Monday, December 26, 2016

My Favorite Baseball Card of 2016

Tom at Til Next Year put out a contest for our favorite card of 2016. There are some monster responses already but the promise of even the loser winning something has me aiming for the bottom spot. That's why my favorite card is actually for my least favorite player who finally retired from baseball: David Ortiz. I should have subtitled this: "The Airing of Grievances" and I apologize to Tom for taking such advantage of this "opportunity".

David Ortiz is one of the most selfish, obnoxious, and hypocritical baseball players I've ever had to watch and he, along with the true despicable's of the 2011 Red Sox, are the reason I turned my back, for good, on him and the team. From ownership on down. According to David Ortiz, anyone that doesn't blindly love him and praise him and who is remotely critical of him and his performance and behavior, is a hater. I don't hate David Ortiz: I just don't like him or his antics. He's a media-obsessed d*ck; which to some degree is a commendable thing because it's established a brand and name recognition for him that will serve him well in retirement. And, please, for the love of whatever, stay retired. Don't do the Favre thing. Or the Clemens thing and play partial seasons. Please don't. Stay away. It's bad enough we had yet another stupid farewell tour -- and I hope it's the last of them. But we know the machine of Red Sox Marketing (get ready, Chris Sale, for the worst years of your career -- you thought Chicago was bad? Hell, maybe you should be on Twitter!) will cart him out for a gazillion celebrations and love-fests and whatever during this next season. And I can't wait for the Big 4th Anniversary Celebration of the 2013 World Series Team! Woot-Woot! I need therapy. & what sucks is I work five minutes from Fenway Park, and the temptation to go to games is great. But I cannot give them any more of my money.

Affiliated with MLB's steroid scandals, Ortiz somehow evaded the criticism that hounds better and more Hall Of Fame worthy players than himself such as Barry Bonds and the aforementioned Clemens. He even received a somewhat full pardon from Commissioner Rob Manfred, which is so, so, so wrong. David Ortiz passes himself off as a role model, and this may be partially true. But, his career took off because of PED use (as opposed to Bonds and Clemens who arguably had Hall of Fame careers before they dabbled) and this fact must never be overlooked. He's also a big freakin' baby. Year in and year out we in the Boston market had to listen to him complain and complain and complain and complain about his contract status until the ownership inevitably caved-in and offered him extension after extension and extension. Resting on his laurels, Ortiz felt he was worth it but the dangling of contract extensions --and the setting of incentives and milestones -- was necessary to keep him motivated. And by and large it worked. A role model: Ha! Who can forget his beating the ever living sh*t out of the telephone in Baltimore? Who can forget him interrupting a press conference with then manager Terry Francona to argue and complain (again) about an official call that stripped him of a RBI? Or, the classic bitch-fest about blaming the media for his being hit by a Yankees pitch for the first time in his career. A role model keeps his cool and doesn't look upon opposing players, umpires, or others with a truly frightening amount of rage in his eyes.

In a similar vein, I dislike, strongly, how nearly every baseball player to Ortiz is "my guy" or "my boy" & the hug-fests and excessive fraternization that take place seemingly at every ballgame. This mentality and sentiment defeats a bit the nature of on-the-field competition. Ortiz clearly wanted to be liked and that's fine too, but I always felt it was a ruse to not get beaned by opposing pitchers. So when he was pelted in that Yankees game I felt very pleased. You want to be chums, fine. But not on the ball field.

I am, myself, hardly a saint. But I am also not a public figure in the way that he is. (I am also a hypocrite considering my favorite baseball player of all time is a recovered drug abuser.) Googling "David Ortiz Angry" present many images and videos. Keep your cool, dude. I get you're ultra competitive but it's a GAME! Grow up! You're supposed to be this big lovable guy. Who is also a dismissive pig who routinely calls out people for being "bitches" which is sexist and derogatory. A role model! Ha!

Anyway, after all that favorite card of 2016 shows Topps' designers having some fun at David Ortiz's expense. His insert Walk-Off-Wins card is a classic in design genius with the Red Sox logo strategically placed over Ortiz's crotch. I sincerely hope it pissed him off. It is indisputable that David Ortiz had some major clutch hits during his time as a Red Sox (both under the influence of steroids and presumably clean), so he was a natural choice to receive a card in this insert series. The deign of the card and the logo aren't his fault, nor is the picture selection. But frankly, the arms up is so iconic, for lack of a better word, because of the importance of the grand slam home run he hit in the 2013 playoffs against the Choking No Farm System Dave Dombrowski Detroit Tigers.

The logo, of course, should be bigger. But we know what effect steroids have in the nether-lands.

Thanks for stopping by!

PS: My runner up for the best card of 2016 is a card that never was. It was among the most memorable of the year, hands down and sunglasses down too.

Anyone of the above three would have made an ace, high selling ToppsNOW card and it was an absolute let down they did not select the image of Roughned Odor punching Jose Bautista in the jaw. Even Bautista's late slide would have been an acceptable card, for me. Bautista's a dick - a dirty player. Dan Duquette's comments at the winter meeting were excellent. That was at least his second late slide of the year and I don't like or condone violence -- it's a game for crying out loud -- but Odor was reasonably justified in protesting the intent of the slide.

Thanks, again, for stopping by!


  1. As a Jays fan, I understand the dislike for Bautista..
    At the same time, I found the whole Bautista/Odor thing to be a giant whine-fest on both sides. On the Rangers' side because they waited till the last at bat of the last game to hit Bautista for the Bat Flip.. But I felt Bautista could have handled the whole thing at 2nd better..

    1. I agree it was a whine fest and that the Rangers waited too long to retaliate. My issue with Bautista was with the dangerous slide. It was his second dirty one, at least, of the season and felt it was do disrespectful to the rule-change and to the safety of Odor. I like a healthy dislike for the competition, but not at the expense of potential injury. I'm still amazed he stayed on his feet!

  2. That was quite the preamble.
    Thanks for entering!

    1. I know. I'm sorry. You may want to give the prize to anyone that admits to reading the whole of this entry. I'm sure I'm disqualified and perfectly understand. I took advantage of your kind contest offer....