Saturday, April 28, 2012

Updates to All Things in Trollville...

So I get my first day off in 19 days - what do I do? Naturally I spend the morning going through all the AWESOME packages I have received over the past 3 weeks and aggressively update ALL of my wantlists...

Several sets are COMPLETE and many are VERY CLOSE...

My Cardboard Mistress, Stale Gum, Nachos Grande, Dime Boxes, Two By Three Heroes, Crinkly Wrappers, Play at the Plate, Thoughts and Sox, The Hopeful Chase, my AWESOME readers and so many others all got into the action... Its actually amazingly overwhelming...

I have been sooooooooooo busy I barely had the chance to scan the packages and after 3 weeks time I averaged 1.3 packages a day!!!

I owe a lot of folks return packages and this WILL happen, I promise...

I will be updating my lists for the next few hours, but every list that says update 4-28 is already done... I have actually learned my lesson and have gone through EACH and EVERY page in each and every binder to make sure everything is accurate... Some sets weren't as close as I thought - surprise, surprise...

Anyhoo, a huge thanks to everyone who has sent me cards of late, y'all rule!!!!

If we have a trade pending and you haven't heard from me in a while, PLEASE e-mail me a friendly reminder...

As I sort and finish sets, I will want to dump my dupes. I am committed to sending another 5,000 cards to Commons 4 Kids, SO IF YOU STILL NEED CARDS FROM 2009, 2010, 2011 OR 2012 TOPPS - PLEASE send me a message with your needs and I take care of you BEFORE I make my donation.

You can reach me HERE. Thanks sOoOoOoOo! much for reading and helping me reach my collecting goals!!!

Oh, before I sign off - did anyone see the Rays / Rangers game last night??? The Rangers are THE BEST team in the AL (in my opinion) and beating them is a HUGE accomplishment for sure. What a game and what a finish. I don't when I have been this excited about baseball this early in the season. There have been some AMAZING games thus far this season and there are some teams - the A's, Royals, Dodgers, Nats, etc. that have not been too interesting to me in the past, but suddenly are super fun to watch... I REALLY love this game, I love this hobby!!!

So to recap - Rays rule! This hobby rocks! Sets are getting done and I need help finishing more. Wantlists are being updated and I want to trade some more! If I owe you cards - send me a reminder. If you need base cards or inserts or stuff for your PCs from 2009 -2012 Topps - get in touch!

Also, if you are wondering my plans for tonight? (and I know no one is) I will be rolling in the Desoto Parade in Bradenton, Florida with the Bradentucky Bombers. The route is miles long and last year the parade drew over 150,000 people. Should be a good time. The Bombers next home game is May 20th. I will be there!

Una cosa mas - I bought and ripped some wax for the first time in over a month. What did I get? 2012 Topps Opening Day - just 1 jumbo pack, but it felt good and I think I am gonna buy a couple more... Expect a want list to go up very soon.

Go Rays! troll out.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Sweepin' the Angels!

Your welcome Rangers... The sweep is complete. Great team play, an amazing pitching performance by David Price, some big hits, but none bigger than the walk off from the newest Rays player, Brandon Allen... What a series! I love this team! Go Rays! troll out.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Congrats Carlos!!!

The Rays are up 4-0 against the Angels in the 6th inning... Desmond Jennings led the game off with one, BJ Upton is back and he hit one, Luke Scott added one, too... Longo hasn't hit one out yet, but he just stole a base!!! What a game!

David Price has a shut out and looks fantastic, but the true excitement is Carlos Pena hitting a LONG homerun to collect career hit #1000. Congrats.

Go Rays! troll out.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Its Gotta Be the CHOPS!!!

3 homers, 12 RBI and a .333 batting average, plus a late inning grand slam last night... Not what I expected from Luke Scott, but I am not complaining...

Where did all this offense come from? Its gotta be the CHOPS! Go Rays! troll out.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Rays are Rad in Red and Winning in Toronto!

Greetings Trollites!!! I am not quite halfway through a miserable stretch at work – we are working twelve days straight for 12 hours a day, then we are “rewarded” with 2 days off before starting all over again… Anyway, I still have a long way to go before getting a day off and I am pretty freaking tired already…

I have been spending my nights “chillaxing” more than usual. Tonight the Rays are on TV, so I am getting my chill-ax on in front of the TV and presently the Rays are up 3-1 in the second. Sweet!

They have been on a miserable slide of late. After starting the season in spectacular fashion – sweeping the Yankees at home, they been horrible, dropping 6 of their last 8 games including being swept in Boston and dropping their first game in Toronto last night. They NEED to get back on track…

Their awesome starting pitchers need to start pitching like the awesome starters that they are and the offense needs to wake up!!! I know BJ is out, but if your 1 and 2 hitters don’t get on base, you won’t be scoring many runs.

