Friday, January 29, 2010

Warner Retires! Leinart In?

After 12 seasons in the NFL, 3 Super Bowls, 3 NFL MVP Awards, 1 Super Bowl win and 1 Super Bowl MVP Award, the Arizona Cardinals Kurt Warner has decided to hang it up and call it a career. He has proven to be one of the NFL’s “Good Guys” and has always put the team first no matter what the situation. Here come the eBay Trolls.

Warner’s retirement now leaves the Cards wondering what their move is this April at the NFL Draft. The franchise “QB of the Future” Matt Leinart is ready to step in to take over for the departing Warner but he has not been able to prove himself since being drafted in 2006. In 29 career games, Leinart has only thrown for 3,900 yards, 14 TDs and 20 INTs. If Leinart can successfully take the reins of the team and continue to guide them to their winning habits, his cards could potentially return to the 2006 prices.

The Cardinals have a few needs this year including picking up a LB and they could use help on the Offensive Line. So how will the team draft and has this changed since Warner’s announcement?

It is expected that Clausen and Bradford will be off the board by the time the Cardinals draft at #26 most likely leaving the QB situation down to a handful of prospects including Tony Pike and Tim Tebow and I have heard rumor that the Patriots may draft Tebow to plug in to a Wildcat offense. There are a couple of dark horses to look at like Colt McCoy and Jake Locker but these are “project” picks and probably are not going to be seen in the first round.

I still have hope that he will reach his potential.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Furor Over Tim Tebow?

First before I start, I am not making a political or religious statement. This is a discussion about Tim Tebow and his collectibility.

Focus on Family, a Pro-Life organization, has created a pro-family ad that will be aired during the Super Bowl. How does this relate to sports cards and collecting? Tim Tebow, a potential Top 25 NFL Draft pick, and his beliefs are the center of the commercial.

A number of groups have made requests of CBS to drop the commercial, which in response announced that they would now allow “Appropriate” advocacy ads during the Super Bowl.

To keep this from becoming a discussion about political views or religious belief, I ask will Tim Tebow’s decision to appear in the commercial change your collecting habits? Will the commercial cause his rookie cards to increase in price or lower? Personally I don’t think it will affect his collectibility in the long run, he may loose some collectors but gain others. It is odd, athletes will always be judged by how they play and not so much on their off-field habits. Players have been arrested, choked out their coaches, cheated and even said things that were offensive or racist and while their prices will fluctuate they eventually settle.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Conference Championship Games

Now that the Conference Championship games have begun, you see that each team’s QB has something to accomplish (outside of the obvious response, Win the Super Bowl).

If Brett Favre wins the Super Bowl he can go out a winner, ala John Elway, and put all the turbulence of the last few years behind him.

If Drew Brees wins the Super Bowl he will show all the naysayers, as well as the Chargers, that he was tossed on the trash heap before his time came to shine.

If Peyton Manning wins the Super Bowl he will enter the group of elite Quarterbacks including Starr, Montana and Brady.

If Mark Sanchez wins the Super Bowl he will prove that he can be a winner and is ready to play in the NFL, something that ex-USC coach Pete Carroll said he was not ready to do before the NFL Draft. Not to mention that he would be the only rookie QB ever to win a Super Bowl.

Wouldn’t it be ironic to see the Vikings and Jets play in the Super Bowl? Favre’s new team versus his ex-team? One of the best QBs ever, nearing the end of his career, playing against one of the league’s premier young QBs at the beginning of his career.

I do realize that one man does not win the Super Bowl and that each team has played to their potential to get where they are today.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Is Harvin Out Of The NFC Championship Game?

The Vikings have just listed rookie Wide Receiver Percy Harvin as questionable for the NFC Championship game this Sunday due to migraines. As a migraine sufferer I can attest to the seriousness of the pain and suffering that you go through following a headache and the weakness and nauseous can last for a few days afterwards.

Does this affect the Vikings? I think that can be answered with a resounding “Yes”, but the question is “To what extent?” That all depends on what happens between today and tomorrow night. Currently the Vikings have Sidney Rice listed on IR as questionable and both Bernard Berrian and Visanthe Shiancoe listed as probable. Toss in Harvin and the Vikings are basically going to have to run every play. But, I do not expect that to be the case, this is NFC Championship that we are talking about and I expect to see every player that can walk suited up and on the sideline.

This should be a great game to watch.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Is Tim Lincecum Worth $13 Million?

Originally uploaded by Jumper48
What do you pay a Starting Pitcher who was 15-7 with a 2.48 ERA last year? Toss in two Cy Young Awards in a row? How about a 40-17 record with a 2.90 ERA lifetime? The Giants think $8 million is a fair deal where Lincecum thinks he is worth more like $13 million.

