Monday, July 21, 2008

Final totals... thus far

Well, I figured I should post a final checklist. Twenty years after I started, I have 446 of the 660 cards in the set.

I'm debating where I want to go from here. Will it be worth it to pick up a second box? I really don't know. How many of these cards are out there to be had outside of boxes? Is it worth my time looking through the online trading sites for the 214 cards I'm missing? Especially when the cost of shipping one card will be four times what the card is most likely worth.

Here is my current checklist (.doc file). If you can help me out here let me know. I don't know what I can give in return, but I'll see what I can come up with... I've got a growing stack of 1987 Topps sitting next to me that I could part ways with.

If anyone else is looking for 1988 Score, let me know, I've got several hundred doubles in my commons box now. I'll try to get a list of those up within several days.

I've started a new site to clean up a few things that I started here and to expand on my thoughts on baseball cards in general. It'll be slow going, but hopefully better in the long run. Maybe at some point, I'll move all of this over there.

Baseball Card Projects


Thursday, July 17, 2008

One... what a way to end it.

Pack 36 (+0)
(duplicates are indicated by bold text)
95 Rob Deer
110 Roger Clemens
2 Wade Boggs
220 Mike Easler
112 Ken Williams
128 Tim Teufel
240 Tommy John
245 Ken Oberkfell
260 Sid Bream
347 Andy Hawkins
353 John Habyan
367 Stan Javier
550 Cal Ripken, Jr.
442 Gerald Young
612 Shawn Hillegas
617 Dave Engle
614 Eric Plunk

Isn't this a wonderful way to end the box? I'd hoped for 450 cards out of the set, but fell short at 446. Overall I'm happy with the way the box turned out, and I will be picking up a second box pretty soon. I got bogged down with all the doubles over the past several weeks and because of that my writing here slowed down. Now that the box is finished, I can take a bit of time away from this site and open my other box of '87 Topps. Then when I have a second box of '87 Score, I'll come back here and try to finish the set.

While opening the box of '87 Topps, for anyone that's interested, I'll keep the completion percentage updated.

But before I go, I give you this, the box bottom cards from 1988 Score. It's an 18 "card" set commemorating the 1987 All Star game.


Pack 35 (+8)
8 Jesse Barfield
12 Ozzie Smith
103 Dave Schmidt

147 Franklin Stubbs
153 Tim Laudner
167 Ed Whitson
319 Rick Mahler
321 Mariano Duncan
358 Tom Pagnozzi
362 Domingo Ramos
378 Leon Durham
467 Jerry Mumphrey
473 Darren Daulton
487 Tony Armas

655 Juan Nieves – '87 Highlights
660 Paul Molitor – '87 Highlights
652 Vince Coleman – '87 Highlights

With this pack I completed the '87 Highlights subset, which is the last nine cards of the set.

First up is Juan Nieves, he pitched the first, and only, no-hitter in Brewers history in 1987 as a 22 year old. An arm injury ended his career after the 1988 season. These days he's the bullpen coach for the White Sox.

Next we have Vince Coleman. 1987 marks his fourth consecutive 100+ stolen base season. Good for him. I'm no fan of Coleman, for obvious reasons, but I think it's interesting that his two cards in this set are nearly identical.

The Highlights card clearly shows him stealing second base on the pitcher's move to the plate. But I'm not so sure what he's looking at in the regular card. He's wearing batting gloves, which would lead me to believe he's running to first on a hit, but where's he looking? If he's trying to bunt for a hit he needs to be looking towards first base, not at the camera man.

Finally, in 1987 Paul Molitor hit safely in 39 consecutive games. While he was several hits shy of DiMaggio's record, Molitor's is the 7th longest hitting streak in MLB history.


Last three. Here we go.

