Monday, April 19, 2010

You Gotta Believe

(pic link: facebook)

This evening is Game 3 of the quarter finals match between the Kings and the Vancouver Canucks. This time they play in LA and I plan on being loud and rowdy at the game. After all, it's been a long 8 years since our last home playoff game. Series is tied at 1 game a piece.

Below are video highlights from Saturday's game.

YouTube Link:

The Upper Deck Death Watch?

What's left for Upper Deck?

As has been reported in the NY Time recently, the MLB players union has notified it's members that Upper Deck is facing financial difficulties and has not paid a large number of ballplayers money it is owed them. Furthermore, they advise ballplayers to not enter any new agreements with them and to not submit already signed, or soon to be signed cards to Upper Deck until the issue is resolved.

Just another nail in a potential Upper Deck coffin. 

It is hard to believe Upper Deck could possibly survive after a series of very public losses in their business.  On the other hand, they continue to release new products like some new Tiger Wood memorabilia items.  No kidding!

I recount, not in any specific order, the follwing major blows to the card company:
  • Lost NBA license to produce cards;
  • Lost NFL license to produce cards;
  • Lost MLB Properties license to produce cards;
  • Settled trademark infringement lawsuit with MLB Properties; and
  • Settled counterfeiting lawsuit to Konami.
All of these items must have done some major damage to their cash flow and bottom line.  How much longer until the company folds?  Can they possibly survive with none of the big 3 licenses? 

A great many card blogs have already commented on this.  Check out what they have said. 

Mario with Wax Heaven:
Alright, before we throw a sympathy party it should be noted that Upper Deck brought this on themselves. From the crazy stories in the book ‘Card Sharks’ to the Konami and MLB lawsuits, the more you play with fire the better your chances are of getting burned and boy are the flames high in Carlsbad, California right now.
Stage Gum starts a Upper Deck death pool.
So, whaddaya say we have a little fun at a doomed card company's expense, huh? Introducing the "Stale Gum Upper Deck Death Pool." Here's how to play..

TS O'Connell.
Ouch. Obviously, this kind of incident is simply a by-product of larger problems that Upper Deck faces, but it is a reminder about what enormous costs the card companies incur by creating these upscale cards embedded with autographs, jersey swatches and other materials that ostensibly fall under the broad definition of memorabilia.

Gagne's Officially Done

Probably no surprise to anyone, Eric Gagne has decided to officially retire from Baseball, via TSN

Once one of the most dominating closers in the game, Eric heads into the sunset with a Cy Young in 2003, 187 career saves (including 85 consecutive saves), a 3.47 ERA and a astounding strike out  to walk ratio of nearly 3.2.  In his heyday he was unhittable and a joy to watch.  I will never forget "Game Over," regardless of the HGH use. 

Thanks for the memories.

Hat Tip: I Love This Game:

Game-Used Pants?


OK.  I can understand putting down some big bucks on a game-used jersey, but pants?  Really? 

Here is a eBay auction I came across featuring pants worn by our own Andre Ethier during the 2007 season.

2010 Topps Attax Dodgers

I really do not know much about these cards. In fact, I would have totally ignored them if not for a recent a Wall Street Journal article I read that said that this class of cards made up 25% of all Topps revenue and profits. That's pretty good for a card set that really isn't even a Baseball card. What they are is a kind of D&D-Pokemon card game kids play, and since 2007 they have sold over 100 million packs. That's a 1 with 8 zeros.

I'm still racking my brain thinking about that.

Anyway, below are the Dodger base cards from this card game, minus Orlando Hudson. Since he is no longer with the team I won't spend the time to search it out, but I am happy that the pic below has 2 Loney's in it. He's been on fire lately (not as hot as Kemp and Ethier, but I digress).
There are even special insert cards that you can grab such as the Kemp and Manny Superstar cards, and Ethier and Kershaw Hot Streak cards below.

I have no idea how to play this game, so the numbers look Greek to me. I have figured out that the higher the number the better the card play. That much seems obvious.
This Legends card of Jackie Robinson has to be the best card in the set.
So, does anyone's kids play this?