?

That could be scary.

Monday, February 17, 2014

I Scored!

April 15, 2002

OK. Here we go! Red Sox vs. Yankees! How did this one turn out?

First off, if we look at the pitcher’s box, we see that Derek Lowe got the start. He finished up the previous season in the pen, so we weren’t quite sure what to expect from him as a starter. (We’d all get a much better idea of what he can do in a couple weeks.)

The first inning just shows how much even the Sox were unsure about his abilities. After Rickey Henderson led the game off with a hit against Andy Pettitte, the Red Sox bunted him over. They wanted to score a run as soon as they could. It worked, to an extent, since Garciaparra followed with a double to score Henderson. Of course, Henderson probably would have scored on a double from first base too. That led to an unusual stretch of batters. Ramirez got an intentional walk. Clark reached on an error, allowing Hillenbrand to force in a run with a walk. Then, look at Varitek. He singled with the bases loaded, but doesn’t seem to have an RBI noted in the box. The answer lies in Hillenbrand’s box. “3-u” Varitek’s batted ball hit Hillenbrand as he was running to second. When that happens, Varitek is awarded a hit, Hillenbrand is out, and the rest of the runners return to their bags. What an annoying turn of events. When Nixon popped up to end the inning, it was a huge opportunity wasted.

Thankfully, Lowe made those two runs stick as he held the Yankees to one run over his seven innings. Even a tough inning from Rich Garces wasn’t enough to let New York back into the game. Urbina wasn’t perfect, but he closed the door when he needed to.

The hero of the game? I have to give it to Hillenbrand. Even though he was unable to get out of the way of Varitek’s ball. He did drive in two runs, and scored another. His double in the fifth was especially key, since the Yanks had just cut the lead in half the previous inning. It gave the Sox the cushion they would need to win the game.

The goat? I’m going to give it to Ramirez, since he went hitless. Although, to be fair, he was intentionally walked twice in the game, which limited the damage he could do himself. You still want to see more from your clean-up hitter in a big game.

But it didn’t matter in the end. Derek Lowe pitched a gem. The offense did just enough, and the Sox prevailed.

And the scorecard shows how it happened.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Today is the Day!

The internet is good for a lot of things. If you want the Red Sox schedule, the internet can give it to you. If you want to see the broadcast of Game Six of the World Series, the internet can do that for you. If you want to make a huge deal out of something fairly insignificant, well that might be what the internet is best at. With facebook and twitter and blogs, any excuse for a post idea is welcomed with open arms. Things like truck day, that used to be afterthoughts in newspapers and newscasts, are trumpeted like they’re royal coronations.

Today is almost one of those events.

Of course it’s a big deal in one sense. Pitchers and Catchers are reporting to spring training today! It means baseball, and summer, is almost here. It’s another milestone to reach on the way to having baseball again.

That’s pretty cool.

But, beyond that? Not all that much. As a matter of fact, lots of players have already reported. Position players even. If a player doesn’t report today, they probably have a good reason for it. Maybe it’s their father’s birthday, or something.

In honesty, for me, today marks the beginning of the most annoying stretch of the baseball calendar. Media people are flooding Fort Myers, but nothing is happening. They won’t have games for some time yet. There’s nothing to report, so everyone has to start reaching for things to write about.

Someone sat out a drill today. Are they hurt? Are they being benched? Will they be back for Opening Day? Is the season ruined? Will it become a distraction? Even if the answers to the first questions are No. No. Yes. No. That last one is still hanging out there. So, they talk about it.

All the friggin’ time.

So I have to remind myself to celebrate today as the start of something. The start of a title defense. The start of baseball once again. It’s a day to be enjoyed.

I just hate spring training

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Who Will FOX Point all Their Cameras on Now?

As with many of us, I met yesterday’s news with bittersweet emotions.

On the one hand, I was glad that there will only be one more year for an overrated has-been to monopolize baseball broadcasts.

On the other hand, this will be one more year where he won’t just monopolize them…he will completely overtake them.

How am I supposed to make it through the season?

My initial reaction to the announcement was puzzlement. I mean, it’s Derek Jeter right? Isn’t he supposed to be this team guy? Even though he has hurt the team over and over by not shifting away from shortstop, he’s supposed to be all about the team. Right?

