Bad Hits

Cheap Game Used – Scott Kazmir

Player’s Name: Scott Kazmir

Player’s Position: P – Starter

Player’s Current Team: Tampa Bay Rays

Price I Paid for the Card: I got this card off of eBay for 50 cents.

Set it’s from: 2007 Topps

What it’s Worth: Beckett has it listed for $10.00.

Why I like this card: When the Mets traded away this stud to Tampa for essentially Victor Zambrano, I knew it was going to be a huge mistake.  Could you imagine what Scott could have done behind Johan Santana?  I had a feeling he was going to be good, I just didn’t know exactley how good he was going to be.  Just think how great he would be on a good team?  Last year (his best season), he went 13-9/3.48/1.38 and he rolled up 238 strikeouts!  Like I said, on a team like the Yankees or the Red Sox he might be a 20 game winner.  Another great reason to love this card is the fact that this card highlights what he did to the Red Sox, calling him the Fenway Phenom.

Why it’s a Cheap Hit: I do think that in a few years, Kazmir might very well be one of the most elite pitchers in baseball.  A lot of so called experts are saying that in as little as one year’s time, the Rays might be one of the best teams in the American League.  I really think that he not only will be the ace of what ever staff he is going to be on, but he will be the ace of what ever league he will be in.  To get this card for under a dollar, is insane and I was thrilled I could get it this cheap.

Will if ever be worth more? Will he become as collectible as Johna Santana?  I don’t know but I really hope so.  Seeing this card double would bring a smile to my face.  Tell me what you think about Kazmir.

May 3, 2008 Posted by | Cheap Game Used | , , , , | 2 Comments

Cheap Game Used – Alex Rios

Player’s Name: Alex Rios

Player’s Position: OF

Player’s Current Team: Toronto Blue Jays

Price I Paid for the Card: I got this card off of eBay for 75 cents.

Set it’s from: 2007 Bowman Sterling

What it’s Worth: Beckett has it listed for $10.00.

Why I like this card: Alex is only 26 years old and already has two All Star appearances.  He was slowly becoming a good hitter, but really put it all together last year when he went 0.297/24/85/17.  This year many “experts” expect big things out of him.  What I don’t like is that, besides the shot of his back and butt, we don’t get to see his face.  I thought that was the whole point of cards.  Why have a card that doesn’t show you the player’s face.  Is it that horrific? The other thing I like about this card is the black Jersey swatch.  usually you get a grey or white one.  It’s nice to see a strange color every once in a while.

Why it’s a Cheap Hit: Well 75 cents for this card is a great price.  Not only did I end up getting a solid up and commer, but who knows?  Maybe he will take off this year and hit 30 homers. He is off to a slow start this year only going 0.306/2/14 over the first month, but his homer totals always start peaking in late May / early June so keep your eyes open for that.  I think over time if he continues to hit his stride in the bigs, his card might go up, but I think he would have to switch markets to see a dramatic rise in his card values.

Will if ever be worth more? No, I don’t think so. Other than his rookie cards, none of his recent cards have been sought after.  Maybe in the long term we might see some change but I tend to think that his current pricing might remain his only pricing.

May 1, 2008 Posted by | Cheap Game Used | , , , , | 1 Comment

Cheap Game Used – Billy Wagner

Player’s Name: Billy Wagner

Player’s Position: P – Closer

Player’s Current Team: New York Mets

Price I Paid for the Card: I got this card off of eBay for 20 cents.

Set it’s from: 2007 Upper Deck Artifacts

What it’s Worth: Beckett has it listed for $10.00.

Why I like this card: I really don’t feel one way or the other for Billy. I just know that when he is healthy, he is a heck of a closer. I think the Mets took a real gamble on him when they signed him to a big contract. But for the most part, it has worked out pretty well for them. Overall he has 364 saves, which is 7th all time. Not too shabby for a guy that was given up on in 2005. People though he was cooked, but really, he’s been doing the same thing year in and year out for 14 years. He is 36 years old and probably only has 2 more good years left in him, he will finish with about 425 career saves and then he’ll have to sit back and wait to see if he has a shot at getting in the Hall.

Why it’s a Cheap Hit: First off, 20 cents for anyone is a cheap hit. Wagner or not. Wagner has the added bonus of being one of the best that ever closed. Do you think he is a Hall of Famer? I’m not sure since it’s about as easy for closers to get in as designated hitters. I think if they treated the position as any other one he would be in, but truthfully, he never dominated any season. The best he ever did in Cy Young voting was 4th. I’m going to say he won’t get in, but that’s just my opinion.

