This post has been a long time coming. And long neglected. 🙂
This post has been a long time coming. And long neglected. 🙂
Yeah, like really, really hot.
And still with all these Topps cards, I am just not feeling it this year.
And yet – every so often, they keep coming up with a card or two that just won’t let me throw my hands up and walk away. Like the 2010 Bowman 1992 Throwback. My goodness, this is a pretty little card. Definitely going to be in my next purchase off Sportlots.
I am also holding out hope for Allen & Ginter, as long as Topps actually uses a new-ish photo for Hamilton, as opposed to the one they have recycled for the past couple of years.
All-Star Weekend will be missing a little bit of drama as well – Hamilton declined to participate in the Home Run Derby. This will cut down on the amazing factor, but hopefully it allows him to keep his swing smooth, and will allow him a bit of a break to stay injury free. As of today, Hamilton has a hit in his game against theHouston Astros, so that extends his hitting streak to 21 games. He is batting .347 (.475 for the month of June) with 18 home runs and 57 RBIs.
You know you have made it when they name a sandwich after you. I heard the Rangers broadcasters talking about this during the game yesterday afternoon, so I hunted down some info on it:
Grilled, crispy French bread, filled with thinly sliced baked ham, topped with sauteed onions, provolone and spicy pepper-jack cheeses, finished with a creamy Dijon mustard sauce.
Sounds good, but I’ll pass on the onions. I hate onions.
There is a bit of a long story that goes along with why I have the Extra Innings package this year, and I am going to share it with you, but the important part is – I get to watch Rangers games, even when they aren’t playing the Jays. Hamilton stroked a double this afternoon against the Mariners, and he looks good out there.
As to why I have the Extra Innings package – here goes. Around the start of the NHL and NFL regular seasons, I was pretty much confined to my desk because I was on a tight deadline to finish writing my PhD thesis. So, I figured I would treat myself to the sports packages on my cable – I love watching a game while I write, because you can pretty much follow it without having to watch it all. The deal with my cable provider is $26.99/month (for 12 months) for two of the sports packages (Center Ice, Sunday Ticket and Extra Innings) or $29.99/month (for 12 months) for all three. For an extra $36 over a year, it seemed silly not to get all three, even though I was planning to be done writing my thesis long before baseball season started (I was done January 16, 2010).
And now it has all come together.
And in the time it took me to write this post, Hamilton got forced out at the plate.
That was a slow, painful start to the season for me and my fellow Josh Hamilton fans. Josh got his first hit of the season (a double) last night against the Seattle Mariners.
Here’s hoping he is getting back in the groove.
First game should be pretty much underway by now. Just a quick post here to point out a cool story on CNN.com about the mud that all MLB & MILB teams use to rub the gloss off a new ball.
Josh Hamilton checked out of tonight’s game versus the Blue Jays after the fourth inning. He hit a double to right, and it looked like something tweaked while he was rounding first. He stayed in the game, and scored on a single by Nelson Cruz later in the inning, so hopefully it isn’t serious. That would put a large kink in the Rangers post season hopes with Young sidelined as well.
I am enjoying the fact that I get to see the Rangers three days in a row while they are entertaining the Jays. Well, I am half watching, and half picking away at the five pages I owe my thesis tonight. Let’s hear it for agriculture in Saskatchewan!
Its been an interesting few days in the hobby as a whole, and in the Josh Hamilton segment of it as well.
First, the obvious hobby news. Topps gets an exclusive license from the MLB. As an avid hockey collector, I am not really looking forward to how this is going to turn out. Upper Deck has had an exclusive in the hockey world for quite some time, and it has a lot of drawbacks. Simply put – UD seems to have gotten lazy with hockey. There are tons of mistakes, which just don’t seem as prevalent in the other sports where there is competition. I hope this doesn’t happen with Topps and baseball.
As for UD continuing to produce sets featuring players without logos – its an option, but not necessarily a good option. In The Game has produced quality hockey sets without a license for years, but they just don’t have the same provenance as the licensed sets. The die-hards appreciate and collect them, but they don’t catch on with the mainstream.
Moving on from the hobby news, which right now is just speculation because no one really knows how it will turn out to Josh Hamilton news. Even though he hasn’t been hitting very well, there has been plenty of news floating about. First, he reveals that he was taking medication for ADD which affected his appetite and caused him to lose about 20 pounds. He’s gained some back, and stopped taking the medication.
The bigger news, in some circles was the publication of photos of Hamilton partying it up in a bar in Arizona during the off-season. The Texas Rangers Blog summarizes the story quite well. It happened back in January, and Hamilton came clean to the important people in his life immediately after. He didn’t take any drugs, which would have resulted in him likely failing an MLB-mandated drug test, but he did go out and get drunk. And do body shots. And be photographed doing both of these things.
I’m disappointed, but not stunned. Obviously, the fairy tale would continue if Hamilton resisted temptation at every turn, and led a monk’s life from the time he stopped taking drugs. I’m not surprised it didn’t turn out that way, though. I don’t have any history of alcohol or drug problems, and I find it pretty easy to have someone twist my arm into a few drinks, and then a few more, and then a few more. Its a slippery slope.
I’m happy Hamilton dealt with the issues quickly to alert those who needed to know, and hope that he has taken steps to ensure this doesn’t happen again. As much as athletes seem like superheroes at times, its important to remember that they still have their foibles: “I don’t feel like I’m a hypocrite. I feel like I’m human.”
Pujols has yet to hit, but I am really feeling the let down after last year’s festivities. The Home Run Derby was Josh Hamilton’s coming out party in a way. He was playing well in the first half of the 2008 season. After the All Star festivities, it was out of this world.
Last year’s home run derby was also responsible for the highest traffic day for my blog. That shouldn’t be much of a surprise. Here’s hoping Pujols lights it up and gives the fans something to talk about. Two outs so far.
He got that one.
Last year’s Home Run Derby Champion has bowed out of the running for this year. Justin Morneau declined to participate this year. That leaves two titles up for grabs. The guy who actually wins (Morneau), and the guy everyone remembers (Hamilton).
Perhaps the winner and the most memorable performance will come from the same person this year. Currently, the confirmed participants are: Albert Pujols (that’s huge), Ryan Howard, Prince Fielder and Adrian Gonzalez.
I still want to see Aaron Hill.