Saturday, June 29, 2013

Super Hot Trades for a Super Hot Day

Hey everybody,

My team got absolutely shellacked last night! I mean, those dang Phillies just ran roughshod, and then scored some more.  Final score:16 -1.  *Sheesh*

Putting that aside, let's spend a little time checking out some super cool cards on a super hot summer's day out here in L.A.  I'm glad to be inside with my jerry-rigged window air-con, hoping all y'all out there are staying cool today as well. 

First up is a trade with Scott Orphan.  Scott sent over some great cards and a nifty team Dodgers package from early 90's Stadium Club.

 Leading off with a great art card of Raul "Puig" Mondesi.  Apparently he's exploding some unlucky baseball while vacationing (in uniform) on some exotic island with bizarre lines of perspective.

Piazza in a sepia-toned shot. I believe he made this same face during one game when he took a foul ball into his groin, proving catchers should wear a cup for EVERY game. 

 Hideo Nomo bringin it on fimsy cardboard stock with remarkably nice gold lettering.

 I'm digging this RC of Dodgers reliever Paco Rodriguez.  Paco is from Florida and hails from Cuban stock.  I would imagine Puig and he have become friends.

I remember trying to complete this insert set way back when.  The checklist was full of 90's stars.  I don't remember the list now, but it probably reads like a rouges gallery of PED-enhanced rouges.

Topping off the package was this sealed team package of Dodgers from 1993 Stadium Club. The top didn't scan well because it was sitting high and away from the scanner glass.

I'm tempted to open this up and check out all the cards, but I won't for now because I just want to keep it all intact for a while.  Here's the checklist.

I can't wait to open it later and get a look at the Daryl Strawberry and Pedro Martinez cards inside.

The second trade is from another reader, Zippy Zappy, based out there in New Yawk.  I was under the impression Zippy was just going to send 4 cards over in a PWE, which would have been fine enough, but what arrived was a bubble envelope with a stack of cards.  Here's a few highlights from the stack...

I dig the shiny, chromy in this card of my favorite L.A. Dodger shortstop.  Here's Raffi turning two against against the evil ones, in their house. Sweet.

Give a little and get a little.  After sending some Kemps over to Nick at Dime Boxes, I've started to receive more Kemps to restock my collection.  The latest is this golden Bison parallel.


 I'm very happy to get my first 2013 Gypsy Queen Dodger.  On top of that, it's an excellent shot of our rock steady backstop.

Also among the firsts is this, my first Topps Marquee.  These cards are very nice, indeed.  Substantial cardstock, great photo with colors that just pop right off the card.  Very nice.

But speaking of firsts, the cards below are what Zippy first opened our trade talks with.  Presenting awesome Dodgers 2012 Topps and Sega CardGen cards from Japan!!!  Check 'em out !!!

Here's what the backs look like...

Zippy Zappy and Stealing Home will not be stopped by Japanese writing.  ZZ really went the extra km and translated the backs for me.  Here's a portion:

 How cool is that?  Thanks for translating, ZZ.  Finishing out with 2 more...

 The Dodger's new/old/new/shoulda-been-closer all along.

And finally, this awesome card featuring the Bison in old-time Dodger blues.  Sweet card.

Sweet cards all, gents.  Thanks for the trades, Scott and Zippy Zappy.

THANKS for reading, everybody!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Say What?

So it's been going around the blogs, tweetosphere and other assorted sportswriter and fan's habitats that Brandon League, the broken - but far from broke - $22.5m, former Dodger closer, won't be pitching in any more "stressful" innings;  this according to manager Damn Mattingly.

I've got news for you, skipper.

Victor Decolongon / Getty Images

EVERY fricken' inning this guy pitches is stressful!

There.  Now go out and prove me wrong, League.  Please.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

A Request, A Hootiful Trade, And A Fistful Of Awesome Cardboard!

Hey everybody,

I thought I was gonna just sit back and soak in the glory that is tonight's domination of Kid Kershaw over the frisco gang.  Well, I managed to do it for 7 innings before I couldn't resist the urge to jump online and see what's happ'ning in the blogoworlds.  BTW, it's currently the bottom of the 7th, and Kershaw still looks strong, ahead of the giants by a score of 4-2. (Update: 9th inning.  Kershaw pulled. Closer Jansen in. Update 2: DODGERS WIN !!!  We sweep them bums from the bay! YAHOOO!!!)

