Monday, July 31, 2006

My Time at the National

As you may know, the National Sports Collectors Conventions concluded this past Sunday in Anaheim. It was quite an event with athletes and celebrities of all stripes signing for adoring fans. There where several hundred tables featuring modern shiny Baseball cards and vintage rarities. Unfortunately, the crowds where underwhelming, but met expectations. I think 30,000+ collectors showed up over the 5 day event. My discussions with a handful of vintage dealers suggested that they did quite well. One dealer who specializes in vintage non-sports cards said he had a buyer walk up and spend $28,000 at one time. That is a monster sale for such items.

I will post some pics of my purchases soon, so please stay tuned. Also, I added a handful of pics in my photoalbum. For some strange reason many of my pics turned out blurry- I think I need some photographic instructions. Nevertheless, I had a fun time. On top of that, I finally completed, after 5 years of trying, my 1972 Topps Baseball set. I also got a early 20th century Jack Johnson boxing card- a caramel 27 scrappers. This was my find of the week.

more pics can be found on the Vintage Baseball Card Forum:

Ned "The Busy Bee"

This has proven to be an exciting day for Dodger Baseball. We add a new 2nd baseman in Julio Lugo and future Hall of Famer Greg Maddux to anchor our starting rotation. In return we ship Caesar Izturis to the Cubs and send rookie prospects Joel Guzman and Sergio Pedrosa to Tampa Bay. Sergio went to my alma mater, Cal State Fullerton.

Lugo immediately starts at 2nd base until Jeff Kent returns. Who knows what happens when Kent is ready to play. I think Maddux will add poise and experience to a rotation that could use some leadership. His knowledge, skills and abilities will more than make up for any age related declines we may see in his performance this year.

Caesar, Pedrosa and Guzman where out of options with this new Dodger team. I am sad to see Caesar go. He remains my favorite defensive infielder. Pedrosa was not highly touted and may find some major league playing time in Tampa Bay. The promise of Guzman was overshadowed by the success of Ethier, Repko, Kemp and Loney. How many rookie prospect outfielders do we need?

Overall, I like the trades. We get some quality players for a title run without losing any of our top prospects. The future still remains bright. Ethier, Kemp, LaRoche, Loney, Billingsley, Hanrahan, Miller, Young, DeWitt, Abreau and Hu all stay. Good job Ned.

Wow! We Swept!

Considering the past 2+ weeks, I was not sure if the Dodgers would complete a series sweep again this season. Everything was looking dire, and disaster was around the corner. To come out of the gate in the 2nd half with a 1-13 record oftentimes means golf outings in October. Fortunately, the National League West is as weak as the coffee from my local donut shop.

We are still in it. A playoff berth is possible. The question, though, is should the Dodgers make some trades now to get us closer to an October series? Should we trade kids like Joel Guzman, James Loney or (god forbid) Matt Kemp?

Well, as you all know by now, the Dodgers traded Willy Aybar, Danny Baez and cash to Atlanta for Wilson Betemit. This is a lopsided trade that essentially acknowledges that the Baez trade was terrible. So terrible, in fact, that they chose to give away Baez and will pay the remainder of his salary this season. On the otherhand, Betemit for Aybar is an interesting move. I believe that Betemit is more proven at this time, but Aybar may have a higher potential ceiling. Nevertheless, I remember following Betemit when he was one of Atlanta's top prospects and I think he will do just fine.

Are more trades coming down the pike? Is Joel Guzman going next since he appears to be an odd man out in the outfield. How about Andy LaRoche? His slightly torn shoulder must have increased questions in the front office staff. He has huge upside and would probably command a high price. How about Loney? If Nomar signs a long term contract wouldn't that make Loney a valuable commodity? Today at 1:00 PM Pacific is the trading deadline. I guess we will find out soon if a blockbuster hit LA.