Pack 34 (+6)
2 Wade Boggs
95 Rob Deer
110 Roger Clemens

220 Mike Easler
112 Ken Williams
225 Steve Garvey
240 Tommy John
245 Ken Oberkfell
333 Rupert Jones
347 Andy Hawkins
353 John Habyan
535 John Franco
550 Cal Ripken, Jr.
442 Gerald Young

612 Shawn Hillegas
617 Dave Engle
614 Eric Plunk

Another low numbered card that I needed in Wade Boggs, but nothing else really to talk about.

Monday, July 14, 2008

T minus Four... pack 33

Lots of doubles here, but a few rookies and others of note.

Pack 33 +7
(duplicates are indicated by bold text)
3 Tim Raines
17 Dave Parker
23 Pat Tabler
156 Mike Heath
164 Ken Caminiti
316 Rafael Santana
324 Dan Gladden
221 Kurt Stillwell
367 Stan Javier
373 Geno Petralli
387 Barry Lyons
478 Jeff Musselman
482 Gary Roenicke
498 Jeff Dedmon

645 Greg Jefferies – Rookie Prospect
648 Rookie Sluggers (McGwire, Nokes)
643 Vicente Palacios – Rookie Prospect

We're now 432 cards into the 660 card set with three packs to go. It's been slowing down considerably of late, but with one box I think I'm fairly pleased with the progress. Unfortunately, I've forgotten how many cards of the set I started out with from opening packs 20 years ago, but I think it's safe to assume that most of them have been replaced by this point. I'll come up with that number and try to get some actual percentages up tomorrow when I compile all the sorting of doubles I did tonight.

But as a rough estimate, I'd imagine that upwards of 70% of this box is going towards the set. Not too bad I don't think. But like I said, hopefully I'll have those numbers tomorrow.

Anyway, on to the cards. (Blogger isn't being friendly with pictures tonight, so I'll get those up tomorrow, they're all scanned and ready to go.)

I'll start this one off with a sad note. Ken Caminiti. He was a steroid user, well all know that. He admitted to using during his 1996 MVP season, and for several seasons after. What he did was wrong, what he did tarnished the game of baseball and his legacy. But, and while it doesn't change the facts or grant him automatic forgiveness, he did come clean.

If you look at his years with San Diego, it's immediately noticable that something was different. Of his 239 career home runs, more than half were hit while in a Padres uniform between 1995 and his return to Houston in 1999.

Looking at the numbers, before his move to San Diego, he was an average player. Fairly solid at third, and showed some potential at the plate, but never hit for much of an average. How many people actually paid attention to Ken Caminiti before his first All Star appearance in 1994? Not many.

1995 was one of those "where did this guy come from" kind of years, that led into his MVP performance in 96 where he did put up some pretty incredible numbers, .326 avg, .408 OBP and he slugged .621, with 40HR and 130RBIs. But those numbers were so out of line with anything he'd done in the past and anything he'd do in the future.

In '96 he beat out Piazza and Ellis Burks for the MVP, when by the numbers Burks had the better season.

Moving beyond what he did wrong, he wasn't a bad player. He was tough and played a good thirdbase, winning three gold gloves.

In 1988 Ken played in only 30 games for the Astros, after spending a little more time (63 games) with the team in '87. He finally stuck at third in 1989.

He died in 2004 at the age of 41.

Up next we've got the rookies.

Vicente Palacios put up some good numbers in the minors, but never really caught on in the Majors until 1991. He had four pretty good seasons with the Pirates and Cardinals as a middle reliever and spot starter. He started 17 games in 1994, posting a 3 - 8 record while striking out 95.

He attempted a comeback in the very late 90s, but spent the 99 and 2000 seasons mostly in limbo before appearing in seven games for San Diego in 2000.

Next we have a young Gregg Jefferies. He was only 19 years old when he made his major league debut in 1987 with the Mets. While he never really turned into the player New York hoped he would, life after the Mets was a little better for Jefferies. He posted good numbers through out his career and made All Star appearances in '93 and '94.

He ended his career with a very respectable .289 batting average in 1465 games over 14 seasons.