Well, in my blog travels I came across a request from Brian over at Play At The Plate.  It seems Mrs. PATP underwent surgery, and Brian is sitting in the hospital with lots of time on his hands.  He asked us to write some more posts so he can pass the time reading.  Well, I'm not sure Brian meant to include my rantings as "writing", but that's what he's gonna get, cuz that's how we roll out here in blogolandia.

Since I'm trying to do a humble but nice thing here - I figured I'd post up about another nice thing - a  grand package o' Dodger cards that recently arrived from the Dodgers' biggest fan on the east coast, the venerable Night Owl.  Yeah, this package was grand; it was chock-fulla Dodgers cards that were nearly all new for me.  Furthermore, it contained some real cardboard jewels.

This package had so many cool cards in it, that I was having a very hard time settling on a top nine to present, so Brian provided me with an answer.  He requested some viewing and reading fodder, so let's go ahead and check out a whole lotta cards.

Starting off with a beautiful, shiny card from another one of those guys I just can't have too many cards of,  another venerable soul, Hideo Nomo.  I love the way Nomo's eyes peek out at you over his shoulder.  I also love the understated but great die-cut design. 

 Speaking of outstanding Dodger pitchers from the past, on outstanding hunks of cardboard...presenting a motion card of Bulldog Hershiser.  Very cool!

 Not every pitcher is great.  Here's the vastly overrated, first Korean pitcher the Dodgers ever had.  The Texas Rangers threw an incredible amount of money at this guy, and I was glad to see him go.  How about that green LA cap.  This must be a Spring Training Saint Patty's Day game.

 Back to pitchers worth their mettle.  As good ol' Night Owl mentioned the other day, Greinke was also a mystery to me before he came over to the Dodgers.  I knew he put up decent numbers with his past teams, but that was about it.

This season Greinke has really shown himself to be not only a great pitcher, but a great teammate.  Even though he had his collarbone broken early in the season by that punk from San Diego, he got right back on the mound and defended his teammates by returning the favor after Yasiel Puig was hit by the Diamondbacks.  Greinke got some grit!

Lookit these swell old-time Dodgers from Swell.  These are my first cards from Swell.  How does N.O. know exactly what cards to send?  It's cuz he's swell!  (See what you get when I write a post that I hadn't planned on writing, Brian?)

 Here comes the Bison!  I totally dig this die-cut!   I know most bloggers out there ship their Dodger finds out to the Owl, and why not?  He earns them with his mastery of blogademia.  The nice thing is, us other Dodger bloggers get to benefit when the Owl ships his extras out to us.   This is one time I'm happy to catch sloppy seconds.

Another Nomo.  This card is great because
A. It's new for me, and
B. It's a checklist, but it commemorates Nomo's No-No against the Rockies.  An awesome game that I had the privilege of watching on TV.

 Night Owl really knows how to put a package together.  He sent a variety of sets from a variety of eras, and - he sent a variety of cardboard media.  Here we have a sticker with a frame of happy floating knockout stars.  Hey, Ana Lu, check out the mini dust that Saxy is kicking up in Wrigley, the home of the Cubs!

 My second Panini card, first one of Jackie.  Awesome card, in spite of it feeling like it cramped Jackie a bit around the head.  

 Absolutely cannot have too many cards commemorating this moment.  I've now got one more to add to the collection. 

Mike Piazza used to be my favorite Dodger catcher of all time.  Lately that's been lessening with his declarations that he would never enter the Hall of Fame wearing a Dodgers cap.  Hmm....

 I remember buying packs of this product back in day trying to pull a Dodger auto, any Dodger.  Well, it took more than a decade, but I finally got...any Dodger.
 How about this card?  EK sporting an awful goatee.  I absolutely don't remember him going through this phase.

 Vintage Dodger goodness !  YEAHHH !!! Thanks Night Owl !! Awesome card. 

 I remember the Dodgers P.A. guy used to announce World Series MVP Pedro as "Payyy - Droohhhh  Goo - Rare - Ohhhhhh !"  Loved it.

 Mondy here looks like he's gonna pop this one up, but it's a great shot, nonetheless.  Raul here is the guy I was most comparing the Dodger's young phenom Yasiel Puig to.  From the small slice of Puig I've seen so far, he's going to be well beyond "El Canon" Mondesi. 