Then why did he just set up the “Year of Derek Jeter?” He even did it just in time for pitchers and catchers to be reporting for teams. That way every initial interview of every player on every team can include a question about Derek Jeter. Sounds like a “me” guy to me.

I’m trying to guess how much his timing hurts the Yankees. Would the Yankees have signed someone like Jhonny Peralta as his heir apparent if they had known three months ago? It will be interesting to see if this affects Stephen Drew at all. Is he now worth a three year deal to the Yanks…one at third, and then two at short?

Although, I suppose, the timing won’t hurt the Yankees as much as having to play him in 2014. And, they certainly can’t monkey around with him now. Can’t let the great Derek Jeter DH in his ceremonial season. He’s going to have to be at shortstop every inning of every game. Ouch. Makes you wonder what happens if he hurts himself. No, nothing major. But, do you rest him for ten days with a nagging hammy during his swan song? Who makes that call?

Just thinking about the season makes me frustrated. I’m supposed to be excited about the Red Sox starting up. This should be a fun year as the Red Sox are the World Champions. There’s a ring ceremony to look forward to after all. Instead I have to deal with people asking me if I’m going to cheer Jeter when he comes to Fenway. I have Yankees fans insisting that “even Red Sox fans” should respect Jeter. (I still don’t get the constant need Yankee fans have to force everyone else to like their players. I don’t care if Angels fans like Dustin Pedroia or not) I have people on twitter calling Jeter the best shortstop ever. I’m exhausted by it. And it’s only been one day.

I can’t wait until it’s over.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Do the Red Sox Need Stephen Drew?


Well, that was easy. What else do you want to talk about?

OK. So maybe we should get into this a little bit more.

There has been a lot of discussion about Mr. Drew lately. Some have started to suggest that him coming back to Boston is a likely scenario. Some even saying it’s something that should happen. Some are actually even suggesting the Sox should sign him to a two-year deal.


Wasn’t Drew on the team on a one year deal last season so he could be tossed aside to make room for the kids in 2014? What happened to that plan? Suddenly there’s a problem with starting three rookies? Why wasn’t that a problem when the plan was set in motion last season? What changed?

Don’t get me wrong. I still believe in proven stars over potential. But, we’re not talking about proven stars. We’re talking about Stephen Drew.

And, I suppose, Jacoby Ellsbury.

As it stands, the Sox will have, basically, a rookie as their Opening Day starter at three positions. Bradley Jr. in center, Bogaerts at short, and Middlebrooks at third. That’s a third of the line-up. I’ll agree that it’s a lot to expect those three to come in and be stars right away. Even Bogaerts who pretty much everyone agrees is a stud. There is bound to be an adjustment period. Much like Middlebrooks last year. So, to assume those three rookies will lead the team is crazy.

Luckily, that’s not what the Sox are asking.

Last year the third base bag was manned by a combination of players made up of the likes of Middlebrooks, and Brock Holt, and Jose Iglesias. Even a little Pedro Ciriaco. No. I didn’t see the name “Mike Schmidt” in that list either. Even with his up and down year, in the 100 games or so Middlebrooks was with the Sox, he played at about the level of the rest of the people on the list. Are we making a huge leap of faith to expect that out of him again? Don’t think so. What is the big fear about handing the job to Will as a youngster? That he won’t be as good as Brock Holt?

Same thing at short. Sure, it’s a risk to give the job to a rookie. But, as good as Drew was, he wasn’t Nomar or anything. I think “Drew Numbers” are a pretty reasonable expectation for Bogaerts this season. Sure, some pitchers will be able to figure out some of his weaknesses. But, his plate discipline will always help him to be at least “pretty good.” The Sox aren’t expecting him to hit third in the order or anything. Drew certainly never did. So, even though we don’t know what to expect from him, I don’t need his ceiling this year. I think the floor is good enough.

The only real dip is in center where Ellsbury was worth about six wins according to baseball-reference, third on the team. That’s, obviously, not something to reasonably expect Jackie Bradley to duplicate. Sure, if you saw more of Nava and Gomes, that would help spread out the effect. But, those wins will still be out there.

