Wednesday, March 6, 2013

What IS That?

Well the title asks it all up there — what is that thing on Rafael Furcal's hand?

And how did he get on base with it? Did he convert to being a one-handed bunter?

Yeah, yeah, he probably put it on over at 1st base. And now he is running the bases all nonchalant with it.....looks like he might even be whistling a little bit. You know, nothing to see here, never mind this club I'm gonna use to smack the next enemy infielder I run across.

I'm not a National League person. I want to be, but I'm not; I prefer the NL game. I don't wanna discuss the DH rule. It is what it is. My team plays in the American League. I used to watch a lot of Cubs and Braves on cable TV, but those days of free time are long gone, no home run through the day time any more.

So when the Tigers wander off to compete with National League and I get real lost considering the opposition players with the word "who?" always in each thought, I have finally wised up the last couple-three years with my old-time handy baseball reference item - baseball cards.

Except sometimes baseball cards ask more questions than they answer. I have slowly absorbed over the last month of so that Furcal is in that portion of a baseball career where he has been injured a lot. I actually learned this recently, not very far away from this here page, on baseball card blogs.

It appears Furcal hurt his hand last year then? But if he needs to protect his hand running the bases, how could it not affect him at the plate? Were the Cards that desperate for a Shortstop that Furcal had to run out there, special-funky-never-seen-before-hand-brace and all?

A friendly Local Card Shop owner had a neat comment when I pulled a double of this one sitting in his shop, and I showed him the Furcal's Hand card. Is that like Foucault's Pendulum? As the game goes along, Rafael steals different bases around the diamond while the other team stands there slack-jawed, whispering amongst themselves "look, look at that Thing on his hand....". Anyhow the friendly LCS owner had an insightful comment - "He probably needs that because he always slides head first."

Dunno here Topps. Kinda neat shot I guess. Maybe you are just letting us know that Furcal is in that portion of a career where he gets injured a lot. A nice, completely not subliminal reminder of that fact. I'd wager that his agent is none too pleased. His 2014 card might likely say "Acq: Free agent x-y-13", and if x > 10 or there is a # 14 there instead, maybe he will be in the '14 Update set with a sunset card.  The things baseball cards make you ponder.

Every so often on a baseball card, I see something that doesn't fit right in the section of my brain labelled "Béisbol". What? Your brain doesn't call it "Béisbol?" Mine does, especially when I ponder baseball in the 21st century. I would very much collect a set written entirely in Spanish. Odd "Venezuelan" inserts in Topps Lineage and '13 Heritage are not even related to that thought. Are you listening Topps? Probably too much in this paragraph for now....I obviously dream up my blog posts while writing blog posts.

This has got to be one of the more obvious visual questions ever on a baseball card, but I've seen some more, a new one just tonight even. Now, when in doubt, I'll blog it out.

Oh, and that NL<>AL thing? I'll just say that I am on the side that is darn tired of inter-league play. I miss my team battling it out with the famous teams in the AL East, where the Tigers used to live. AL West? That just makes me sleepy. But I would like to see the Jays, Sox, O's, and even Yankees more, like them good ole olden good days.

I know, I know, MLB thinks inter-league drives ticket sales. Perhaps, sometimes. But does a a Subway Series every summer sell more tickets than it would if it occurred just occasionally?

To me, there is an easy solution. Have inter-league years, and non-inter-league years. The Yankees drive ticket sales wherever they go. Who doesn't want to see their team beat the Yankees? It's the gold standard. So, it's simple: have inter-league play every Leap Year. I think there are some irregularities to Leap Years that would keep the numbers weirdos intrigued. ?

You heard it here first. Now, bring on the Yankees. They might be weak for the next few years....

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