Monday, July 30, 2007

Classic card of the week

Luis de los Santos, 1989 Donruss

After playing the bad guy in "Ghost," Luis de los Santos saw his worst fear come true - he began being typecast. He was asked to play a remorseless Spanish thief in several subsequent movies, including, "The Spanish Thief," "El Thief de los Espana," and "When Harry Met Sally." Frustrated by his acting career, Luis decided to pull a Miguel de los Jordin, and persue his first love - gambling. That didn't work. So Luis returned to acting, but remained committed to exploring new roles. When his agent sent him the script for "Major League," Luis pulled the pages to his chest, and wept for three days straight. He loved it! But a few things were lost in translation as far as the script was concerned, most notably the fact that the phrase "Cleveland Indians" translates, in Spanish, to "Royals de los Kansas City," mostly because the Dominican Republic refuses to recognize Cleveland as a province...long story. Anyway, Luis attempted to impress the producers of the movie by literally trying out for the team. The wrong team. But he made it, and Luis de los Santos subsequently tore up the minor leagues, making scouts who had never heard of him wet their proverbial pants. When Luis finally got the call to the bigs, he assumed he had landed the role of a lifetime. Undaunted by the sparse crowds and cameras, and under the impression they were at the beginning of filming - when the "Indians" are supposed to be really bad - Luis purposely played his worst, batting .091 through his first 22 at-bats before being immediately sent back down to the minors. When a confused Luis de los Santos realized what had happened, he relapsed and killed Patrick Swayze.

Did you know?

Assuming the "M." on the back of the card stands for "Muchas," Luis' full name is "Luis Muchas de los Santos." Makes sense.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Classic card of the week

Pat Clements, 1987 Topps

I bring up this card only because I am trying to figure out how it could possibly be worse. This is pretty much the most awful card I own. It brings nothing to the table. It's not even funny in the sarcastic sense, like the Pittsburgh Pirates in general. This is the most pointless card ever. Average player, no goofy name or pose, no stupid stats on the back...just terrible. I really don't even have anything to say about this card, except that I looked up the price of it in Beckett, and it's worth negative three cents. You are actually obligated to pay Topps three cents for every second you waste staring at it. And that's not even taking into account the fact that the guy in charge of the printing press the day this beauty was cut had apparently downed four gin & tonics at lunchtime. And I'd really like to know what supervisor gave this baby the green light, thus allowing it into circulation. I think I even recall, as a kid, taking solace in the fact that this just so happens to be a Pat Clements card, and not like, a Bo Jackson. For if my heart had skipped a beat upon the sight of the name "Bo Jackson" - along with the colorful "Future Stars" insignia - only to realize that Bo's head was cut off, and my only compensation was a glimpse at the card below Bo's on the cutting sheet - the top of Pat Tabler's helmet, perhaps? - I think I would have given up baseball cards altogether. Although, if there is a lesson to be learned here, it's the harsh reminder that baseball cards are just mass-produced pieces of cardboard, and not the sound investment that I had envisioned as a child, which involved scenarios in which I am at a conference room table cashing in my 1988 Ben McDonald rookie card for a house.

Did you know?

Relieved that he wasn't decapitated as a result of the cutting of this card, Pat Clements believed his train engineer-style Pirates hat ultimately saved his life.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Classic card of the week

Mark Davis, 1990 Upper Deck

Few things bring as much joy to a baseball fan as opening a pack of cards and getting one that features an average player signing an autograph for someone else. I'm getting goosebumps just thinking about it. But when that picture is taken in the journalistic style of photography normally reserved for weddings and Bar Mitzvahs, well, that's when you've got something truly special on your hands. Don't you think for one second that the Upper Deck photographer who took this extraordinary shot didn't dirty his corduroy blazer doing so. Cause he did. And he almost got a tick, laying all up in the grass like that! But it was all worth it once the world was treated to this breathtaking photo of Mark Davis, signing autographs in the sky, his royal blue uniform amidst the sky blue of life, a curly mullet blowing in the wind...magnificence is an understatement. "Ewww, I just swallowed a cloud," is what Mark Davis could often be overheard saying, a hint that this photo is, in actuality, not an illusion. In fact, Mark Davis really was 28-feet tall, and the photographer who took this shot was actually standing on a ladder. And Mark Davis is, believe it or not, signing a billboard that he ripped off one of the local Kansas City highways, and he is too tall to even notice that it is upside down.

Did you know?
After Davis went into a drunken rage after a blown save in 1989, the rest of the Royals were forced to knock him out with a rock from a slingshot, at which point they tied down his limbs with rope in the outfield.

Sunday, July 15, 2007


Dear Family & Friends:

Camp is great. Please send money. Arizona is great. And by great I mean unbelievably hot. But also great. And hot.

Some of you may be wondering why it's taken me so long to get back on this freakin' blog. And you can all shove it because call me when you move to Arizona in the 115-degree heat and you can't find your socks because the movers packed them with the remote for the DVD player by accident. Everyone knows you can't blog without socks. And a computer, which we actually did manage to pack in the correct box, which made it that much more convienent to throw away when it arrived.

Yes, after joking about it on my previous post, our computer did not make it. But it did manage to relay one last message to me when I plugged it in for the last time: "Hi Mike! Welcome to Arizona! I hope you said your goodbyes, because you won't be communicating through me any longer. You don't play fantasy sports, do you? What? That sucks. Maybe you should take a picture of me shutting down so you can download it on your new computer. Holla. Actually...don't."

So now I am typing from our brand new laptop, which I am currently trying to get worked into our mortgage somehow. But other than that little snag, things have been going very well. We love our new home. The first thing we did was paint it. Well, not "we" literally, but "we" meaning two guys who are not us. They did a great job, but there was a slight communication problem. Did you know that "2 gallons" in Spanish is the equilvalent of "11 gallons" in English? This resulted in about 17 very avoidable trips to Lowes, which happens to be 40 minutes away from our house. Awesome. At least it wasn't hot.

It's been fun trying to get settled in, but a little stressful too. I went two weeks without cable or Internet access - "No TV and no online make Mike something, something." "Go crazy?" Don't mind if I do!" - and I've felt so out of the loop. I hear the Yankees are doing fantastic though. Is that true? I sure hope so.

Anyway, I feel like I have so much more to say, and more stories to tell, but right now, I have to finish putting together an Ikea dresser that I am told will look great in our guest room. Tomorrow, it's back to Home Depot, Target, and maybe Bed, Bath & Beyond. Ya' know, if there's time.

Also, please send money.

Seriously. We're running out.