What about if they give 3B to Bogaerts? Then they could add Drew and his three wins to also help offset for Ellsbury. In theory Drew/Bogaerts on the left side would be three wins better than Bogaerts/Middlebrooks?

But, that’s all dealing with the lowest expectations. It’s possible that Bogaerts could make up those six wins on his own. Or, maybe four. Or, Middlebrooks could grab one or two. Doesn’t it make the most sense to wait and see? Isn’t it a reasonable risk to take at this point?

Again, we’re not expecting stardom from any of the kids. I expect decency. Anything more than that, and the Sox are cruising again. I’m OK with that risk.

So, the Sox don’t need Stephen Drew.

Monday, February 10, 2014

From the Pedro Binder

1998 Collectors Choice Silver

Collector’s Choice cards are supposed to be fun. They don’t take themselves as seriously as the real, premium, Upper Deck cards. They’re a little bit more whimsical. Which is nice. I like some whimsy in my collection.

You can see that in the design. There are some sweeping lines in there, just for fun. Some color graphics. This card happens to be the silver version, so the borders don’t allow the colors to pop as well as a white border would. But, it’s still a lot of fun.

There’s one thing that bothers me with this card, though.

No, it’s not the design. After all, it has the player’s name easy to read in the lower right corner. Perfect. There’s a team logo, and a position. That’s just great.

It’s not the picture, either. Sure, it’s obviously a studio shot. But, this was Pedro’s first year with the Sox. I think I’d prefer a nice studio shot over a photoshopped picture. And, this is a nice studio shot. For me, it works.

No, what bothers me is the bizarre All-Star logo in the upper right. It proudly declares that Pedro is a member of the 1997 CC All-Stars for the NL. I’m assuming that the “S” stands for “starter.” While that’s odd, since I assume that everyone on the team was a starter as opposed to a bench player, it’s not the problem. For some reason, the fact that Pedro’s on the NL team bothers me. This is a Red Sox card, celebrating his NL accomplishment. It seems like there’s a mismatch there.

Now, I’ll be honest, I’m not sure what I’d want Upper Deck to do about this problem. Since it’s their own all-star team, they could have just left Pedro off. It’s not like they were documenting something with their cards. Just pick a starter who was in the NL in 1997 and 1998. It would have seemed a bit odd to ignore the Cy Young winner, though. They could have put him on the AL team. But, to be fair, he wasn’t in the AL in 1997. They could have just left off the NL. Then, he’d still be celebrated…but not with an odd looking designation.

Or, I suppose, they could just count of the fact that most people aren’t as odd as I am, and wouldn’t care that it said NL on a Red Sox card.

It just seems weird to me.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

We Have a Winner!

First, as I always do, I want to send out a big “Thank You!” to everyone who sent in pictures for the contest. Without those entries, this wouldn’t be as much fun.

With that, I’d like to give a hearty “Congratulations!” to the winner, Bryanne! It was definitely well deserved!

You may have noticed that Bryanne is a frequent picture contributor to the blog. She has even been the runner up in the scavenger hunt at least once. She put that frequent photo taking to good use in this contest.

As I’ve mentioned several times, these items can often be found without using new photos. Such is the case with the picture shown here. You’ve seen it before, as it’s been a “pic from 36” for a while now. But, Bryanne was able to use it to “find” several items. How many do you see?

In fact, I’m not sure if Bryanne needed to take any “new” pictures at all in order to win. She may have had the lead just by counting pictures she had saved on her camera…or wherever she saves all her pictures. Like I’ve said, this contest is supposed to be more fun, than hard.

So, please help me in congratulating Bryanne for her prestigious win! It was hard-earned, and well deserved. And let this be a lesson to all of you to take lots of pictures this season. You never know which picture will contain an item for next year’s Scavenger Hunt!

Congratulations Bryanne!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

One Day Left!

That’s right all you slackers. Tomorrow is the deadline for the 2013 Section 36 Scavenger Hunt!

Let’s be honest. It’s “throw something together” time. As I’ve mentioned, though, even if you’re just cramming something together at the end, you can still put together one heck of an entry.