That is the truth, but also a smooth segue into this post… I have been looking for an excuse to post these 2 rad in red cards from 2011 Topps. Desmond Jennings was awesome in the season opener against NY, but has not been a good leadoff hitter since – his OBP is barely over .300 – he just hasn’t been setting the table like he needs to… Tonight he led the game off with a base hit and good things happened…

The good thing being his scoring when Ben Zobrist, also mired in a slump, hit a long drive over the right field wall… It was just his second homer in 38 at bats – Zorilla was hitting just .216 coming into this game. Hopefully his first inning homer is the end of his slump.

Either way, batting first and second and both getting hits is the perfect excuse to post these 2 gems. I think these were bonus cards, exclusive to factory sets and numbered to 245. I have been on a mission to collect up EVERY parallel version of these 2 cards. I still need a bunch more to have the whole rainbow, but I am thrilled to ad these 2 cards into the mix…

I put the computer down for a couple of innings – we are into the 6th inning, the Rays are up 6-2 and David Price is leaving the game. I don’t know if Price was pie in the face great tonight, but he pitched well enough to earn the W if the bullpen can maintain his lead.

With another perfect excuse to show off another new parallel of a favorite player – here is Rays reliever Wade Davis in sparkly puke-fractor form.

Going into the seventh inning, the Rays are still in the lead – will the winning streak start tonight?

Oh... If you have parallels of Zobrist, Jennings or Davis, PLEASE get in touch, I NEED Them!!!

Go Rays! Troll out.

Monday, April 16, 2012

2012 Topps Heritage... I'm Still Tryin'

Thanks to Potch Wheeler and the Cardboard Heroes and reader Marcus (a Padres fan who lives in Texas), I got 56 more cards from 2012 Heritage in the mail today... That gives me 223 out of 500... Thanks guys! I updated the needs list - check it out if ya have cards to spare...

Oh, if yer wondering "why Ian Desmond?" (card pictured below). There are a few, well 6 different reasons...
First, it is one of the few cards I have a dupe of.
Second, he is one of my favorite non-Rays.
Third, he is from (nearby) Sarasota, Florida.
Fourth, he is off to a GREAT start - only Matt Kemp has more hits than Desmond.
Fifth - cuz the Nats are getting a ton of attention this year because of a lot of big names, big signings and big money and this dude has one of the smallest paychecks of anyone in Washington and he is shining the brightest...
The sixth and final reason is that he shares the same first name with Ian MacKaye (which is cool) and today is Iam MacKaye's 50th BIRTHDAY!!!!
50 years old and still out of step with the world and if you get that reference, you are very cool and should comment on this post...

Yeah, Ian Desmond rocks! Rock on Ian(s)...And check out the super rad blog known as Potch Wheeler and the Cardboard Heroes AND check out my 2012 Heritage want list...

Thanks for reading... Go Rays!!!! It's time to start winning again! I got a lil stack of Rays Topps parallels in the mail the last two weeks from a number of different folks... I really like colorful and sparkley parallels - these will be posted up really soon...

Oh, and if you have been wondering where I have been... At work the new schedule is 12 days of 12 hour shifts (consecutively) and two days off and repeat... I had this weekend off, but caught up on sleep, watched the Rays get beat by the Sox and hung with the wife... I will try and squeeze a few posts in between naps... Thanks for being patient! I will be around when I can, I promise I am not gonna vanish again...
Go Rays!!! troll out.

Friday, April 6, 2012

Welcome Back Carlos Pena, Welcome to First Place Rays!!! What a Way to Start the Season, a Recap in 1,000 Words...

It seriously felt like October at Tropicana Field and not just because the AC is set at the same temperature… I am one of a small minority who loves the Rays home field, but having been to a dozen or so Opening Days there, I don’t think it has felt this intense and exciting on the first day of the season.

I got to see so many familiar faces in the stands – and I am proud to report that I saw VERY FEW stoopid Yankees fans out tonight. Back on (their home) Opening Day in 2007 the New Yawkers invaded and outnumbered us in a 70 – 30 split.
Now I am proud to say our crowd is made up of at least 95% dedicated Rays fans.

I got to the game late, because of work, and I had missed much of the Rays fireworks, highlighted by Carlos Pena’s first inning GRAND SLAM.

I arrived just in time for Evan Longoria’s third inning solo homerun, but for the most part the bats from both teams had cooled off and the score had settled down to 6-5 in favor of the Yankees once I got there.

That stated, we will fast forward past the boring parts and get to the good stuff.

Here is the scene, it’s the bottom of the ninth inning, the Rays are down 6 – 5 and the Yankees bring in the greatest closer of all time, Mariano Rivera in search of his career 604th save…There are 35,000 fans in blue on their feet and holding their breath hoping the miracle Rays can make magic again. Tall order though, Rivera is 60 out of 61 in his career against the Rays… It should have been a foregone conclusion that Rivera would shut them down like he had done so many times before…

Desmond Jennings led off the inning against #42 with a base hit – he was 2-4 with a walk and 2 runs scored as the Rays’ leadoff man… Ben Zobrist followed him. Zorilla had a horrible day at the plate with an O-for with 3 strikeouts at that point. He drilled a triple into left field which plated Jennings to tie the game. This was the Rays first scoring since Longoria’s homerun in the third inning. Longo was up next and Rivera walked the slugger intentionally. Not a bad idea as Longoria was 3-3 with a solo homerun and 2 runs scored in the game.

