Sunday, March 29, 2015

Facebook is only good for one thing...

I'm not a huge social media person.  

I mean, I have a Facebook page similar to pretty much anyone who would be reading this blog, but as far as any of the other major players in the social media world go, I don't participate.  I probably have a Twitter username, but I don't remember my password and I haven't used it in years.  Forget about any of the picture based websites like Instagram and such... I hate taking pictures and I'm bad at it to boot (see below photos...).  I even think my most recent Facebook photo of myself is probably close to two years old at this point.

I suppose some would argue that even having a blog and writing on it is a form of social media, and yeah... by definition, I'd have to agree, but I certainly don't think it's anything even remotely similar to the popular instant gratification/update sites like those already mentioned.  A blog is somewhere that you can't put thoughts on paper [screen] and think about them, edit them, and tweak them to your liking before anyone even sees them.

Working at ESPN, I'm constantly surrounded by a "NOW" mindset.  We even have a new page attached to our mobile app called ESPN NOW.  It highlights things that are currently popular and trending in the sports world.  Wonderful idea; not opposed to it in the slightest.  I'm just not the guy that is going to providing those updates.  I much prefer the sit down and think it through approach to just about everything in life.

That said, I joined a Facebook group not all that long ago relating to collecting Allen & Ginter minis.  I don't believe there are all that many people in it, but as they are my favorite card to collect, I thought I'd at least poke around and see what people were offering and talking about.  I still have yet to post anything in the group... maybe I'll get kicked.  But that's not important.  What is important is that someone posted there last week looking for a bunch of Allen & Ginter base cards and a few inserts.  I had quite a bit of what he needed so I reached out to him.  We eventually got a trade worked out and I sent him a big ol' box of baseball bits (that was missing 3 cards cause I'm dumb... he'll get them this week sometime) and I received some cards I was still missing in return.  Here's some highlights:

Steve sent me a handful of 2012 base SP's that I was missing.  One of these belonged to former UConn star Swin Cash (notice extremely shoddy photo... I really need a scanner).  I grew up and still live in Connecticut so this card hits home (literally...).  This is at least the third time that Ginter has featured a UConn women's basketball icon.  I know that Taurasi and Auriemma already have cards.  Sue Bird might have one as well... not sure on that.  Either way I appreciate the fact that the team gets recognized in a product like this.  I was a much bigger fan of theirs when I was younger and they were just starting to become dominant (the Taurasi, Bird, Cash era).  Nowadays, I feel like being a UConn women's basketball fan is like being a fan of Bayern Munich or the Chinese national figure skating team... there's no point... they just win.  I'm writing this the morning after UConn just absolutely stomped a decent Texas Longhorns squad by 51 points... in the Sweet 16.  Unheard of.

Here is even worse photo work (really guys... I promise Ginter is beautiful) of B.J. [Melvin] Upton.  For those of you who don't know, Mr. Upton decided to officially no longer be called B.J. (at least in the context of Major League Baseball) during this past off-season.  I'm not sure exactly why... perhaps he simply wants to sound and be viewed as a more mature baseball player.  All I do know is that the Braves still owe the guy $46.35 Million AND he's not playing til Mid-April.  That's definitely going to help his batting average... sigh.

Steve was also kind enough to send me a variety of inserts that I still needed.  Most were from 2012, but there were a few other years mixed in as well.  I received 4 or so of the above Historical Turning Points inserts.  In general, I enjoyed this set but I think that I quite possibly received the 4 most boring cards from the set (Fall of the Berlin Wall, Invention of the Printing Press, On the Origin of Species, and the above card).  None of the pictures were at all exciting so I picked one that I figured would never get much air time otherwise.  Hooray plants!

Another insert from 2012 yields the new St. Louis Cardinal Jason Heyward.  Traitor...  but not really... something had to give.  I'm certainly not excited that Heyward left, but I also see why it was necessary: one year left on his contract and recent woeful performances at the plate calls for a change in scenery.  When you get a top tier pitcher in Shelby Miller back, I'm really not going to complain.  

I would actually have to say that I'm more disappointed in the fact that Braves felt like they needed to get rid of Jordan Walden as well in that same trade.  He was performing extremely well as our RH set-up man (how many relievers that aren't closers can you find now-a-days that can keep their ERA below 3.00 and WHIP under 1.25??? Not Luis Avilan, Jason Grilli, Juan Jaime, Jim Johnson, Josh Outman, or Arodys Vizcaino, all Braves relievers going into this year.  The only other eligible Brave reliever with those kinds of stats is Mr. James Wood, former Cubby.  Good luck sir, you'll need it.)

Last, but not least, we have a 2009 Baseball Highlight featuring one of my (and probably lots of people's) favorite plays.  I'm no Yankee sympathizer, but I've always admired Jeter as a player because of his personality and general hustle while playing the game.  My absolute favorite part of this play is when Jeter emerges from the stands with a face that is all bloodied up presumably from concrete scratches.

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