 Yet even more vintage Dodger gold.  This is a great card featuring the King of all Unibrows.  Wally here is more than a funny tagline about facial hair, however.

In Dodger lore, he was known for launching massive home run shots over the short left field wall at the Coliseum, where the Dodgers played before moving into Dodger Stadium in 1962.  The Colesium's left field wall was a short 250 feet from home, but there was a 42 foot high net that had to be cleared in order to hit a home run to left.  Wally mastered it, and his massive home run blasts became known as "Moonshots".

 Here's the hottest Dodger hitter these days.  No, it's not Puig, it's Hanley.  This is my first card of Ramirez as a Dodger, and it's a great one. 

Closing is the all-time Dodger favorite that N.O. and I share, the Penguin.  It certainly was action packed when Cey was in the line up, and he was no slouch with the glove.  Cey anchored the hot corner in the days of "The Infield".  I have a suprisingly small collection of Cey cards considering he's my favorite, but that number just jumped up by one.

THANKS for the great cards, Night Owl.  What a great package that was.  And there are still a whole load of cards I didn't show.  Wow.

Thanks for reading, everyone! 

I Knew It...

                                     Matt "I'm Back!" Kemp saves the game.                         Photo:Victor Decolongon

Sometimes when I write a post about the Dodgers that one might call "less than positive", the Boys just turn around and do something (almost immediately) to make me want to eat my words.

I first noticed it back in early May when the Bison was struggling and I wrote a post urging Damn Mattingly to quit batting Kemp third or fourth because Kemp's performance just didn't merit a primo batting spot in the order.

No sooner did I write that piece then we all found out about the Bison's touching gesture of generosity and Dodgers Love toward San Francisco-based Dodgers fan, Joshua Jones.

While that wonderful gesture on Kemp's part didn't earn us any advantage in the standings, I felt a little like a heel for knocking a guy with as big of a heart as Bison clearly has.

The latest Dodgers turnaround happened immediately after my post calling out the squad as  "Bums".  

To tell the truth, as I was writing that "Bums" post, I felt the Dodgers would probably go on a winning streak and again make me chew on some crow.  I didn't mention it in the post, because I didn't want to jinx the possibility.  I really wanted it to happen.  And happen it did.

Immediately after I called out the Boys in a harsh way I had not done ALL SEASON LONG, they immediately went on a tear like we haven't seen ALL SEASON LONG.

The Dodgers have now won four in a row.  That's their longest winning streak of 2013.  Believe me, non-Dodger fans, THAT is quite an accomplishment for this team.  Heck, we hit our first back-to-back (H. Ramirez and A. Gonzalez) homers of the season - first of the season! - just this weekend.

Ramirez is red hot at the plate (homering again tonight), "El Jaguar" Gonzalez is rocking steady as ever, the starting pitchers are doing very well, the Bison is back, and the newly stocked batting order put up six runs tonight.

Looking at tomorrow, we've got Ace Kershaw pitching at home with everyone in L.A. thinking "Sweep!" over the evil ones.  I'll sleep well tonight.

Maybe I should write a post about Brandon League. 

Saturday, June 22, 2013

The 239 Million Dollar Question

After a 25-year absence from the World Series, it might well be easy from time to time for a casual Dodger fan to declare the team to be terrible and simply walk away, but I'm no casual Dodger fan.

I was born in the shadow of Dodger Stadium.  I've lived my entire life in the Los Angeles area, and I've been a down home, never-say-die, bleedin' Dodger Blue fan ever since I can remember.  If I could have managed it, I would have been born wearing a Dodgers cap.

My life philosophy has been to always live within easy driving distance of Dodger Stadium, and my family knows that when I go, my final wish is to have my ashes strewn over the green, rolling Elysian Park hills that overlook the stadium beyond the outfield walls, so that every summer I'll have the best seat in the house to watch my beloved Boys in Blue.

I've seen my share of bad Dodger teams, and I have 2 sons, the oldest 21, who have only seen their favorite team play in the World Series through videotape.  The Dodgers in the Fall Classic is only a legend to them.  That said, year in and year out, I've never really given up on a team or a season.  I've always supported the Boys and felt, like that brave and wonderful 5th grade Dodger fan in giants country, Casey Johnstone, that win or lose, they're my team, dang it, and "Let's Go, Dodgers!"