Will if ever be worth more? No, I don’t think so. He just wan’t one of those sought after guys. I just don’t see his cards going up in value. Especially if he doesn’t make the Hall of Fame.

April 29, 2008 Posted by | Cheap Game Used | , , , , | Leave a comment

Cheap Game Used – Vlad Guerrero / Alfonso Soriano

Players Names: Vladimir Guerrero / Alfonso Soriano

Players Positions: OF – Guerrero / 2B – Soriano

Players Current Teams: California Angels (Guerrero) and Chicago Cubs (Pictured with the Texas Rangers, Soriano)

Price I Paid for the Card: I paid $1.25 on eBay

Set it’s from: 2005 Fleer Authentix

What it’s Worth: Beckett has it listed for $15.00, but as you can see I got it much cheaper on eBay.

Why I like this card: What’s not to like? You get two of the premier hitters in the league jerseys on the same card.  Both are on their way to the Hall of Fame. Vlad in 13 seasons has 2000 hits and 368 home runs. Where as Soriano, who has 231 homers and 231 stolen bases in 10 years, including a 40/40 season may not be a shoe in, but he has some nice credentials.  Plus I love the design of this card.  It’s meant to look like a ticket and actually Steve from White Sox Cards blog wrote about this on Things done to sports cards blog.  But what I really like about this card is the dueling players in the middle of their peaks, and a swatch of jersey from both of them.

Why it’s a Cheap Hit: To players at the peaks of their careers, both are monster hitters and I get both of their jerseys on one card!  I’ll buy this card up all day at a buck and change a pop.  You can’t tell me that when they are all done with baseball, this card won’t be worth more.  It has to be right?  I don’t do prospecting but I would be floored if this card doesn’t go up in value.

Will it Ever be Worth Anything More that a Minor Star?: Damn I hope so!  Can it ever be worth less than what I paid for it?  I doubt it, but if one or both of these guys head to the Hall of Fame, shouldn’t this card’s price go up?  I would think so.

April 26, 2008 Posted by | Cheap Game Used | , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Cheap Game Used – Josh Beckett

Player’s Name: Josh Beckett

Player’s Position: P – Starter

Player’s Current Team: Boston Red Sox (Pictured with the Florida Marlins)

Price I Paid for the Card: I paid $0.99 on eBay

Set it’s from: 2005 Fleer Skybox

What it’s Worth: Beckett has it listed for $15.00, but as you can see I got it much cheaper on eBay.

Why I like this card: I know, I know it’s another Red Sox guy. You know I hate them, but at least I respect them. Actually Beckett was along the Rich Harden line of player. He was one of those hard throwing guys, you just knew would do well in the pros. Unfortunately for Josh he started out on the Marlins. At least he got to play on some good teams (pre-fire sale). I still think he throws incorrectly, because he gets too many blisters and sore shoulders, I think he uses too much arm and not enough leg in his delivery. I think some day he might go down as an elite pitcher, and if last year’s stats are any indicator I think he has a nice road ahead of him, but he’s got to become smarter at his delivery.

Why it’s a Cheap Hit: OK he was average with the Marlins and it wasn’t until he got on a winning team (the Red Sox) did he do anything with his talent. I don’t think he is Hall of Fame material, he may never hit 200 wins let alone 300. But he is going to be remembered for winning a couple of World Series and beating some great Yankee teams. If you can get all that in a jersey swatch for less than a dollar, I don’t see how you can go wrong.

Will it Ever be Worth Anything More that a Minor Star?: No, and since he probably won’t be a Hall of Fame pitcher, he may never even make it to semi star status.

April 24, 2008 Posted by | Cheap Game Used | , , , | Leave a comment

Cheap Game Used – Pedro Martinez

Player’s Name: Pedro Martinez

Player’s Position: P – Starter

Player’s Current Team: New York Mets (Pictured with the Boston Red Sox)

Price I Paid for the Card: I paid $0.99 on eBay

Set it’s from: 2002 Fleer Platinum

What it’s Worth: Beckett has it listed for $15.00, but as you can see I got it much cheaper on eBay.