And finally, we have Mark McGwire and Matt Nokes. This card celebrates their impressive rookie years. We all know what McGwire did in '87 and what he did throughout his career, so we'll skip that. Matt Nokes' rookie year was by far his most productive.

In 1987 Nokes won the Silver Slugger and a trip to the All Star game. His numbers never again reflected the potential (or was it a fluke) he showed in '87. Though he put up good numbers again in 1991 and '92, his RBI totals were very low considering the home runs he hit (24/77 and 22/59). You expect better run production with power numbers like those. Of course, he did play for two less than remarkable Yankee teams those years.

Well, that's it for tonight. Look for the cards tomorrow. And don't forget to watch the All Star game tomorrow night.

Justin Morneau wins it

I don't know much about Justin Morneau, but he put on a nice show and at least turned me into a bit of a fan. Josh Hamilton was impressive too, but he was tired in the final round and his swing was sloppy compared to round one.

Like I said before, I'm a fan of pitching, but for whatever reason, I can't get enough of the Home Run Derby. Did ESPN re-run all of the previous derbies this afternoon? I always enjoyed that.

88 Score talk coming up soon.

Home Run Derby and some clerical work.

Don't worry, I've got a good post in me tonight and some nice 88 Score cards to talk about. But right now I'm watching the Home Run Derby and sorting out my doubles. I plan on finding some where to post my checklist when it's all said and done, and list what I have, what I need and what I have extra of just in case there's someone else out there wanting to finish this set.

Just three more packs after we've talked about todays pack. It's almost over.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Twins? 31 & 32

Ok, this will get us caught up. No cards to talk about, but look at pack 32. Doesn't it look familiar?

Pack 31 +9
(duplicates are indicated by bold text)
85 Vance Law
100 Jack Clark
105 Don Sutton
130 Brian Fisher
135 Mike Marshall
150 Lance McCullers
294 Tony Phillips
306 Steve Buechele
314 Joe Sambito

345 Mitch Williams
360 Darryl Strawberry
365 Dave Smith
459 Pascual Perez
461 Dan Petry
570 Mark Davidson
565 Gene Garber
568 Eric Nolte

Pack 32 +0
(duplicates are indicated by bold text)
85 Vance Law
100 Jack Clark
105 Don Sutton
130 Brian Fisher
135 Mike Marshall
286 John Shelby
294 Tony Phillips
306 Steve Buechele
340 Paul Molitor
345 Mitch Williams
360 Darryl Strawberry
441 Mel Hall
459 Pascual Perez
461 Dan Petry
570 Mark Davidson
565 Gene Garber
568 Eric Nolte

These two packs are nearly identical. Very strage, and annoying.

With four pack left, I'm going to get back on track and do some writing here and then decide what's next. I'll probably pick up a second box of 88 Score and keep going until I've finished the set. So this little website won't be compeltely finished when the box is gone.

Catching up, 29 & 30

I've had a busy past several days, so while the cards are getting opened, I haven't written anything here. Mostly because these packs haven't had anything worth writing about.

Here's 29 and 30.

Pack 29 +6
(duplicates are indicated by bold text)
97 Casey Candaele
103 Dave Schmidt
8 Jesse Barfield
138 Larry Herndon
142 Herm Winningham
158 Lee Mazzilli
234 Greg Brock
246 Jimmy Jones

331 Goose Gossage
349 Earnest Riles
351 Dave Righetti
466 Steve Farr
493 Chris Speier
507 Willie Hernandez

582 Daryl Boston
590 Harold Baines
585 Bill Gullickson

Pack 30 +6
88 Alfredo Griffin
92 Cory Snyder
108 Les Straker
202 Todd Worrell
218 Calvin Schiraldi
115 Milt Thompson
223 Dave Martinez
237 Joe Niekro
243 Dave Meads
339 Mitch Williams

341 Gus Polidor
528 Atlee H ammaker
532 Joel Skinner
548 Eddie Milner
598 Ross Jones
595 Tom Candiotti
600 Fernando Valenzuela

Thursday, July 10, 2008


Pack 28 (+9)
(duplicates are indicated by bold text)
30 Mark Langston
35 Steve Sax
50 Rick Sutcliffe
175 Mike Greenwell
190 Terry Pendleton

195 Donnie Moore
237 Joe Niekro
243 Dave Meads
258 Tim Stoddard
400 Keith Hernandez
405 Glenn Wilson
420 Joey Cora
501 Reggie Jackson
519 Rick Reuschel
521 Rick Aguilera
579 Claudell Washington
576 Jim Acker

There's two of the lower than #40 cards I'm so lacking.

