Friday, September 4, 2009
Bronson Arroyo, A TTM Success??? Blogger Input Needed!!!!
So, today as I was checking my mail I had an envelope with my name boldly written and spelled correctly in amazingly perfect handwriting (my own). I let out a little scream; I still have over 100 TTM requests out there, so any day I get one back is a good day. I looked at the postmark and it was from Baltimore. I started thinking of the possible players it might be from… It could be Brian Roberts, Nick Markakis, Adam Jones or former Devil Ray (and every other team in baseball) Mark Hendricksen. Either way, between those 4 guys, it’s a total win win. I waited till the dog did her business and walked upstairs to carefully open it, penny sleeve and top loader at the ready. What the F*&K??? It turns out it’s not any of those 4 guys or even an Oriole. It’s not a card I had sent out either. It’s a bizarre looking (the future of Upper Deck?) card of Reds pitcher Bronson Arroyo. I know the ladies at Dinged Corners are fans of BA, and they are generally good judges of character, plus a while back when Jonny Gomes went yard 3 times in a game, Bronson tossed a gem that night. After the game I had written Mister Arroyo a long and thoughtful letter about that game. I also included a clipping of an interview I had did with him back when he was 20 years old and a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates. It was the only copy I had of said interview, but I thought that ol Bronson might get a kick out of some of the “rookie” things he had said in the interview. In other words, he has come a long way baby! He is a solid big league pitcher. His 11-12 record isn’t going to garner any attention for the Cy Young Award, but he gives his team the chance to win every time he takes the mound and a little less than half of the time, the Reds win. He’s also having a career year in terms of durability, even though he has always been an innings horse. He has already matched his career high with 3 complete games and he has beaten his career best by posting 2 shutouts this year. He’s 24 innings away from surpassing 200 innings for the 5th straight year, too. To the best of my knowledge, he hasn’t missed a scheduled start in the past few years and he has paced the Reds staff in starts and innings since he has been there. He had paced the NL in starts in ’06 and ’08 and he led the league in innings pitched (240) in 2006. Those kinds of things are pretty important to me. He threw a perfect game in AAA in 2003 (4th in International League history), he was an All Star in 2006 and a World Champ in 2004. Since joining the Reds he has hit 4 homers. He is even Steven lifetime with 82 wins against his 82 losses; the 32-year-old has 967 strikeouts over his career. He isn’t knocking on the door at Cooperstown by any means, but he has had a solid big league career which surprised me at least. I remember the day he signed his first contract, I was there the day he arrived in Pirate City (Bradenton) Florida after the Pirates picked him with their 3rd round selection back in 1995. I don’t think anyone (himself included) thought he would still be in the big leagues today at that time. He was very, very raw as a pitcher. Young, thin, not much fastball velocity and his signature delivery didn’t seem like anything more than a gimmick. One thing that I was correct about was that he wouldn’t be with the Pirates for long. I can pretty much make that claim about anyone though-I am shocked that Zach Duke was not traded this year! Anyway, I have spent the last few paragraphs propping Arroyo up for all of his accomplishments. Dude can pitch. He is an asset to whatever team he plays for. He seems like he is earning his paycheck. All those things said and considered… Is he THAT GOOD that he is getting SOOO MUCH fan mail that he has an outside person receiving it in Maryland, doing whatever he does with the cards sent to Arroyo and sending this card back in return? With so many TTMs out there for me (I have sent 144 so far) and such a small return so (17-nearly all Rays/Ex-Rays) I really shouldn’t bitch about anyone who replies, but is this actually a reply? He is a star, he plays baseball on TV and wins big league ball games by getting All Stars out, that is why I wrote to him, but I am upset because 1. I sent him 2 hand picked cards I thought would look great signed. 2. I sent him a really long and personal letter that I had hoped he would at least glance at. 3. I sent him a very old (Spring 1996) newspaper clipping that I also hoped he would glance at. 4. I chose to write to Arroyo rather than Felix Hernandez or Tim Lincecum or insert any All Star pitcher here solely because I don’t feel that he is a BIG star and therefore I felt I would have more of a chance that he would read and respond or at least sign the two cards that I had selected for him to sign. I am writing this to vent, but also because I want my fellow bloggers' opinions. Am I out of line here? Do you guys and gals think Bronson is doing the right thing here? Am I asking too much hoping that a pro athlete read a letter? Would you folks be happy with this card? Where do you guys think all the cards that he is sent end up? Okay, that’s all I got for now… Please check out the post below for all the shiny cards on the trading block. I will say that I recently hit a HUGE roadblock financially and my days of out of control pack ripping are on a serious hold. I still have lots available to trade, that will probably be the subject of my next few posts. If there are any locals (Bradenonites?) reading this, the Bradentucky Bombers are having a HUGE flea market slash swap meet slash 50 family yard sale this Saturday morning. I will be there will 1,000s of vinyl records and some other goodies. Wish me luck on that… Anyway, I would love to know what you all think of this strange Arroyo card that I am obviously not pleased with. Next week I promise to post more often, I am already starting to plan my off-season posts and yes I will be posting 5 times a week minimum all through the baseball off-season and they will be baseball and baseball card related posts. I have picked up a lot of things that I have been holding off writing about just to give myself some ammo when there are no game recaps to write. Some of the sets I will be writing about may or may not include: 1995 Score, Topps sets from 1961, 1969, 1974, 1978, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1987 Traded, 1989, 1993 and 1996. 1995 Topps Finest, 1995 Pinnacle and Studio, 1992 Upper Deck, 1983 Fleer and possibly a look at 1986 Topps Football. I am also going to begin posting the few cards that I have in my FAVORITE ALL TIME I may try and locate and dust off excerpts of some of my favorite interviews with some players that have sadly since passed on like Johny Sain, Curt Blefary, Buck O’Neill or “Doubly Duty” Radcliffe. I will be posting current interviews that I do (otherwise unpublished) but I am unsure of the subjects just yet. I will also be posting all of my TTM successes and Ex-Ray reports as well. Oh, on a totally unrelated topic, I have received quite a few offers for the Yuto autographed insert from this years Allen and Ginter. Thanks to anyone who had written, I am basically still waiting for that perfect offer, plus the Wife thinks we should hang onto it. I disagree and if I can get a nice package together of premium Rays cards, I am on it! For now, I just really want to know what everyone else thinks about this Arroyo card. Has anyone else received one of these? Has anyone had any actual success with him TTM this year? That’s it. The Rays have Detroit coming and every game is a must win. The Bulls are in the same boat, but they have to win without many of their star players who got the September call up to the Rays… As a post note: Believe it or not, I had intended this to be a really short, what the hell post. I should know that I am not capable of that. I think I am gonna be late for work! Go Bulls!!! Go Rays!!! Troll out.