Why I like this card: First off, I hate Pedro Martinez, yep I said it.  I hate him because he is a Yankee killer plain and simple.  I don’t discredit the fact that for a 14 year stretch, he was one of the most dominating pitchers in baseball.  It’s just that he played for the Red Sox and was (for a while) public enemy number one for Yankee fans.  I like the card because it is of him as a Red Sox, and I think that’s where he became Hall of Fame worthy.  You might scoff at me for even thinking that he was HOF worthy, but the numbers are simple.  He has 209 wins, a career ERA of 2.81, a career WHIP of 1.03 and 3031 strikeouts which puts him 15th all time. Now couple that with his 3 Cy Youngs, 3rd all time in win – loss percentage, 3rd all time in WHIP, 5th all time in hits/9 innings, 3rd all time in strikeouts/9 innings, . . . starting to get the picture?

Why it’s a Cheap Hit: He was arguably one of the most dominant pitchers of the 90’s and early 00’s.  He is probably a first ballot Hall of Famer and I got this card for 99 cents.  I think when we look back on this period he is going to be one of the few pitchers we remember, Shilling, Clemens, Santana and Martinez.  When we start looking back we are going to see his card prices increase and this will look like a steal.

Will it Ever be Worth Anything More that a Semi Star?: No, but I do think when he gets into the Hall of Fame his card prices will go up.  Just ask Goose Gossage.

April 22, 2008 Posted by | Cheap Game Used | , , , | 1 Comment

Cheap Game Used – Rich Harden

Player’s Name: Rich Harden

Player’s Position: P – Starter

Player’s Current Team: Oakland A’s

Price I Paid for the Card: I paid $0.15 on eBay

Set it’s from: 2007 Upper Deck Artifacts

What it’s Worth: Beckett has it listed for a very cheap $10.00, but as you can see I got it much cheaper on eBay.

Why I like this card: Every once in a while you hear about a pitcher who has the stuff of Roger Clemens or Nolan Ryan. The last guy I remember hearing about that was Josh Beckett. But then we started hearing about Harden. I think I followed him ever since he was in AA ball. He was 21 years old when he made his first start back in 2003. I knew he was going to be real good. But something happened to him along the way. It always seems to happen to young flame throwers, the hurt themselves, a lot. In 2006 he got through 9 games, in 2007 he started four games and after just two this year he is back on the DL. Sometimes you get players like Mark Prior, who never seem to overcome it. Other times you get someone like Roger Clemens and Tommy John, who not only come back, but are better than when they left. I hope Harden won’t be labeled a DL guy for the rest of his career (see Mark Prior) and becomes the pitcher everyone expects him to become.

Why it’s a Cheap Hit: This card teeters on bad hit status. I think he can be one of the most dominant pitchers in the AL, but then again, he can’t dominate anyone from the disabled list. So is it cheap or bad? For right now I am going with cheap. He is a fantastic pitcher when he is healthy. I am giving him the benefit of the doubt that he can over come this and not turn into another Ben McDonald. Million dollar arm, but kept in place with a band aid. We’ll have to revisit this one some day and see if it becomes a cheap hit or a bad hit.

Will it Ever be Worth Anything More that a Common?:Short term answer, yes, long term, probably. I just can’t see his popularity going up. Prior was popular before he got hurt, Rich is just not that popular, even when he wasn’t hurt.

April 20, 2008 Posted by | Cheap Game Used | , , , , | Leave a comment

Cheap Game Used – James Shields

Player’s Name: Jame Shields

Player’s Position: P – Starter

Player’s Current Team: Tampa Bay D…. Rays

Price I Paid for the Card: I paid $0.45 on eBay

Set it’s from: 2007 Fleer Ultra

What it’s Worth: Beckett has it listed for a very cheap $8.00, but as you can see I got it much cheaper on eBay.

Why I like this card: By now if you read my posts, you know I have a big time man crush on Jame Shields.  Much like Mario’s crush on Andrew Miller (except Shields isn’t quite so wild).  I think if Shields was on another team, you would see him in a different light.  It’s tough to like a guy that is on such a bad team, but give them another year and they will be battling the Yankees for second place in the east.  James though, what a gamer, he really came on last season when he went 12-8/3.85/1.107.  What those numbers don’t show is how electric his stuff can be.  He is definitively one of those pitchers that I could easily line up and pay to see pitch.  I only wish I knew about him, when he was still in Durham.