For instance, one of the items is a “homemade “I’d Rather be in Section 36” t-shirt. Does it say, “really well made”? No, it does not. You have a t-shirt, I assume. You have a sharpie, I assume. You have one minute, I assume. Bingo. You have an entry. (This one has the added benefit that you can wear that shirt over and over and submit pictures of yourself in various places.) Don’t want to ruin a shirt? Did I say the shirt had to be permanent? I did not. Did I say you couldn’t use scotch tape or safety pins? I did not.

Some of the items can be found just by scrolling through old photos. Sure, for some of you that could be quite an effort. But, really that shouldn’t take too long. And, remember to read the items. For instance, one of the items is “Red Sox player.” Does it say, “prominently featured Red Sox player”? Nope. So, did you take your picture at a game? Any chance there was a Red Sox player somewhere in the background as you took it? I bet there’s a good chance. Bingo.

One of the items is a “used” Section 36 scorecard. I don’t see anywhere where it says how it needs to be used…

What is the definition of a paperweight?

Or a coaster?

See? I told you it wasn’t hard. So, take tonight, and just get those entries completed and pictures sent over to me. E-mail is fine (section36 at gmail) or tweet them out to me (@Section_36).

Take those pictures!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

My First 2014 Topps Cards!

The beginning of a new year means many things. Time to make resolutions. Time to work on the Scavenger Hunt. Time to get ready for baseball. One great way to get ready is to open the new Topps cards when they come out. It’s an exciting step on the way towards summer.

I finally found some 2014 Topps cards at my local Target, and grabbed a blaster. How did that work out for me?

I started off with the pack containing the “exclusive patch card.” I haven’t decided how I feel about these manufactured patch cards yet. Sure, they’re something different to collect. But I buy a pack of baseball cards in order to get baseball cards, not patches. Plus, they’re not the authentic patches I’ve said that I prefer. They’re just something that Topps came up with. So, I suppose I tolerate them, but don’t chase them down. In this case, I got this one…

Lookie there. The first card I get from the first thing I open in 2014 is a Red Sox. The card is nice enough. I actually like the whimsical Wally patch. I might even put the card out on display on a shelf somewhere. If I’m going to get an insert that I only tolerate, it’s great that it was a Sox.

The next Red Sox card that came up was this Target red bordered Mike Carp. As a team collector, the parallels like the Target reds are a little annoying. I don’t like the look of the same card over and over in a binder. (Although, the red borders happen to work well with the Red Sox.) But, as someone who tries to sell off non-Red Sox cards in order to subsidize the Red Sox ones, I like them. If I can get two different Mike Trouts in one pack, it helps add to the star content.

Next up came this Clay Buchholz. Hopefully we’ll get big things from Mr Buchholz this season. I guess this is as good a time as any to discuss the base card design this year. Works for me. It has the player’s name, team, and position. As usual, Topps makes the team logos as big as humanly possible to show off the fact that they can use them. One of these days Topps will stop putting the player’s name in foil. I long for the day when I can actually read the name without tilting the card 100 times to get the perfect angle. Artistically, the wave at the bottom probably contrasts with the angular design on the side. But, I’m not an artist. It’s not so obnoxious that it bothers me, so I’m happy.

Next comes Jake Pevy and his close cropped card. Actually, lots of the cards this year seem to be tightly cropped. In this case, I think it gives a perfect look into Peavy’s intensity. It also clearly shows off the Red Sox uniform, which is great.

Next came this “Upper Class” insert card of Wade Boggs. This card apparently celebrates Boggs’ membership in a great 1982 rookie class. It’s a very simple portrait cart, with very little thought put into the design. It’s filler if I’ve ever seen it.

Finally we get to Dustin Pedroia. As usual, Pedroia has made sure his uniform is dirty so people will think he hustles. I wonder if he got to pick out this picture himself. Looking at the picture, something seems off. I can’t put my finger on it, but it almost looks photoshopped. The richness of the colors aren’t there. But, obviously, there’s no reason Topps would need to photoshop a Pedroia picture. Unless they added the dirt.

Overall, not a bad start to the 2014 collecting year at all. Six Red Sox cards, including two inserts, and a parallel. As always, opening the first pack of the year doesn’t help quench my thirst for Red Sox cards.

It just makes me thirstier for the rest of them.

What people are reading this week