I had several paragraphs typed out about this card, but erased it all. I don't think too much needs to be said. The circumstances surrounding Donnie Moore's death are unfortunate and tragic. It's hard to look at any of his cards and not in some way feel sorry for the guy.

1988 was his final season.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

short one tonight.

Sorry guys, this is another short one. I haven't really been in the mood to write too much lately, I'm tired and Windows automatically updated a few hours ago and it's been trying to get me to restart incessantly so I'm going to make it happy pretty soon. I'll get some more words up tomorrow night.

Before we get to the cards, I've resigned myself to buying a second box of '88 Score. All my looking around hasn't netted me any solid information about this set, and just a lot of scattered bits and pieces. So I fully intend to try and draw some conclusions about this set and offer up as much information in one place as I can. I may make an attempt at an actual website with a scan of as many cards as possible (hopefully the full set at some point).

Don't hold me to that though, I've started a lot of litle websites over the past ten years and none of them have gone anywhere.

Pack 27
(duplicates are indicated by bold text)
86 Kal Daniels
94 Joe Magrane
106 Danny Tartabull
124 Jack Howell
136 Gerald Perry
144 Mike Jackson
296 Bill Wegman
304 Paul O’Neill
333 Rupert Jones
347 Andy Hawkins
353 John Habyan
442 Gerald Young
458 Dave Stewart
462 Jim Winn

647 Ron Gant – Rookie Prospect
642 Mackey Sasser – Rookie Prospect
650 Game Breakers (Mattingly, Clark)

A very good pack with eleven new cards added to the set. The rookie of the set, Mackey Sasser (pretty cool name), spent his career primarily as a backup catcher. He put up some pretty decent numbers though he only played 100 games in a season once. He was a career .267 hitter with 16 home runs and 156 RBIs in 534 games.

His best offensive season came in 1990, where he played in 100 games and hit .307/6HR/41RBI in 288 total PA. Not too bad for a backup, though he did commit 14 errors behind the plate.

Hopefully tomorrow I'll have some more words, and a few pictures to brighten the place up a bit.

Monday, July 7, 2008

26, All Stars and low numbers.

Here's pack 26, there's nothing here.

Pack 26 (+7)
(duplicates are indicated by bold text)
70 Tim Wallach
75 Darrell Evans
90 Bert Blyleven

185 Mike Krukow
200 Bill Ripken
205 Brian Dayett
312 Jose Nunez
328 Bill Dawley

225 Steve Garvey
424 Len Matuszek
436 Donell Nixon
333 Rupert Jones
515 Von Hayes
530 Jim Clancy
535 John Franco

615 Sid Fernandez
620 John Farrell

I've gone over this a few times, but it's really starting to irk me a bit that I'm not pulling any low numbered cards. I still can't find any printing information out there about these cards, but I'm not really sure where to look. Google doesn't seem to do much for me, and being away from the hobby for so long, I don't know if there's anywhere else I should look.

I imagine that this being a first set, the print runs were probably relatively low to guage interest and sales. But not one single digit card out of 26 packs (442 cards!) and only one out of who knows how many packs I bought back in 1988. That just doesn't seem to make a whole lot of sense to me.

We're nearing the home stretch with this thing and I don't see myself make any progress on those first 40 cards. Any ideas what's up with this?


And as I mentioned yesterday, I want to talk a bit about the All Star game.