Why it’s a Cheap Hit: I think over time, he is going to be one hell of a pitcher.  Not a Hall of Fame pitcher, but I think he is going to win a lot of games and at some point might even be regarded as one of the premier pitchers in the AL.  My only hope for him is that at some point in his career, he has the sense to jump ship and get on a real contender and I hope it’s before he losses his desire to win (from being on the Rays).  My real hope is that the Yankees line up and offer the Rays a ton to get him, I think he is that good.  In the end though, he’ll find his way over to the Mets, after all the Rays owe them,for stealing Scott Kazmir.

Will it Ever be Worth Anything More that a Common?: Right now, I’d say no, but give him a few seasons and see where he is, he might just surprise you.

April 19, 2008 Posted by | Cheap Game Used | , , , , | 2 Comments

Cheap Game Used – Brandon Webb

Player’s Name: Brandon Webb

Player’s Position: P – Starter

Player’s Current Team: Arizona Diamondbacks

Price I Paid for the Card: I paid $1.53 on eBay

Set it’s from: 2007 Bowman Sterling

What it’s Worth: When I went to look it up, imagine how surprised I was to find out that Webb wasn’t even considered a minor star.  Beckett has it listed for $10.00 but as you can see it is quite a bit cheaper on eBay.

Why I like this card: It is a travesty that Webb is not even considered a minor star, I mean my god Harold Reynolds and Ozzie Guillen are minor stars.  Let’s see Webb has only won one Cy Young and three All Star appearances in six years. He is considered one of the best, if not the best pitchers in the National League and if that weren’t enough, he is 4-0/1.82/0.79 so far this year.  We are talking about one of the more dominant pitchers of this era and he isn’t even a minor star.  So sad! I am sure my buddy Jeff from Arizona is going to chime in on this one.  If he doesn’t I’d be surprised.  How is Webb considered a common?  I just don;t see how that’s possible.  In fact if you have any Webb cards, let’s work out a trade.

Why it’s a Cheap Hit: To tell you the truth, I didn’t realize that it was listed as a common when I bought it.  I just liked the way the card looked and the fact that is was from the yellow alternate jersey.  Like I said before Brandon is one of the premier pitchers in baseball.  He has electric stuff and since 2005 his WHIP has never creped over 1.26 and his ERA has been below 3.60 and that is a major accomplishment considering the average of the league in this era is 4.55.  Almost a full run below the average.  It’s sad when a Bowman Sterling of Brandon Webb is considered a bad hit in that product.  Very sad indeed.

Will it Ever be Worth Anything More than an unlisted star?: Maybe with my ranting and raving, we might see him moved to minor star status.  If he racks up some more Cy Young awards (which might be difficult with Santana around now) I would think he has a shot at the Hall of Fame, maybe then he would be bumped to semi star status?

April 17, 2008 Posted by | Cheap Game Used | , , , , | 1 Comment

Cheap Game Used – Cole Hamels

Player’s Name: Cole Hamels

Player’s Position: P – Starter

Player’s Current Team: Philadelphia Phillies

Price I Paid for the Card: I paid $1.37 on eBay

Set it’s from: 2006 Upper Deck Special F/X

What it’s Worth: Beckett has it listed for $12.00 but as you can see it is quite a bit cheaper on eBay.

Why I like this card: I got to see Cole pitch in Lakewood, NJ at a Blue Claws game and knew that he was going to be one of those special players. I guess the same could have also been said about Gavin Floyd as well, but we can leave that for another story. Cole though just blew away hitters in the minor leagues. He was so dominant that it was obvious that he should be pitching in the majors. He was just that much better than anyone else on that field. Since I lived in Bethlehem, PA, I also got to see him in Reading and Scranton, PA as well. So when he went to the majors, I watched every game he pitched in. Well we know what he is capable with, when he has a full season 15-5/3.59/1.12, so let’s see what he can do for his career. He is still one of my favorite pitchers to watch (also James Shields). His stuff is electrifying and I think he will only get better.

Why it’s a Cheap Hit: OK so I paid for more than a dollar for this one, but I needed it. This is the only Cole Hamels jersey card I have. So he isn’t a upper echelon veteran . . . he has all the talent that he could become one. He is already one of the highest ranking fantasy league guys, so I don’t think he is far off. Like many young pitchers, he just has to keep the injuries at bay (some how). Hopefully the Phillies will not ruin another young arm, but only time will tell.

Will it Ever be Worth Anything More than an unlisted star?: We shall see. This will be a big year for him. If he can come back and kick some tail, then yes I think he could have a higher value, if he tanks, well, so will his card.

April 16, 2008 Posted by | Cheap Game Used | , , , | Leave a comment