Wednesday, February 5, 2014

The cost of WAR on the back

Is K/SO, or CG.

I was reading the backs of the cards again. Silly rabbit. We need a visual header for the blogrolls, so here we go
Another sweet horizontal card for Pirates slugger Pedro Alvarez. I _think_ this is a Night Card, though it almost looks like an Indoor Card. All the yellow in the crowd makes me think Heinz Field immediately however. And I would think a block "P" would be a home uni for the Pirates. Also upon further review we almost get an appearance by a Pittsburgh Steelers helmet on a baseball card, via one of the fans' t-shirts.

Overall I like the sum total of the light on the card. It reminds me of a Tampa Bay card shot at home, but with a vibrancy to it, possibly from all the yellow the fans are wearing. And The Slugger With The Far-Away Eyes works well with the opening textback of the card:

Sorry about slicing off the Rookie Fact there. It is completely forgettable: "Pedro drove in a run in seven straight games, August 4-11, 2010."

OK, did you forget that already? I hope so.

And I must apologize for the blurry photo. Let's take a closer look at a key part of the back:

Notice anything missing there? Of course, I gave you the answer in the first sentence of this post. And no, it's not hidden by Blogger under one of the blogs on the roll there; after BB is SLG and OPS, then AVG and WAR.

I always like to read through the backs of my baseball cards to see who held the dubious honor of leading each league in Strikeouts. Like many sluggers, Alvarez is prone to strike out a lot, though that is excused when you hit 36 Home Runs of course. Some of the other recent league leaders, well I am surprised each year they have new baseball cards, though not surprised when they actually have 2 baseball cards each year as one club grows tired of their constant K action but another club hopes for that old "change of scenery" magic (Mark Reynolds, Drew Stubbs), leading to a new card in the Update set.

For pitchers, we no longer see the CG (Complete Game) stat, but I have to wonder how much longer it will be before an actual Complete Game becomes a banner highlight all by itself. That stat won't really be missed on the backs of the baseball cards.

I would have like to claim a scoop on this discovery; although I noticed this on my own, it has been published in the blogosphere already, as one of JB Anama's readers pointed it out to him several days ago.

I was not surprised to see WAR appear on our baseball cards at last. The well-talked about stat may have been on some cards in one of Topps' more "high-end" sets last year, as I have a hazy recollection of reading that. I don't buy such things myself.

With Strikeouts on the rise in the Power Pitching era we seem to have entered, I would like to see which hitters are participating in this rise, on my own, as I ponder the stat line with just a slice of cardboard.

No more.

Topps giveth, and Topps taketh away. 

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