I'm happy to see Chipper starting this year, and happy to see Brian McCann make it for a third straight year being voted in by the players. But I see the Braves all the time, and that's what I want to talk about.

The All Star game is something special because it gives fans a chance to see players they never get a chance to see play. All of that has changed a little over the past decade with Fox Sports Net and ESPN showing more games than in the past, and satellite packages that give you just about every game every day.

I'm not saying that it's a bad thing that there's so much baseball out there, it's great. But it takes a little something away from the All Star game. It's still fun to watch and it always will be, but it's just not as exciting any more.

I remember looking forward to it every year just because I'd get to see so many different players. The only baseball I got to see in the late 80's through the mid-90s was the Braves on TBS and the Saturday Game of the Week on NBC, CBS (when they bothered to show a game) and then Fox.

The All Star game is a whole lot of fun and I'm still looking forward to it, and I'll be on the couch for it week, but it won't be an all day build up of excitement.

All of this said, the only criticism I have for the All Star game is the idea that it means something. It's an exhibition game and should have no bearing on home field advantage for the World Series. What a stupid idea that was.

At some point during one of yesterday's seventeen innings, Braves announcer Joe Simpson theorized that this idea stems from the outrage of the 2002 tie. I wouldn't be surprised if he's right. But why should players from the entire league fight for one team's home field advantage?

It's a break for the players, let them play the game and let them have fun, and let us have fun watching it.

Sunday, July 6, 2008


Pack 25 (+6)
77 Dan Plesac
83 Alvin Davis

97 Casey Candaele
113 Ruben Sierra
127 Curt Wilkerson
133 Larry Andersen
281 Terry McGriff
299 Andres Thomas
301 Al Pedrique
338 Eric Show
342 Steve Trout
542 Joe Boever
447 Greg Booker
453 Rafael Belliard
656 Steve Bedrosian – '87 Highlights
653 Kirby Puckett – '87 Highlights

658 Don Mattingly – '87 Highlights

Only six cards added to the set, but it brings the total of the last three packs up to 31 of 51 possible new cards. Not as nice a pack as I'd have liked, but still not too bad all things considered.

No cards of note here, except maybe the Donnie Baseball '87 Highlights card. I've never been a big fan of Mattingly and I'm almost sorry for that. I don't like the Yankees, that's no secret. But a little part of me wants to like Mattingly.

He had a good career, but not a very long one which will probably hurt his chances for the Hall.

In 1987, Mattingly tied Dale Long's record of home runs in eight consecutive games. The record was tied again in 1993 by Ken Griffey Jr.

In other news, Braves won tonight 7 to 6 over Houston in 17 innings! The game was scheduled to begin at 1:30pm, but a nearly two hour rain delay pushed it back to 3:30. The game finally ended around 9pm. Fun game to watch.

I missed the All Star selection show, but that's ok.

Also, C.C. Sabathia is now a Brewer.

Tomorrow I want to talk a bit about the All Star game and what it means and how it relates to my interest in baseball and 1988 Score (there's a connection, at least for me there is). So tune in for that.

Don't laugh at me for this... but.

Ok, so I know a lot of people don't like 2008 Topps, but I do. I think 2008 Topps is going to be like my 1988 Score in another 20 years, it's what got me back into the hobby. So I'm going to like it because of that, but beyond that I kinda do like the design, especially the card backs.

So it seems that without intentionally trying, I'm very close to having a complete base set of 2008 Topps Opening Day. I'm lacking 30 cards and I don't care at all about the inserts or the super ultra rare bits of cloth or autographs or whatever's stuck to cards these days.

If anyone has some of the cards I need, I'm willing to send some '88 Score, '87 Topps or any other doubles I may have. If there's anything you're looking for between '88 and '94, and I've got extra, just ask. Hell, I'm even willing to send a few bucks for shipping if you've got the cards I need and I don't have anything you want.

Here's what I'm needing.