When you look at his stats and you look at the average of salaries, $13 million is not actually an unacceptable number for a steady producer. Barry Zito, whom the Giants are paying $18.5, $18.5, $19 & $20 million over the next 4 years, has had a loosing record the past 3 years. The $8 million offer is almost a slap in the face, consider the pitchers making more then $10 million; powerhouse pitchers (I say with sarcasm) like Dontrelle Willis who has pitched only 57.2 innings in the last 2 years and is 1-6 over that time, Kerry Wood, who has actually turned in to a decent reliever but may not deserve Starter money and Gil Meche who has a career record of 84-78 with a 5.09 ERA.

Lincecum is still young and has many years of production ahead of him. His cards still move quite well, and besides his run in with police in Washington State over marijuana, seems to be a fan favorite.

Which side of the fence do you stand on, Lincecum or the Giants?

Monday, January 18, 2010

NBA Midpoint

We are now closing in on the halfway point of the NBA season and some things are moving along as expected; Cleveland and the Lakers are sitting atop their respective Conferences, my Phoenix Suns are muddled down in the center of the playoff race list (after having lost 4 straight including a blowout loss to the Bobcats!) and many of the troubled teams are sitting on the outside watching the big boys add up the wins.

Now there are a couple of surprises too including Atlanta tied for the 4th best record in the NBA, Charlotte actually in the playoff race and New Jersey hoping to top that dreaded 9-73 record set by the ‘72-73 Philadelphia 76ers.

Can Carmelo drag the Nuggets up and over the hill to the realm of Playoff wins? Can LeBron finally put a Championship ring on his finger? Can Atlanta and Charlotte keep up the pace with the big boys?

Romo Proves His Mediocrity

After today’s dismal appearance, Tony Romo once again proves that he cannot be handed the keys to “America’s Team” yet his cards continue to command top dollar. He has played 6 seasons now and has a decent .691 win percentage but he is also 1-3 in the Playoffs. He can win during the season but has trouble pulling through when it is most important. He is also turnover prone, yes people will point out that he threw 26 TD and only 9 INTS this season, his lowest interception rate yet but what about his 6 fumbles during the season? Or even worse, today’s performance where he went 22/35 for 198 yards with 0 TDs, 1 INT and 3 Fumbles (2 lost). He has 107 total TDs, 55 INTs and 38 Fumbles (16 lost). Those are not great ratios and then add in that he has 99 sacks, he gets sacked 0.9 times for each TD he throws.

I am not saying that he is the worst QB out there, by no means at all. I am just saying that he is merely a “decent’ QB and not worth the acclaims and boasting that people shower on him. This is the second post I made this year regarding Romo yet when the Cowboys beat an un-beaten Saints team in New Orleans he was suddenly promoted to top dog in the NFC. Please, he is a decent QB on an overrated team that will probably sac its coach shortly. JJ does not take to mediocrity to well, his stadium is superior, his scoreboard is superior and you can damn well be sure he will soon be looking for a superior coach to replace Phillips.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Kevin Durant... MVP?

Originally uploaded by Jumper48
Kevin Durant, one of my favorite players, is tearing it up this year. He has increased his numbers across the board and dragged the “nameless” team up from the cellar of the Western Conference cellar and is sitting on the precipice of actually making the Playoffs for first time since the lying thief Clay Bennett stole the team from Seattle.

At 28.9 PPG he has the third best scoring average and is sitting among some of the “best” players in the NBA. He ranks up there with Carmelo, LeBron, Kobe and Dwyane Wade, not bad company to keep. His name has even been brought up in MVP rumors. The most important stat for me though is 452 days. This is the amount of time until Durant becomes a Free Agent following the 2011 NBA Season.

Could you imagine Durant signing on with Cleveland? That would put the Cavs in a position to win it all again and again… as long as LeBron remains in town. What about going to Miami, the Lakers or Denver or maybe if the stars align just right… signing with my Phoenix Suns?

Friday, January 15, 2010

2010 Bowman Baseball Sneak Peek

Topps released a sneak peek of the 2010 Bowman Baseball set on their Twitter site. The Bowman set is what baseball cards should look like. Great, clean action shots, first cards of draft picks, on-card autographs and looks like even a throwback design (based on the 92 Bowman set).

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Sunday's NFL Recap

Sunday’s games showed me a couple of things.

First, after a blowout loss at home to the Ravens it looks like the Patriots are on the backend of their legacy. I have to say, it was a fun ride. The Patriots highlights include 3 Super Bowl wins in 4 appearances over a 7-year time frame. Going 18-1 in the 2007 season and lets not forget the rising of a backup QB named Tom Brady.

Second, Aaron Rodgers has proven to be a serious, and viable, replacement to Brett Farve. I expect to see the Packers making regular appearances in the Playoffs over the next decade. In his first two seasons as starter he has put up over 4,000-yds each season, plus he has already thrown 58 TDs to only 20 INTs, a nearly 3-1 ratio. Unfortunately since a lot was expected of him from Day 1 his card prices have been sitting high for a while.

Third, Early Doucet may turn out to be an exceptional NFL Wide Receiver if he is given the opportunity; unfortunately the Cardinals are pretty well stocked at WR with Fitzgerald, Boldin and Breaston all pretty well cemented at the position. It might not be a bad idea to grab up a couple of Doucet cards before he becomes a regular on the field and the prices sky rocket.

