I know what you have all been thinking this past month:
"What about the Turk Off 2?"
"Isn't there supposed to be another historic Turk Off?"
"I can't stand this! I want to see another epic struggle waged between these 2 great men, one with beard and one sans, to determine, once and for all (or at least a second time) who is the greatest of the great, who will live to tell the tale, who will ultimately be the master of his cardboard domain!"
Well, after much delay and anticipation, I'm proud to say...It's ON! Almost 100% it's ON! I'd put it at no less than 82.3% that this thing is going to happen.
"What was the delay?" you are no doubt asking yourselves. Well...it was me. For reasons mostly within my control, but some out of my control, I kept delaying. To tell you the truth, after Beardy shamed me during the Gint-A-Cuffs, annihilated me in Fantasy football, and embarrassed the Browns with his stolen franchise...twice...I wasn't sure I wanted to risk the only title I hold over him...Lord of the Turk Off.
So, I delayed. I dangled turkey red flavored carrots. I devised Turk Off rules that made little sense. I repeatedly ignored emails asking for clarifications and changes. I made him wait...and wait...and wait. He must have spent untold hours just staring at that glorious unopened box of 2006 Turkey Red wondering if he would live to one day see the beauty that most assuredly lurked just under the lid.
I got inside his head. He must be just about insane by now.
Now, some of you may consider this bush league psych out stuff. Laughable, man.
I actually believe that I was doing Beardy a favor.
Like Pai Mei to Beardy's Beatix Kiddo, I was teaching him the importance of patience. Because it is important. I'm sure it is. At least that's what everyone else says.
But, his patience, unlike his beard, is wearing thin. And the epic struggle must soon commence. So it was written, and so it shall be done.
Soon to follow will be the official set of Turk Off 2 rules to be used as a reference guide.
After that, hide the women and children because the Turking Off shall begin once again.
Dubbs has always been one of my favorite bloggers. It probably started when he left me a comment on one of my more ridiculous posts and called it "genius". Being ever so humble I immediately thought "It's about damn time somebody figured that out."
Dubbs is clearly a genius in his own right for recognizing my genius.
He's been up to a lot of stuff. One of his big announcements is that he is now a homeowner in South Carolina. He's got a picture up on his blog, but I cut and pasted it here in case any of you are too lazy or too pressed for time to hit the link and look for yourselves.
It is a sweet looking abode. I'm sure there's a nice rug in there somewhere tying the whole thing together nicely.
So, if you are here, you probably have a blog. If you do, go over there and add Cheese And Beer back to your list if it isn't already there. Welcome him back proper.
I always felt like Beardy, Dubbs, and I were like the 3 Musketeers. Well, the 3 Stooges at least. I like the 3 Stooges better anyway.
Gint-A-Cuffs landed me a few Autos. For some reason, half of them ended up being the non-baseball variety. The first one was the Red Horse Auto (the auto was red, not the horse). The next one was Brock Yates, the guy taking credit for the Cannonball Run. I've got no real reason to doubt him, it's just that I've not been able to confirm his involvement.
Never the less, Jim from Sixty Feet Six Inches had his own little Brock Yates collection going. And, if someone puts their mind to collecting the Cannonball Run guy, I would never stand in their way? I'd consider it bad form. It's one of my two rules. (The other is I never date girls who say "bitchin".)
So, we worked out a trade. I sent him Yates and an assortment of the typical junk that I send out from time to time. He sent me a Ginter Auto and some Indians. This time I got a real live player for my auto!
You can check out what Jim got from me here. Although, I have already told you so you really don't have any reason to doubt me. If you clicked on that link...what the heck did I ever do to you to lose your trust?
Here's what I landed in return:
(And, can we all agree to ignore the fact that this trade went down 2 months ago? Thank you)
Fausto Carmona 2008 Topps Heritage
At this point I'm convinced that Fausto Carmona is actually twins. They are pulling the old switcheroo on us like one of those Lindsey Lohan movies. (You remember. Lindsey Lohan used to be a cute girl before she met Brittany Spears and turned into what appears to be a trailer park 33 year old recovering meth addict grandmother of 3). Point is, I think there are 2 Faustos. Or rather a Fausto and a Gausto.
Gausto pitched in 2006. Fausto in 2007. Gausto in 2008. And, they must have been switching on and off in 2009.
Hopefully Tim Belcher can find Fausto and get Gausto a job selling Peanuts outside the stadium. And put a giant tattoo on one of their foreheads.
I don't care which one.
Grady Sizemore 2009 Goudey Mini
Never been able to quite figure out Goudey. They have regular cards and minis, but the minis aren't really mini size. They're still kind of fat. But not as fat as regular cards. And, I think one year the mini Goudey's were the regular Goudeys and there were no regular Goudeys and that's why the mini Goudeys were the regular Goudeys even though they were mini Goudeys.
Don't bother reading that again. Just trust me. It makes complete sense. Trust the old Uncle Scratcher.
Grady Sizemore 2009 Goudey
The regular Goudey.
Grady Sizemore 2009 Starquest Silver
Jim really knows the way to my heart doesn't he. 3 Sizemores!
