Tuesday, January 20, 2009

No Arbitration For You

Diamond Leung lets us know that both Jon Broxton and Russell Martin have agreed to one year contracts.

The Dodgers avoided arbitration with catcher Russell Martin and reliever Jonathan Broxton signing them to one-year contracts on Tuesday before the deadline to exchange salary arbitration figures.

Martin will make $3.9 million as a two-time All-Star who turns 26 next month. He hit .280 with 13 home runs and 69 RBI while catching 149 games to tie for the major league lead, and he led all National League catchers with 87 runs scored and 18 stolen bases.

Broxton, 24, will make $1.825 million plus incentives during a season in which he is expected to become the team's closer. He had 14 saves filling in for an injured Takashi Saito in 2008, going 3-5 with a 3.13 ERA in 70 appearances.

What ever happened to a long term deal for Russell? Hopefully, this move was to just get a contract out of the way so they can spend more time hammering out a long term deal.

Blog Bat Around: Speaking to the Card Companies

The 3rd edition of the Blog Bat Around is here. Go to the Fielder's Choice blog for details.

This time around he ask a question that I will have a hard time answering. What would I say to today's card manufacturers. What kind of cards would I suggest they make in order to keep this hobby vibrant? What brands should stay and what brands must go?

To be honest with you, I do not have a clue what I would tell them. In fact, I have not been an active collector of modern issued cards for a long time- save certified autographed cards that I usually find on eBay.

Once upon a time, many moons ago, I would buy pack after pack, box after box, of Baseball cards to rip open as quickly as a gift received on Christmas morn. I was addicted. Today, I can barely lift a finger to buy a box to open.

Sure, I've stumbled into a Target and stood at the card aisle wondering if I should take a flyer on one of those mini boxes. Usually I just stand and stare, then stamper on to do my shopping. On occasion I have dipped my hand in the cookie jar and drove home with a box only to be disappointed. So, it's hard for me to believe I can lend a helpful voice to this Blog Bat Around. On the other hand, maybe I'm the perfect voice. I am the customer these manufacturers want to get back- no, need to get back.

So, considering that, I have an answer. My advice to the hobby masters is to please keep it simple.
  • There are far too many brands made by each manufacturer. Narrow the field down to a core handful of sets. In fact, this is one of the reason I have not been a very active modern card collector. It is too damn confusing. For instance, Topps Company made well over 10 different Baseball sets in 2008. Heck, I think it's closer to 20 different sets.
  • I still don't understand the whole parallel thing. If I'm putting together a set should I be chasing those too?
  • I love the certified autograph card inserted into packs. As I wrote previously, they are really the only cards I find myself chasing when I search eBay for modern issues. I don't see much of a difference between "on-card" or "auto-on-sticker" cards, but I do care about legible and clean autographs. What's with athletes today? Most signatures look like a 2 year old scribbled it.
  • Brands I do enjoy seeing are the card sets that borrow vintage card designs, like the Allen & Ginters and Cracker Jacks. Please continue to marry the past with the present.

Obamacon The Dodgers

In honor of today's historic event, enjoy the Obamanized Dodgers. You can do your own version here at Obamacon.Me.