Forth, the Cardinals and Packers apparently do not have a defense, at least not for this game. It does seem fitting though that the game began and ended on a defensive turnover, unfortunately for the Packers both were turned by the Big Red D. How insane is it to have 96 points scored and well over 1,000 yards in a game?

Friday, January 8, 2010

Pete Carroll, The Newest Seahawk?

So I find myself in a quandary with the latest news out of Seattle. Today, completely by surprise, the Seattle Seahawks fired Jim Mora. As a Seahawk fan this was unexpected. Given he had a dismal season going 5-11 and loosing the final 4 games but to be fair the Seahawks have had some serious injury problems and there has been some changes made and important positions so most people would expect a season or two for everyone to jell.

Growing up a Univ of Arizona fan I am programmed to dislike all other Pac-10 teams, so obviously USC is part of that disdain. Now the rumor is that the Seahawks fired Mora with the intent of bringing on Pete Carroll to take on coaching duties. I like the idea of bringing in a coach that has proven he can be a winner. In 9 years at USC Carroll has gone 97-19, including 9 bowl games (7-2) and 2 National Championships, which is a wonderful resume but his Pro career is a little less spectacular. In 4 seasons as an NFL Head Coach with the Jets and Patriots he is 33-31 with a 1-2 in the playoffs.

I actually have a good feeling about the change, I hate to see Mora fired because he was brought in specifically to take over for Holmgren but if bringing in Carroll can return the team to glory then I am for it. Fortunately, Carroll runs a Pro-Style offense at SC so it may not be a difficult conversion for the Seahawks.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Patch Works- Jacobs

Originally uploaded by Jumper48
Player: Omar Jacobs
Team: Pittsburgh Steelers
Set: 2006 Ultimate Collection Football - Ultimate Rookie Patch
Card # : UR-OJ
Serial # : 22/25
Description: A simple black and white patch

Not that Ultimate is considered the top tier of pricing, you would expect to see a larger patch then the dime sized sample that upper Deck used on these cards.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Randy Johnson Retires

Originally uploaded by Jumper48
After 22 seasons and 303 wins, my favorite pitcher, Randy Johnson, has announced his retirement. He made it clear that he wanted to leave the game on his terms and that is why he chose to leave now. He has been fighting injuries and inconsistencies over the last few years so it looks like he made the right decision.

He definitely has a HOF career going 303-166 with 4,875 strikeouts for 6 different teams, including playing for my two favorite teams Seattle Mariners and Arizona Diamondbacks. He has won the MVP, has thrown 2 no-hitters and has won the Cy Young Award 5 times. I hope to see Randy Johnson standing on the steps of Cooperstown in 2015.

As expected, with the announcement the eBay Trolls have begun overloading the site with well over 200 new auctions added within the last 12 hours. Most are grossly overpriced too.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Mail Day Trades

On December 26th, Boxing Day, while reading through Dinged Corners I happened upon a post from the Thoughts & Sox blog about boxing cards. What caught my eye was the 1938 Churchman Jack Dempsey card that Adam was writing about. As a vintage collector I know the cards pretty well, I actually have a number of Churchman’s along with a handful of other vintage British boxing cards and I have to say that these cards do not show up to often on the blogs so of course this drew my interest.

I contacted Adam and over the next few days we worked out a trade. I sent Adam 2 of the 1938 Churchman’s that he needed, Jack Johnson & Max Schmeling, a 1954 A & B.C. Chewing Gum Jack Dempsey and a couple of cards from the 1928 Ogden’s Pugilists in Action set, in return he sent a 1969 Butkus, a 1970 Reggie Jackson and a 1972 Gale Sayers.

I received the cards today and they are better then I expected, the scans do not do them any justice. The Jackson is in beautiful condition (the cross-hatching is from my scanner) and I have been meaning to work on building a 1972 football set so the Sayers gets me going on that.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Agent Zero, The World Is Not Enough

Originally uploaded by Jumper48
Gilbert Arenas, one of the top rated Point Guards in the NBA, continues to disappoint. Not on the court, but out in the real world. Allegedly Arenas and teammate Javaris Crittenton were playing a card game on a return flight from Phoenix on Dec 19th and Arenas refused to pay his gambling debt, then a few days later Arenas reportedly brought three handguns to practice, which caused Crittenton to respond with his own threats.

I hate to disparage an Arizona Wildcat but Arenas has continued to make bad choices off the court time and time again. Either he is running his mouth or making horrible choices.

Agent Zero could have easily been ranked as one of the best Point Guards of this generation. He ranks near the top in Points Per Game, Rebounds Per Game and Assists Per Game. He could easily be grouped with Steve Nash, Chris Paul and Deron Williams but he is almost an after thought because of his off-court antics. You can find Arenas relics and autographs for under $1, which does not seem to do him justice. He turns 28 in a few days and still has a number of years ahead of him so it is possible to see him finally come to the front where he belongs, he just needs to grow up and shut his mouth, let his play define him and not his constant bickering.