I am going to go ahead and say on record that Longoria WILL be the 2012 AL MVP. Back to the game… Luke Scott followed and was also intentionally walked to load the bases with no outs.
Sean Rodriguez was up next…

My FAVORITE Ray had been perfect on the day with a hit, 2 walks and a sacrifice till that point. The Yankees gift wrapped the ideal hero opportunity for the young infielder with the bases packed; score tied in the bottom of the ninth. Rivera’s cutter was too much and S-Rod went down swinging against the closer.

This brought up the Rays first baseman Carlos Pena. In his first game since re-signing with the Rays this offseason Pena was 1-3 with a first inning grand slam, the 8th of his career. That was the Rays LONE hit with runners in scoring position tonight.

Pena put the Rays on the board in the first with the bases juiced and guess what; he did the same thing in the 9th! Well, not the exact same thing… The first innings blast went into the right field seats like so many of his homers have. In the 9th he went the other way and hit one off the wall in left centerfield. It could have easily been a base clearing triple for the left handed slugger, but the Rays needed just one run to win it, so as soon as Zobrist crossed the plate, the celebration began as the Rays came from behind to beat the mighty Yankees on Opening Day behind the heroics of Carlos Pena.

Pena was an offensive leader for the Rays from 2007 till 2010. He spent last season in Chicago with the Cubs before returning to Tampa Bay where he became an offensive star. A former first round pick, Pena had 27 homers for the Tigers in 2004, but in 2006 he spent most of the year in the minors and had just one homerun all season. The following year, his first in Tampa Bay, Pena blasted 46 homeruns and won the AL Comeback Player of the Year.

Over the last 5 seasons he has slugged 172 homers, an average of 34 per year. Along the way he has won a Silver Slugger, a Gold Glove, an All Star selection, a World Series appearance and a homerun title.
Now he is back in Tampa Bay in search of the final piece – that World Series ring!

The Rays are on top of the AL East and there is no reason to look back… Welcome back ‘Los!!!

If you are wondering, the Trop was ELECTRIC in the 9th; it truly felt like playoff baseball in April!

If you are also wondering about the pitching – what the Rays are known for, well… Shields pitched like he looks on this card. Sloppy and uncomfortable.

He did not his big game stuff and was lucky to get through 5 innings. He allowed 6 earned runs on 9 hits, 3 walks and 3 strikeouts. He was sloppy and the Yanks were hitting the ball hard. Shields did work out of jams. It seemed like the Yankees ended every inning with the bases loaded… I think the final number was 12 runners left on base for New York. I didn’t think that Shields was going to get out of the second inning, but he stuck it out. It was nice to see that Shields could battle for 5 innings when he clearly had nothing…

The pen was very nice though… Six pitchers combined to throw 4 innings of no hit, no run baseball.

My favorite pitcher, Wade Davis made his FIRST EVER professional relief appearance. He worked one inning, following JP Howell.

Another fav of mine, Jake McGee pitched a perfect full inning as well.

It wasn’t pretty, but it was VERY EXCITING!!!!

I need to be at work at 4 AM and I am still shaking with excitement… Its gonna be a LOOONNNGGG day.

Thanks for reading! Go Rays! Troll out.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Where You Gonna Be On Friday Night????

OPENING DAY, Opening Week, whatever it is, they're playing ball games that count and I LOVE it!!!!! Today and tonight I spent the day parked in front of the TV watching the Tigers beat the Red Sox in an awesome game and later watching the Dodgers beat the Padres... That was tonight. Tomorrow I will be hanging out with my friends James,
and Desmond...
Yeah, thanks to a last minute surprise from my awesome wife, I will be hanging out at Tropicana Field tomorrow afternoon and evening. For some reason the game starts at 3 PM. I work till 4 and live a few towns away. I will miss the first pitch, hell I might miss the first 5 or 6 innings, but I don't care - the baseball season is here and when the Rays close the door in the 9th inning tomorrow night, beat the Yankees and take their place at the top of the American League East - I WILL be there!

HUGE thanks to Brian from the Play at the Plate blog for hooking me up for real with a few of my MOST WANTED cards! I LOVE parallels! I am determined to fill a 9-up page full of variations of the DJ and Zobrist cards... I think I have 4 or 5 of each now which is AWESOME!!! The other awesome thing is that I now have both the 2011 and 2012 Opening Day mascot cards of RAYMOND!!!
Thanks Brian and thanks to your son for giving up his mascot card for me! I love this hobby, I LOVE THIS GAME!!! Big Game James and the Rays are ready to roll in 2012!!!!!!!!!! So, what are you doing Friday night????

Go Rays! troll out.