3 15 37 48
62 69 73 78 80 85 91
110 117 120 124 127 133 136
151 153 163 166 171 177 187 188 192 199
209 220

Like I said, I don't want inserts or anything special, just the base cards. If you can help out, shoot me an email or leave a comment.


Saturday, July 5, 2008

Pack 24

Pack 24 (+12)
(duplicates are indicated by bold text)
18 Eddie Murray
22 B.J. Surhoff
128 Tim Teufel
132 Tom Browning
148 Albert Hall
260 Sid Bream
265 Barry Bonds
280 Teddy Higuera
367 Stan Javier
373 Geno Petralli
387 Barry Lyons
458 Dave Stewart
462 Jim Winn
478 Jeff Musselman

611 Mike Bielecki
621 Nelson Liriano
624 Kevin Elster

Looks like we're getting back on pace here, 25 new cards in the last two packs.

A few things here of interest. First is the continued lack of low numbered cards. I was wrong when I said earlier that the lowest number I've pulled is #3, Tim Raines. I already had that card from opening packs 20 years ago. So actually, the lowest number I've pulled out of this box is #12, Ozzie Smith. And that Raines card is one of the few remaining that I haven't replaced.

I've looked around for some information on the sorting and printing of '88 Score, but can't find any. And from this one box I can't really draw any conclusions yet. With twelve packs left after this one, I could pull all the low numbered cards, but that's not too likely.

Looking at my checklist, after card number 40 or so it starts to pick up. But from numbers 1 through 39 I only have 12 cards, 30%.

Granted these first 40 cards include some of the stars of the set, so they may be a little less common than other players, but you'd think after being more than half way through the box more than a handful (and no single digit cards) would have shown up.

Is this just a weird box? Or is this how '88 Score works? At the prices you can pick these boxes up, I'm tempted to get another one just to see. Maybe this one is an oddball. Any ideas?

Now on to the cards.

1988 is a strange year. For some reason all these funny little pieces of cardboard descended from space promising Kevin Elster was going to be a super star.

Here's one and if you're lucky another one just might show up:

In all fairness, while Kevin Elster didn't pan out as the super star Score, Topps and the New York Mets hoped he would, he managed to stay in the Major Leagues for 12 injury prone seasons. He even attempted a comback in 2000. Beginning in 1988 and going into 1989 Elster played 88 consecutive errorless games at short. A record, for a while. Cal Ripken broke it in 1990 with 95 games.

Elster also put up a pretty good year in 1996 where he was relatively free from injuries and played in 157 games for Texas, batting .252/24HR/99RBI, but that was his only productive season. He never batted higher than .241 any other year of his career.

Moving on. I've been waiting for this card the entire box so far. Not because I'm a fan, but because I've been curious what my reaction to it would be and what words I'd have to say about it.

Now what do I want to say about it. It's red. It's the first red card I've featured here. It's a good looking card of a promising young player. A player who had the potential to be one of the very best the game has ever seen, but a player who let success get the better of him, a player who lost touch with the fans and a player who in my opinion didn't show a whole hell of a lot of respect to the great thing he accomplished. And in my opinion a player who should never be in the Hall of Fame, but I'm not a baseball writer so what I think as a fan doesn't really matter.

And that's all I want to say.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Turning it around?

As I write this, the Braves are up 3 - 0 over Houston in the top of the 5th.

So tonight, I've got some more Braves talk and, finally after almost a week, some '88 Score goodies worth talking about.

Since the whole point of us being here is 1988 Score, we'll start with that first.

Pack 23 (+13)
(duplicates are indicated by bold text)
63 Bob Boone
77 Dan Plesac

83 Alvin Davis
213 Mickey Brantley
118 Matt Williams
122 Brett Butler
311 Bill Schroededer
329 Paul Noce
226 Greg Mathews
426 Rafael Ramirez
434 Jack O’Connor
530 Jim Clancy
535 John Franco
454 Charlie Puleo
581 Carmen Castillo
584 John Marzano
587 Lee Tunnell

I was worried when the first two cards I pulled were doubles, but this one turned out pretty well. So well in fact that I finally managed to fill my first entire nine card Ultra Pro page. Woohoo!