But this season - this awful, appalling and horrific season is really something special.

There were Dodger teams in the past that we sort of expected to be bad, and there were teams with the assorted bum sprinkled within.  But this 2013 squad, this $239 million team that was supposed to make a serious run at winning it all, is the definition of dreadful.  They have truly made it painful to watch their games.  Half the guys seem to be sleepwalking, and the other half are just incapable of bringing forth talent they clearly don't possess.  Far too often it seems they themselves don't believe they can win.  I don't think I've ever felt quite like this before. 


This guy, that's who.  He's so bumtastic that he gets shown twice.  Can the Dodgers please stop signing pitchers with  these ridiculous tattoo arm sleeves?  Ronaldo Belisario has sleeve tattoos as well. I'm starting to see a disturbing pattern. 

Here comes another bullpen bum...

No tattoos...but there's plenty of bumtacity running up and down this guy's pitching arm.  And take off Bulldog Hershiser's number, ya bum!

This team's bummitis runs deep.  It's not just on the pitchers, we've got guys that stink at the plate as well....


While almost everyone around him has been injured, Dre here has had no such excuse.  After signing a huge contract, and being the last man standing of the Dodger veterans, Ethier had a chance to step up and show us all what he's made of.  Apparently, he's made of bummerite.  I showed him without a bat, since he really hasn't had one all season long.


I managed to resist the urge to openly call for Damn Mattingly's head most of this season, but he leaves me no choice!  This guy is a bumalicious field manager.

Just a couple of Mattingly's unexplainable, unexcusable recent game decisions: 

A tie game on the line with 2 outs and RISP, both Ellis' and Hanley Ramirez on the bench available to pinch hit, and you let Luis "I only Pop up or Strike out" Cruz bat ???????  With the game on the line?? REALLY?????????????  Result: Cruz strikes out. Dodgers never rally again. We lose.

A tie game on the line in the 7th, with Paco and Howell in the bullpen, and you bring in the aforementioned, proven Bum Guerrier????????????   REALLLYYYYY????????????  Result: Guerrier immediately gives up 2 runs.  Dodgers never recover.  We lose.

Final nail in the coffin.  In a recent interview about the Dodgers - Padres rivalry, Mattingly denied any bad blood between the teams.  He was then   asked if any teams do inspire those deep emotional feelings for the Dodgers.  His answer:  The Red Sox.  REALLY ????????????   Not the guys up north wearing Halloween colors?   The Boston Red Sox ???????????   Fire the bum!


Ned Colletti, Dodgers G.M.  Here's the guy who not only assembled this year's collection of Bums 'R' Us, but he's been bringing over a steady stream of overpaid and over-the-hill bumfection to drag my beloved team down for years. 


"If they would just let my guys juice up."

I never thought I would call my team "bums" in any other than that loveable and nostalgic Brooklyn Dodger way, but these guys have earned it.

THANKS for reading! 

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Trade Me (Almost) Anything: Damn Yankees

Hey Everybody,

The Dodgers are playing a double header out in da Bronx today, so here's some Yanks up for trade.

I'm happy to say I just completed a first-ever trade with reader Zippy Zappy, living out in N.Y. right before this series, so he got first dibs on the Yankees I was planning to post here.  That said, here's hoping you're going to like this trade bait.  

BTW, Z.Z. is sending out some awesome Dodger cards that I've never seen before.  I can't wait to check 'em out and post 'em up for you all to see.

Here's how it works In each post I'll offer cards from one particular ballclub.  I'm starting the offer at 9 cards, since 9 is what fits onto my scanner plate, and I can comfortably shoot 9 cards to you in a PWE. 

What do I want in return?  I'll accept whatever and however many cards you want to shoot back. It doesn't have to be 9 cards in return and they don't have to be all Dodgers.  My only request is you check out my "What I collect" or "Sets I'm chasing" pages here and use them as guides.

Once again, you don't have to match me for numbers of cards or perceived monetary value.  Say I send you 9 cards and you send me 1insert or vintage card.  Cool!

The intent here is simply to  TRADE, BABY, TRADE!

First up is a guy who was backstop for both teams, and now plays for neither...

Hows about a couple of oldie but goodie Yanks...

Presenting Mr. Olden and Mr. Gooden

How's about even older and... goodier...

Here's Mickey Mantles' old drinkin' buddy.


 THANKS for reading, everybody!