Denard Span 2009 Ginter Auto
Here's the motherload. I've said before, I hate the Twins. But I like the Twins players. Now with the trade that sends Gomez to the Brewers, Span should spend more time in CF this year. It's probably his exclusively. And, I feel like he's ready to take a leap. Bad for the Indians. But good for my Ginter Auto!
Thanks Jim for the trade and the extra cards thrown in.
The hiring of Manny Acta by the Tribe has been met with a bit of trepidation in Cleveland. There are some who think (mostly because of his W/L record) that it was a terrible hire. There are some who think (mostly because Bobby Valentine is a nut job and they can't think of anyone better) that it was a good hire.
I fall more in line with the latter group, mostly because the people in the former group tend to be morons who think that RBIs (yes, RBIs with an 's'...I'm old school) matter (in that regard I'm decidedly not old school).
But, it doesn't matter what I think. I'm an idiot. That is not in dispute.
What matters is what Grady thinks.
No, not that Grady.
Yes, that Grady. He's the real brains here. What's his take?
Well, I'll show ya:
I think that says it all. It's perfectly clear.
Grady definitely is behind this hire and Manny Acta.
So long as Joel Skinner is never seen coaching 3rd base again. Ever.
I Am Joe Collector has group breaks. Most people reading this know that. I find it either ridiculous or typical that I'm just getting the September break posted. Probably both.
In September, I changed teams with Jim at GCRL. He normally has the Twins and I normally have the Dodgers. I like having the Dodgers because a lot of the breaks offer the possibility of getting great players from the past. They also have great young players like Kershaw.
Furthermore, getting the Dodgers in these breaks offers me the possibility of trades with Dodgers fans like...Jim at GCRL. Then there's also that Night Owl Dude. Dodgers are useful.
But, as much as I hate the Twins, I like then too. Shut up. It does too make sense. I hate the Twins, but how can you not like guys like Mauer, Morneau, and Nathan? So, Jim and I traded teams for the September break. Check out what he got right here.
Here are the Twins that I got. Joe Collector got down with some 2009 Finest and Icons.
See! Joe Mauer base card. If this guy doesn't win the MVP this year the award loses all relevance. In fact they should use this years vote as an excuse to weed out some of the undesirables.
Anyone who puts Jeter or Teixiera (both who had admittedly fine seasons) or anyone else above Mauer's historic season should lose voting privileges. They are either too old, too stupid, or both to be voting. The only way to regain their vote is to submit to "RBI appreciation elimination surgery" which is exactly what it sounds like. Don't think we can do it? Heck, we (allegedly) put a man on the moon 40 years ago. I'm sure we can extract the ability to view RBI totals as somehow meaningful from Yankees beat writers.
Even then, we better keep them on a short leash.
Delmon Young Refractor
I don't have much to say about Delmon. But that card is shiny as hell.
Sadly, no Finest Twins Parallels this time around.
Justin Morneau Icons Base
Justin Morneau is a beastly, bulging man. He hits the hell out of the ball. I find it admirable that the Twins stuck with him after a 2005 season where he hit .239 with 22HR and 79 RBI (not that the RBIs really matter. I'm nothing if not consistent). The next year he was a monster. The Yankees would have sent him to AAA and signed someone else. The Twins patience paid off with a monster 2006 and the rest is history.
It's why I love the Twins. It's also why I hate the Twins.
Joe Mauer Base Icons
One thing I notice about these cards is the lack of OBP on the back. Hey Upper Deck...it's 2009.
Michael Cuddyer Icons Relic
Any time you have a chance to snag a Michael Cuddyer Relic you have to take it. It does have a stripe on it. So that's good.
Francisco Liriano Future Foundations
Man, just a few years ago this would have been an awesome pull. Now...Liriano looks like Dontrelle Willis 2.0. It's sad, and I take no pleasure in a promising young player crapping the bed the way he has, even for a rival team.
He is only 25 though. Let's hope he can somehow put it back together. What he needs is his release. Then the Indians can sign him and get him back on track. He could end up pitching in the World Series...for whatever team benefits from the Tribe's fixing him.
I go on these eBay binges. I'll just look around for stuff and then, all of a sudden, I'm bidding on 8 things. And I HAVE to have them.
"OH MY GOD! I have to have that! There are only 8 available right now, the first time I've ever looked for this card! If I don't get one of these I may never get another opportunity!"
Anyone else get that?
Well, back in September, I got a Lonnie Chisenhall bug up my butt. I decided that Lonnie was going to be the next great Indian and I better get some of his cards now. There were only about 85 autos available so I had to start bidding right away.
I wanted the Bowman Prospects Chrome Refractor. And I figured I better pick up the base version as well. The same guy had 2 different refractors going at the same time so I bid on both. No sense messing around. This card is going to be positively Pujolsian. Everyone knows that. There is no chance that I will get both of them. There are probably 500 prospectors out there right now that just realized the same thing that I did: Lonnie Chisenhall may be the greatest 3rd Baseman ever to play the game.
Well, I won both, for probably twice as much as I would have spent if I had just been patient and look around for a while. I also got a base version to boot.
So I'm left with 3 Chisenhall autos that look exactly the same and I paid entirely too much for.
Here they are.
Chrome Refractor 056/500
Chrome Refractor 360/500
Don't get me wrong, I love Chisenhall. I do think he will be a good player. I'm glad I have the cards. I just know that I could have been smarter about it.