Moving right along. We've got three real stars in this pack: John Franco, Matt Williams and Brett Butler.

John Franco had an extremely productive career, debuting with the Cincinnatti Reds in 1984 and hanging it up after the 2005 season with Houston. Though his career as a closer effectively ended in 1999 (he recorded only eight saves between '00 and '05) he put together 424 saves, good for fourth place all time. He struck out 975 men while walking 495, and his career ERA (2.89) was well over a run better than the league average during his career... pretty impressive.

In 1987 he went 8-5 with 32 save and a 2.52 ERA (league ERA was 4.21)

Franco was a four time All Star and two time Rolaids Relief Man of the Year.

Hall of Fame? Maybe. It's hard to tell with closers since that role has really come into its own only over the past thirty years. The numbers are there, but unlike Eckersley and (eventually) Smoltz, Franco didn't have a long career as a starter before converting to the closer. Time will tell. I certainly think he deserves a look by the writers, whether or not it ends with an eventual induction is anyone's guess.

Brett Butler was always a very solid player who never could seem to stay in one place for too long. He was a very consistant hitter and probably one of the best leadoff hitters of his generation, at least in the National League (he stole 558 bases too). Aside from his leadoff prowess, he was an exceptional center fielder, posting a .992 fielding pct. over a 17 year career.

Hall of Fame? Not a chance. I could be wrong, but I just don't think he was the caliber of player that makes it to the Hall. He was good, he was very good, but he wasn't great. He also moved around a lot more than the typical HoF'er, playing for five teams (two stints with LA) over 17 yeears.

And then there's Matt Williams. He's always been a player that I just don't know what to think of. He put up some great numbers in the '90s. Remember all the talk of breaking the record when the strike hit? Williams was sitting at 43 homers when play ended in 1994. But now we hear all of these steroid allegations and even though he says it was to overcome an injury, it still makes you look at those numbers in the '90s and wonder.

Hall of Fame? No.

And my Braves talk for the night (it's now 6 - 1 Atlanta in the top of the 8th). In a move that probably didn't make too many fans happy, but has been coming for some time now, the club optioned right fielder Jeff Francoeur to AA Mississippi. In 85 games in 2008, he's hitting .234/8HR/41RBI.

He needs this. He needs the time in a more relaxed environment to work out what's wrong with his swing. Right now the Braves say this will be at least a ten game stint with Mississippi and they expect him to be back after the All Star Break.

It must be very difficult at 24 years old to have great success and then hit a snag. But he's got plenty of time left and a few weeks in Double-A can't do anything but help.

Despite sending a fan favorite down to the minors, Bobby Coz and Frank Wren are looking out for the best interest of both Jeff Francoeur and the Atlanta Braves. I hope this helps him, because it's no fun to see Frenchie struggling.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

What's going on in Atlanta, part 2

A few words before I call it a night.

The Braves lost again, their fifth straight. I haven't been this frustrated watching Braves baseball since the '96 World Series. And honestly, this season may be even more frustrating than that.

I touched on a lot of this some days back, and I'll try not to go over and over the same points. But the problem is it's the same things that are still going wrong and will still be going wrong in another two weeks if something doesn't start to work.

The team is starting to get healthy again. Chipper, Escobar and Kotsay are all back in the line-up. There's also good things being said about Tom Glavine's progress and that he hopes to be back soon. Matt Diaz is also expected back relatively soon.

But all this good news doesn't mean anything when the team isn't performing with all its missing pieces put back into place.

What is the root of the Braves' problems this year? It isn't pitching. Sure the coveted Glavine-Smoltz combo isn't working out, but Atlanta is second in the NL with a 3.78 ERA.

Jair Jurrjens has been impressive. But he's 22 years old and can't do it all. Jo Jo Reyes has been good also.

Jurrjens gave up three home runs tonight to the first place Phillies, but otherwise pitched a good game. Therein lies the problem. Run support.

The offense isn't providing any. How many one run games have the Braves lost this year? How many games have they lost on the road? Why? Run support. If you can't push across those two vital runs on the road, you're sunk.

It's not that they're failing to hit the ball. Chipper is still batting close to .390. They're hitting the ball just fine. They're just not driving in runs. No matter how good your pitching is, if you can't score runs you can't win games. I'm honestly a little surprised that they're 40 and 46 and not worse (even though's expected W-L has them at 46-40).

No one in the division is playing the best baseball in the world. It's still a very close race. Here's what it looks like after play tonight:

National League East
Win LossGB
New York42434.5

What all this means is that right now, two weeks before the All Star break is that seven games back isn't the end of the world. But they've got to start winning, because if the Phillies decide to get hot and win fifteen of twenty, it could easily get out of the Braves' reach. But they've got to start scoring runs, and I have a feeling that I'll be saying that a lot throughout the rest of the summer.

Up next is a weekend series agasint a Houston team that isn't playing all that well either, maybe a few good wins would help Atlanta's (or Houston's) cause.

grinding to a stop.

My internet wasn't working well last night, so I didn't get to post. So here we have another two packs today, and like the last post, there's not much to say.

I'm afraid we're grinding down to a halt here, after a very productive four days where I added fifty cards to the set. The last four packs have provided only ninteen.

With fourteen packs left, I hope my luck turns around and I start adding 10+ cards to the set again. If I have any hopes of making substantial headway in this thing something's gotta change.

Pack 21 (+6)
(duplicates are indicated by bold text)
40 Willie McGee
45 Jose Canseco
178 Mike Kingery
182 Alex Trevino
198 Mark Eichhorn

234 Greg Brock
246 Jimmy Jones
254 Johnny Ray
395 Dion James
410 Zane Smith
415 Danny Cox
504 Reggie Jackson
516 Mark Gubicza
524 Manny Trillo
551 Jody Davis
561 Manny Lee
564 Dave Dravecky

Pack 21 (+1)
(duplicates are indicated by bold text)
52 Bill Doran
68 Vince Coleman
72 Barry Larkin
178 Mike Kingery
182 Alex Trevino
198 Mark Eichhorn
306 Steve Buechele
314 Joe Sambito
326 Tracy Jones
411 Ken Dixon
429 Juan Castillo
431 Phil Garner

508 Jose DeLeon
512 Randy Ready
599 Gary Matthews
596 Steve Lake
593 Rick Manning

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Packs 19 & 20

After a much needed night of rest I'm back with two packs today.

Pack 19 (+2)
(duplicates are indicated by bold text)
28 Jose Cruz
32 Juan Samuel
48 Tony Pena

142 Herm Winningham
158 Lee Mazzilli
162 Bob Walk
286 John Shelby
294 Tony Phillips
389 Pat Clements
274 Dick Schofield
391 Mark Davis
409 Chris James
472 Ellis Burks

488 Jerry Red
492 Bruce Ruffin
586 Andy Allanson
589 Dave LaPoint

First, I'd like to apologize. To which ever baseball card god I offended, I truly and from the bottom of my heart apologize. I'll never do whatever it was that I did again.

I've been rolling along at a good pace ever since pack 13, but 19 evened everything out. Here it is, and there's absolutely nothing to say about it.

And here we have the somewhat better pack twenty:

Pack 20 (+10)
50 Rick Suttcliffe
55 Dave Winfield
160 Robin Yount
165 Jose Uribe
180 Bo Jackson
288 Curt Ford
292 Randy Bush
308 George Hendrick
396 Steve Shields
404 Junior Ortiz
416 Andy Van Slyke
490 Frank Tanana
495 Jesse Orosco
510 Bob Welch
616 Dennis Lamp
613 Keith Atherton
618 Harry Spilman

Not much to say here either. Twelve cards in two pack. Woohoo. We are over the 50% mark though.